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Jacob Scott, UVSC
Zach Iroz, left, is Big Harp and William Cooper Howell is Little Harp in "The Robber Bridegroom."

OREM — In the Broadway version of "The Robber Bridegroom" the damsel is robbed of her clothing and carried off stage au natural.

In the SCERA/UVSC version, she'll only give up her outergarments.

That's one change the powers-that-be have made to make this story fit for the local family audience.

The language has also been softened and overall, the focus is more on the love story and less on bold sexuality.

"I did a production of this in West Yellowstone years ago," said director Dave Tinney. "They had the same concerns there. We take more of a Disney approach. We're not really changing any of the content but softening throughout, refocusing."

Katy Baxter, who plays the hapless Rosamund, said the changes haven't hurt the show but have helped to make it more comfortable and easier to watch.

"I think there's something here for everybody," she said.

Jordan Cummings plays Jamie Lockhart, the robber who suffers somewhat from a split personality disorder. He's a fussy dandy at times and then he's a rascally thief. (Rosamund loves one but not the other.)

Cummings, too, says he heard the Broadway show was bawdy, but he'd never seen it, and he likes this version.

"It's got honesty, comedy, a love story. It's got everything. It really is a great show," he said.

"I also love the character. He is just so confident, so sure of himself — to the point of cockiness. He's really fun to play. This is actually one of my favorite parts and that's a complete 180-degree turn from where I started."

Baxter said Rosamund is a layered character as well. "She's naive yet she knows what she wants. She just doesn't know what will be the consequences."

Tinney suggests bringing the older kids rather than young children because the show revolves around a love story. "It's not a fairy tale. It's an American folk tale."

He said the music is enjoyable as well. He had local fiddlers and bluegrass musicians lay down a track specifically for this show.

"I'm not really a fan of country, but I was won over," Tinney said.

"The Robber Bridegroom" is an 18th-century Southern fairy tale based on the book by Alfred Uhry adapted from Eudora Welty's novella with music by Robert Waldman.

The wickedly playful piece of theater is being co-produced at the SCERA Center for the Arts with the Utah Valley State College theatrical arts department.

"We are thrilled to be at SCERA," Tinney says. "UVSC wants to be involved with the community and SCERA is a wonderful place that encourages community and educational involvement. Besides, their Showhouse is a great space where it's intimate enough that you can experience the play without feeling as if you are in a cavern."

SCERA President Adam Robertson said, "Partnering with UVSC has been fantastic. Their drama department chooses theater works that are very entertaining but different from the usual fare and gives SCERA the opportunity to present our audiences with a great musical that may be new to them."

Most of cast members are UVSC theater majors. Jordan Cummings plays the robber. Rosamund is played by Katy Baxter. The wicked stepmother, Salome, is portrayed by Sara Preston, and Wes Tolman plays the planter, Clement Musgrove. Also performing will be UVSC's Black Box Repertory Company. They comprise the bluegrass and Greek chorus and will do all the human voice sound effects.

If you go . . .

What: "The Robber Bridegroom"

Where: SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State, Orem

When: 7:30 p.m., Jan. 25-Feb. 4

Cost: $10/$8 students/$6 children

Phone: 225-2569

Web: www.scera.org

E-mail: [email protected]