Hale Centre Theatre and The Grand Theatre have both announced their 2008-09 seasons, and both are mixed with old favorites and exciting new shows.

Hale's season "features two regional premieres, and we're just really tickled about that," said Sally Dietlein, vice president and executive producer.

"Cash on Delivery," Dec. 31-Feb. 14, is a fast-paced comedy about an unemployed man, mistaken identities, government involvement and an array of creative characters. "This is one of those gems. Its just incredibly funny," said Dietlein.

"Phantom," Feb. 24-April 18, is a musical retelling of the infamous opera ghost by Maury Yeston and Artha Kopit. Not to be confused with the Andrew Lloyd Webber version.

"Treasure Island," April 28-June 6, is the regional premiere of this adaptation of the classic adventure written by Tony Award winner Ken Ludwig, who also wrote "Lend Me a Tenor" and "Crazy for You."

"Everybody loved this script. It has all the elegance of the original and retains the great story," Dietlein said.

"Hello Dolly," June 16-Aug. 1. Winner of 10 Tony awards and three Oscars, the Jerry Herman classic matchmaking tale will have elaborate costumes, sets and dancing.

"The Scarlet Pimpernel," Aug. 11-Sept. 26. "We have so many people who still beg for it — in fact, last time we did it they were selling tickets on eBay," Dietlein said. It has been six years since Hale last did "Pimpernel."

"Curtains," Oct. 5-Nov. 1, is a big coup for Hale — being one of the first in the nation to present the Tony Award-winning musical. With a national tour on the road in 2009, it's rare that a local theater also gets the rights to present the same show. Dietlein adds, "Kander and Ebb's music, you cannot beat it. It's so accessible. Really fun stuff."

With Hale presenting the musical comedy, the Broadway national tour will not be stopping Salt Lake City.

The Grand Theatre's season will kick off with a favorite of Grand audiences.

"Always ... Patsy Cline," Sept. 10 - 20, Back by popular demand, the Grand is bringing back its original cast after three years for a night filled with the country legend's greatest hits. "It's a great tribute to a cultural icon and has two wonderful performances in it," said Richard Scott, artistic director at The Grand Theatre.

"The Ark," Oct. 15-25, is a refreshing new musical by local favorite Michael McLean about rigid fathers, self-absorbed husbands and rebellious sons — and the audience is part of the show. "It's just a fun, light piece," Scott said.

"A Trip to Bountiful," Jan. 28-Feb. 7. "I wish I could talk to everybody who reads this article about this play. It's just the most delightful story, and it's hardly done. It's the most heart-warming story," Scott said. It's about an aging widow who longs to return to her childhood home in Bountiful, Texas — it's the journey of a lifetime.

"The Musical of Musicals, the Musical!," March 4-14, is about ... musicals! "This show is such a great tribute to the musical genre," said Scott, "it's some of the cleverest music — the lyrics." This show parodies the musical stylings of some of Broadway's greatest composers.

"Four Guys Named Jose and a Woman Named Maria," May 6-16. Four young Latino men, a chance meeting at a Burrito World in Omaha and a beautiful woman named Maria. "It hasn't been done here and it's fun — it's a great celebration of music," said Scott.


E-mail: ehansen@desnews.com