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Musicals, comedies opening

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The regional premiere of a musical revue about Patsy Cline, a revival of "Annie Get Your Gun" and a locally written musical about an early LDS Church convert are among the offerings on tap for theatergoers in the region this week.

"ALWAYS . . . PATSY CLINE," based on the true story of a Texas woman's friendship with the quickly rising country-music star, weaves the joys and sorrows of their brief friendship around 27 songs.

The musical revue, written by Ted Swindley, will have its Utah premiere July 7-Sept. 2 as part of the Egyptian Theatre Company's "Summer Theatrefest 2000," playing in repertory with "I Do! I Do!," which ends July 22, and a revival of "A . . . My Name is Alice," playing Aug. 11-Sept. 10.

The production stars CoCo Sansoni as Patsy Cline and Andree Petersen as Houston housewife Louise Seger, who first heard Cline singing on "The Arthur Godfrey Show" and became one of her most loyal fans during the two-year period prior to the singing legend's death in an airplane crash.

Sansoni, a resident of Austin, Texas, has worked for several years in New York City. Petersen has appeared in several regional theaters, including two productions last year for Egyptian Theatre Company ("Side by Side by Sondheim" and Mrs. Popper in "Mr. Popper's Penguins").

Songs showcased in the revue include "Walkin' After Midnight," "Sweet Dreams" and "I Fall to Pieces."

Swindley's revue began as a 40-minute, one-act show first staged in 1988 by the Houston Stages Repertory Theatre. Later expanded, it has become a nationwide hit.

Playdates in the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main Street, Park City, are July 7-9, 12-16, 19, 23, 26-30 and Aug. 2-4, 16-20 and Aug. 30-Sept. 3. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. All seats are reserved. Tickets are $18 for adults, $12 students and senior citizens, and $10 for children. There are also a limited number of $25 cabaret seats available.

Two adults will be admitted for the price of one on Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoons. For reservations, call the box office at 1-435-649-9371.

"ANNIE GET YOUR GUN," starring Jayne Luke as sharpshooting Annie Oakley, will play July 7-8 and 10-15 in Orem's SCERA Shell amphitheater.

Directed by Jan Shelton, the cast also includes Brad Graff as Frank Butler, Marc Haddock as Buffalo Bill, Alberto Oquendo as Sitting Bull and Karlene Young as Dolly Tate.

Recently revived on Broadway (and also touring nationally), the Irving Berlin hit features such tunes as "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and "You Can't Get a Guy With a Gun."

Performances are 8 p.m. nightly, except Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets are available in advance at the SCERA Center, 745 S. State, or by calling 225-2787 or 225-2569.

"GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA (GOOD MORNING JULIET)" is playwright Anne-Marie MacDonald's 1988 comedy about a Ph.D. candidate working on a thesis that may prove that Shakespeare had different endings for two of his classic dramas — "Othello" and "Romeo and Juliet."

The comedy, the fourth production in this summer's Old Lyric Repertory Company lineup, takes on a Rod Serling spin when the central character, Constance Ledbelly, is sucked into her wastebasket — only to resurface in the worlds of both Shakespearean plays. Did "Romeo and Juliet" start out as a bawdy sex farce? Was the bard's inspiration for "Othello" the medieval equivalent of the Three Stooges? Can a classics scholar find true happiness as Desdemona's fencing partner?

Old Lyric patrons will find out during eight performances, July 5-29 in Logan's historic Lyric Theatre, 28 W. Center, Logan. Performances are 8 p.m. on July 5-7, 13, 21, 26 and 29. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on July 29, the final date for OLRC's season.

The cast, directed by Lynda Linford, includes Colleen M. Baum as Constance, Holly Jeanne as Desdemona and Alison Lees-Taylor as Juliet, with Matt Kohler and Joel Corda playing a variety of characters, ranging from Othello to Juliet's Nurse.

"Desdemona" is playing in repertory with "The Sunshine Boys," "Blood Brothers" and "Wait Until Dark."

Single tickets are $12 and $15 for adults, $11 and $13 for senior citizens, youths and USU faculty/staff, and $9 and $10 for USU students. (The higher of the two prices in each category is for "premium" seating — rows A-L in the orchestra, loges and first row of the balcony.) There are also a variety of season packages available.

For reservations call 1-435-797-0305 or 1-888-878-2831.

"LOVE, SEX AND THE IRS," playing July 7-22 at Wasatch Theatre Company, is William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore's comedy about two out-of-work musicians — Jon and Leslie — who are rooming together in New York City. Because Leslie has an ambiguous first name, Jon has been filing joint returns to save on their taxes. But the day of reckoning comes when the IRS informs them they're going to be investigated.

The cast includes Amanda Ivey, Shaun Ingalls, George Plautz and Brian Pilling.

Co-directed by Stephanie Kammerer and Pilling, the farce will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. at Jim's Soupers Deli, 2278 S. Redwood Road. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens (65 and over), and $4 for children. For reservations, call 973-2051. A portion of all the proceeds will benefit WTC's Art Heals program.

"WOMAN IN THE WIND: THE DRUSILLA HENDRICKS STORY," written and produced by Karla Huntsman, Drusilla's great-great-granddaughter, will play for three nights only in UVSC's Ragan Theatre. Performances are 8 p.m., July 6, 7 and 8.

The Deseret Dance Theater production features Eryn Crawford Todd as Drusilla, Wesley Nelson as her husband, James, and Huntsman as the narrator. Parts of Drusilla Hendricks' story have been quoted in "The Work and the Glory" series and numerous LDS Church publications.

Drusilla's husband was shot at the Battle of Crooked River and was paralyzed from the neck down. Through vignettes, music and choreographed movement, "Woman in the Wind" tells the story of their struggles to move forward and raise their five children.

The show's musical score was composed by Kathleen Newton and Machelle Thompson. The playwright, Karla Huntsman, is an adjunct faculty member in the BYU Theater Arts Department.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children, 3-11. They can be reserved in advance by calling 226-1083.

"KIDS IN CONCERT — A BROADWAY MUSICAL REVUE" is being presented at 8 p.m., July 6-8, as part of the Murray Arts in the Park lineup. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children and senior citizens, or $20 per family. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or reserved in advance by calling 264-2614.

"THE OTHER SIDE OF LOVE," one of Ruth and Nathan Hale's most popular romantic comedies, will play for two nights, Friday and Saturday, July 7-8, at the rustic Hale Summer Playhouse, located on the Hale family's ranch near Grover.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. Doors open at 7:30 and the show begins at 8. To reserve tickets in advance, call Louise Ross in Pleasant Grove at 785-8123. For reservations made just prior to the playdates, call the ranch at 1-435-425-3589.


Information on stage productions or auditions must be submitted at least two weeks in advance. Compiled by Ivan M. Lincoln, Deseret News theater editor, 1-801-236-6017. Send material to Deseret News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110 (Attn: Ivan Lincoln), or send it via e-mail: ivan@desnews.com or fax to 1-801-237-2550.