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Musicals, mysteries top theater lineup

‘Holes,’ ‘The Murder Room’ among openings

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Mysteries and musicals are big this week in new theatrical openings.

"HOLES," Utah State Theatre's regional premiere of a stage version of the popular Newbery Award-winning book and recent Disney film, is Monday-Saturday in Utah State University's Morgan Theatre, Logan.

Co-directing the piece are Colin Johnson, head of USU's Theatre Arts Department, and Robbin Black, a faculty member. The cast includes Dallyn Steenerson as Yeats.

The script was selected due to its broad family appeal. The plot revolves around young Stanley Yeats, wrongly accused of stealing a famous baseball player's sneakers and consigned to Camp Green Lake — a juvenile detention facility that is not green and has no lake, where the boys dig holes in the hot Texas desert.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, with one matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 for youths and non-USU students, $7 for senior citizens and USU faculty/staff and $9 for adults. All USU students are admitted free with a current activity card. Discounts are available for families, children and groups (435-797-0305 or www.usu.edu/theatre).

"SWEENEY TODD" has its fifth annual Utah Valley "concert-version" presentation from Friday through Oct. 30 at the Castle Amphitheater in Provo. Produced by J. Scott Montgomery, the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler play about a vengeful, 19th century London barber and his macabre business, has become a Utah Valley Halloween tradition.

The cast includes Dave Hanson in the title role and Marcie Jacobsen as his partner in crime (her famous meat pies are loaded with unsavory ingredients). Also in the cast are Montgomery, Matt Cloward, Brianna Jensen, Miriam Latour, Eric Manning, Brad Montgomery, Regan Whimpey and an ensemble of more than 30 singers.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Oct. 25-29, and 8 and 11 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Castle Amphitheater, 1300 E. Center. Tickets, available only at the gate, are $5 for children, $8 for senior citizens and students and $10 for adults (cash and credit cards only). Patrons are cautioned to dress for the chilly, evening weather.

"FIDDLER ON THE ROOF," directed by Syd Riggs, is being staged Friday through Nov. 29 in Hale Center Theater Orem. Merrill Dodge is single-cast as Tevye, with Diane Dabczynski and Kaye Woodworth sharing the role of his wife, Golde, and Karen Baird and Linda Garay as Yente, the village matchmaker.

Other double-cast players include Celeste Kysa Barrand and Christy Rae Turnbow as Tzeitel, BreAnne Folkman and Rachel Lynn Woodward as Hodel, Brittni Bills and Lauren Frances as Chava, Ryan Simmons and Oliver Gaag as Motel, Andrew Thorne and Greg Hansen as Perchik, David Smith and Brennan Harding as Fyedka and Joel A. Osborne and Eldon B. Randall as Lazar Wolf.

Performances are Mondays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through the entire run, with Saturday matinees at 3:30 p.m. and one Friday matinee on Nov. 26. Tickets range from $10.50-$15.50, depending on night and seating location (226-8600).

"THE MURDER ROOM," Jack Sharkey's blend of mystery, horror, melodrama and comedy, plays Friday through Nov. 13 at StageRight TheaterCompany, 5001 S. Highland Drive. Directed by Jacob Bruner (assisted by Jeremy Jonsson), the cast includes W. Lewis Black, Rusty Bringhurst, Justin Bruse, Karla deGering, Karin Eastman and Ann Jensen.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens (272-3445).

"STARMITES," which was nominated for six Tony Awards, including best musical of 1989, is being produced by the SCERA Youth Theatre troupe. Described as a comic book adventure, it plays Monday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the SCERA Showhouse II, 745 S. State, Orem.

Directed by Laurel Barham, the production features youths from Acting Up, the SCERA Youth Theatre's advanced students. The cast includes Kaylie Bell as Eleanor, a young girl who escapes into fantasy; Adam Steele as Space Punk, the romantic lead; Marray as Diva, Queen of the Banshees, and Nicholas J. Frandsen as Shak Graa, the High Priest of Chaos. (The day after "Starmites" closes, the ensemble will leave for training and workshops in New York City.)

Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children, students and senior citizens (255-2569 or 225-2787).

"VERY SCARY HALLOWEEN STORIES," directed by David Bullock, showcases some of the best storytellers from both the Babcock Performing Readers and the Utah Story Tellers Guild, as part of BPR's "Very Scary Halloween Stories," on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. the U. Union Building's Little Theatre.

Patrons are invited to dress in costume for the "ghoul parade," with prizes for the best, most imaginative attire. Admission is free.

"PREY," a locally written and produced thriller, is the latest in what has become a Halloween-season tradition in Lehi. Directed by Brenda Grant and written by Tyler Yates (who is also the technical direction), this year's production is being produced by the Lehi City Arts Council, with nine performances nightly except Sunday from Thursday to Oct. 30 in the Lehi City Arts Center's Glen M. Smith Theatre, 685 N. Center. The plot revolves around a vicious creature stalking a small group of hunters trapped in a cabin in the woods.

Curtain is 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $6 (836-1834). On Oct. 27, which is a full-moon night, the performance will have a "Feast of the Beast" theme, with prizes for the best werewolf costume and the best attempt at howling.

"JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT," Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice's classic musical, plays Friday through Dec. 18 at the Center Street Musical Theatre, 177 W. Center, Provo. The cast includes Zac Freeman as Joseph and Genna Gardner and Skye Cummins sharing the role of the Narrator.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, with optional catered dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, students and children. Dinner is an additional charge of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Dinner reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance (764-0535 or www.csmtc.com).

"HANGING AT SINIMIN CITY," a family-oriented melodrama directed by Cory Wood, is this year's annual Farmington City Arts Council dinner-theater event. Performances are Thursday-Saturday in the Farmington City Community Center, 120 S. Main, with dinner served at 7 p.m. All tickets, including both dinner and show, are $10 each. Advance reservations are required (451-0953).

"OLEANDER MANOR AND THE HALLOWEEN BRIDE," staged by the Midvale Copperview Theatre Art's Youth Program, will play Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., in the Copperview Community Center, 8446 S. Harrison (272 West), Midvale. The original melodrama is by Wendy Dahl-Smedsahmmer and Gwynth Kenner.

Tickets are $2 for adults, $1 for youths and $5 for a family. No charge for children 3 and younger (561-0075).

E-mail: ivan@desnews.com