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2 Shakespearean comedies, drama among offerings

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Two Shakespearean comedies (one of the Bard's classics and the other a contemporary derivative), the premiere of a new drama set in Las Vegas and southwestern Utah, an adaptation of a classic children's fable and the reading of a new, locally written play, are on the docket this week for Salt Lake theatergoers.

- GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA (GOOD MORNING JULIET), a comedy laced with mistaken identities, cross-dressing, misunderstood innuendo and all of William Shakespeare's favorite plot devices, plays Nov. 12-Dec. 21 in Salt Lake Acting Company's Upstairs Theatre.

Co-directed by David Evanoff and Cynthia Fleming, this play marks SLAC's entrance into formal Equity Theatre status (see Critic's Journal on Page E10).

The cast, all but one in in multiple roles, includes Joe Pitti as a Swordsman, Othello, Tybalt, Prof. Claude Night and Juliet's Nurse; Theresa Ravnikar as Juliet, a soldier of Cyprus and a student; Annie Schilling (now using her married name instead of her maiden name, Kleczkowski) as Desdemona, Ramona, Mercutio and Servant; Betsy West as Constance Ledbelly, and Alexis Baigue as Romeo, Iago, Ghost and Chorus.

Assisting behind the scenes will be set and costume designer Keven Myhre, lighting designer Jim Craig and sound designer David Evanoff.

Discounted preview performances ($14.50 and $18.50) are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 12-13, and 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, with the play's formal opening on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m.

Regular performances, continuing through Dec. 21, are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Regular admission is $16.50 and $24.50, with tickets available through all ArtTix outlets.

To purchase tickets in advance, call ArtTix at 355-2787.

There are no senior citizen discounts, but there is a Student Rush ticket ($10.50 at the door), for any remaining seats one-half hour prior to each performance.

- A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, one of Shakespeare's most intricate, engaging comedies, will play Nov. 13-23 in the Babcock Theatre on the University of Utah campus. Directed by Craig Rich, a third year MFA directing candidate at the U. of U., the play contains many subplots and intrigues.

The cast includes Shaela Swallow as Hermia, Stacey Jenson as Lysander, Joel Weaver as Demetrius, Heather Howe as Helena, Scott Smith as Oberon, Holly Brown as Titania, Dan Garton as Puck and Tommy Barron as Bottom.

The production features original music by Marina Tichotsky, sets by Gage Williams, costumes by Nancy Hills and lighting by Jeff George.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 7:00 p.m. Sundays, with one matinee at 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the run (Nov. 22). Regular admission is $8 and $9 (weekend evenings) for adults and half-price for all students. To reserve tickets in advance, call the Pioneer Memorial Theatre box office at 581-6961.

The Babcock Theatre is located on the lower level of PMT, 300 S. 1340 East (Broadway and University).

- OUROBOROS, a new drama by S. Glenn Brown, will be performed Nov. 13-16 and 20-23 in the intimate Lab Theatre on the U. of U. campus.

It's described as a play about one man's religious obsession and the destructive consequences. It is, as one character states, "a walk into dementia."

Set in Las Vegas, Nev.; Torrey, Utah; and the desert of southwestern Utah, the drama chronicles Robison Godfree's troubled pilgrimage into the past, present, future and memory. His journey is best symbolized by the Ourobors, the mythical serpent that devours its own tail in a cycle of destruction and renewal.

Directed by Linda L. Brown, the cast includes Alfred Lawrence Smith in the central role of Godfree, with Blake Adams, Scott Asti, Tracy Chase, Brent Podosek, Bryan James (who also wrote the play's original music), Sarah E. Budge (choreographer), Macey Mott and Amy Quinton in a variety of other roles.

The Lab Theatre is located in the Performing Arts Building, directly west of the campus bookstore. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays, with matinees at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. All seating is general admission, with tickets priced at $5 for adults and $3 for students. To reserve tickets in advance, call 581-6961.

- COMING OF AGE, a new play by Shirlee H. Shields (who is directing the reading), will be presented by the Babcock Performing Readers on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Art Barn, 54 Finch Lane (located in Reservoir Park, just below the University of Utah campus between North Temple and South Temple).

Readers include David Bullock, Janna Kay Jensen, Mark Merkley, Steve Murdock and Sharon Stubbs.

The play-within-a-play theme is that "no matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing, there are things ever-present in your life that you cannot control - your age and the passing of time. It's described as "a humorous/serious look at marriage, birthing, midlife crisis, the Empty Nest Syndrome and retirement."

The performance is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the reading.

- SLEEPING BEAUTY, City Rep's adaptation of the romantic European fairy tale, will have 18 performances between Nov. 15 and Feb. 7 (including a brief hiatus for the world premiere of City Rep's holiday production, "The Christmas Express").

Directed by City Rep Artistic Director Joanne M. Parker, the cast includes Emily Trulson in the title role, Jess Dean and Jill Butler Green as the King and Queen, Laura Alsop and Jennifer Rouse alternating as Cauldrawn, Nigel James as the handsome Prince, Keith Holland as Malworth and Dorothy Snelson as Marlette, with Toni Butler, Hillary Maudsley and Maeve Millard as sister fairies.

Evening performances will be at 7:30 on Nov. 15, 17, 22 and 28, with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on Nov. 22 and 29 (then resuming Jan. 12 through Feb. 7). Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $5.50 for children 16 and under.

City Rep also has several daytime performances (Tuesdays-Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.) available for school field trips. These must be arranged in advance. Tickets for these special performances are $3.75 per student. Some restrictions apply. For all reservations, including the field trips, call the City Rep box office at 532-6000. The theater is located at 638 S. State.