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2 pageants, 2 musicals are opening this week

Broadway classics and pioneer tales make up list

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Two historic Utah pageants and two Broadway musicals are opening this week in the region.

"KISS ME, KATE," Cole Porter's classic musical version of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," will play July 27-Sept. 10 at Hale Center Theater Orem. The play-within-a-play production swirls around the backstage squabbling of a couple involved with a Broadway-bound "Shrew."

The double-cast ensemble includes Richard Losee and Gordy Villarini sharing the roles of Fred/Petruchio, M'Lisa Hansen and Amanda Crabb as Lilli/Katherine, and Cindy Winkel and Korianne Johnson as Lois/Bianca.

Considered to be Porter's masterpiece, the score includes such musical gems as "Another Openin', Another Show," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Wonderbar" and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare."

Performances will be 7:30 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays for the first half of the run, with Tuesday and Wednesday performances added after Aug. 11. Tickets range from $8-$12.50. For reservations, call 226-8600.

"JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT," featuring Justin Utley in the title role, will be staged July 26-28 & 30, 31 and Aug. 1 in the Murray Park Amphitheater as part of this year's "Arts in the Park" series. Brent Schneider has directed and choreographed the show.

Tickets, available at the gate, are $8 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under) and senior citizens (62 and older). Tickets can also be purchased in advance at Day Murray Music or the Murray Parks and Recreation office. Call 264-2614 for further information.

"THE CASTLE VALLEY PAGEANT,"one of the longest-running Mormon pioneer pageants in Utah, plays July 26-Aug. 4 in an amphitheater near Castle Dale. The pageant, which focuses on the story of the Mormon pioneers who settled the Castle Valley of east-central Utah, will be staged July 26-28 & 31 and Aug. 1-4 at dusk — about 8:30 p.m. All performances are free of charge. There is a free shuttle from Castle Dale to the pageant site, about seven miles from town. For details, including a map and information on food service, visit the Web site at www.emerycounty.com.

"PASSING THE TORCH: A LATTER-DAY SAINT LEGACY," a brand new pageant, will have a one-night run on Tuesday, July 24, at Kent Smith Park in Mountain Green. Co-author Blenda McGary, who wrote much of the music, hopes this will become an annual tradition for Morgan County. The script and most of the lyrics were written by Michelle Stanford, but the two women also traded places, and both of them wrote lyrics and music for some segments. The concept for a Morgan area pageant was first suggested by Dixie Kendell.

The production, with a cast of nearly 50 (including several families), has 21 original songs. The show focuses on the early settlers of Morgan Valley. The production involves performers from throughout the valley, most of them coming from Mountain Green, Stoddard and Peterson.

The performance, at 8 p.m., is free of charge. Directions, for those heading east up Weber Canyon: Take the Mountain Green exit, turn left back under the bridge, then turn right on Old Highway Road. The park, about one mile from the exit, is on the right side of the road. Seating is on the lawn. It's strongly suggested that visitors bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and pillows.

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.