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Hale Centre Theatre opens new Sandy location with ‘Forever Plaid’

By Derrick Clements daily Herald - | Aug 31, 2017
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(From left) Cameron Garner, Sean Bishop, Chase Petersen and Scott Sackett star in “Forever Plaid” at Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy.

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A digital visualization is pictured of the new Sandy venue for the Hale Centre Theatre.

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Rendering of the new Hale Centre Theatre facility in Sandy facing southwest.

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Rendering of the new Hale Centre Theatre facility in Sandy facing northwest.

Utah theatergoers have seen the construction going on as they have driven up and down Interstate 15, but now they’ll get to see something from the inside of the new Hale Centre Theatre location in Sandy City.

“Forever Plaid” opens Friday at the Jewel Box Stage in Sandy, which features a first for Hale Centre Theatre: a mostly proscenium stage.

“It’s very intimate,” said “Forever Plaid” director Marilyn Montgomery. “The acoustics are phenomenal. Even without mics, when you’re in there, you can hear everything. It’s going to be quite a nice little theater for everyone.”

The Jewel Box is the smaller of the two new stages at the venue — the bigger one will open with “Aida” in November — but even the smaller one will be noticeably roomier than the West Valley City location.

“The other thing that they did, which is really nice, is the seats, they did an addition rise, on each row, of 6 inches,” Montgomery said. “And they also moved them back 6 inches, so you have 6 inches more leg room, and you aren’t behind anybody. Everybody is first row — you’re not having to lean one way or another to see anything. It’s a nice, nice space.”

Scott Sackett, who performs in one of the casts of “Forever Plaid,” said the new space is “incredible.”

“Last Saturday we got the chance to go and see the the space for the first time, and get kind of our first look at the stage and do some spacing stuff, and it’s incredible. It is an incredible, incredible facility.”

He said that as a performer, the space appears to be designed with him in mind, as well as audiences.

“You can tell as you look at things and as you’re walking around and as we look at the lighting stuff and everything that they have, you can just tell that it was built from the heart,” Sackett said. “It was something that has been in the works for a very long time, and they were very careful about it. They didn’t rush into any decisions or anything, they just planned it out, and it’s just an amazing facility. … I’ve never performed in a space like this before.”

As for the show itself, Montgomery said the show uses favorite preexisting tunes from a bygone era.

“It’s four singers,” she said. “And on the debut of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, they were traveling to do their own show, and were … hit by a busload of nuns, and were set into heaven or in between heaven, and were given an opportunity to perform the show that they never could.”

She also mentioned the humor in the show.

“It’s full of comedy, it’s really fun,” Montgomery said. “It’s refreshing. … The music is wonderful, and the four guys, it’s very, very tight harmony, and so it’s pretty difficult to do, and they execute it wonderfully.”

But more than anything, the music seems to be front and center.

“It was right on the cusp of turning into a different type of music, so that type of music, which is the choral music, we really don’t have anymore, that type of blend, and that kind of thing,” Montgomery said. “It was back (with) Perry Como, he was one of their idols.”

She said that all the actors cast in the show’s two casts do justice to the difficult musical material.

“Both casts are absolutely fantastic,” she said. “And I’m so proud of the complete show and what they are doing. I think that anybody who comes will have a wonderful time.”

FOREVER PLAID

What: Musical comedy written by Stuart Ross

When: Playing Friday through Nov. 15, nightly at 7:30 (except Sundays), with Saturday matinees at 12:30 and 4 p.m.

Where: The new Hale Centre Theatre, 9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy

Tickets: Tickets are $35-$39 for adults and $16-$18 for youth (K-12).

Info: (801) 984-9000, hct.org

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