I had the opportunity of catching the Utah Shakespearean Festival's education tour of "Romeo and Juliet" Wednesday morning. I sneaked into the show a few minutes late (major delays at the drive-through when I was getting my "quick bite").

I walked away with a few thoughts:

• The Bard sure can write a love line!

• The festival actors sure can deliver a convincing stage kiss.

• The students were remarkably well-behaved.

I was a touch worried about seeing the show with kids because it's difficult for them to sit still. Having sneaked in when it was dark, I was surprised when the lights came up and I saw the ages of the audience. I thought I was sharing Shakespeare with high school kids but they looked like elementary and junior high school students.

They sat as still as possible, listened to the show and had great questions during the talk-back. "Are your costumes comfortable?" "Do Romeo and Juliet really kiss?" (It garnered all sorts of squeals.) My favorite, "Does Romeo LIKE kissing Juliet?" (Again, squeals, shrieks and laughter.)

Bravo to students and teachers who were at the presentation at the Grand Theatre Wednesday morning. I was impressed.

In Broadway news:

Chenoweth SOLD! — Fans of Tony-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth can now own a little piece of her. She will auction memorabilia through her fan club to benefit the AIDS walk. Bidding for "Kristin's Closet" will run from April 13 through 19 on eBay. "Wicked" fans can get a bedazzled neck brace worn while Chenoweth was injured during the run.

Other items include signed photos, playbills, DVDs, stuff from "Pushing Daisies" and clothing worn at various events. I wouldn't plan on wearing the clothes, though. Chenoweth is only 4 feet 11 inches tall.

Another Epic? — Let me share the description with you: "Set against an epic backdrop of the French Revolution, this is a musical about injustice, vengeance and the redemptive power of love." Sound like Les Mis? I thought so, too.

But it's a new epic musical, an adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, "A Tale of Two Cities." Rehearsals are on Bastille Day, July 14. To the tune of "One Day More," let's sing, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ..."

Speaking of — New musicals ... "Glory Days" will open on Broadway May 6. Set on a football field, it's the story of four high school friends who reunite one year after graduation. But get this, the score, which features musical styles like pop, folk and rock, was written by a pair of 23-year-olds! Nick Blaemire and James Gardiner are far more together than I was at their age.

Still Have Time to Pay — RENT has signed a new lease. (Is that a bad pun?) But it's true. Due to high ticket demand, the Broadway hit will extend its run through Sept. 7 rather than closing June 1. Don't forget original cast members Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal have signed on for the national tour.

A Very Brady Musical — Yes, it's here. "The Brady Bunch" is getting the musical treatment with the help of the TV show's creator Sherwood Schwartz. Opening at L.A.'s Theatre West in June, "A Very Brady Musical" is described as "NOT the Brady Bunch but a very affectionate satire, so leave the young kids at home."

And it's still a family affair. Schwartz's son, Lloyd, wrote the musical and is set to direct, while daughter, Hope, co-wrote and penned the lyrics and music with her husband.

Next week — Josh Groban as Phantom? ...


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