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CHILDREN'S TALE, 3 DRAMAS OPEN THIS WEEK ONSTAGE

Stage productions opening this week along the Wasatch Front include three acclaimed dramas and a children's classic.

- STEEL MAGNOLIAS, Robert Harling's bittersweet story of life in a small Louisiana town, opens a five-week run on Friday, March 27, at the Pages Lane Theater in Centerville.While the big-screen Hollywood version opened the play up and moved the action into and around the community, the play takes a more intimate stance, focusing on six women and their discussions in the local beauty parlor.

Director Margo Beecher's all-female cast includes Rhonda Paige and Tricia McComb as Annelle, Carol Taylor and Anne Rasmussen as Clairee, Lissa Jensen and Ronda Wanberg as M'lynn, Linda Tenney and Chris Brown as Ouiser, Kelly Wheadon and Michelle Inkley as Shelby, and Susie Venable and Melinda Welch as Truvee.

Kera Hill is assistant director.

As a special "thanks" to the beauticians and hairdressers who help make everyone's life more beautiful, the Pages Lane Theatre is offering one free ticket to each in the area when he or she purchases a second ticket at full price. To take advantage of this two-for-one offer, the beautician should make a reservation in advance, then present a business card at the box office when picking up tickets.

"Steel Magnolias" will run Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. from March 27 through May 2. There will also be a matinee on Saturday, May 2, at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children on weekends, and $6 and $5 for Monday and matinee performances. The theater is located at 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville.

- HUEBENER, Thomas F. Rogers' powerful drama of a Mormon youth's persecution and courage during the terrifying Third Reich of Hitler's Germany is being revived for a 21/2-week run in the Pardoe Drama Theatre of the Harris Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University, Provo.

When this fact-based drama was first staged several years ago at BYU, it was acclaimed for its realistic look at one of the LDS Church's most dramatic stories - the lives of those in a branch of the church in Germany during Hitler's frightening command.

Directed by Ivan Crosland, the play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday, March 26-28, continuing on Tuesdays-Saturdays through April 11, except for an 8:30 p.m. curtain time on Saturday, April 4 (to accommodate those attending the evening session of LDS General Conference). There will also be a matinee on Monday, April 6, at 4 p.m.

For reservations, call 378-3875.

- A LITTLE PRINCESS, a classic 1905 rags-to-riches tale that evolved from Frances Hodgson Burnett's serialized publication, "Sara Crew: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's," will be presented in a new stage adaptation by Stuart Mitchell (who also directs) and Greer Brand, running from March 27 through May 16 for 14 performances on City Rep's Jester Stage, 148 S. Main St.

Mitchell's cast includes Gentry Banik as Sara; Collyn Kreuzer as Sara's late father's best friend; Mike Arnow as his Indian servant; Sherrie Fox as Miss Minchin, a boarding school headmistress; Shellie Waters as Miss Amelia; Steve Chamberlain as Sara's father, and Emily Larson, Kami Lund, Tori Haizley Matlock and Natalie Killpack.

Others in the cast are Holly Braithwaite, Patty Gierloff, Emilie Hales, AnNicole Johnson, Nick Hales, Lloyd Mulvey, Becky-Lee Reynolds and Adrienne Smith.

Performances are March 27, April 4, 6, 10, 18, 20 & 24, and May 2, 4 & 8, at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees on March 28, April 11 and May 9 at 2 p.m. Admission is $6.50 for adults, $4.75 for children. For reservations, call 532-6000.

- DEATHTRAP, Ira Levin's suspenseful thriller, is being presented for six performances by the Pleasant Grove Players in the Pleasant Grove Library auditorium, 35 E. Center.

Directed by Keith Christeson, the cast includes Kevin Halladay, Gaile Johnson, Jon Carter, Lisa Pierson and Christeson.

Tickets, available at the door, are $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and children, and $12 for an immediate family.