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Stage: Dracula, the comedy, plus a (faithful) Book of Mormon musical, and more Shakespeare

Published September 28, 2011 7:46 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

'Dracula vs. Jekyll and Hyde'

In the spirit of every great serial killer vs. monster face-off of the film world, Salt Lake City's Off Broadway Theatre presents "Dracula vs. Jekyll and Hyde." While the very thought of this pairing might have both Bram Stoker and Robert Louis Stevenson running for cover, authors Eric R. Jensen and Jon Baty see an open field of parody. The plot twists and writhes around the possibility that Dracula must get hold of Dr. Jekyll's patented formula making him invulnerable to crucifixes and sunlight. Meanwhile, Jekyll is relying on his running love affair with Mary Shelley to set him right, before his alter ego murders once more. Co-writer Jensen pulls double duty and plays Dracula, with Heather Holmgren as Shelley, and Clarence Strohn as the not-so-good doctor.



When •Through Oct. 29; 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Where • Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $8-$16. Call 801-355-4628 or visit http://www.TheOBT.Org or http://www.Laughingstock.us for more information.

Infantile humor

Playwright Christopher Durang was all the quiet rage for most of the 1980s, turning out howler after howler of scripts that brought comparisons to the biting humor of Jonathan Swift. Here to bring him back into vogue, and introduce him to a whole new generation, is The Hive Theatre Company and its production of "Baby with the Bathwater." It's the story of parents who can't quite decide on a name for their newborn, while the script follows the consequences of both their indecision and hasty decision when they name the baby Daisy. For some, the play's acerbic exploration of familial blame and fortune cut a little too close to home at times. Yet when the play premiered in 1983, New York Times theater critic Frank Rich declared that Durang had found "a way to turn rage into comedy that is redemptive as well as funny." The Hive Theatre Company's production casts wife-husband duo Tiffany A. and Jared Greathouse as Helen and John, with Tiffany A. and Jared also co-directing and directing. Elise C. Hanson plays the nanny, with Elise Vaux as Cynthia. "We have all come together to love and care for this production as if it were our own baby and there is absolutely no question that we are proud parents indeed," writes Jared Greathouse on the Hive's Web site.

When • 8 p.m. Oct. 6-8

Where • The Sugar Space, 616 E. Wilmington Avenue (2200 South), Salt Lake City

Info • $10. Call 801-558-2556 or visit http://www.thesugarspace.com or http://www.TheHiveTheatre.blogspot.com for more information.

Another Book of Mormon musical

Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez aren't the only Mormon-themed musical writers, and for this show you don't need to book a flight to New York City. Thanks to Sherry Allred, the faithful and curious can enjoy an earnest take on The Book of Mormon with her new musical, "Nephi and the Sword of Laban." The cast boasts 41 "members," as the press release states, from Weber and Davis counties. Chase Petersen stars as Nephi.

When • 7 p.m. Oct. 4-8 with 1:30 p.m. matinee Oct. 8

Where • Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2439 Washington Blvd., Ogden

Tickets • $8-$10. Call 801-689-8700 or visit smithstix.com.

Runaway humor

The small English town of Merton-cum-Middlewick, circa the 1940s, succumbs to farce and confusion, while anticipating the scourge of a Nazi invasion, in Pleasant Grove Players' production of Philip King's "See How They Run." All the usual cast suspects necessary for the distinct tartness of British farce are here, including a Cockney maid, played by Tanika Little, a Russian espionage agent, played by Richard Dover, plus no less than two vicars, played by Chase Taylor and Steve Lindquist.

When • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7-24 with 3 p.m. matinee Oct. 22.

Where • Keith Christeson Theater, first floor of Pleasant Grove Library, 30 E. Center Street, Pleasant Grove.

Info • $7-$9. Call 801-922-4524 or visit http://pgplayers.com for more information.

