From the 28th annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival and a one-night stand of David Birney guest-starring in his own adaptation of Mark Twain's "The Diaries of Adam and Eve" to the long-awaited regional premiere of Terrence McNally's "Master Class," a couple of "Draculas" and the premiere of a new play at Brigham Young University, Wasatch Front theatergoers will find a wide variety of events this week. (See today's Arts Section cover for details on "Master Class" and a separate story on this page for "Diaries of Adam and Eve.")
- SOPHOCLES' "WOMEN OF TRACHIS," a modern translation of the ancient Greek tragedy, directed by Dawn McCaugherty, will be presented by the University of Utah theater department.In addition to four performances at the Red Butte Garden & Aboretum amphitheater (in traditional Greek fashion at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26-27 and Oct. 3-4), there will be several touring performances, including Sept. 30 in Provo and Oct. 14 in Ogden.
Extremely popular in antiquity, "Women of Trachis" focuses on Herakles, among the greatest - and strangest - of Greek heroes. Returning home to Trachis from years in battle, he brings - as one of his conquests - the beautiful princess, Iole. This doesn't sit well with his wife, Deianeira, who has eagerly anticipated his long-awaited return. In turn, she devises a secret, vengeful plan.
The cast includes Kelly Millwood as Deianeira, Robert Scott Smith as Herakles, Joel Weaver as Hyllus, Alfred Lawrence Smith as Lichas, Christian Dives as Messenger/Old Man, Rachel C. Hseih as Nurse/Iole/Chorus, Stacey Jenson as the chorus leader and Leah Crockett, Tammy Davis, Shasta Molnar and Maggie Smith as members of the chorus.
Gage Williams is set designer, with Brenda Van der Weil designing the masks and costumes, Ann Carter and Tina Misaka as choreographers, and Jim Swonger and Camila Borrero, sound designers.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets will be available at the gate or may be purchased in advance through the Pioneer Memorial Theatre box office at 581-6961. In the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved to the U. of U.'s Marriott Center for Dance.
Producer/dramaturge James T. Svendsen will give a free, preshow lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School, 843 S. Lincoln (in the Ninth & Ninth area).
Additional Wasatch Front performances are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in Brigham Young University's de Jong Concert Hall (378-4322), and 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Peery's Egyptian Theatre, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, under the auspices of Weber State University (626-8500 or 1-800-978-8457).
Prior to the Salt Lake performances, "Women of Trachis" is touring to St. John's College in Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, to be followed by additional performances Oct. 11 and 12 in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara, Calif.
- "JOYCE BAKING," an original play written by undergraduate student Josh Brady, will premiere Sept. 23-Oct. 10 in the Pardoe Drama Theatre of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center.
According to director Eric Samuelsen, the play describes the BYU phenomenon of girls cooking for guys to try to make them like them.
Central characters in the play are Joyce (her LDS Church ward's Relief Society "recipe specialist"); Becca, her intuitive roommate, and Alex, the object of Joyce's culinary efforts.
The cast consists of Colleen Baum as Joyce, Janna Morrill as Becca and Javen Tanner as Alex.
Following two half-price preview performances, Sept. 23 and 24, the play will continue Tuesdays-Saturdays, Sept. 25-Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. (with the exception of one 8:30 performance on Oct. 3). There will be one matinee on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets for the regular performances are $10 for the general public and $8 for BYU faculty and students. For tickets, call the BYU fine arts box office at 378-4322.
- "STEEL MAGNOLIAS," directed by Susan Whiteknight, is being mounted Sept. 24-Oct. 30 by Provo Theatre Company, 105 E. 100 North, Provo.
The cast for Robert Harling's drama includes Amber Edison as young diabetic Shelby, whose wedding is the center of attention in a small Louisana town's beauty shop.
Performances will be Mondays and Thursdays-Fridays at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $12.50 to $15. All seats are reserved. There are also group discounts and a "student rush" ticket, available 30 minutes before curtain. For reservations, call 379-0600.
- TWO "DRACULAS," one a parody and the other more serious, are launching the region's Halloween haunting season (with more to follow).
- "Dracula, the Vampire, or He Loved in Vein," is back for a fourth go-around, running Sept. 24-Nov. 14 at Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 S. State, Murray.
Director Edward J. Gryska's cast includes Scott Holman in the title role, along with Gayle Castleton as Ms. Renfield, Glen Carpenter as Butterworth, Danielle Omer as maid Wills, Julie Ann Christensen as Lucy, Ben Millet as Dr. Van Helsing, Paul T. Murphy as Seward, and Holly Casper as Mina.
The ensemble will also perform in the postshow olio, "From C to Shining C."
Performances are 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturdays. All seating is reserved. Tickets range from $6 to $10, with several discount packages available (groups, families, students and senior citizens). Call 266-7600 for reservations.
- "Dracula," directed by Marni Ashby, will play Sept. 25-Oct. 31 at the Villa Playhouse Theatre, 254 S. Main, Springville.
The cast includes Braden Bell as Dracula, Julie Jensen as Lucie, Jamie Gritton as Dr. Seward, John Gholdston as Van Helsing, Larry McClay as Renfield, Ben Purcell as Jonathan Harker, Marie Knowlton as the maid and Any Snyder as an attendant.
Performances are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., except for two performances - 3 and 9 p.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens and $4 for children, plus a $25 family pass. Box office: 489-3088.
- "ARCADIA," Tom Stoppard's drama, is being staged as part of the Utah State Theatre Conservatory Series on Sept. 23-24 in the Lyric Theatre, 28 W. Center, Logan.
Directed by graduate student Sarah J. Hardy, the cast includes Kyle Barrow, Lauren DeCicco, Jessica Jorgensen, Glenn Van Sickle, Paul Filan and Christopher Glade.
All seats are $5, with tickets available at the door. USU students will be admitted free of charge (with valid identification). Curtain is 8 p.m. Children under 6 are not admitted.
- SUNDANCE CHILDREN'S THEATRE'S new touring production, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," will play Monday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Ellen Eccles Theatre, 43 S. Main, Logan. Tickets will be $8.50 for adults, $4.50 for children and students, or $33.50 for a family pass (two adults and up to five children). For further information or reservations, call 1-435-752-0026.
- TWO MYSTERY DINNER events are scheduled in the region next weekend.
- "Death on Deck," being produced by Chameleons, the Whodunit Company, will be presented Friday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Ballroom No. 3 of Snowbird Resort's Cliff Lodge. Tickets, which include both dinner and the participatory mystery, are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Advance reservations are required. Call 1-800-453-3000.
- "Mid-Evil Days and Knights," a Hunt Mystery & Company production, is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Cavanaugh's Olympus Hotel, 161 W. 600 South.
Tickets are $35 per person. For reservations, call 521-7373 or 569-1482.