Comedies, musicals, a new "dance/theater" piece and the contemporary updating of a Greek classic are among the eight productions opening this week in the region.
They are Horton Foote's "1918," at Brigham Young University, "The Man of La Mancha" at City Rep, another version of "The Fantasticks" in Springville, "The Curious Savage" by a new theater company in West Valley City, "Dear Ruth" in Lindon, "Greek" in the University of Utah's Lab Theatre, "Wiley and the Hairyman" by the Curtain Call Children Theatre Company and "Tresses of a Day Star" at Kingsbury Hall.- "THE CURIOUS SAVAGE," is the first play to be staged by West Valley City's new community theater troupe, the Theatrical Production Company.
The comedy, by John Patrick, is being directed by Trish Anderson.
The cast includes Debra Horrocks, Charlie Burton, Wendy Soria, Ronald Pratt, Carlene Desmarais, Terry R. Gunthrie, Betty Utley, Marilee Evans, Virginia Baker, Don Evans and Stephen Paul Smith, who is also serving as assistant director.
The production will be performed at the David and Grace Harmon Home, a West Valley City community center, on Fridays and Saturdays (June 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16) at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call 966-5396.
The TPC group is planning one more show this fall and at least three productions during 1991. Other activities in the near future include a reader's theater performance and workshops on various aspects of theater, including makeup, auditioning and playwrighting.
For information about the company, call Lance Orlando at 966-4282 or Trish Anderson at 967-0637.
- "THE MAN OF LA MANCHA," the musical about Don Quixote and his faithful servant Sancho Panza and their "Impossible Dream" of tilting with windmills, righting all wrongs and restoring chivalry, will be presented during June and July by City Rep.
Director Ron Jewett's cast includes Cliff Cole and Mel Kraft as Quixote and Sancho, with Jennifer O'Haley as Aldonza, the focus of Quixote's love.
Other performers are James A. Dale, La Dawn Gardner, Janae Gibbs, Michael Hohl, Lori Hunter, David Jewkes, Dennis J. Lee, Steve Nichol, Raelynn Potts, Darla Davis, Darin Stites, Leslie Warwood, Shellie Waters, Jeff Bryner and Rebecca Gibbs.
Performance dates are June 1, 2, 4, 9, 15, 18, 29, 30 and July 7 and 13 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee scheduled for Saturday, June 23, at 2 p.m.
City Rep is located in the Utah Theatre, 148 S. Main. For tickets or further information, call the box office at 532-6000. Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children 16 and under. All seats are reserved.
- "GREEK," a contemporary interpretation of the story of Oedipus, will be presented Saturday, Sunday and Monday, June 2-4, at 8 p.m. in the Lab Theatre of the Performing Arts Building on the University of Utah campus.
Playwright Steven Berkoff's heavily stylized play features four actors in white-face. It closely parallels the legend of Oedipus, but with clever, shocking twists.
Cast for the Lab production includes Eric Jenkins, Diane Englert, Willard Knox and Pilar N. Witherspoon. Jenkins will portray Eddie and the other three performers play a number of roles.
"Greek" was first performed in London in 1982 but achieved major prominence two years later in a Los Angeles production that swept the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards, winning prizes for production, acting and direction.
For tickets, contact the box office at 581-6961.
The Performing Arts Building is located next to the campus book store.
- "THE FANTASTICKS" will open Springville's annual Art City Days celebration on Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m., followed with performances on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays through June 18.
The show is the first to be presented in the 150-seat theater in the city's newly opened Art Shop, east of the Springville Museum. The popular musical, which is celebrating 30 years on Broadway, is directed by Dane Allred, with choreography by Debbie Allred.
The cast includes Nathan Draper as Matt and Michelle Burger as Luisa, the love interests; Roger Nelson as the aged actor Henry, with Dennis Wright as his sidekick Mortimer, Erin Oldroyd as the Mute and Russ Rolfe and Val Anderson as fathers of the young couple.
