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Musicals, dramas open this week

Kid-friendly 'Hamlet' and 'Once Upon a Mattress' on docket

A mix of new stage offerings will open in local theaters this week, including a children's version of "Hamlet."

"FUENTE OVEJUNA," an English version of Spanish playwright Lope de Vega's "golden-age" masterpiece, is playing Wednesday through Oct. 8 in Brigham Young University's Pardoe Theatre.

The script, translated by Gwynne Edwards, draws on an actual 15th century event when the villagers of Fuente Ovejuna rose up and took action against a licentious overlord. In a twist on typical chivalry, the women lead the men to avenge their wrongs and reclaim their honor.

Nestor Bravo Goldsmith is directing the drama, which includes Megan Pugmire Hinmon as Laurencia, the woman who leads the villagers in their revolt, and Dustin Siler as the corrupt commander, Fernan Gomez de Guzman.

Discounted dress rehearsals (all seats $5) will be Wednesday and Thursday. Regular performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through Oct. 8, with one matinee this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. There will be no evening performances on Sept. 24 or 27, or Oct. 1. Regular admission is $12 for adults or $9 for those with BYU or student I.D. (422-4322).

"ONCE UPON A MATTRESS," a musical version of "The Princess and the Pea," will play Friday through Nov. 12 in the Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden.

Susan Wilhelm is directing a cast that includes Leslie Richards as Princess Winifred the Woebegone, Ryan Paskins and Chris Gilbert sharing the role of Prince Dauntless, Carolyn Stevens and Sylvia Jorgensen alternating as Queen Agravaine, and Lloyd Parry and Dale Thomas double-cast as King Sextimus the Silent.

Performances are Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9-$11 for adults and $6-$8 for children, with discounts for students and senior citizens (393-0070).

"HAMLET," adapted for children's audiences by Christopher Clark (who is also directing), will have three performances this week in the Nelke Theatre of Brigham Young University's Harris Fine Arts Center, Provo.

The BYU Young Company's Shakespeare Troupe will present the one-hour adaptation of Shakespeare's classic drama, geared to elementary school children. The cast includes Fallon Hanson, David St. Julien, Christopher Clark, Matthew Haws, Spencer Green, Debra Moses and Laura Sorensen.

Following its on-campus performances, the troupe will travel to schools throughout the region.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $6 and $9 (422-4322).

"DANCING AT LUGHNASA," Brian Friel's 1992 Tony Award-winning drama about five unmarried sisters in Ireland in 1936, plays from Thursday through Oct. in the Morgan Theatre of Utah State University's Chase Fine Arts Center, Logan.

Directed by Artemis Preeshl, the lyrical drama deals with serious family issues and relationships, told against the background of the local Lughnasa harvest festival. The sisters and one young lad live in the home of the women's brother, a Catholic priest battling malaria after serving in an African leprosy center for 25 years.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Tickets are $6-$9 (435-797-0305).

"IPHIGENIA AT AULIS," the 35th annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival production (which opened Saturday at the University of Utah), is scheduled to be staged in Ogden at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the Ogden High School auditorium. The performance is sponsored by Weber State University. Tickets are $5.50 and $8.50 (626-8500 or 1-800-978-8457).

There will be a free pre-show lecture and orientation at 6:30 p.m.

The ancient drama will also be performed next weekend (9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) on the front steps of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre on the U. campus, and on Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, Brigham Young University, Provo. Tickets for the Provo performance are $6 and $9 (422-4322).

Admission for the Salt Lake City performances are $12 for general admission and $6 for students (581-7100). Audiences should bring their own blankets and lawn chairs for the Salt Lake performances. In the event of rain, the production will move to Libby Gardner Hall on Presidents' Circle.

"BAREFOOT IN THE PARK," Neil Simon's 1963 Broadway hit (which starred Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley) is playing Friday through Oct. 15 at the Old Barn Community Theatre, 3605 Bigler Road, Collinston.

Co-directed by Becky Tomlinson and Rachael Earnhart, the cast includes Jacob and Rachel Johnson as newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter, Carolyn Abel as Mrs. Banks, Corie's mother, and David Farnsworth as eccentric neighbor Victor Velasco.

Performances are Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with one matinee on Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for children and senior citizens, with all seats $5 on "women's night," Oct. 1 (435-458-2276).


E-mail: ivan@desnews.com