There's something about falling in love that just draws people in. In Scott Bronson's romantic comedic play, “Dial Tones,” opening Friday, Jan. 28 at the Covey Center for the Arts, not only do his characters fall in love, but they also encounter quite the barriers along their amorous journey.
Performances will start at 7:30 pm Jan. 28-29, 31, Feb. 3-5, 7, 10-12, and 14, with a matinee on Saturday, Feb. 12, starting at 2 pm.
The show was conceived by Bronson, the artistic director of the Brinton Black Box Theatre at the Covey, from an article he read in “Readers' Digest” in the late 1970s. The article told the story of a pair of correspondents during pre-World War II — the man living in the U.S. and the woman in London. When World War II broke out, the man, a journalist, went to London to report on the war and to find his friend (with whom he was not romantically involved) but did not find her at her home. Shortly thereafter, the German Blitzkrieg hit London and in an investigation, she was found dead. The two never met.
Inspired by this tale, Bronson went to work on a modern, stage adaptation of the story when his wife, Lynne, the director of the current production, needed to produce a one-act play for a directing class at BYU in the 1980s. Bronson has since expanded the play to a full script.
The modern twist of the story, however, does not have any letters, Bronson said.
“The entire play is nothing but telephone calls,” Bronson said.
Bronson also changed the setting of the story to his hometown of San Diego in the 1980s, as well as the ending of the story, as there was no German Blitzkrieg in San Diego in the 1980s.
He declined an invitation to tell what impeded the relationship in the modern adaptation, however.
“You'll just have to come to find out,” he said.
The two main characters, Kelly and Hazel, are played by Brian Kocherhans and Jessica Myer, respectively. Bronson is also part of the cast, playing the telephone, which also plays Hazel's mother and Kelly's best friend, Daniel.
The telephone is actually an artificial intelligence, Bronson said, which sets up the two characters, unbeknownst to them.
Meyer said she was a little skeptical of the telephone being an artificial intelligence, but said she has found quite a strong connection with it.
“I love the telephone's character,” Meyer said. “The telephone feels things that are totally new to him and has to analyze what is he's feeling. Sometimes we as people feel things and don't really know why.”
Meyer said Bronson's writing was what made the telephone's character work.
“Scott's a really great writer,” she said. “When I read the script, I was like 'Oh, I get it!'”
Meyer also said Bronson keeps the script rather engaging.
“It has a really nice flow to it,” she said. “You don't have time to get bored with it; it can go from being really fun to being really dramatic and emotional.”
Scott Bronson said being a member of the cast has been interesting, as he has typically been the director of the show in past productions.
“It's amazing that you can find out things about your own writing you didn't think you knew,” he said.
His views on love have even changed as a result of these newfound insights, he said.
“Romance is a bigger deal than you think it is,” Bronson said.
Tickets for “Dial Tones” are $10 and may be purchased in person at the Covey Center Box Office, located at 425 W. Center St. Provo; online at www.coveycenter.org
The Covey Center for the Arts is Provo's quintessential venue for the fine arts, offering two art galleries, three dance studios, one small black box theatre, and a 670- seat state- of- the- art performance hall. Housed in a beautiful building of 42,000 square feet, the performance hall features a first-class sound system, a 75- foot fly system, a full theatrical lighting system and a full orchestra pit. And to enhance audience members' experience, no seat is more than a measly 60 feet away from the stage. The Covey Center been honored to host world- renowned guest artists on their main stage, including Rockapella, The Beach Boys and STOMP. The Covey Center opened in 2007 and has continually served both local and national artists since.
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