Deseret News, Sunday, June 08, 2003

3 family shows opening this week

And also some poetry and prose potpourri on tap

By Ivan M. Lincoln
Deseret News theater editor

Three shows geared to family audiences, plus an evening of "poetry and prose," are on tap this week for Wasatch Front theatergoers.

Melvin Lee Shambry Jr. is Jim and Darick Pead is Huck Finn in SCERA Shell production of "Big River."

Photo by Mark A. Philbrick

"BIG RIVER," the Broadway musical version of Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," opens Friday, June 13, at the SCERA Shell Amphitheater in Orem, where it will continue through June 28.

Director Jerry Elison's cast includes Darick Pead as Huck, Melvin Lee Shambry Jr. as runaway slave Jim, Zac Freeman as Tom Sawyer, Agnes Broberg as Widow Douglas, Karlene Young as Miss Watson, Scott Montgomery as Duke, Dane Allred as King, Ashley Gardner as Mary Jane and Alan Humphreys as Mark Twain.

Shambry played Jim in a recent production of "Big River" at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, where Elison saw a performance — and quickly invited him to perform the same role at the SCERA. He's staying with the Elisons before heading on to Portland, Ore., to perform this summer, then going to New York City on an acting scholarship.

Performances are 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays. Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children. For reservations, call (801) 225-2569 or 225-2787. Seating is on a grassy slope. Lawn chairs may be rented for $1 each.

"BROADWAY KIDZ: HEROES AND LEGENDS,"one of the Draper Historic Theatre's most popular productions, is back for its annual outing. Directed by the theater's artistic director, Kevin McClellan, the production showcases the talents of young performers from throughout the area.

The show opens on Thursday, after which it continues Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 7:30 p.m., through June 30. There will be one matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children, with a family pass for $30. Group rates (for 16 or more) are also available. Call 572-4144 for reservations. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

"POETRY AND PROSE POTPOURRI" is a bonus event for the Babcock Performing Readers. It's scheduled for Thursday (June 12) at the home of president-elect Doug Brewer, 2875 E. Polcate Lane (6000 South and Holladay Blvd.), at 7:30 p.m. Members and guests are invited to bring their favorite short poem or prose selection to be read during an informal evening of audience participation. New or seasoned performers and authors are invited to share their talents. Selections should not exceed eight minutes and do not have to be original.

Ryan Templeman is Zorah and Tatum Langton is Princess in Abracadabra Festival's "Aladdin."

Photo courtesy UVSC
Storyteller David Bullock is the host. No charge for admission; refreshments will be served.

"ALADDIN,"produced by Utah Valley State College, will be featured as part of the new Abracadabra Festival, co-sponsored by Spanish Fork and Salem cities on the grounds of the Krishna Temple, 8628 S. Main, Spanish Fork.

Performances will be 4 and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The cast includes Tim Hall in the title role, Haley Young and Tatum Langton double-cast as the Princess, Travis Hecker as the Sultan, Ryan Templeman as the villainous Zorah, Mahroni Stewart as the Wazir and Randy Seely as the Genie of the Lamp.

Other entertainment on the grounds will include the Maxed-Out Puppetry Troupe, the Oboe Dynamos, the Lost Caravan Dancers, several meet-and-greet storybook characters, and popular Utah County vocal group moosebutter. There will also be a llama obstacle course, along with food, craft and activity booths.

Admission to the play is included with admission to the festival — $6 for adults and $5 for children, 12 and under. All other activities will cease during performances of the hour-long "Aladdin" production.

THE FIVE STAR PLAYHOUSE, a new enterprise in Orem that will showcase a variety of music and theater acts, has moved into the former Center Street Theater, which was most recently the home of the Nauvoo Theatrical Society. Owner of the new production company, Marion Frazier, and Penny Reay, who operates a local talent management company (HKT Productions), plan to utilize the space for an ongoing variety of entertainment — stage productions, variety shows, dance and music.

The playhouse opened last weekend with two acts — a family's "Sizzling Strings" ensemble and musician Wayne Musgrave. Performances on Thursday-Saturday, will feature ventriloquist/illusionist Kerry Summers at 7 p.m., followed by KC Stevens and his "Many Wonderful Characters" at 8:45 p.m.

The three-week grand opening celebration ends June 19-21 with "Grandpa Goose" at 7 p.m. and "Mark Twain" at 8:45. Stubs for all tickets sold during the first three weeks will be used for a drawing on June 21. Storytellers, singers, dancers, concerts and original plays are among upcoming events. A play written by Frazier, "The Second Time Around," is scheduled for June 26-28.

Separate tickets are needed for both shows each evening. Tickets for both shows in tandem will be sold at reduced rates. Regular prices are $10 for adults, $8 for children and $7 each for a family of five or more. For reservations, call (801) 225-3800.

Reay said auditions will be held the third Thursday of each month. Any artists interested in performing at the theater may submit audition material to HKT Productions, 741 N. 700 East, Spanish Fork, UT 84660. For further information, call (801) 794-1915 between 2 and 7 p.m., Mondays-Fridays only.


© 2003 Deseret News Publishing Company

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