THEATER: Utah fest gearing up for anniversary

The annual Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah — a popular stop for locals — is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer, and it’s no surprise the folks there have conjured up a few celebratory ideas.

Select matinees during July and August (July 12, 20, 27 and Aug. 3, 11, 17, 23 and 31) will be priced at $15, if you snatch tickets up by June 15 (call 800-752-9849 and use the code "Family").

An exhibit of past posters and souvenir programs will line the Gerald R. Sherratt Library, along with a photo exhibit recalling the old days, and a rare first folio and two quarto editions of Shakespeare’s work on loan from the Folger Library.

Various costumes and renderings will decorate the Braithwaite Arts Gallery.

The Auditorium Theatre lobby will host decades of costumes, props and scenery.

The Iron County Visitors Center will demonstrate "the different elements that must come together for every production."

The Frontier Homestead State Park Museum will offer posters, stories, scenery, properties and photographs.

A complete schedule is available at

In addition to the activity in Cedar City, the festival has reason to keep a sharp eye on London. The musical version of Ken Ludwig’s farce "Lend Me a Tenor" — written by fest veterans Peter Sham and Brad Carroll — is set for a June 15 opening on the West End. It’s expected to result in an original cast recording.

Festival fans will recall that the show had its world premiere at the Shakespeare playhouse in 2007. Both Sham and Carroll were originally scheduled to be part of the 2011 Cedar City lineup, but it doesn’t seem anyone’s complaining that they chose to tend to their musical in London instead.

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