Eight years ago, the developers of a housing project in Draper's South Mountain area constructed an amphitheater, which was later donated to the city of Draper and has yet to be finished.

Now, a group of Draper residents — spearheaded by the late Robert Peterson's daughter — are working to get the amphitheater completed, and to name it the Robert Peterson Legacy Amphitheater.

Countless Utahns are aware of the entertainment legacy Peterson left when he died last December — memorable roles in such musical productions as "Man of La Mancha," "Camelot," "Fiddler on the Roof," "South Pacific" and others, plus performances in dozens of productions at Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Promised Valley Playhouse and elsewhere.

Draper City has pledged $250,000 in funds, requiring matching funds from private, corporate and public contributions. Currently, the amphitheater consists of several tiers set into the mountainside, but no permanent seating (patrons have to bring their own lawn chairs).

The site will have a full-fledged test-run on Friday during a fund-raising concert. The event will begin at 5 p.m. at the amphitheater, with several popular local bands. The Iceburg Drive-In and other vendors will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, milk shakes and other concessions, with proceeds going toward the project.

According to Peterson's daughter Terri Purles, who lives in Draper, a total of $500,000 is needed to construct a permanent stage and to install seating and restrooms. Volunteers involved in the project — which is located in the middle of a park-like setting — also plan to eventually build a nature trail, a children's play area and picnic pavilion.

Additional funding will be needed at some point to install lighting and sound systems and other theatrical enhancements. Details about the project, including maps and photos, are available online at www.magiconthemountain.com.

Purles said the amphitheater currently seats approximately 1,000 but should seat closer to 2,000 when it's finished, with additional lawn seating higher up the hill.


If you go. . .

What: Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band, Simple People, J. Marc Bailey, etc.

Where: Draper amphitheater, 14100 S. Vestry Road (925 East)

When: Friday, 5 p.m.

How much: $10 general, $5 children (6-12), $50 VIP dinner package

Phone: 571-9507

Web: www.magiconthemountain.com