How bigamist of you

One of Arthur Miller's curious late works, 1991's "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan," didn't exactly wow the critical establishment when it opened on Broadway in 2000. Maybe the subject matter, about the discovery, after a near-fatal car crash, that an insurance agent kept two wives, was too exhausting for audiences just recovering from a presidential sex scandal. Or maybe it was too vexing. Chances are good, however, that today's polygamy-hungry popular culture is primed and ready for an honest drama about why a man would want more than one better half. Westminster College's production is directed by Jared Larkin.

When • Oct. 6-8 and 13-15, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Dumke Student Theatre at Westminster College, 1840 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10. Call 801-832-2457 for more information.

Knights in white armor

Playwrights Paul and Patrick Gibbs wanted to craft a stage work in the feminist spirit and fight the tide of traditional gender roles, which prompted "Knight for a Day." Their tale of Princess Ariana is an adventure story set in medieval times, and takes a turn for heroics when Ariana decides she would rather don fighter's garb to help her father King Cedric than waste time with doll houses.

When • Oct. 7-29; 7 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, with 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 22.

Where • Draper Historic Theatre, 12366 S. 900 East, Draper

Tickets • $5-$9. Call 801-572-4144 or visit http://www.drapertheatre.org for more information.

Shakespeare's "golden tragedy"

The sparks of young love, generational strife and clan warfare burst into passionate and tragic flame in the Bard's best-known tragic romance, "Romeo and Juliet." This production by the Weber State University Department of Performing Arts, directed by Tracy Callahan, features modern touches, including structural steel incorporated into an Elizabethan set design and costumes that emphasize the split between young and old. The play is part of the university's 13-day long "WSU Celebrates Shakespeare" festival. The event features an Oct. 12 presentation by WSU counselors on suicide prevention titled "If Only Romeo and Juliet Had Received Counseling."

When • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, 8, 11-15, with 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 15. An American Sign Language interpretation will be offered for the Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m. performance. A free student-night performance will be offered 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11.

Where • Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, 1901 University Circle, Weber State University campus, Ogden

Tickets • $8-$11. Call 1-800-WSU-TIKS or 801-626-7886 for more information.

'WSU Celebrates Shakespeare'

In addition to WSU's Department of Performing Arts production of "Romeo and Juliet," (see previous note) the university will host a series of free lectures and films.

Events include • "Hobart Shakespeareans," director Mel Stuart's 2005 documentary film about Los Angeles inner-city grade school teacher Rafe Esquith's quest to bring Shakespeare to every student of his fifth-grade class, screens at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Wildcat Theater at the Shepherd Union Building.

Also • "Shakespeare Behind Bars," director Hank Rogerson's 2006 documentary chronicling the redemptive powers of Shakespeare's art among convicts compelled to act, screens 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5, at the Hetzel-Hoellein Room of WSU's Stewart Library.

When • Oct. 3-Oct. 15

Where • Wildcat Theater, Shepherd Union Building; Hetzel-Hoellein Room, WSU Stewart Library; Mezzanine Shepherd Union Building and Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts, all on Weber State University campus, 1901 University Circle, Ogden.

Info • Lectures and films are free to the public. Call 801-636-6431 for more information, or visit http://www.weber.edu.

Magic in the afternoon

Halloween seems to bring talk of magic, which seems to serve as a distant cousin delivering suspense and mystery to the scare season. Richard Hatch, a professional magician par excellence, reprises his family's signature "Matinee Enchantee: An Enchanting Afternoon of Magic and Music" Oct. 8, 2 p.m. at Logan's Thatcher Young Mansion. Rosemary Hatch provides violin music with piano accompaniment from their son, Richard. The music score features compositions by Bach, Saint-Saens and Bach with magic tricks by Vernon, Robert-Houdin, Hofzinser and others that span time and the world.

When • 2 p.m. Oct. 8

Where • The Thatcher Young Mansion, 35 W. 100 South, Logan

Info • $7-$12. Call 435-932-0017 or visit http://www.hatchacademy.com for more information.

Get your event listed here by contacting Ben Fulton at bfulton@sltrib.com or call 801-257-8608.

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