SALT LAKE CITY — Your mother taught you not to lie, but when it comes to theater, a little swindling, a bit of deception and a few white lies make for interesting plot points.
This month in local theater is full of characters who bend and stretch the bounds of the truth for various reasons, each bringing with them a lesson for the audience.
‘Tuck Everlasting’ at Hale Center Theater Orem
Some secrets are meant to be kept.
In the case of “Tuck Everlasting,” it’s for the good of others.
Based on Natalie Babbitt’s 1975 book by the same name, “Tuck Everlasting” the musical tells the story of an 11-year-old girl named Winnie who stumbles upon a young man and his family who have become immortal after drinking from a spring in the woods near Winnie’s home. The family whisks Winnie away, hoping to impress upon her the gravity of their secret. Now, Winnie has to weigh the consequences of an immortal life as she considers whether to join the Tucks and live forever.
“Tuck Everlasting” runs May 3-June 15 at Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, $25-$27 for adults, $19-$21 for children (801-226-8600 or haletheater.org).
‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ at Brigham’s Playhouse
“Power, ambition, greed” add up to “just another day at the office” in the satire “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” according to Brigham’s Playhouse’s website. Lowly window washer J. Pierrepont Finch uses a handbook of instructions to do whatever it takes — including a little deception — to climb the corporate ladder, “tackling such familiar but potent dangers as the aggressively compliant ‘company man,’ the office party, backstabbing coworkers, caffeine addiction and, of course, true love,” the website states.
“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” runs May 9-June 15 at Brigham’s Playhouse, 25 N. 300 West Building C1, Washington, $23 for adults, $21 for seniors, $17 for children and students (435-251-8000 or brighamsplayhouse.com).
‘Grease’ at Pioneer Theatre Company
There are two sides to every story, and for “Grease’s” Danny and Sandy, the memories of their summer romance look a little … different. He said: “She swam by me, she got a cramp. … I saved her life, she nearly drowned”; she said: “He ran by me, got my suit damp. … He showed off, splashing around” (among other discrepancies).
When the two unexpectedly reunite in the halls of Rydell High School, their “summer loving” clashes with their images, peer pressure and the social hierarchy of high school.
“Grease” — complete with catchy tunes such as “Summer Nights,” “We Go Together” and “Greased Lightnin’” — runs May 10-25 at Pioneer Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, $44-$66 (801-581-6961 or pioneertheatre.org).
‘West Side Story’ at Grand Theatre
It’s said that honesty is the best policy, but for Tony and Maria, keeping their romance a secret from their families is a matter of life and death.
Spoiler alert: If you’ve seen or read “Romeo and Juliet,” you know the basic twists, turns and (mostly) the ending of “West Side Story” since it’s based on Shakespeare’s tragic romance.
Set in New York City, “West Side Story” transforms the Capulets and the Montagues into two warring gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. With music by legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Shakespeare’s enduring story is just as instructive as ever.
“West Side Story” runs May 16-June 8 at the Grand Theatre, 1575 S. State, $12-$23 (801-957-3322 or grandtheatrecompany.com).
‘School of Rock’ at the Eccles Theater
Dewey Finn doesn’t have a lot going for him. He got kicked out of his band, he doesn’t have a job and he’s bumming a place to live off his best friend, Ned.
When Dewey is faced with the choice to either start paying rent or get kicked out, he does the only thing he can do (… or at least that’s the way he sees it): He pretends to be Ned to get a substitute teaching gig at a fancy private school.
His web of lies continues to grow, though, as he decides to turn his straight-laced students into a rock 'n' roll band.
Based on the 2003 movie starring Jack Black, the Broadway musical features music from the film with additional songs by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”) and a book by Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey”).
The Broadway national tour of “School of Rock” runs May 28-June 2 at the Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, $24-$125 (801-355-2787 or artsaltlake.org).
‘The Music Man’ at Heritage Theatre
“He's a fake, and he doesn't know the territory!”
It’s an insult from one salesman to another in “The Music Man,” but it succinctly describes the musical’s leading man — and con man extraordinaire — Harold Hill.Comment on this story
Meredith Willson’s Tony Award-winning musical follows smooth-talking Harold as he struts into River City, Iowa, promising to turn the town’s ragtag young men into a boys’ band, complete with 76 trombones and uniforms “with a shiny gold braid on the coat and a big red stripe.” But his plan hits a snag when local librarian Marian Paroo begins to suspect that “Professor” Hill isn’t all he’s cracked up to be.
“The Music Man” runs May 31-June 22 at the Heritage Theatre, 2505 South Highway 89, Perry, $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and children (435-723-8392 or heritagetheatreutah.com).