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Theater season going strong in Utah

Several productions kick off their runs this week

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A pair of classic dramas have been added to two of Utah's biggest summer theater festivals as the summer season continues (see separate stories on "Aida" and "Company"). A number of community theater productions are also on tap this week.

THE OLD LYRIC REPERTORY COMPANY in Logan is opening its fourth and final summer-stock production for the season — James Goldman's powerhouse drama, "The Lion in Winter." Sprinkled liberally with biting barbs, this 1966 drama focuses on King Henry II of England, his exiled wife Eleanor of Aquitane and their deliberations over which of their three sons — Richard, Geoffrey or John — should eventually inherit the throne. Adding to the tension is King Henry's mistress.

Kirstie Rosenfield is directing a cast that includes Lee Grober and Joan Mullaney, both Equity actors, as Henry and Eleanor, with Christopher Glade as Richard, Steven Fehr as Geoffrey, Cory Castillo as John, Amber Tuttle as Alais and Eric J. VanTielen as Philip.

Performances are 8 p.m. on July 11-13, 19, 27, and Aug. 2 and 4, with one Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. on Aug. 4. All seats are reserved. Tickets range from $10-$15. For reservations, call 1-435-797-0305.

THE UTAH MUSICAL THEATRE troupe in Ogden, which added a non-musical to its summer stock series a couple of years ago, is opening an eight-performance run of Robert Harling's bittersweet drama, "Steel Magnolias," running July 13-21 in Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd. Utah players Pam Higginson, Susie Venable and Jolene Zito will be joined by Carol Herman of California and two New York-based actresses, Allison Sattinger and Amy Kuebel, as the group of women in a small Louisiana beauty shop to gather to gossip about the lives of others.

Performances are 7:30 p.m., July 13-14 and 17-21, with one Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. on July 14. Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for students and senior citizens. For advance reservations, call Weber State University's Dee Events Center box office at 800-WSU-TIKS or 626-8500.

UMT's "spotlight" musical revue production, "The World Goes 'Round," continues July 25-28 in the Val A. Browning Center at WSU, and the summer series concludes with "Man of La Mancha," Aug. 3-18, at Peery's Egyptian.

WASATCH THEATRE COMPANY is showcasing a monthlong series of locally written short plays in its newly implemented "Short Shorts Festival," scheduled July 13-28 at two different venues. The staged readings are part of WTC's "Page-to-Stage" program.

The seven plays selected for the series are "Jewel of the Spanish Main," by Gaylen Caldwell, "Bloody Mary," by John D. Newman, "The Waiting Room," by Nate Frary, "Crosswords," by Kari Hawkins, "Path of the Bells," by H.B. Cook, "Summer Driving," by Crystal Lowder and "Before," by Kyle Daniel Barrow.

A different configuration of plays will be performed each night.

Performances at Jim's Soupers Deli, 2278 S. Redwood Road, are scheduled for July 13, 14 and 28, at 8 p.m. Six of the plays will also be performed July 20 and 21 at Solid Ground Cafe, 655 E. 9800 South, also at 8 p.m.

Tickets for all performances are $5 per person. For reservations or further information, call 446-5657.

COMMUNITY THEATER productions are opening this week at Sandy City Amphitheater, Villa's Little Brown Theatre in Springville, Kenley Centennial Amphitheater in Layton, the Terrace Plaza Playhouse in Ogden and by the Coal Country Players in Price.

"Hello, Dolly!" is being transported this week from Orem's SCERA Shell, where it ran June 14-25, to Sandy city, for a four-night run in Sandy's amphitheater, 1300 E. 9400 South. Performances are 8 p.m., July 11-14, with tickets priced from $6-$10 for premium/priority seating and $5 for lawn seating. Call 568-6097.

"Nunsense," the long-running off Broadway musical, will play July 12-14, 16 and 19-21 in Layton's Kenley Centennial Amphitheater, 403 N. Wasatch Drive. The cast, directed by Alane Schofield, includes Teresa Sanderson as Sister Mary Regina, Marcie May as Sister Hubert, Jennifer Wilhite as Sister Robert Ann, Lisa Shaffer as Sister Mary Leo and Phaidra Donaldson as Sister Mary Amnesia. For tickets, call 546-8575. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the Heritage Museum, adjacent to the amphitheater.

"Hope Springs Eternal," a new comedy about a group of senior citizens in the Hope Springs Retirement Home whose longevity attracts the attention of the Social Security Administration, will play July 13-Aug. 13 at the Villa Playhouse's Little Brown Theatre in Springville. Directed by Scott Tarbet (who also plays the role of an overly ambitious government supervisor), the cast includes John McGregor, Warren Williams, Alauna Tucker, Arlene McGregor, Janet Woodfield, Mel Taylor, Anne Scott, Dana Campbell, Marie Knowlton and Jessie Jackson. Performances are 7:30 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations, call 489-3088.

"Paint Your Wagon," the Lerner and Loewe musical about prospectors' adventures in No-Name City, Calif., will play Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., July 13-Aug. 11, at the Terrace Plaza Playhouse in Ogden. There will also be a special holiday performance on July 24. For reservations, call 393-0070.

"Our Town," Thornton Wilder's classic slice of Americana, is being staged by the Coal Country Players, July 12-14 and 16-18 in the Geary Theatre at College of Eastern Utah in Price. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. For tickets or further information, call 1-435-613-5334.

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.