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Utah Repertory Theater Company's production of "i love you because" is a modern-day musical that takes place in New York City nowhere near the 19th-century England that Jane Austen wrote about.
But Austenites will find something familiar about this romantic comedy, as it is based on Pride and Prejudice with the gender roles reversed.
In this show, which opens Friday, March 22, Austen's Elizabeth Bennet becomes Austin Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy aka Mr. Darcy becomes Marcy Fitzwilliams. The lead roles are played by Billy Hagee and Madeline Weinberger, who just finished playing Edie in Pygmalion Theatre Company's "Cheat."
While the audience doesn't need to know Pride and Prejudice to enjoy the show, artistic director Johnny Hebda said "The connection adds a comic level to the musical."
Written by composer Joshua Salzman and lyricists Ryan Cunningham, "i love you because" was first performed off-Broadway in 2006 at the Village Theatre. At that time, The Wall Street Journal called it "everything an off-Broadway musical should be … a charming piece of work that will send you home smiling."
This is only the second production for Utah's newest theater company. The semiprofessional group produced "Side Show" in January. The company will focus on regional premieres along with lesser-known shows, according to its website.
i love you because
When • March 22-25, 29-30 and April 1, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.; with 2 p.m. matinees March 23 and 30.
Where • Murray Theater, 4959 S. State St.
Tickets • Adults, $18 in advance, $20 at the door; students (with valid ID), seniors (60 and older), children (5-12), $15 in advance and $17 at the door. No children under 5. Pay-what-you-may day is March 25; student rush tickets $5, available 15 minutes before the show.
Info • purchase tickets at utahrep.org/tickets