Phs Presents ‘Sunrise Boulevard’

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If you liked the Payson High School Drama Department’s production of “Phantom of the Soap Opera,” you’ll love the play that opens tomorrow in the PHS Studio Theater.

“Sunrise Boulevard,” both a prequel and sequel to that popular play, will also appeal to mystery fans of all ages.

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A murder has been committed and TV reporters Rachel Converti (left) and Heather Williams (right) grill detective Randy Perham and assistant Jennifer Vandruff for answers in the PHS production of “Sunrise Boulevard.” The two-act whodunit opens Wednesday evening and runs through Saturday with a Friday afternoon matinee.

“This is a play about a TV family, and the mother is accused of killing her TV husband,” said Nicole Neff, a PHS senior who plays that mother Norma Dredful.

“While I was accused,” Neff said, “I was never indicted.”

Although a grand jury can’t find enough evidence to convict the star of “Leave It to Daddy,” the most popular family show of the early ’70s, the American public believes she’s guilty.

“At the beginning of this play, it’s 20 years ago, then the murder happens, and then there’s a time gap,” Neff said, explaining the prequel/sequel aspect. “During this time gap is when ‘Phantom of the Soap Opera’ happens, and then in the next scene it’s 20 years later, in the present day, and they’ve reopened the investigation.”

That gives Detective Digby Wright and his sidekick Eve Potter another crack at the case.

Can they bring Dredful to justice this time?

“I don’t want to give away the end,” Neff said.

What can be told is that PHS seniors Randy Perham and Jennifer Vandruff reprise their roles as Wright and Potter respectively in the play by Craig Sodaro, and that a cast of 17 PHS drama students will take to the stage for 7:30 p.m. performances Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, plus a 2 p.m. Friday matinee.

Besides the three leads, students appearing in the play include Ari Boyce, Jenny Cohen, Rachel Converti, Ryan Fanizza, Randall Gregg, Miko Hilgendorf, Jason Knoell, Lindsay Lashbrook, Rebecca Ross, Hillary Scott, Melissa Stoll, Natalie Turney, Rick Welker, and Heather Williams.

The PHS production of “Phantom of the Soap Opera” was selected to be a main stage play at the state thespian conference in Phoenix last year.

Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors, $1 for Renaissance cardholders, while thespians are free.

The Studio Theater is located behind the PHS auditorium.

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