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Old Lyric Repertory Company Kicks Off 2014 Season

Friday, May. 23, 2014

Production photo from the Lyric Rep's 2013 musical 'The Drowsy Chaperone'

Camille Van Wagoner from last summer's season’s hit and audience favorite "The Drowsey Chaperone." In its 2014 season, the Lyric Rep will present two musicals, a farce and a serious drama at the Caine Lyric Theatre in downtown Logan.

Lyric Rep 2013 production of 'James and the Giant Peach'

This colorful photograph is from last summer's production for young people, "James and the Giant Peach," which was a collaborative effort with company actors and the young people in the intern and apprentice program.

The Old Lyric Repertory Company at Utah State University is back for summer 2014 with four live stage productions in Logan.

“The company performing at the Lyric has been a big part of the community since 1967,” said Dennis Hassan, co-artistic director of the Lyric Rep. “This season we have a great cast from across the country, a solid season of comedies and one significant drama.”

Opening this year’s season is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a musical comedy with book (script) by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. In the stage action, Pseudolus, a slave, attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. The musical takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested comedies of ancient Rome to the infectious energy of classic vaudeville.

Audiences can follow Pseudolus on his quest June 12-14, 28, July 2, 17, 24, 30 and Aug. 2. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is rated “Intermediate” for mild language.

“This is a nostalgic season for me,” said Richie Call, co-artistic director of the Lyric Rep. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was the first musical I acted in at USU in 2002.”

Next is Will Evans and Arthur Valentine’s spirited farce Tons of Money, opening June 19. In this tale, Aubrey Allington, a broke inventor, inherits tons of money only to find he won’t see a penny of it because of his massive debts. He hatches a brilliant scheme to fake his own death and resurface as a distant cousin, George, to claim the fortune and skip out on his creditors.

See Allington in the fight for his riches June 19-21, July 4, 12, 16, 25 and 31. Tons of Money is rated “Intermediate” for mild language.

W. Lee Daily, a long time company actor and perennial audience favorite returns to Logan for the Lyric Rep’s 2014 season.

“I’m excited to act in all the shows, but I love doing farces with the brilliant W. Vosco Call,” said Daily. “Tons of Money will be my favorite show this season.

“I like acting with the Lyric Rep because the company is small and you get the chance to know everyone,” Daily said. “I like the variety shows they do, I love Logan in the summer, and I love our adorable summer citizens.”

With this being the younger Calls first time involved administratively in the Lyric Rep as co-artistic director, the first thing he wanted to do was persuade Daily, who moved to California last year, to come back and act in the 2014 season, he said.

W. Vosco Call, founder of the Old Lyric Repertory Company, will direct Tons of Money for the second time at Caine Lyric Theatre. Current co-artistic director Richie Call remembers the play as being one of the first shows he saw at the Caine Lyric Theatre as a child.

“To this day, I’ve never laughed as hard as I did as when I was 11 watching this show in the back row of the theater with my grandpa,” said Richie. “Now I finally get to play the role that I watched then and, to top it off, my grandpa will be my director.”

Opening June 25, The Musical of Musicals, The Musical, parodies and pays homage to the styles of different musical theater composers, all dealing with the same classic melodrama plot. From Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim, the audience will see five versions of the same classic melodrama plot.  

With book by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart, music by Eric Rockell and lyrics by Joanne Boagart, this valentine to musical theater plays June 25-27, July 5, 18, 23, 26 and 29. The Musical of Musicals, The Musical is rated “Intermediate” for mild language.

“As I read this play, I couldn’t stop laughing,” said Hassan. “We have an extremely strong cast that must adapt to five different styles of singing and dancing.”

The fourth show of the season is The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance. The award-winning drama chronicles the true story of Dr. Frederick Treves and his patient John Merrick, who was first treated as a fairground freak because of his deformed body and later exploited more subtly by Victorian society. Under Treves’ care, Merrick evolves from an object of pity to a witty favorite of the aristocracy. But as Treves witnesses this change, he is forced to question himself, his motives and society in general.

The Elephant Man plays July 9-11, 19, 22 and Aug. 1. The Elephant Man is rated “Intermediate” for mild language and mature themes.

New this year, the Lyric Rep will offer four dates for “Dinner and a Show.” Those purchasing this option can enjoy dinner overlooking the river at Elements Restaurant with the Lyric Rep’s actors, directors and designers prior to curtain. “Dinner and a Show” features special presentations, discussions and interactions with the Rep’s artists.

“I’ve been teaching classes about the Lyric Rep to the summer citizens for the last few seasons, and the highlight for them has always been having dinner with the actors,” said Hassan. “It’s a great way to get people more involved with theater, and you don’t have to have tickets to the show the same night the dinner is scheduled.”

Individual dinners are $25 per person and the package of four is $20 per person. All dinners start at 5 p.m. Dinner for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is June 13, dinner for The Musical of Musicals, the Musical is June 27, dinner for The Elephant Man is July 11 and dinner for Tons of Money is July 25.

Home to the Lyric Rep is the Caine Lyric Theatre, located at 28 W. Center Street in downtown Logan. The company includes theater professionals and advanced university theater students.

In addition to its performances, the Rep also offers the Lyric Rep Intern and Apprentice Program, sponsored by a grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Each season select college-bound high school seniors and university students are invited to participate in the intensive program designed to provide hands-on, professional theater experiences. The interns work as actors and costume and stage technicians while working side by side with the professional staff at the Rep. Apprentices receive training in fundamentals of acting, participate in seminars and receive scene coaching by senior Lyric Rep members. For the 2014 season participants in the program come from as far away as Texas as well as throughout the Intermountain region.

Tickets for the 2014 Lyric Rep season performances are on sale now, featuring season tickets and a free tee shirt commemorating the 2014 season for Cache Valley residents with proof of zip code. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Caine College of the Arts Box Office in room 139-B of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s Logan campus, call 435-797-8022 or  see the college’s Production Services website.

Related links:

CCA Box Office

Old Lyric Repertory Company

USU Caine College of the Arts

Writer: Whitney Schulte, 435-797-9203,

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

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