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`Rain' new to S.L., but `Plaid' is forever

The regional premiere of an acclaimed new play by Richard Greenberg, the second local revival in as many weeks of "Forever Plaid," Paul Rudnick's "I Hate Hamlet," the rarely mounted "Ring Around the Moon," a fund-raiser for a University of Utah drama (see box), and a revival of "My Turn on Earth" are among this week's new openings.

- THREE DAYS OF RAIN, by Richard Greenberg, will have its regional premiere Feb. 4-March 15 in Salt Lake Acting Company's Chapel Theatre, 168 W. 500 North. (For details, see the Weekend section for Jan. 30.)Directed by Keven Myhre, who is also designing the show's sets, the cast includes Kurk Davidson, Susan Dolan and Eric Robertson.

In the first act, the three actors portray a brother and sister and their close friend who've gathered for the reading of the siblings' father. A diary found in their father's apartment has a terse entry for "three days of rain."

The second act shifts to 35 years earlier for situations involving the father, his wife and his architectural-firm business partner.

Discounted preview performances will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 4 and 5, and at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. Regular performances begin Saturday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m. in Salt Lake Acting Company's Chapel Theatre, 168 W. 500 North, continuing Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. through March 15.

Tickets for the previews are $12.50 and $16.50. Tickets for all other performances are $16.50 and $22.50, plus an additional ArtTix handling charge on all ticket orders.

A special "student rush" ticket is also available for $10.50, half an hour before curtain for any remaining seats.

For reservations, call ArtTix at 355-2787 or stop at any ArtTix ticket outlet, including the main box office at the Capitol Theatre or selected Albertsons customer service counters.

- FOREVER PLAID could probably run forever, if Utah audiences had their way.

It's returning to the Hale Centre Theatre barely a year and a half after it was previously mounted there (the first local production of the hit off Broadway revue at the time).

Featuring all but one of HCT's original cast, the show will play for 56 performances from Feb. 6 through March 30 - and several performances are already completely sold out.

Directed and choreographed by Marilyn Montgomery, the double-cast ensemble will include David Weekes and Todd Russell as Jinx, the quartet's ultra-shy high tenor; Dan Morgan and Ken Grazier as Frankie, the "in-charge" second tenor; Kyle Johnson and Bryon Finch as prankster, baritone/second tenor Sparky, and Jerry Allman (the show's one newcomer) and Mark Dietlein as Smudge, the ulcer-ridden baritone/bass.

The tune-packed revue is a loving salute to the tight do-op harmony of the late 1950s and early '60s, showcasing such big hits as "Moments to Remember," "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing," "16 Tons" - more than two dozen in all.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, Feb. 6-March 30, with matinees at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 7, and at both noon and 3:30 p.m. on the next seven Saturdays. All seats are reserved. Ticket prices range from $8 to $13. For reservations, call 484-9257, or visit the box office at 2801 S. Main, South Salt Lake. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

- I HATE HAMLET, an acclaimed Broadway comedy by Paul Rudnick, who also wrote "Jeffery" and the film scripts for "In and Out" and "Addams Family Values," will play for four performances Feb. 6-7 and 13-14.

The Wasatch Theatre Company production, directed by Paul D. Richardson, is about a Los Angeles actor (Andrew Rally) who reluctantly goes to New York to perform his least favorite role, Hamlet. Then it turns out the apartment is haunted by John Barrymore, the legendary Shakespearean actor, who once occupied the flat. And Barrymore is not pleased with Rally's attitude about playing one of the great Shakespearean roles.

The cast includes Dan Deniro as Andrew and Robert Snedeker as Barrymore, with Rebecca Davenport, Leisha Cook, Lynn Allen and David A. Neisler in other roles.

Curtain is 8 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. The newly formed WTC's home is Jim's Soupers Deli, 2278 S. Redwood Road. "I Hate Hamlet" contains some adult language and content. For reservations or further information, call Jim Martin at 973-2051. Advance reservations are suggested due to limited seating.

- RING AROUND THE MOON, Christopher Fry's adaptation of Jean Anouilh's modern version of the Cinderella story, is being staged by Utah State University's theater department Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 3-7, in the historic Lyric Theatre, 28 W. Center, Logan.

Director Lynda Linford notes that the "romantic, silly and sentimental" production also has elements of "My Fair Lady." The show has delighted audiences in London and New York for years, but is rarely done in the region.

"The unusual aspect is that Prince Charming has a twin and poor Cinderella is reluctant to be at the ball," said Linford, whose cast includes Nate Kofford as the twins, Chelsi Stahr as Lady India, Rachel Luna as the mother, Stephanie Adamson as Diana, David Nickle as Patrice and Vanessa Ballam as Isabelle, a ballet dancer.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for USU faculty/staff and senior citizens and $5 for youths and non-USU students. USU students with valid identification are admitted free of charge. For reservations, call 1-435-797-0305 or purchase tickets in person at either the Spectrum box office or the Taggart Student Center.

- MY TURN ON EARTH, among the early spate of "Mormon musicals," is touring through Utah this winter.

One of its first stops is the Provo Tabernacle, where it will play at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 5 and 6.

Co-written by Carol Lynn Pearson and Lex DeAzevedo, it's a romantic view of earthly experiences through the eyes of children. The premise is a treasure hunt for what is really valuable in life.

All tickets are $8 each and are available in advance from the Media Play store in Orem. Group discounts are also available.