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13 PRODUCTIONS OPENING THIS WEEK ON UTAH STAGES

A baker's dozen productions are opening this week in the region, ranging from a touring show starring Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows to works by such diverse creators as Shakespeare, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lanford Wilson, Michael Jesse Bennett and Carol Lynn Pearson. Here are the details: - "LOVE LETTERS," a romantic two-character play by A.R. Gurney is being brought to the Capitol Theatre by the Theater League of Utah.

The play, which has had record-setting runs in major cities across the country and around the world, stars Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows as a WASPish New England couple whose relationship is told via an exchange of letters between the two from the time they're in grade school into their middle age.Performance dates and times are Tuesday-Thursday, March 3-5, at 8 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, March 6-7, at 2 & 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 8, 3 p.m. Ticket prices are $30, $26 and $19 for the Tuesday-Thursday evening performances, the Saturday matinee and the Sunday performance. Admission is $27, $23 and $18 for the Friday matinee, and tickets will be $32, $27 and $21 on Friday & Saturday evenings.

To charge tickets by phone, call 355-5502 or 355-2787.

Two special "two-for-one" offers have been arranged for the opening night and the Friday matinee. Patrons will be able to buy one ticket and receive a second one for free - but only at the Capitol Theatre box office or by calling 355-2787 (355-ARTS).

- THE CALL OF ZION, a new dramatized musical written in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Relief Society organization and to celebrate the Welsh Mormon heritage, will have two free performances - tonight in Provo and Monday evening in Salt Lake City.

Written by Jaynann Morgan Payne, the work is based on material from journals and letters of early Welsh pioneer men and women.

The production will be performed tonight (Sunday) at 7:30 p.m. in the Provo Tabernacle and on Monday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Public Library auditorium, 200 E. 500 South.

- "MOTHER WOVE THE MORNING," Carol Lynn Pearson's one-woman piece focusing on 16 women in the world's religious and socio-political diversity over thousands of years, is being presented for one performance only as a YWCA benefit on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at Highland High School.

A native of Salt Lake City, Pearson has an M.A. in theater from Brigham Young University. She is the author of "Goodbye, I Love You," the best-selling autobiography about life with her late husband, a victim of AIDS.

All proceeds from the performance will support programs of the Salt Lake City YWCA. Admission is $10 per person. Tickets may be purchased directly from the YWCA, 322 E. 300 South, or by calling 355-2804.

- "MACBETH," one of William Shakespeare's most powerful and harrowing tragedies, will be presented for nine performances Thursday through Sunday, March 5-15, in the Babcock Theatre, located downstairs in the Pioneer Memorial Theatre building on the University of Utah campus.

Irish native Michael Joyce, who has extensive experience with London's Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre and the Old Vic Theatre of Bristol, is guest director.

The cast of students from the U. of U.'s actor training program includes Stevie R. Dallimore in the title role and Kristin Bennett as Lady Macbeth.

Playdates are Thursdays through Saturdays, March 5-7 and 12-14, at 8 p.m.; Sundays, March 8 and 15, at 7 p.m., and one matinee on Saturday, March 14, at 2 p.m. For tickets, call the PMT box office at 581-6961.

There will also be a free symposium held on Saturday, March 14, at 4 p.m., following the matinee performance. The symposium is cosponsored by the U. Humanities Center.

- "KASPAR," Peter Handke's fact-based play about a mysterious young boy who appeared, seemingly from out of nowhere, in Nuremberg in 1828 at the age of 16, will have five performances Thursday through Sunday, March 5-8 in the U. of U. Lab Theatre.

From the time the lad appears on stage until he is completely literate is a learning experience not only for the boy, but for the audience.

Robin Wilks-Dunn is directing the multimedia production, utilizing live and recorded video, masks, distorted voices and a strong emphasis on physical movement.

The cast includes Trevor A. Williams, Joe F. Henderson, Andrea and Maxwell Roth, Kathleen Rubens and Kathryn Williams.

