Some local theater companies will veer this week from Christmas themes with such dark, dramatic fare as William Mastrosimone's "Extremities" and William Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
"EXTREMITIES," which examines one woman's victory over an attempted rape, is being staged by the Westminster College Theatre Department from Thursday through Dec. 9 in the Dumke Student Theatre.
William Mastrosimone's 1981 drama (best known for the 1986 film starring Farrah Fawcett) revolves around a woman who is victimized in her own apartment, then gains the upper hand and holds the intruder hostage in the fireplace. When her roommates arrive, there is debate over several issues — is there sufficient evidence to have him jailed? If he's imprisoned, could he get out and return to seek revenge? Or should she just murder him and dispose of the body in the back yard?
The cast includes Erica Lynn Johnson as Marjorie, victim of the attempted assault; Colin Crebs as Raoul, her attacker, and Brittani Reufener and Shannon McLean as, respectively, Patricia and Terry, her roommates.
Performances are Thursday-Saturday and Dec. 7-9, all at 7:30 p.m.
The Dumke Student Theatre is a black box venue located in the Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory addition to the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, 1250 E. 1700 South.
All tickets are $10 each, available at the door. A portion of the proceeds from all ticket sales will go to the Rape Recovery Center of Salt Lake City.
Westminster College cautions that the play contains violence and mature content and is not suitable for children.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS, GEORGE BAILEY," a 1940s-style radio show version of "It's a Wonderful Life," adapted for the stage by Shirlee Shields of the Babcock Performing Readers, will be presented Monday through Dec. 20 in the Bountiful Performing Arts Center, 745 S. Main.
Directed by Candy Revels, with sound effects by Chris Garison, the cast includes Darren Ferrell as George Bailey, Tandi LeFler as Mary, Jim Owens as Mr. Potter, Bruce Bowns as Uncle Billy and Curtis Waite as Clarence.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Monday and Thursday-Saturday of this week, and Dec. 5, 8-10, 12-17, 19 and 20. There will be live caroling by local school and community groups prior to each performance. Tickets are $5 on Monday evenings and $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and students for all shows on other evenings (294-7469 or www.bpac.cc).
"IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" will also have a more traditional telling in a production running Friday through Dec. 17 in the Heritage Theatre, 2505 S. Highway 89, Perry.
Director Colette R. Henderson's cast includes Brad McCann as George Bailey, Devin Jackman as Young George, Gloria G. McCann as Mary, Dee Pace as the angelic Clarence, Ran Briem as Uncle Billy and Steve Davis as Henry Potter.
Performances are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with three Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for children and senior citizens, with a $35 family pass admitting up to six family members on Monday nights (435-723-8392).
"MACBETH," Shakespeare's classic drama of loyalty, betrayal and mystical witches in Scotland, will play Thursday through Dec. 10 in Utah State University's Morgan Theatre, Logan.
Director Lynda Linford is setting the action in what she calls "punk-retro 1066" — a modern, conceptualized castle and landscape with costumes that are a mix of leather jackets, kilts, armor, boots, chains and tattoos.
The cast of more than 50 includes Brand Pearson in the title role, Rebecca Johnson as Lady Macbeth, Luke Bybee as Banquo, Adam Larsen as Macduff, David Ebert as King Duncan and Lacey Jackson, Kinsie Kiggins and Lyndie Hansen as the three witches.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Dec. 7-10. Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and USU faculty/staff and $6 for youths and non-USU students (435-797-0305). USU students are admitted free of charge with a valid activity card.
"MADELEINE'S CHRISTMAS," the popular children's story of a little French girl and her magical yuletide adventures, will have 12 public performances between Friday and Dec. 22 in the Children's Theatre of Salt Lake, 638 S. State.
The play is adapted for the stage by Owen and Amy Richardson (Richardson also directed) and the cast includes Natalie Barnes and Madeline Richardson sharing the title role, and Cory Cole, Lisa States and Richardson alternating as Miss Clavel. Bryon Finch is single-cast as Harsha, with Becky Lee Reynolds as Mrs. Murphy.
Performances are Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m., with three additional 4 p.m. performances on Dec. 20-22. All tickets are $9 per person (532-6000).
LONG FORM IMPROV will be performed by JoKyR and Jesster on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Sugarbeats Stage, 2106 S. 1100 East. Admission is $5 (891-6397).
"THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER," Barbara Robinson's classic comedy about a church pageant taken over by "the kids your mother warned you about," is playing from Saturday through Dec. 17 at StageRight TheaterCompany, 5001 S. Highland Drive.
Directed by Delanie Tucker, the cast includes Guthrie Burnett, Caitlin Carr, Carlie Harper, Philip Sossenheimer, Mariah Unruh and Derek Wankier as the infamous Herdman kids.
Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students and senior citizens, with discounts for groups of five or more (272-3445).
"MUSICAL THEATRE SHOWCASE," directed by Jim Christian and featuring Weber State University's musical theater students, is scheduled from Thursday-Saturday in the Eccles Theatre of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, Ogden.
The showcase performance has been added as part of the newly implemented musical theater degree program at WSU, with students performing pieces they have been working on during the current semester. Music from such shows as "Sweeney Todd," "Sunday in the Park With George," "Working" and "110 in the Shade" will be performed.
Curtain is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $4.50 for adults and $3.50 for students, senior citizens and military (626-8500 or 800-978-8457).