Comedies and musicals are opening this week up and down the Wasatch Front:

"BAREFOOT IN THE PARK," Neil Simon's classic Broadway comedy about a pair of newlyweds, is StageRight TheaterCompany's next production, opening Saturday and continuing through Aug. 16.

Director Mike Brown's cast includes Alexander Bala as buttoned-down attorney Paul Bratter and Holly Braithwaite as his impulsive, free-spirited wife, Corie.

Debe Jacobs plays Corie's widowed, overprotective mother, Jim Dale as the flamboyant upstairs neighbor, Victor Velasco, and Bryan Jacobs as the know-it-all telephone repairman.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays in the company's new space, one of the former movie theaters at 5001 S. Highland Drive, directly south of Cottonwood Mall. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. For reservations, call 272-3445.

"THE MURDER ROOM," Jack Sharkey's zany thriller, is the fourth of this season's rotating Old Lyric Repertory Company productions in Logan. It's scheduled for eight performances through Aug. 2, playing in repertory with "On Golden Pond," "Forever Plaid" and "Sylvia."

The ending is a surprise and the middle is full of humor in Sharkey's farce about a pair of upper class British newlyweds whose marital bliss lasts about two days — after which Mavis tries to poison Edgar, then shoots him . . . then loses the body. The late Sharkey was a prolific playwright who mainly wrote madcap farces that are popular in regional and dinner theaters across the country.

Lynda Linford, in her 15th season with OLRC, is directing a cast that includes Equity artists Amy Tribbey and Susan Dolan, with longtime OLRC favorite Lee Daily, William Warren, Chryslynn Call and Phillip R. Lowe.

"The Murder Room" will have eight performances — 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, then three more evening performances (July 18 and 23 and Aug. 2), and one additional matinee, on Aug. 2. Tickets range from $10 to $15. For reservations, call (435) 797-0305 or 1-888-878-2831.

"ARSENIC AND OLD LACE" may seem like an odd choice for a dinner-theater company (the wine list would certainly be suspect), but the classic comedy is opening Thursday at the Grove Theatre, 20 S. Main, Pleasant Grove, where it runs through July 26. Recently staged at the Northampton House in American Fork, most of the same cast has been assembled for this new edition.

The cast includes Gayliene Omary and Jan Shelton as the spinster Brewster sisters, who offer their home-brewed (and deadly) elderberry wine to lonely men who come by to rent one of their vacant rooms, then have the bodies buried in the cellar. Also in the cast are Jonathan Gregersen as Mortimer, their drama-critic nephew; Steve Winters as Mortimer's diabolical brother, and Buddy Eyre as the brother's sidekick, Dr. Einstein.

Evening performances are Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays, with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. and curtain at 7:30. There are also "lunch" performances on Saturdays, with a single-entree buffet served at 1 p.m., followed by the production at 2. Tickets are $18 for evening shows, and $15 for matinees. For reservations, call (801) 796-5461.

"OKLAHOMA!" is being staged by Midvale Arts Council, Friday-July 26 on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Midvale Park outdoor stage, 400 W. 7600 South. The cast of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic includes Damon Yauney as Curley, Jennifer Arlene Joseph as Laurey, Matthew Baker as Jud Fry, Stephanie Johnson as Aunt Eller, Ben Lipson as Will Parker, Elise Chisholm as Ado Annie and Wade Walker as Ali Hakim. Tickets are $4 for general admission, $2 for children and senior citizens or $15 for a family pass. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or in advance at City Hall. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets.

"THE SECOND TIME AROUND," an original comedy written and directed by Marion Frazier, will be presented for two consecutive weekends, Thursday through July 19, in the Five Star Playhouse, 50 W. Center, Orem. The plot revolves around a widow from Texas who has moved to Utah to start a new life. Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. For reservations, call (801) 225-3800.

"MARY, MARY," Jean Kerr's 1961 hit Broadway comedy, presented recently at Hale Center Theater Orem, will have a two-night run next weekend as the first in this season's Hale Summer Playhouse productions on the Hale family ranch near Grover. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. Group discounts are available for parties of 25 or more. For reservations, call (801) 785-8123 during the week or (435) 425-3589 on show dates.


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