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Curtain to rise on 5 shows this week

Patriotic musical is among the productions

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Helen Mustard (Jessica Sullivan) tries to prevent Dr. Jekyll (John Tyler Rowland) from mixing the formula that turns him into the diabolical Mr. Hyde (Jack Drayton) in Desert Star Theater's "Jekyll and Hyde."

Helen Mustard (Jessica Sullivan) tries to prevent Dr. Jekyll (John Tyler Rowland) from mixing the formula that turns him into the diabolical Mr. Hyde (Jack Drayton) in Desert Star Theater’s “Jekyll and Hyde.”

Photo By Doug Carter

A satire and the Utah premiere of an original musical are among this week's new stage productions in the region.

"JEKYLL & HYDE," subtitled "Double the Pleasure, Double the Pun," is being revived for an eight-week run at Desert Star Theater, 4861 S. State, Murray.

Newly adapted and directed by Scott Holman from Norman E. Plate and Beth Bruner's original script, it opens Thursday and continues through Nov. 15.

The cast includes John Tyler Rowland as mild-mannered Dr. Henry Jekyll, Jack Drayton as the mysterious, malevolent Edward Hyde, Holman as the skeptical Dr. I.M. Nevarrong, Liz Christensen as Dr. Holly Goodfellow, Matthew O'Malley as Col. D. John Mustard, Jessica Sullivan as Helen Mustard, Kerstin Davis as the saucy barmaid Ivy League, and Mary Parker Williams as Jekyll's faithful maid Julia Riley.

The ensemble will also perform the postshow "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" olio.

Performances are Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$12 for adults, $6 for children, and $9 for students and senior citizens (at selected performances only). Group rates are also available. Food service is optional. Call 266-2600 for reservations.

"AS YOU LIKE IT," produced by Brigham Young University's touring Young Company, will have four public performances this week before it goes on tour to several Utah elementary schools.

According to coordinator Rebecca Wallin, who plays Celia in the production, "all the boring parts" have been cut out of the script, so it's great for kids and also fun for adults. There will also be plenty of audience interaction.

Cast members include Celeste Barrand, Amelia Schow, Natalie Ashton, David Hilton, Tawnie Bowers, Christopher Clark (the show's director), Adam Stallard, Kemuel Swallow and Mohonri Stewart.

Public performances, in the Harris Fine Arts Center's Nelke Experimental Theatre, will be Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with one Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 for the general public and $6 for BYU faculty, staff and students. Call (801) 378-4322 for reservations.

Educators interested in booking a school performance may call Wallin at (801) 229-1073 or 369-0888.

"THE PRICE OF FREEDOM," a patriotic musical revolving around major events and battles of World War II, will have two free performances on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Provo Tabernacle.

Produced by Spire Music, the musical was written by Rob Gardner and McKane Davis.

The cast includes Linsey Maxson, Greg Adams, Jenee Wright Prince, Aaron Ballard, Tyler Maxson, Lisa Fraser and Nathan Whetten.

The Provo performances and live orchestra will be conducted by Gardner, who previously composed "Joseph Smith the Prophet" and "He Is Jesus Christ."

Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

"POLLY: A ONE-WOMAN MUSICAL," Steven Kapp Perry's 10-year-old musical about his great-great-great-grandmother — Polly Matilda Merrill Colton — is being staged Friday and Saturday, and Oct. 3-4, as the first in a series of benefits for "Reach the Children."

The show, featuring Johanne Frechette Perry in the title role, relates a variety of incidents in the pioneer woman's life.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in the American Heritage School theater, 736 N. 1100 East, east of the Mt. Timpanogos LDS temple.

All seats are $8, with tickets available in advance online at www.WordofMouthMedia.net or by calling (801) 376-6745.

The two other shows in the series are "Here's Brother Brigham," starring James Arrington, Oct. 10-11 and 17-18, and "J. Golden," starring Marvin Payne, Nov. 7-8 and 14-15.

Reach the Children is a nonprofit organization supporting education, water projects and AIDS funding for children and families throughout Africa.

"CASH ON DELIVERY," Michael Cooney's British farce about a con artist hopelessly entangled in government fraud, is scheduled for five performances in the Geary Theatre at College of Eastern Utah, Price.

Corey Ewan is directing the comedy.

Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Sept. 22-23. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and high school students, $3 for CEU faculty/staff and $2 for CEU students. For reservations, call (435) 613-5334.

E-MAIL: ivan@desnews.com