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Female ‘Odd Couple’ on theater menu

Offerings include a non-musical Les Miserables

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The female version of one of Neil Simon's most popular comedies and an evening of student-directed one-act plays are among this week's stage offerings in the region:

"THE ODD COUPLE," Neil Simon's comedy about fastidious Florence (not Felix) Unger and slob sportswriter Olive (not Oscar) Madison, will feature Toni Lynn Byrd and Jayne Luke in the leading roles. It's scheduled Jan. 18-Feb. 2 in Salt Lake Community College's Grand Theatre.

In 1965, the original male version (starring Art Carney and Walter Mattheau) took Broadway by storm. A few years later, Simon revised the script, reversing all the genders, for Sally Struthers and Rita Moreno. Instead of a poker game with the boys this version is centered around a night of Trivial Pursuit with the girls. And the Pigeon sisters have been replaced by the Constanzuela brothers (David Trujillo and Jesse Dolce).

Directed by the Grand Theatre's artistic director Richard Scott, the cast also includes Annette Wright, Debra Flink, Shannon Price and Cherie Symes. Marnie Sears has designed the scenery, with costumes by Thad Hansen, lighting by Scott Shaw and sound by Eduardo Garza.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays, with discounted Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $8.50-$18.50. All seats are reserved. For tickets, call 957-3322. Discounts are also available for senior citizens and students. The theater is located on SLCC's South City campus, 1575 S. State. Free parking is available on the east side of the building.

"LES MISERABLES,"a non-musical stage adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic epic will have a "reader's theater" presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 only in the SCERA Center's Showhouse II theater. Robinne Booth is directing the reading. Tickets are $9 each (admission is free for SCERA season subscribers).

"HEART AND M USIC" is the theme for this year's Music Dance Theatre Showcase, Jan. 18-19 in the Madsen Recital Hall of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center.

Performances are 7 and 9 p.m. both evenings.

The program will include excerpts from classic and contemporary Broadway musicals including "Aida," "A Chorus Line," "Ragtime," "Guys and Dolls" and "Chicago."

A company number, "Slap that Bass" from the Broadway musical "Crazy for You" will open the show as an ensemble piece including piano, drum and bass accompaniment

trio. The show will close with "Heart and Music" from the Broadway musical, "A New Brain."

Tickets are $9 for the general public and $3 off for BYU students and faculty members. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 378-4322.

FOUR EVENINGSof one-act plays, all showcasing the work of student directors in Utah State University's advance directing classes, will be performed Jan. 16-19 in the Chase Fine Arts Center's intimate Studio Stage (room 224). The four productions are Edward Allen Baker's "Face Divided," directed by Jessie Drollete; Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna's "Barry, Betty & Bill," directed by Annette Pyne; Steven Dietz's "Private Eyes," directed by Cassandra Orr; and A.R. Gurney's "The Problem," directed by Eric VanTielen. Instructor Kevin Doyle cautions that the productions contain adult themes and language that may not be suitable for some audiences. The four performances are free and open to the general public.

CHAMELEONS, THE WHODUNIT COMPANY,will present "That's the Way the Fortune Cookie Crumbles," written and directed by James Christian, on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m., only in the Cliff Ballroom at Snowbird Resort. Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance reservations are required. Admission is $35 per person, including dinner and the audience participation murder mystery. Call 933-2110, Ext. 4080, or 1-800-640-2002 for reservations.

E-mail: ivan@desnews.com