Performances: Thursday through Saturday, March 5-7, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 8, at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Friday at 5 p.m. The Lab Theatre is in the Performing Arts Building, next to the campus bookstore.

- "PATRICK HENRY," a one-man portrayal by actor/author Michael Jesse Bennett, will be presented on Monday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. at A Woman's Place book store, Suite 240, Foothill Village (1400 Foothill Boulevard). The presentation is free of charge and families are welcome. Due to limited seating, reservations are requested (call 583-6431).

Bennett, who has appeared on stages throughout the country, as well as in many films and TV shows, is author of "Patrick Henry's Comments on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

- "SWING STREET," the first in a new series of City Rep theatrical concerts, each scheduled for four performances during the company's 1992 season, will feature the Big Band sounds of Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and other greats from the 1940s "Swing" era.

The local Bud Hutchings Swing Orchestra, founded in 1948, and the City Rep Ensemble will perform Thursday, March 5, and Friday, March 20, and Thursdays, April 9 and 30, on the downstairs Court Stage of the Utah Theatre, 148 S. Main.

The new concert series is under direction of Jennifer O'Haley, musical director, and Marilyn May Montgomery, choreographer. Ensemble performers include Alisa Harris, Bruce Bredeson and Laurie Bean.

Reserved seating is $8.50 for adults, $7 for children 16 and under. Box office: 532-6000.

- AN EVENING OF DRAMA AND MUSIC is being presented by a new absurdist comedy troupe, the Vote for Jerry Brown Theatre of Unreality (see related story in this section today), and the folk/bluegrass group, House of Cards, on Thursday, March 5, at Eunomia, 173 W. 300 South.

The performance, which is free of charge, starts at 8 p.m. and is sponsored by City Art.

The evening will include short dramatic skits and collaborations by L. Flint Esquerra, Katie Scrivner-Wayment and Ryan Wayment, and short scenes from Samuel Beckett and Kenneth Koch.

The program Thursday night will be followed by an open reading.

- THE HUNTER SO REAPETH, a suspense-filled evening produced by Hunt Mystery & Company, is scheduled Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Do-it-yourself sleuthers get to determine if professional trophy-hunter L.E. Gale Hunter's murderer was his timid wife, his eccentric mother-in-law, his jittery business partner, a flighty companion or an overbearing shrink.

Admission is $25 per person. Reservations: 521-6040, Ext. 4080.

- "AS YOU LIKE IT," directed by veteran Utah State University theater faculty member W. Vosco Call, promises to be an upbeat, action-packed production of one of Shakespeare's wittiest, lyrical comedies.

The cast includes Linda Mugleston, Joslin Christensen, Jason Boat and John Caldwell.

The show will be staged Thursdays through Saturdays, March 5-7 and 12-14, at 8 p.m. in the Morgan Theatre of USU's Chase Fine Arts Center. For reservations, call 750-1657.

- "ANGELS FALL," Lanford Wilson's play about a group of people caught in a Catholic mission following a nearby nuclear accident, is the latest in Salt Lake Acting Company's "Readings on the Road" series.

It'll be read today (Sunday) at 2:30 p.m. in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art on the USU campus, Logan. The reading is free of charge.

- "THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE," Neil Simon's 1971 comedy about an unemployed executive who has a nervous breakdown and faces a variety of predicaments, is scheduled Thursdays through Saturdays, March 5-7 & 12-14, at 8 p.m. in the Auditorium Mainstage at Southern Utah University, Cedar City. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. For reservations, call 586-7876.

- "CAROUSEL," the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical classic, is running Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, March 6-28, at the Heritage Community Theatre, 2505 S. Highway 89 in Perry, just south of Brigham City.

Performances Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays are at 8 p.m., with one matinee scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.

Director Paul Burt's cast includes Melissa Frandsen and Lesley Cunningham, double-cast as millworker Julie Jordan; Michael Cram as arrogant carnival barker Billy Bigelow, and Julie Beadles and Holly Frandsen as Louise, their daughter.

For reservations, call 723-8392.