There are nearly a dozen productions opening this week in Utah - half of them at the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City (see separate story at left).
Elsewhere, Park City Performances is celebrating its first 10 years with a nightclub-style musical revue; the Old Lyric Repertory Company in Logan is opening its second show of the season; the Park City Shakespeare Festival premieres its first two productions next weekend; the new Sundance Children's Theatre is opening the second of its two productions; and Hale Summer Playhouse is scheduling a three-day run of one of its family comedies.- "ENCORE!" could also be labeled "PCP Lite." It promises to be a light, breezy, musical retrospective of Park City Performances' first decade.
The company's producing artistic director, Rafael Colon Castanera, has conceived and is directing and performing in the revue, featuring songs from 20 of group's productions.
"The atmosphere that we are attempting to create is one you would find in a nightclub act. Neither the costuming nor the staging reflect any resemblance to the original productions," he said.
Other performers in the four-member cast are Cherie Schroeder, Dana Francis and Daniel Grondahl.
Castanera said the show is divided into several sections. One is "the first four years," with music from "My Fair Lady," "Cabaret," "Godspell," "The Music Man," "Chicago," "Oliver!" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." This segment will also include tunes from the company's biggest hit, "Pump Boys and Dinettes," and two shows directed by Craig Call, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "The Little Shop of Horrors."
Then, said Castanera, there will be a section "on shows you wanted to leave during intermission . . . and did," including "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," "Baby," "Cinderella," "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off" and "Mame."
Another grouping will spotlight shows that Castanera was closely involved with: "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Personals," "Grease," "Sweet Charity" and "Guys and Dolls."
"Encore!" opens Friday, July 5, then continues on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 31. All performances start at 8 p.m. in the Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., Park City. For reservations or further information, call 649-9371.
- "DIAMOND STUDS," a musical about the legendary Jesse James, told through a string of not-quite-factual vignettes, is being revived by the Old Lyric Repertory Company, Logan, as part of its silver anniversary season.
The show "is pure rip-roaring, foot-stomping entertainment. It's delightful and enjoyable," said director Colin Johnson.
The bluegrass musical, performed as a saloon show in the early 1900s, was last presented at the Lyric in 1985. It's an audience favorite that is being brought back by popular demand.
The cast includes two Equity actors - Kevin Doyle, reprising his role as Jesse James, and J. Morgan Armstrong, again portraying Pancho Villa (and back for his fifth OLRC season).
Two other familiar faces from the '85 version will also be back: Charlotte Scott Guyette as Belle Starr and Nancy Blackburn as Jesse's spunky mother, Zerelda James.
"Diamond Studs" will play Thursday-Saturday, July 4-6, at 8 p.m., then begin alternating with other productions on the 1991 OLRC calendar on July 11 and 26 and Aug. 7, 15 and 22 at 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Aug. 3, at both 2 and 8 p.m.
The theater is located at 28 W. Center, Logan.
Tickets are available at the Utah State University Smith Spectrum Ticket Office, 750-1657, or at the theatre box office performance evenings. Adult admission is $8, senior citizens, USU faculty/staff $7 and full-time USU students and youth $6. Season subscriptions are available until July 12 for $24, $21 and $18.
- THE PARK CITY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL is opening its 10th season this weekend by playing at a brand new location - a new amphitheater being constructed at Star Pointe Resort, east of U.S. 40 between I-80 and Park City/Heber City junction. (Take Exit No. 148, not the usual Exit No. 145.)
Ron Burnett, the festival's founder and artistic director, said that construction of the amphitheater was delayed by poor weather this spring, causing his original schedule of opening dates to be changed. Because of this situation, the openings of the three Shakespearean productions will be staggered over a three-week period on subsequent Saturdays, with "Romeo and Juliet" opening on July 6, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" on July 13 and "Hamlet" on July 20.
A non-Shakespearean drama, "Not About Heros," will open on Sunday, July 7.
All of the festival's productions, except for two children's theater shows, will begin at 8 p.m.
- "Romeo and Juliet," directed by Jeffery Owen: July 6, 8, 11, 15, 18 and 25; Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, and Sept. 5 and 8.
- "Not About Heroes," Stephen MacDonald's World War I drama: July 7, 12, 14, 21 and 28; Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25, and Sept. 1.
- "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," directed by Thor Nielson: July 13, 19 and 26; Aug. 2, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23 and 30, and Sept. 6.
- "Hamlet," directed by Burnett: July 20, 27 and 29; Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, and Sept. 2 and 7.
On Aug. 5 and 26, the Curtain Call Children's Theatre Company, a joint project of Burnett and The Winner School, will present student performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 7 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $10 for general admission, $8 for students and senior citizens and $5 for children, 5-12 years of age, with tickets available at all Smith's Tix outlets in the Salt Lake Valley or by calling the festival box office at 485-7249.
Group rates are also available and there is a special Monday night series with all seats $5 for general admission or $10 for a family pass, admitting up to eight people per immediate family. There are also season passes: $30 for adults, $25 for students/senior citizens, and $15 for children. For any of these optional tickets, contact the festival box office at 485-7249.
- SUNDANCE CHILDREN'S THEATRE will have the world premiere of Mary Gail's "Nobody Home," the second of the company's new season of plays written especially for children.
"Nobody Home" outlines the school and home lives of five latch-key children and their parents as they try to cope with the pressures of growing up in the Nineties. The drama utilizes familiar childhood songs from an earlier age to evoke a sense of time past and awareness of how growing up in America has changed.
The SCT series opened on Saturday with Richard Hellesen's "FACE2FACE," a musical play with a lesson on the importance of self esteem, tolerance and fairness.
In addition to the performances of these two productions throughout the summer, three playwrights have been commissioned to write new plays for children and four others have been invited to bring their plays to Sundance to be workshopped during the annual Playwrights Lab in July.
SCT Artistic Director Jerry Patch said, "We want the best writers working in dramatic forms today to give something back to their art by beginning a work for children. We want to bring those works to Sundance to make use of the talent gathered here each summer to help realize their vision."
"FACE2FACE" will be performed on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 6 p.m. during July, switching to Thursdays through Sundays at 1 p.m. during August.
"Nobody Home" will be just the reverse of that schedule: matinees at 1 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays during July, then at 7 p.m. on Thursdays-Saturdays and Mondays during August.
Locations of both shows will also differ slightly during the two months. During July, all performances will be in the amphitheater adjacent to the Sundance Rehearsal Hall. In August, the matinees will be held indoors in the Sundance Screening Room, with evening performances up the hill at the Sundance Summer Theatre mainstage.
Both shows run less than 50 minutes.
Admission is $4 for adults and $2.50 for children 12 and under.
The Western Institute's Kidstar Program will also sponsor two free performances of "FACE2FACE" on Tuesday, July 2, at 1 and 7 p.m., at the institute, 501 Chipeta Way.
- "APRIL ANN," a comedy by Ruth and Nathan Hale, will be presented on Thursday through Saturday, July 4-6, at the Hale Summer Playhouse near Grover, 14 miles from Capitol Reef National Park.