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Musical farces, local drama open this week

Some Broadway fare, Shakespeare are also showing

SHARE Musical farces, local drama open this week

A recent Broadway musical, a new, locally written drama and two musical farces are among this week's stage productions in the region.

LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL, which played on Broadway in 2005 and toured to Utah last year, will have its regional premiere from Monday through April 7 at Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City.

Tamara Adams, assisted by John Adams, is directing a mostly double-cast ensemble that will feature Maurie Tarbox and Jennifer Park Hohl as Marmee, the mother of four daughters coping with challenges on the home front during the Civil War.

The daughters will be played by Cecily Ellis and Nicole Walton (Jo), Kylee Janis and Maren Ritter (Beth), Katrina Nelson and Cindy Winkel (Meg) and Rachel Woodward and Jennifer Neff (Amy).

Set designer Andrew Barrus and costume designer Jolene Ashcraft are creating a Victorian setting for the production, being choreographed by Marilyn May Montgomery with musical direction by Kelly DeHaan.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, with matinees at 12:30 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 4 p.m. on March 23 and 30 and April 5 and 6. Tickets range from $15-$23 (984-9000 or halecentretheatre.org).

A DOORWAY ... , a new drama dealing with the plight suffered by Vietnam veterans exposed to toxic chemicals during the war, will be performed by FXU Productions from Thursday through March 9 in the Fort Douglas Post Theatre, northeast of the University of Utah's Huntsman Center.

Written by Robert Hoff, it's set during 1985, when the war had been officially declared over for 10 years. The setting is the parking garage of a condominium complex in its final stages of completion, where four construction men — two of them Vietnam veterans — are working on the project.

It's being directed by Sila Agavalek, who plays Steve, the engineer and superintendent; with Jason "Frog" Pead as Larry, the foreman; and Lane Richins as Tobe and Michael Christian as Harpo, two laborers.

Hoff cautions that the play contains adult situations and language.

Performances are Thursdays-Sundays during the first two weeks of the run, then Thursday and Friday during the final week. Curtain is 7:15 p.m. on weeknights and Saturdays and 2:15 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $20 for general admission or $10 for military veterans (355-2787 or arttix.org). Parking is free at Fort Douglas after 6 p.m. and on weekends.

LUCKY STIFF, a musical farce from lyricist Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty — the creative team behind "Seussical," "Ragtime" and "Once on This Island" — will play from Friday through April 14 at Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North.

It is based on Michael Butterworth's novel, "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo," about a mild-mannered shoe salesman who could inherit $6 million — if he goes on a European holiday with his dead uncle.

The partly double-cast ensemble is directed and choreographed by Dave Tinney, who portrays the central character, Harry Witherspoon, in both casts, with Meghan Stettler as his frustrated girlfriend, Annabel Glick, Christian Busath as Vinnie Di Ruzzio and Eldon B. Randall as "the body of Tony Hendon." Kathryn Laycock Little and BreAnne Folkman share the role of Rita La Porta.

Performances are nightly except Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 3:30 p.m. on March 24 and April 7 and 14. (No performances Feb. 27, 28, March 6, 7). Tickets range from $13.50-$17.50 (226-8600 or haletheater.com).

PIRATES OF PENZANCE is playing through March 10 at the Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna.

The Oquirrh Hills Performing Arts Alliance production of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta features Tony Penrose as Frederic, ShayLynne Clark as Mabel, Nolan Mitchell as the Major-General and Amanda Heywood as Ruth.

Performances are Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens and $9 for children 12 and under. Group rates are also available. On Monday nights all seats are $6 (347-7373).

MACBETH, first presented last fall as part of Weber State University's regular season, will have two repeat performances on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., in the Eccles Theatre of the Browning Center as a fund-raiser prior to taking the production to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in March.

The director, Tracy Callahan, is one of only three university directors in the country invited to bring a Shakespeare production

to the Kennedy Center event. The invitation had one stipulation — that the production would be edited to run close to an hour in length.

All seats for each of the two benefit performances are $10, available at the door one hour prior to curtain or in advance by calling 800-978-8457.

THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940, set from Saturday through March 24, at StageRight TheaterCompany, 5001 S. Highland Drive, uses secret passageways, convoluted plot twists and a disappearing corpse to poke fun at murder-mystery thrillers, Hollywood musicals, actors and the 1940s.

Directed by StageRight founder Jansen Davis, "Murders" kicks off the company's 20th anniversary season. The cast includes Carrie Johnson, Alison Henriksen, Paul Gibbs, Lewis W. Black, Karin Davey, Jonathon Crittenden, Ruth Ann Patten, Jim Schroeder and Melinda Indo.

Performances are Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students. There is also an anniversary special of two tickets for $20 total. All Thursday night performances are "pay-what-you-can" with no set ticket price at the box office (272-3445).

HUNTER HIGH SCHOOL is staging a three-act comedy, "How Green Was My Brownie," on Thursday and Friday and Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre, 4200 S. 5600 West, West Valley City. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students at the door.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY'S annual V-Day event, which raises funds for a variety of local agencies involved with raising awareness to stop violence against women and girls, will be Friday and Saturday. There will be benefit performances of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" at 8 p.m. both nights in the Browning Center's Eccles Theatre. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. ("Monologues" contains graphic adult material that some people may find offensive.)

E-mail: ivan@desnews.com