Although tickets may be purchased at the door before each performance, seating is limited. Advance tickets, at $4 each, are available at the Video Stop and Partyland in Springville.
- DESPITE SPENDING the past year criss-crossing the country to analyze plays for the American College Theatre Festival, Brigham Young University drama professor Charles Whitman still found time to read 15 of Horton Foote's plays.
"I've become consumed by his writing and regard him as one of America's underappreciated playwrights," says Whitman. The BYU professor is directing Foote's "1918" in the Pardoe Drama Theatre at BYU for 14 performances beginning May 31.
Productions will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through June 16 with a 4 p.m. Monday matinee June 11. Tickets are available through the drama ticket office, 378-7447.
Foote is best known as a screenwriter whose credits include "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Tender Mercies" and "Trip to Bountiful."
"1918" is the third in what Foote calls a symphonic nine-play series. It's part of the Orphan's Home Cycle, a title based on a Marianne Moore poem. The plays span 30 years based on the lives of the main characters, people drawn in large measure from Foote's family.
Six performers in the play are the Robert Nelson family. They are Nelson, a BYU drama professor, and his wife Charlotte, and their four children, Catie, Christi, Corinne and Mark.
Other cast members include Becky Baumann, Marty Morgan, Christopher Higbee, Maddison Morgan, Albert Ricci, Hilary Russell, Shannyn Thompson and Steve Shafer.
- "TRESSES OF A DAY STAR," a dance/play performed by The Moving Company and children from the Life Arts Center, will be presented at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, at Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah campus.
The work, directed by Pearl Wagstaff Garff, is described as "a nature piece," with the actors and dancers portraying various aspects of nature and the universe, such as the four winds, animals, a troll, the morning star, reptiles, fish and coral.
A composition called "New Suite" is being added to the original script.
Assisting Garff as co-directors are Cathy Brimley, Molly Churchhill and Nykola Patton.
Tickets will be available at the door. They're priced at $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under, and $2 for toddlers.
- "WILEY AND THE HAIRYMAN," Susan Zeder's classic children's play, will be presented on Saturday, June 2, at 2 and 4 p.m. by Salt Lake City's newest children's troupe, the Curtain Call Children's Theatre Company.
Under direction of Ron Burnett of the Park City Shakespeare Festival, the new company is made up of students from the Winner School, 6120 S. 2075 East.
Admission is 50 cents and tickets can be reserved in advance by calling 278-2500.
The show, set in the Mississippi River delta country, deals with childhood fears of the unknown.
Burnett's students range in age from 6 to 14. They attend theater classes after regular school hours and rehearse in the late afternoons.
New classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, June 4. The Curtain Call company is planning a production of "Tom Sawyer" during August and they're also going to appear in several performances during the Park City Shakespeare Festival in July and August.
For further information about the classes or the company call the Winner School at 278-2500 or Burnett at 485-7249.
- VALLEY CENTER PLAYHOUSE in Lindon is offering "Dear Ruth," a World War II comedy, through June 25. Performances are each Friday, Saturday, and Monday evening at 7:30.
TaShera Lindsay plays Ruth, whose 15-year-old kid sister (played by Mindy Berry) writes letters to servicemen and signs Ruth's name. To further complicate matters, one of the men (Darren Jensen) returns home with a diamond, only to find Ruth already engaged to another man (Scott Russell.) The parents are played by Dennis Puride as Judge Wilkins and Nola Smith as Edith.
Donna Huggard has directed the show, which played on Broadway before being made into a movie in the 1940s.
Tickets are $4 general admission, $3 students and senior citizens and $15 for a family. They may be purchased prior to each performance at the theater, 780 N. Second East. For group reservations and discounts, phone 224-5310.
- THEATREWORKS WEST'S production of "Quilters" has been extended for four additional performances, closing on June 10 instead of June 3 as originally scheduled.
Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. in Walker Hall on the Westminster College campus, 1850 S. 1300 East.
For reservations to the musical, which explores women's roles in the opening of the American frontier, call 583-6520.