Utah Musical Theatre kicks off a new season June 17 at Peery’s Egyptian Theater (
The musical focuses on the cast members of a production of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” who mirror the characters they play.
“When you get right down to it, it’s about showbiz folks doing showbiz things,” said Bruce Cohen, the show’s director as well as UMT’s artistic and managing director. “It’s that universal, mythical theater experience.”
Unique to the UMT production are a few casting nuances. Cohen combined several parts into two characters, giving the production a third romantic couple to represent the audience’s point of view.
He also cast the two gangster parts, traditionally male roles, as women. Ginger Simons, who plays “first man,” enjoys the opportunity to play an unconventional female role. “It’s really fun,” she said. “We use our feminine powers as gangster women to get what we need, to harass people.”
Jessica Perry, who plays the other gangster, added that she was skeptical at first but has come around. “The play makes more sense now,” Perry said. “Maybe they should have been women originally.”
Both Simons and Perry are
“Kiss Me, Kate” opens June 17 at 7:30 p.m. and continues on June 18, 28, 30, and July 2, 6 and 8 at Peery’s Egyptian Theater. 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. Season subscriptions for the complete 2005 UMT season are available for $45.