Ten (make that 11, if you count the two repertory shows at Cherry Hill Campground) productions are opening this week on stages throughout the region. They are:
- "The Sword of Zorro (or From Z to Shining Z)," Desert Star Theatrics' latest musical melodrama at the Desert Star Playhouse in Murray. (See separate story at left.)- "The Farley Family Reunion" at Wheeler Historic Farm, with author James Arrington featured in his acclaimed one-man comedy.
- "Burr Under My Saddle" (first produced earlier this year as "Rough Road Ahead"), a comedy-drama about the Burr Trail, being presented as the premiere production at the new Hale Center Theater/Orem. (See separate story on this page.)
- "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" (Park City Performances).
- "Theatre Scenes from Campus," vignettes by David Kranes in the Social Work Auditorium on the University of Utah campus.
- "Freshman Showcase," two evenings of student productions in the U.'s Lab Theatre.
- Cherry Hill Acting Company's second season of repertory productions, "Perched and Parched on Life's Porch," an original melodrama, alternating with "The Baby Face Musical Revue."
- "An Enemy of the People," at Weber State College.
- "Charly," a musical by Lex de Azevedo.
- An evening of one-act plays at Utah State University, Logan.
-"SISTER MARY IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU," a biting satire that won the off-Broadway Obie Award when it was first staged in New York City, opens Friday, May 25, at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City.
The Park City Performances production, directed by Rafael Colon Castanera, will continue Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. through June 9.
Sister Mary Ignatius is a teaching nun who is very concerned with sin in all of its various forms and delivers a cautionary lecture to her young charges. But when several of her former students get involved, some devastating truths are told and the comedy aims its barbs at organized religion.
Beaulah Mowrey plays the title role, with Jaceen Craven, recently seen in Salt Lake Acting Company's "The Ghostman," as Diane. Others in the cast are Stephen Kerr, James LaRocco, Amy Mayne and Aaron Nelson.
For tickets, call 649-9371, Park City.
-"THE FARLEY FAMILY REUNION," featuring author/actor James Arrington in the title role(s) as all 16 characters, will open Friday, May 25, at the Wheeler Historic Farm, 6351 S. 900 East, where it will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m. through July 16.
Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 the night of the performance. They're available at the Wheeler Farm's Ice House from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except Sundays. Group rates (20 or more) are priced at $5 each.
Patrons are encouraged to bring jackets and blankets, as seating is outside on the lawn.
For further information, call 264-2241.
-DURING SPRING QUARTER, local playwright/professor David Kranes has been presenting short scenes from several plays at various colleges and departments throughout the University of Utah campus.
The scenes being staged have related to the particular disciplines within the departments.
"The scenes were confrontive," Kranes noted.
Students in the department of law were visited by a greedy businessman from "Other People's Money."
A ferocious and wild teacher (from "Miss Margarida's Way") dropped in on the College of Education.
From Broadway's "Hurly Burly," a cocaine-filled casting agent crashed the department of communications.
A troubled mathematician (from "Breaking the Code," about Alan Touring, the genius who conceived of the modern-day computer), visited the department of math.
In the biology department, some questionable biological practices - addressed in a new play, "Miss Ever's Boys" - were enacted. (This play was workshopped last year in the Sundance Playwrighting Lab and is scheduled to open in June at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.)
All of these various and sundry scenes will be presented Monday, between 5 and 6:30 p.m. in the university's Social Work Auditorium during a free performance that is open to the public.
In connection with the "Theatre Scenes from Campus," a spontaneous - and noisily dramatic - scene involving a couple supposedly breaking up was presented one afternoon this past week in the Student Union Building, to the surprise of any students who were fortunate enough to be in the vicinity at the time.
The auditorium is on the main floor of the U. Social Work building, southwest of the Marriott Library.
-THE FRESHMAN CLASS of the U.'s Actor Training Program will be featured in the annual "Freshman Showcase" being presented Tuesday and Wednesday, May 22-23, at 4 p.m. in the Lab Theatre of the Performing Arts Building.
Thirteen students will perform scenes from "The Maids," "Orphans," "Little Footsteps," "Lovers and Other Strangers," "Edmond," "As Is" and "Luv."
The performers are Scott Nielson, T.A. Williams, Angela Simon, Michael Havey, Kris Lane Nelson, Trevor Black, Shay Gines, Len Childers, Stephanie Mizke, Adam Middleton-Watts, Kristen Bennett, Julie Brundage and Myk Watford.
The "Freshman Showcase," which is free and open to the public, is an accumulation of each student's progress this year, and the roles they will perform this week are both challenging and integral to their learning process.
The Performing Arts Building is adjacent to the campus book store. Seating is limited.
