A Shakespearean spoof, a classic comedy and a Broadway musical are scheduled to open this week.

SPAMLET, WHERE MYSTERY MEATS COMEDY, the newest parody at Desert Star Cabaret Theatre, 4861 S. State, Murray, is probably not what you think it is.

At first glance, you might guess that "Spamlet" is a spoof on "Spamalot" — the blockbuster Broadway musical coming to Salt Lake City next month. But "Spamlet" — opening Thursday and continuing through Nov. 10 — rhymes with "Hamlet," and it is a freewheeling spin on William Shakespeare's classic drama, a romp written by Ben Millet and directed by Mary Parker Williams.

The double-cast ensemble includes Paul Murphy and Bryan Hague as Prince Spamlet, Mary Parker Williams and Marissa Poole as Gertrude, Ben Millet and Matt Kohler as Contagious, Justin Berry and Seth Larson as Boloneous/Laxative, Scott Holman and Richy T. Steadman as Horatio, Garrett Dean and Ryan J. Poole as Rosencrantz, Kerstin Davis and Kirsten Nagel as Helga, and Liz Christensen single-cast as Ophelia.

All performances will include a "Happy Days Are Here Again" olio segment showcasing classic songs from the 1950s. Desert Star Cabaret features a la carte food service, including pizza, wraps, desserts and beverages.

Performances are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m., with some additional Saturday matinees at noon. Tickets range from $8-$15.95, with discounts for students and senior citizens at specific performances (266-2600, www.DesertStar.biz).

THE FOREIGNER, Larry Shue's classic comedy about a painfully shy British chap visiting a southern U.S. hunting lodge, will play Friday through Sept. 27 at Rodgers Memorial Theatre, 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville.

Directed by Leslie Giles-Smith, the cast includes Ed Farnsworth and Mike Brown alternating as Charlie Baker, the visitor who pretends to be a foreigner; David Marsden and Dick Dilley as Charlie's best friend, Sgt. "Froggy" LeSueur; Robin M. Edwards and Jane Merrell-Huefner as Betty Meeks, Nathan Riddle and Jansen Davis as the Rev. David Marshall Lee, Kristi Shaw and Katie Silva as Catherine Simms, Eric B. Millward and W. Michael James as Owen Musser, and Jenner Bate and Patrick States as Ellard Simms.

Performances are Mondays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13-$16 for adults, $12-$14 for students and senior citizens and $9 for children (298-1302).

42ND STREET, a tap-dancing "Lullaby of Broadway," kicks off the fall season at Tuacahn Amphitheater, Ivins (west of St. George) on Thursday and continues for 22 performances through Oct. 20, alternating with "Cinderella" and "My Fair Lady," both of which opened in June.

Celebrating the glory days of Broadway during the 1930s, the musical is directed and choreographed by guest artist Deanna L. Dys, a veteran of Broadway, film and TV. The Tuacahn stage will be filled with a cast of nearly 40 singers and dancers.

The cast includes Megan Arnoldy as Peggy Sawyer, Matthew Schneider as Billy Lawlor, Joyce Nolan as Dorothy Brock, and Daren Kelly as producer Julian Marsh (playing the role through Sept. 22), with Michael G. Hawkins replacing Kelly on Sept. 25.

"42nd Street" will play on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays — at 8 p.m. during September and 7:30 p.m. during October. The opening night performance this week is at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $24-$44 for adults and $20-$36 for children, depending on seat location and day of the week. Senior citizens receive a $3 discount (800-746-9882, www.tuacahn.org).

CELEBRATE AMERICA, a noncollegiate version of Utah State University's former"Glenn Miller Show" dinner-dance production, is scheduled Sept. 5-8 in the Evan Stevenson Ballroom on the Utah State University campus in Logan.

The show will continue the tradition of honoring all veterans, current military, firefighters and law-enforcement personnel in the audience each night. Members of the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, American Legion and other organizations are also encouraged to wear their uniforms.

The show will feature Larry Smith's big-band orchestra, specialty numbers by the Celebrate America Singers and Dancers, and three dance floors providing plenty of room for patrons to "cut a rug." Open dance contests offer trophies for winners in waltz, cha-cha and swing.

It is suggested that reservations be ordered this week so USU's food-services department can get a head count prior to Sept. 5 for those shows earlier in the week. Tickets are $42.50 and include buffet dinner, show and dancing (888-878-2831 or 435-797-0305).

JULIUS CAESAR, Shakespeare's classic tragedy, is being given a modern setting by Provo-based Actors' Repertory Theater Ensemble, which has opened its production of the drama in the Castle Amphitheater, a historic outdoor venue behind the Utah State Hospital, 1300 E. Center. Director Barta Heiner is staging "Julius Caesar" in a modern political-party caucus setting.

The cast includes Adam Argyle as Caesar/Octavius, Michelle Clawson as Publius, Moronai Kanakoa as Brutus, Cort Kirksey as Antony, Jeannie Pardoe as Portia, Katie Purdie as Calpurnia, Tracey Wooley as Cassia and Rodger Sorensen as Artemadorus.

Performances through Sept. 15 are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and students, and $5 for children (at the door, cash or checks, www.arte-ut.org).


E-mail: ivan@desnews.com