Briefs: Theater, music and family fun

Family fun



From moon sand to alien slime, from the magic of dry ice to the mysteries of Area 51, the wonders of science inspire Saturday’s Family Fun Day at the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Themed “Science Is Awesome,” the Family Fun Day features a variety of hands-on educational stations offering activities in chemistry, biology and geology. There’s even an archaeological dig.

The event includes entry to the main museum and a 50 percent discount for the museum’s “Area 51: Myth or Reality” exhibit.

The Family Fun Day runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road.

Tickets are $15 for a family of five (with $6 admission for each additional person 7 and older); admission to the Area 51 exhibit is $3 per person with family admission during Saturday’s event. For more information, call 702-794-5151 or visit




Day by day, “Godspell” continues performances at the Onyx Theatre.

The 1971 musical — which enjoyed a 2011 Broadway revival — recounts the tale of Jesus and his disciples, using text from the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

The first big success for “Pippin” and “Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz , “Godspell” began as a master’s thesis project for John-Michael Tebelak , whose book uses a series of familiar parables to showcase such songs as “Day by Day” and “Light of the World.”

The Poor Richard’s Players production, presented in association with Off-Strip Productions, continues at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Onyx Theatre, 953 E. Sahara Ave.; additional performances are at 8 p.m. Aug. 15-17. For tickets ($25), call 702-732-7225 or go online to




As if six plays — three by the Bard himself — weren’t enough to keep Utah Shakespeare Festival patrons busy, the festival’s 21st annual New American Playwrights Project presents staged readings of three new works — followed by discussions involving playwrights, performers and audience members — through Aug. 30.

“The main objective of the New American Playwrights Project is to develop the Shakespeares of the future by workshopping new scripts with actors and directors from the festival’s summer company,” project director Chuck Metten says. “It’s great fun and very exciting to have living playwrights share the rehearsal and performance process with us.”

Kicking off this year’s lineup, chosen from hundreds of submissions, is Larry Parr’s “Shunned.” Rhett Guter (who plays the title role in this season’s “Peter and the Starcatcher”) plays an Amish man who, despite his strict upbringing, discovers he loves theater; Martin Kildare (alias “Twelve Angry Men’s” noble Juror No. 8) portrays his father.

Playwright Ed Morgan’s “Twenty Seven,” based on William Faulkner’s “Old Man,” focuses on a convict who rescues a young pregnant woman clinging to a tree during a 1927 Mississippi River flood. Cast members include Steve Wojtas (“King John’s” Philip the Bastard), Melisa Pereyra (“The Tempest’s” Miranda) and Roderick Peeples (who has notable roles in “King John,” “The Tempest” and “Twelve Angry Men”).

Rounding out the staged readings: Tom Cavanaugh ’s “Adam and Yoshi,” about the romance between a young lawyer and a woman who dresses like a superhero — and believes she’s from another planet. “Peter and the Starcatcher’s” Quinn Mattfeld , alias Black Stache, and Betsy Mugavero , who plays Molly Aster, take on the title roles.

“Shunned” will be presented Friday and Aug. 28; “Twenty Seven” is scheduled Aug. 15, 16 and 29, while “Adam and Yoshi” will be presented Aug. 22, 23 and 30.

All staged readings will take place at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium Theatre, 351 W. University Blvd., at the Southern Utah University in Cedar City, 2½ hours north of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. For tickets ($10), call 800-752-9849 or go online to




A few years ago, discordant chords disrupted the local barbershop scene, triggering a split in the local chapter of the national Barbershop Harmony Society.

But the two sides, reunited under the banner of the Silver Statesmen, are harmonizing once again — and demonstrating their musical talents Sunday afternoon at the Winchester Cultural Center.

A large men’s chorus and several barbershop quartets — including 95 North, the Far Western District 2012 Champion Quartet — will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Winchester center, 3130 McLeod Drive. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 on concert day; for more information, call 702-455-7340.


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