-"AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE," Henrik Ibsen's drama about environmental issues in a contemporary Norwegian town, will be presented by the Weber State College department of performing arts, Tuesday through Saturday, May 22-26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Allred Theatre of the Val A. Browning Center.
Director Ronald Ladwig is using the Arthur Miller adaptation but noted "we're also using bits and pieces of the Eva Le Gallienne version in order that the mayor not come across as the black villain Miller paints."
In an even more '90s departure from the traditional staging, Ladwig has cast a female in the role of the mayor.
"Rehearsals have been interesting because of the new layers we have found having a woman in the role," he said.
During the course of the play, Dr. Stockman (Brad Schroeder) discovers that the town's waters are contaminated and attempts to warn everyone that deaths will result unless the local baths are shut down. His sister, Petra, the mayor of the community (Susan Seifert), opposes her brother because to close down the spa would mean the end of the town's financial base. Both stand up for their opposing beliefs and lock horns over the issue.
Also in the cast: Catherine Sadler, Lisa Rebillot, Spencer Powell, Russell Petersen, Rob Wilson, Jeni Carver and Annette Finster.
There's also some audience participation. At one point in the play, patrons in the audience become townspeople.
Reserved seats are $5 for adults and $2.50 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available weekdays from the Dee Events Center ticket office and prior to performances at the Browning Center. For ticket information, call 626-8500.
-"CHARLY," a musical based on Jack Weyland's popular novel about a quick-witted young girl's romance with a straight-laced computer science student, will have its only scheduled Salt Lake performance Monday evening at Highland High School.
The music is by Lex de Azevedo, with lyrics by Heather Young. The script was written by Young and Ben Lokey, with revisions by director Michael Jesse Bennett, who also appears in the production as the the computer science student's father.
Others in the cast are Margie Hunsaker, a former Mrs. Utah, as Charly, and Steve Sater as Sam, with Carolyn Jacobsen, David Toronto, Marla McKinney, Michelle Bailey and Tip Boxel.
The show is being produced by Valley Media in conjunction with KUTR Radio.
Tickets ($6 for adults and $4 for children 11 and under) are available at all Smith'sTix outlets, Carr Stationery in Bountiful, Frost's book store in the Foothill Village, and Valley Media, 1061 E. 2100 South. For further information call 487-3221.
-THE CHERRY HILL ACTING COMPANY is going into its second season of melodrama and musical revues in an outdoor amphitheater at Cherry Hill Camp Ground, located just north of the intersection of U.S. 89 and Main Street, between Farmington and Kaysville.
The melodrama "Perched and Parched on Life's Porch," and "The Baby Face Musical Revue" were both written by Christopher Strong, the company's artistic director.
"Parched" will be presented on Fridays and Mondays, with the musical revue staged on Saturdays. Curtain is 9:45 p.m. with tickets ($1 per person) available at the camp ground gift shop. The shows open Memorial Day weekend and continue through Labor Day weekend.
-"AN EVENING OF ONE-ACT PLAYS," directed by undergraduate students in the Utah State University theatre arts department, will be presented Wednesday through Saturday, May 23-26, in the historic Lyric Theatre, 28 W. Center, Logan. Curtain is 8 p.m.
Four one-act plays will be presented each evening: "Goodbye Evil," an original work written by USU theater student Wendi Longstroth of Sandy, Utah, (who was the recent recipient of the school's first John Randolph Scholarship); "Pigeons," by Lawrence Osgood; "Approaching Lavendar," by Julie Beckett Crutcher, and "The Zoo Story," by Edward Albee.
Theater department head Sid Perkes said undergraduate students in the advanced directing classes are required to direct a one-act play for the public.
"Pigeons," directed by Sherry S. Jardine, is about three very different women living in New York who happen to meet in a parking lot. The three are played by Kristina Yuen, Deanna Sorenson and Jeanene Bateman.
Lego Louis has directed "Goodbye Evil," which deals with the reality that each of us is accountable for our choices and that we cannot run away - not even from those we have disappointed.
"In a unique way, Longstroth is able to make us realize that the love of family and friends is most important," said Louis.
The cast of this play includes Wes Hamblin, Michael D. Whitney and Lynette Turner.
"Approaching Lavendar," directed by John Carmona, is about two sisters (played by Lorelle Peterson and Melyssa Swensen) who are attending their father's third marriage since his divorce from their mother. Their opinions about the marriage are compared to those of their future step-sister, played by Longstroth.
The evening will conclude with Albee's "The Zoo Story," directed by James Purser. Set in New York's Central Park, two middle-age gentlemen (played by David Hanson and Earl Kane) meet on a park bench and find that, despite their different lifestyles, they also share a lot in common.
Admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for youths, senior citizens and USU faculty or staff members, and $3.50 for USU students. Tickets are available in advance from the Smith Spectrum ticket office (750-1657), or at the Lyric Theatre prior to performances.