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Musicals, melodramas, comedy

‘Nunsense’ and ‘Li’l Abner’ are among productions

SHARE Musicals, melodramas, comedy

Musicals, melodramas and comedies are opening this week throughout the region, including two productions marking the revival of Brigham Young's old Deseret Dramatic Association (see story on the cover of this section).

A PRELUDE OF LOVE, a romantic drama by Ruth and Nathan Hale, set in Wyoming during the early 1900s, is returning to the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City for a July 14-Aug. 19 run.

The central character is Lillian Clement, a young pianist being trained in her Wyoming home by a retired concert master. The challenge in casting this production is finding performers who are trained as classical pianists and who can also display acting skills.

Director Mark Daniels (who is starring in HCT's Black Box production of "The Goodbye Girl") has cast Jackie Tomlinson Ward and Melanie Richardson in the role of Lillian.

Tomlinson, a graduate student in piano performance at the University of Utah, has performed with the Salt Lake Symphony and in the Temple Square Concert Series.

Richardson is pursuing a bachelor's of music degree at the U. Her public performances include the Summer Arts Festival in Austria and Hungary (1998) and performances with the Murray Symphony.

The double-cast ensemble will include Ruth Hale and Cara Susan Morey II, alternating as the salty and sage Grandma; Nancy Flamm and Kathleen O'Reilly-Nutt as Lillian's mother, Quinn A. Dietlein; and Justin Uttley as Roy Callen, Lillian's hometown romantic interest; Gary Armstrong and Don Cosney as Lillian's father; and Tom Stam and Bob Walkingshaw as Professor Van Betke. Also in the cast are Brandon S. Jones, Jordan Orosz, Nikki Hislop, Kristina S. Barrus, Sarah Ashcraft, Tabitha Barrus, Carly Flamm, Arriana Parker and Stephanie and LIndsey Brinton.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays (no performance on July 24), with one matinee at 3:30 p.m. on July 15 and additional matinees at both noon and 3:30 p.m. on July 29 and Aug. 5, 12 and 19. There will also be a 5 p.m. matinee on Friday, Aug. 19.

All seats are reserved. Tickets range from $9-$15.50. For reservations, call 984-9000 or purchase tickets online at www.halecentretheatre.com.

NUNSENSE, the off-Broadway musical comedy, is playing July 14-Aug. 19 at the Villa's Little Brown Theatre, 239 S. Main, Springville.

Director Robinne Booth's cast includes Pat Barlett as Mother Superior, Michelle Whitney as Sister Annette, Chaundra Wilson as Sister Leo, Lynette Webb as Sister Amnesia, Wendy Asay as Sister Robert Anne, Miriam Latour as Sister Hubert and Anne Matthews as the show's accompanist, Sister Clavinova.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Seating is limited, and early reservations are suggested. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens and $7 for children (3-11 years of age). There is also a family pass for $40. For reservations, call 489-3088.

LI'L ABNER, the Broadway musical version of Al Capp's legendary comic strip, is being mounted by the Farmington Arts Council at 8 p.m. on July 14, 15, 17 and 18 at Woodland Park Amphitheater, 200 E. 300 South, Farmington.

The cast includes Steve Crocker in the title role, with Sarah Tate as Daisy Mae and Kevin Pott as Marryin' Sam, among the citizens of Dogpatch, USA, involved in the backwoods community's annual Sadie Hawkins Day Race.

Director Jo-Ann Callihan notes that the production has been a learning experience for her cast of 65. Although many high schools and colleges continue to sponsor girl-asks-boy Sadie Hawkins dances, this generation is unaware of the comic strip.

All performances begin at 8 p.m., and all seats are $3 each. Tickets may be purchased in advance from City Hall or from the Public Works Department's leisure service office. Tickets will also be available at the gate.

All seating is on the lawn. Patrons should bring blankets or lawn chairs.

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS will be staged by the South Jordan Arts Council at 7:30 p.m. on July 13-15 and 17-19 in South Jordan Park. All tickets are $6 per person for general admission seating.

DON'T DRINK THE WATER, Woody Allen's mid-'60s comedy centered around a family of tourists caught up in an international spy incident in a U.S. embassy in Western Europe, is scheduled July 10-15 in Layton's Kenley Centennial Amphitheater.

The cast, directed by Michael Orlando, includes David Tucker as Father Drobney; Charlene Nelson as the ambassador; James Lux as Axel Magee, the ambassador's politically inept son; and Anton Jarvis, Mary Ellen Thompson and Kati Paul as the Hollander family. Also in the cast are Michael Bell, Brett Clarkson, Amber Golightly, Han Greenwood, Terence Johnson, Bruce Darby, Margaret Dawson and Roxanne Trujillo.

Gates open at 7 p.m. for those who want to set up their blankets and lawn chairs or bring picnic dinners.

Reserved seating (plastic patio chairs) is $8 for adults and $6 for children, with general admission seating priced at $6 and $4. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Smith'sTix outlets or Layton's Heritage Museum. They are also available at the gate. To purchase tickets by telephone, call 546-8575.

A DAY FOR CHILDREN III, co-sponsored by Wasatch Theatre Company and Starry-Eyed Puppets, will be held on two consecutive Saturdays, July 15 and 22, at 11 a.m. at Jim's Soupers Deli, 2278 S. Redwood Road.

Tickets are $4 per child, with adults admitted free when accompanied by a child. The production will be followed by a puppet-making workshop.

Seating is limited, and reservations are suggested. Call 973-2051.

INTO THE WOODS JR., an abbreviated, children-oriented version of the Broadway production "Into the Woods," will be presented July 14 and 15 by Eagle Mountain Community Arts at Fitzgerald Family Park, next to the community's fire station.

Edited down to slightly over one hour, all performances will be signed for the hearing impaired by Rob Nielson, who plays the narrator. Other cast members in the show, directed by Jana Lynne Cox, include Brigham Morgan as the baker, Alisha Jacob as the baker's wife, Sharon Larson as Cinderella, Chase Quinn as Jack, Rosemary Watt as Little Red Riding Hood, and Sue Jeffery as the witch.

Performances will be 7 p.m. both days, with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Patrons should bring blankets or pillows to sit on. All tickets are $3 if reserved in advance or $4 at the gate. For reservations, call 766-5929.

HER FATAL BEAUTY, OR A SHOP GIRL'S HORROR, an old-fashioned melodrama, will run July 13-Aug. 21 at the Bumbleberry Playhouse, Springdale.

This production, the second in this summer's lineup of three melodramas at the venue, involves heroic Nobel Humdinger vs. fiendish Courtney Kenilworth, both vying for the hand of radiant Milly Blossom.

Performances, which include optional gourmet sodas and complimentary popcorn, are Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for children, 12 and under. For reservations, call 1-435-772-3611.

THROUGH THE WINDOW GLASS, a Hunt Mystery & Company production, will be presented July 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Inn on the Creek, 375 Rainbow Lane, Midway. Doors open at 7 p.m. All tickets, including both the audience-participation mystery and buffet dinner, are $35 per person. Reservations are required. Call 1-800-654-0892.

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.