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Summer shows offer riveting choices

Every August, Edinburgh, Scotland, comes alive with culture, visitors and performances.

In conjunction with the Edinburgh International Festival, many other festivals kick-off in Edinburgh at the same time, the Fringe Festival being the biggest. Where EIF focuses on the more classical arts, the Fringe has no selection process in its programming — meaning that everything from theater, comedy, children's shows, dance, physical theater and exhibitions are among some of the offerings.

This year, Utah will be represented by the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts' Spatland Club, as they appear with their production of "Innovation."

Under the direction of Jared Larkin, the group's original physical theater piece will be showcased at the American High School Theatre Festival venue in Edinburgh.

The group, nominated by the Utah Shakespearean Festival, competed against thousands of other nominated schools and was selected to perform at the Fringe.

Those involved have been busy raising funds for the trip and are offering the public a chance to help support them.

"Innovation," will show Aug. 11-13, 7 p.m., at Highland High School Auditorium, 2166 S. 1700 East, Highland.

A suggested donation of $10 will help offset the cost of travel. The show stars Shealyn Kwan-Smith, Maggie Haight, McKenzie Evans, Nora Wilmarth, Derick Rodgers, Bailie Breault, Victoria Bird, Carly Welch, Emily Buck, Kristen Olszewski and Alexis Anderton. Call 801-560-8279 for more information.

There are plenty of other shows from which to choose this week:

"The Scarlet Pimpernel," will show Aug. 11-Sept. 26 at Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 S. Decker Lake Drive.

Back by popular demand, the French Revolution returns to Hale, with all its pomp and circumstance.

One of Hale's biggest technical shows, the set includes a life-size spinning carousel, a guillotine that tricks the eye, a ship, a prison, a ballroom and a tavern. And, if that's not enough to keep the cast and crew busy, there are more than 800 costumes pieces, 357 of which were designed and handmade by Hale's costumers.

In order to create the 18th century period costumes, Hale brought ribbons, laces and fabrics in from Los Angeles and New York to preserve the authenticity.

Female cast members have been rehearsing in corsets and men in high-heeled shoes to get accustomed to the costumes.

The Frank Wildhorn musical stars Kevin Goertzen and Justin Bills (double cast as Percy), Jenny Latimer and Megan Heaps (Marguerite) and Craig Bowen and Brian Clark (Chauvelin).

Shows are nightly, except Sunday, at 7:30 p.m., with several matinees on Saturdays and weekdays. Tickets are $15-$26 (801-984-9000 or www.halecentretheatre.org).

"Lucky Stiff," will show through Sept. 5 at Rodgers Memorial Theatre, 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville.

An unassuming shoe salesmen gets a telegram one day.

Good news: He's just inherited millions from a long-lost uncle.

Bad news: He has to take his dead uncle's body to Monte Carlo for one last vacation or all the money will go to his uncle's favorite charity for underprivileged dogs.

Sounds easy enough, right? But a couple of interesting plot twists and a few shady characters make for a very memorable excursion for poor Mr. Witherspoon.

Take a gamble on this musical comedy that's fun for the whole family. The show stars Cameron Garner and Fred Lee (double cast as Harry), Wanda Copier and Andrea White (Rita) and Meikjen Pace and Addie Holman (Annabel).

Shows are nightly, except Sunday, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $11-$17 (801-298-1302 or www.rodgersmemorial.com).

"Over the River and Through the Woods," will show Aug. 13-Sept. 19 at Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem.

When Nick announces he's leaving New York and moving to Seattle, his four Italian-American grandparents aren't at all happy.

They start scheming and go to great lengths to keep him nearby, including matchmaking.

A funny and touching comedy filled with the three F's: family, faith and food. It stars Ryan Radebaugh, Lon Keith, Karen Baird, Larson Holyoak, Jayne Luke and Lauren Noll.

Shows are nightly, except Sunday, at 7:30 p.m., with 3:30 p.m. Saturday matinees. Tickets are $13.50-$17.50 (801-226-8600 or www.haletheater.org).

"Seussical," will show at Sandy Arts Guild, Aug. 14-22, Sandy City Amphitheater, 1245 E. 9400 South.

This is the fantastical, magical musical extravaganza that brings all your favorite Dr. Seuss characters to life, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat and more.

A family show about the powers of love, friendship and loyalty.

Shows are nightly, except Sunday, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8-$15 (800-888-8499 or www.sandyarts.com/amph).

"Fame — The Musical," will show Aug. 14-23, at Egyptian Theatre, 328 S. Main, Park City.

The musical follows the 1980s hit movie and the television series that followed, focusing on the last class that graduated from New York's High School for the Performing Arts before it relocated to the Lincoln Center. The cast features four adults and 16 energy-packed young actors, singer and dancers.

Shows are Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, times vary and matinees are available. Tickets are $15 (435-649-9371 or www.parkcityshows.com).

"The Pirates of Penzance," will show at Syracuse Arts Council, Aug. 13-15, Syracuse High School, 2000 W. 700 South.

The classic Gilbert and Sullivan musical about pirates, daughters and one very modern major general.

Shows are nightly, 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $3-$5 (801-824-7172).

e-mail: ehansen@desnews.com