IVINS — If you are a theater lover who is passionate about high-caliber performances, you will find what your looking for when SimonFest presents two crazy comedies Aug. 7-18 at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta.
According to a press release for the events, audiences at The Center for the Arts at Kayenta will be treated to two uproarious comedies starring some of the finest actors in our region: “I Hate Hamlet” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Southern Utah has no shortage of talented people and exceptional venues for people who thirst for great theater, and SimonFest (formerly The Neil Simon Festival) unfailingly delivers premium-quality productions.
“I Hate Hamlet” – Aug. 7-11
This witty Broadway parody pokes fun at Shakespeare himself.
Set in John Barrymore’s old apartment in New York City – the author’s real-life home at the time – the play follows successful television star Andrew Rally as he struggles with taking on the dream role of Hamlet while dealing with a girlfriend who is keeping a firm grip on her chastity.
Rally is also playing host to the ghost of John Barrymore, who has come back to Earth for the sole purpose of convincing Rally to play the part.
Real estate agent Felicia convinces Rally to stay in the apartment and hold a seance.
Barrymore proves to be very convincing (even challenging Andrew to a sword fight), and Andrew decides to play Hamlet. But when a Hollywood friend shows up, offering Andrew a new television role with a large salary and fame, Andrew is forced to choose between Shakespeare – whom his girlfriend loves – and television, where he is loved by millions.
The play stars Trevor Messenger – whose animated performance in last summer’s “Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike” had audiences laughing all night. He’s joined by SUU-trained actors Taylor Hall, Sceri Ivers, Maycee Ham and Lynn Hart.
“Little Shop of Horrors” – Aug. 14-18
This delectable sci-fi horror musical comes alive with an electrifying 1960s pop-rock score by legendary composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.
Seymour Krelborn is a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop who happens upon a strange plant that he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush at the shop. Little does he know that this strange plant will develop a soulful R&B voice, a potty mouth and an unquenchable thirst for human blood.
As Audrey II grows bigger and meaner, the carnivorous plant promises limitless fame and fortune to Seymour, as long as he continues providing a fresh supply of blood.
In the SimonFest production, Olivia Sham plays the role of Audrey. Sham has lent her formidable vocal talent to past SimonFest musicals and her impressive comedic gifts to her role as Nina in the Center’s “Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike.” Joining Sham are Joseph Price, Taylor Hall, Eliza Carpenter, Zane Brady and Devin Anderson.
- What: SimonFest featuring “I Hate Hamlet,” Aug. 7-11, and “Little Shop of Horrors,” Aug. 14-18, at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta.
- When: 7:30 p.m. nightly Wednesday through Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday, Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
- Where: Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.
- Cost: $30 ($10 for students). $50 for both SimonFest plays. Purchase tickets online or call the box office at 435-674-2787.
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