OGDEN, Utah – Utah Musical Theatre opens its third and final production of the 2005 season on July 22 with the world premiere of "Wicked City Blues."
Set in the 1940s, the musical follows the cast and crew of a radio theater program, and its production of a live mystery show featuring a private detective, a femme fatale, mobsters and a dead body. Included on stage are traditional 1940s radio sound effects performed live by Weber State University alumnus, Ibsen Santos, using props such as rice in a skillet to simulate the sound of rain.
"I think it's a fun piece in the traditional musical theater genre with enough modern complexity to make it interesting for audiences. It matches up very well with our Porter and Sondheim shows this season, and definitely holds its own" said Bruce Cohen, UMT artistic and managing director. "Part of the mission of regional theater is to help develop new work. That's why we went with a new musical."
The musical is the work of composer/librettist Norman Thalheimer and storywriter Cornell Christianson, who will both be in Ogden for the first full production of "Wicked City Blues." Thalheimer, who has composed for Broadway and currently has a show running in New York City, is pleased with UMT's production of the show.
"It's very satisfying to be at this point," he said. "It's nice to see it done in a way that I have only been able to envision up till now. It really comes to life."
Prior to the Ogden debut, "Wicked City Blues" had been put through workshops – or limited, work-in-progress versions – in Los Angeles in 2000 and New York City in 2003. The two writers have used those experiences to fine-tune the musical in preparation for its first full stage production.
"The audiences for the workshops have genuinely loved it," Thalheimer said. "I think the Utah audience will as well."
The show opens at 7:30 p.m. July 22 and continues on July 23, 28-30 and Aug. 4-6 at the Allred Theater in the Browning Center on the Weber State University Ogden campus. Individual tickets are $20 adults, $16 senior citizens and $10 WSU students. Tickets are available by calling (801) 626-8500 or (800) WSU-TIKS, or at the door one hour prior to the performance. For more information visit weber.edu/umt.
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