Seven comedies will usher in the New Year on stages throughout the region, including "Room Service" at the Hale Center Theater in South Salt Lake. (See separate story on facing page about the world premiere of "A Fitzgerald Family Portrait," and a production of the play for which it is a sequel - "Papa Married a Mormon.")

Most of these companies will not have performances on New Year's Day. The only exception is the Family City Players in Orem.

- ROOM SERVICE, the fast-paced, off-the-wall comedy that's more famous in its 1938 Marx Brothers film version, began as a stage production in 1937 on Broadway, where it played for 500 performances.

The Hale Center Theater is opening its 1994 season with a production focusing on a total 1930s look. T.S. Hansen, founding director of the Poorhouse Players in Oregon, is making his Salt Lake directing debut with "Room Service."

There'll be two singers and a live pianist doing preshow and intermission entertainment, with Brent Fotheringham - known for his work at Salt Lake Acting Company - as musical director and pianist, and Marilyn May Montgomery as choreographer.

The actors mostly double-cast, include Benjamin Berneche and John A. Adams as Gordon Miller, Bryan P. Jacobs and John Lesko as Harry Binion, and Ron A. Jewett and Greg Greenwood as Faker - the three Marx Brothers roles - with David Mitchell and Gordon Johnson as the bumbling Joseph Gribble.

Other cast members are Mark Dietlein, J. Phil Richardson, Janice Power, Diane H. Hall, Nancy Flamm, Mary K.W. Moore, E. Linda Moore, Rocky Revels, Bryan P. Jacobs, Michael Guarino, Gary Gingold, Annette Nashea, Gresham Hivey, Lee Fobert, Frank Lambert, Elise M. Ellsworth, Laurel Anne Brown, L.D. Weller, Bus Riley, Roweena Greenwood, Cory Larson, Jackie Forrest and Todd Russell.

Playdates will be Mondays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. from Dec. 29 through Feb. 14 (except New Year's Day) with Saturday matinees at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 15, 22 & 29 and Feb. 5 & 12. There will also be two performances on New Year's Eve at 6:30 and 10 p.m., including entertainment, refreshments and noisemakers. For reservations, call 484-9257. The Hale Center Theater is located at 2801 S. Main, South Salt Lake.

- THE FOREIGNER, the late Larry Shue's acclaimed comedy, being directed by Kurk Davidson, will play Dec. 30-Feb. 14 at the Hale Center Theater/Orem.

Double-cast performers include Cody Hale, Mike Wisland, Lee Bradshaw, Steven Neilsen, Tanya Radebaugh, Melany Wilkins, Joel Bishop, Jarrod Phillips, Marydee Potter, Sharon Shamy, John Lundwall, Mark Steven Gelter, Tom Proctor and Davidson.

Performances will be Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m., with special showings at both 6 and 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve, complete with party favors and refreshments. For reservations, call 226-8600. The theater is located at 225 W. 400 North, Orem.

- GODFATHER OF THE BRIDE, an audience-participation dinner mystery produced by Hunt Mystery & Company, will premiere on New Year's Eve at both the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City and Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

This original mystery, written by Jesse Dolce, is being double cast for the two separate performances and subsequent shows Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and 25 at Snowbird.

The solve-it-yourself whodunit takes place at Don Donatello Giovani's Opera-Lovers Convention Hall (speakeasy). Giovani, Chicago's No. 1 crime boss, is hosting a wedding reception for his soon-to-be No. 2 man, Fingers Vinerelli, and his bride, Bunny Beckenstein, the speakeasy's notorious dancer.

The Red Lion cast features Sue Jarrard (director), Jack Drayton, Nan Torbenson, Lenore and Brian Cambria, Alan Mangum, Joan Johnson and Doug Sievers.

The Snowbird cast features Jesse Dolce (director), Bruce Haws, Diane and Monte Lyon, Alison Jensen, Guy Cameron, Jean Oakey and Denise Smith.

The Snowbird package includes a prime rib dinner, murder mystery, party favors and a New Year's toast - all for $80 a couple. Overnight lodging is available and optional. To make reservations for the Snowbird show, call 521-6040.

The Red Lion dinner show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m., is sold out.

- ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is being presented by the newly formed Family City Players for five performances at Orem High School, Dec. 29-Jan. 3.

The cast includes Marvin Payne, Charles and Pat Metten, Agnes Broberg, Davison Cheney, Shawn Lynn, Kristen Shawgo and Jerry Elison.

Performances of "Arsenic and Old Lace" will be Wednesday-Saturday and Monday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children (3-11) and $15 for a family pass (up to six persons). Tickets may be purchased prior to performance at the school.

- SEE HOW THEY RUN, a zany farce set during the 1940s at the home of a British vicar, opens New Year's Eve at the StageStop Theater in Collinston.

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Director Jaceson Parker Barrus' cast includes Peggy Sherlock, Sharmaine Christensen, Andrew Barrus, Verleen Hardman, Terri Stephens, Marvin Hull, Trevor Eberhard, Gregg Hardman, Kevin McEvoy, Jodie Barrus, Irv Nelson and Dan Rigdon.

On New Year's Eve only, the theater will open at 6 p.m. for two presentations - one at 6:30 and the other at 9:30. The late show will include a party with hats, horns and door prizes.

Regular performances resume Jan. 3, when the play will continue Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through Feb. 12, with one matinee scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5.

The theater is located at 3585 W. Bigler Road, between Tremonton and Logan. For reservations, call 458-3967. Outside the Tremonton area, call 1-800 248-2530.

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