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Several musicals opening this week

Also, a comedy by Noel Coward playing in Farmington

Several musicals and a classic comedy are opening on local stages this week.

THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, the musical stage version of Roger Corman's classic 1960 black comedy, is being staged Friday through Nov. 10 in the Rodgers Memorial Theatre, 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville.

Directed by Leslie Warwood and choreographed by Susan Holland, the double-cast ensemble includes Aaron Ford and Fred S. Lee as Seymour Krelboyne, a nerdish florist's assistant who discovers an exotic carnivorous plant; Erin Carlson and Deena Marie Evanoff as Audrey, a ditzy blonde whom Seymour admires; Lloyd Parry and Jason Wadsworth as Mr. Mushnik, the flower-shop owner; and Josh Richardson and Addison Welch in multiple roles, including a masochistic dentist.

Performances are Mondays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9-$13 on weeknights and $9-$16 on weekends (298-1302).

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, a play-within-a-play and a music-hall farce based on Charles Dickens' unfinished novel, opens Friday and continues through Nov. 17 in the Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna.

Directed by John Dale Williams and choreographed by Ashley Creek, all but two of the 18 cast members play two roles — performers in the Music Hall Royale in 1892 and characters in "Edwin Drood."

The cast includes Mindy Heywood as Drood and Alice Nutting, Shawn Maxfield as John Jasper and Clive Paget, Glen Carpenter as the Rev. Crisparkle and Cedric Moucrieffe, Erin Fair as Rose Bud and Deidre Peregrine, and Alison W. Jensen as Princess Puffer and Angela Prysock.

At one point during Act 2, the action comes to a halt — coinciding with the point at which Dickens' book was left unfinished when he died. The audience then gets to vote on key issues in the mystery.

Performances will be Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., with one Saturday matinee on Nov. 1. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for students and senior citizens, $8 for children and $6 for all seats on Mondays and matinees (347-7373).

IT HAPPENED IN UTAH, an original musical by Alex Bennett, is being revived for four performances Friday through Oct. 20 in the Mountain Vista United Methodist Church, 9000 S. 3200 West, West Jordan.

It's a lighthearted tale of a tough guy from New Jersey who moves to Utah and meets a local girl. The plot centers around their sometimes humorous efforts to merge their seemingly incompatible backgrounds and beliefs.

The show is based on Bennett's own experiences after moving to Utah. The cast includes Bennett, April Hiller, Emily Duffin, Mary Werner, Don McCollough and Steve Reinhard.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. All proceeds will go toward the church's building fund.

BLITHE SPIRIT, Noel Coward's London and Broadway comedy, is playing Wednesday-Saturday as a dinner-theater production by the Farmington City Arts Council. The reservations deadline for the evening dinner performances has passed, but there may be some tickets for a non-meal matinee at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for this performance are $8 (451-2383, Ext. 4).

IN THE SCHOOLS — Juan Diego Catholic High School, 300 E. 11800 South, Draper, is presenting Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students (984-7645 or