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Stage: A Neil LaBute 'Bash,' and Springville's 'On Golden Pond.'
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

'Monsterheart' reading at SLAC

As Kathleen Cahill's hilarious "Course 86B in the Catalogue" runs at Salt Lake Acting Company, the playwright's new work will receive a staged reading on Monday. A horror story onstage, Cahill's "Monsterheart" charts a Thanksgiving Day in Encino, Calif., amid bad weather, while protagonist Poppy hungers for family connections in a big, spooked-out and foreclosed house. Alexandra Harbold directs a cast including Cheryl Gaysunas, Jacob Johnson, Deena Marie Manzanares, Amanda Maylett, Nicki Nixon, Nick O'Donnell, Zack Phifer and Barbara Smith.

When • Monday, April 30, 7 p.m.

Where • Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City

Info • Free, but limited general admission tickets distributed one hour before the production. Call 801-363-7522 or visit http://www.saltlakeactingcompany.org.

Neil Simon's 'Chapter Two'

Neil Simon's play about widower and writer George Schneider's second chance at love after his brother Leo sets him up with one Jennie Malone comes to Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center courtesy of Wasatch Theatre Company. Lane Richens directs; the cast includes Michelle Linn Hall, David Hanson, J.J. Peeler and Brian Pilling.

When • May 3-19, 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees May 12 and 19

Where • Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $15. Call 801-355-2787 or visit http://www.wasatchtheatre.org or http://www.arttix.org for more information.

'Blithe Spirit' at the Empress Theatre

Charles and his second wife, Ruth, are haunted by the ghost of his first wife in this play adapted from a play by Noel Coward.

When • May 4-26, 7:30 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. matinee May 26

Where • Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna

Tickets • $9-$12. Call 801-347-7373 or visit http://www.empresstheatre.com for more information.

'On Golden Pond' in Springville

Never mind that fact that "On Golden Pond" hit movie theaters in 1981 starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. The love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer that this drama remains one of the greats — so much so that even today, when Ethel talks about taking Norman "down to the old town road" to remember it all, there's hardly a dry eye in the audience. Springville's Little Brown Theatre also aims to remind us that Earnest Thompson's play is also a fine comedy. This year's production features three actors from the company's 2004 production: Bonnie Pence as Ethel Thayer, Bill Brown as Norman Thayer and Kaye Fugal-Arnold as Chelsea. Tristan Gritton as Billy, Jamie Gritton as Bill and Dane Allred as Charlie complete the cast. "Each of us can see a bit of ourselves in the characters in this play," said Brown in press materials. "It is [about] what we all do for the ones we love. We rally and encourage."

When • May 4-21, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Little Brown Theatre, 248 S. Main, Springville

Tickets • $8-$10. Call 801-602-0478 or visit http://www.littlebrowntheatre.com for more information.

'Taming of the Shrew' at Draper Theatre

William Shakespeare's comedic romp on the war of the sexes and the recipe for a perfect marriage, long derided by feminists but beloved by most audiences, takes the stage at Draper Historic Theatre.

When • May 4-12, 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinee May 5

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

Tickets • $7-$10. Call 801-842-6292 or visit http://www.unipac150.org for more information.

Drama by the Pinter

Fresh off a wonderful production of "Educating Rita," Pinnacle Acting Company presents "Betrayal," Harold Pinter's drama of "an affair told backwards." Don't let the unusual angle of the story line fool you, as several critics have called it perhaps the most accessible of the famed playwright's works. Alexandra Harold directs.

When • May 3-12, 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees May 5, 6 and 12

Where • Midvale Performing Arts Center, 695 W. Center St. (7720 South), Midvale

Tickets • $13-$15. Call 801-380-4987 or visit http://www.pinnacleactingcompany.org for more information.

Holladay Arts takes on LaBute's dark vision

"Bash: Latter-Day Plays," a trio of monologue performances with lowercase titles in the darkest of dramatic veins, isn't the sort of theater you want for a first date. But it is the sort of theater that's bound to start more than one debate. It all kicks off with "iphigenia in orem," about a man who suffocates his daughter after the slightest of workplace rumors that he might lose his job. In the second installment, "a gaggle of saints," we watch as the young couple John and Sue move through the motions of engagement all without speaking to one another, and only after John helps beat a gay man to death in Central Park. Finally, in "medea redux," we hear from a young woman who relates a sexual relationship with her high-school teacher, which caused her to bear a child. Years later, now that he's married to someone else, she visits his home to tell of how she murdered their child. Mini-dramas of infanticide and gay bashing aren't everyone's cup of tea, but neither is Neil LaBute. If your tastes tend toward the dark and difficult, get a cup of coffee with your date afterward so you can debate LaBute's bleak take on human motivations.

When • May 4-11, 7 p.m.

Where • Holladay City Hall's Big Cottonwood Room, 4580 S. 2300 East, Holladay

Info • $5-$10. Call 801-953-3250 or visit http://www.holladayarts.com

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

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