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3 new productions are opening

‘Titanic: The Musical’ among July’s offerings

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After a month that averaged more than a dozen new productions each week, the first week of July gets off to a remarkably slow start — with only three new stage productions opening between July 1-6:

TITANIC: THE MUSICAL, makes its Utah debut July 6-21 at the SCERA Shell outdoor theater in Orem. Jan Shelton is directing a cast of nearly 70 performers, with Robert Bowden, former director of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus for nearly 25 years, as the production's musical director.

The musical begins as crowds gather in Southampton, England, to see the Titanic off on its ill-fated maiden voyage to New York. The story is told primarily through Barrett, a stoker in third class who has signed on to escape the coal mines. Like "1776," this is a musical where everyone already knows the ending.

The cast includes Shawn Mortensen as Barrett, Marc Haddock as Capt. Smith, Tracy Whitlock as Alice Beane, a second-class passenger; Boyd and Carol Hancock as Isidor and Ida Straus, a millionaire couple who decide to stay together when the Titanic sinks; and Arly Crawford as third-class passenger Kate McGowan.

Others in leading roles are Chad Taylor as Thomas Andrews, the ship's designer; Larry Whipple as ship owner Bruce Ismay, Tony Winkel as 1st Officer Murdoch, Doug Zaugg as Harold Bride, a radio operator who attempts to warn others of the iceberg; Chard Mortensen as Frederick Fleet, the lookout who first sees the iceberg; and Josh Tenney as Chief Steward Etches.

Performances are 8 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays in SCERA Center Park, 699 S. State, Orem. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children, 3-11. Tickets are available in advance at the SCERA box office or by calling 225-2569 or 225-2787. Some tickets may also be available at the gate on performance night.

"I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE," a recent off Broadway musical revue with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro (who also wrote the acclaimed comedy, "Over the River and Through the Woods"), will have its Utah premiere July 6-Aug. 26, playing in repertory with "Beehive: The '60s Musical," in the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre in Park City. John Caywood is directing a cast that includes Kim Blackett, Teri Cowan, Kurt Proctor and Lori Rees.

Through 20 vignettes and songs (composed by Jimmy Roberts), the show is centered on the rites of courtship, marriage and romance after children, touching on such topics as "Men Who Talk and the Women Who Pretend They're Listening," "I'll Call You Soon (Yeah, Right)," "Whatever Happened to Baby's Parents" and "Funerals are for Dating."

The Egyptian Theatre Company production's performances will be 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 8 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays, July 6-15, July 25-29, Aug. 8-12 and Aug. 22-26. ("Beehive" will continue July 18-22 and Aug. 1-5, 15-19 and Aug. 29-31 & Sept. 1-2, with one matinee on Saturday, Aug. 4.) All seats are reserved. Tickets for cabaret seating are $30 each. Regular seating is priced at $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens (60 and over), $12 for students and $10 for children, 12 and under.

The Egyptian Theatre management cautions that "I Love You . . . " contains some adult situations which might be considered in the "PG-13" territory. ("Beehive," however is squeaky clean, with nearly 30 hit songs from the 1960s.) For telephone reservations, call 435-649-9371 or 888-243-5779.

THE PICKLEVILLE PLAYHOUSE shifts its summer season at Bear Lake into high gear next week with the addition of a new Western musical comedy, "Calamity Jane," which will play on Wednesdays and Fridays during July and August, rotating with "Tumble Weeds," a musical melodrama that opened June 20.

An optional Western cookout, with ribeye steaks and Dutch-oven chicken, is served nightly at 6:30 p.m., followed by performances of the two productions at 8 p.m.

Prices for the combined show and dinner are $21 for adults and $13 for children (11 and under). Admission to the show only is $9.50 and $6.50, and for the dinner only, tickets are $11.50 and $6.50. Senior citizen and group rates are available. Advance reservations are required. Call 435-946-2918 or 435-755-0961. "Tumble Weeds" plays on Thursdays and Saturdays through Sept. 1, with additional Monday performances from July 2 through Aug. 13.

Information on stage productions or auditions must be submitted at least three 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.