HCT Stages U.S. Premiere of “Zorro”

The Hale Center Theatre is currently staging the most elaborate production
they have ever attempted. Zorro features fire, illusion, sword fighting
stunts, flamenco dancing and Spanish guitarists for starters.

Executive Produce Sally Dietlein explains why Hale Center Theater is the
first theater in the nation to stage the new show.

Zorro runs through April 11.

HCT’s production of the musical, which has earned critical acclaim
following its debut on London’s West End and in subsequent productions in
10 countries to date, will feature dramatic effects, flamboyant sets and
costumes and a versatile cast of strong vocalists, dancers and athletes.
“Zorro” features music from the Gipsy Kings, authentic Flamenco dancing,
Spanish guitar, illusion, mystique and romance.

HCT’s set is designed around Zorro’s prominent themes of fire, flying and
magic. The HCT technical crew collaborated with pyrotechnics experts and
Las Vegas illusionists to design and develop sets, props and effects that
accentuate the musical’s strong story. This includes torches, fireballs,
flying and grand entrances with dramatic flames.

“‘Zorro’ requires a lot of spectacle and is pushing everything we are able to
do at HCT,” Technical Director Kacey Udy said. “While our production offers
something completely different from anything to ever grace a Utah stage,
our goal was to stay true to the story.”

HCT was granted the rights to “Zorro” after Executive Producer Sally
Dietlein approached John Gertz, president and founder of Zorro
Productions, who is responsible for development of the musical and has
collaborated with Stephen Spielberg on the two blockbuster “Zorro” films.
After visiting Utah and experiencing HCT’s production of “A Tale of Two
Cities” in March 2011, Gertz gave HCT the green light and began
collaborating on the premiere.

“It’s our ambition to go to Broadway and beyond,”Gertz said. “We’re
constantly improving the show. Producing it in the round — while it will be
very different from later productions — will provide us with the opportunity
to learn something new. I have been very impressed the Hale Centre
Theatre, their production quality and their attention to detail. I look forward
to ‘Zorro’ performing on their stage.”

Following HCT’s eight-week run of “Zorro,” the original London production
of the musical will play at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta and at the
Ahmanson in Los Angeles and will then embark on a 90-week tour
beginning in 2013, including a three-month stay on Broadway.

The following are more details regarding HCT’s production of “Zorro:”

The Story
The musical is a prequel to the events of the original Zorro story and
features numerous references to other works, including the 1998 film “The
Mask of Zorro” starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The
script, by Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson, is based on the 2005 mock
biography “Zorro,” written by Isabel Allende.

In “Zorro,” a young Diego runs from his responsibility of leadership in a Los
Angeles Spanish pueblo to the wilds of a Gypsy band in Spain in the early
1800s. There he learns to be a gypsy entertainer – full of magic and fire.
He is sought out to return home to save his father, home and the love of
his youth. Diego becomes Zorro.

Authentic Spanish music accentuates the gypsy themes throughout the
show. HCT’s production includes two live Flamenco guitarists and an
orchestration of the “Zorro” score, written by the Latin Grammy Award-
winning Gipsy Kings, who have also composed music for “Entourage,” “Toy
Story 3” and “The Big Lebowski.”

HCT’s “Zorro” features 300 ornate costume pieces that were handmade for
the production and inspired by paintings from 18th century artist Francisco
Goya. The costumes, which are all fireproof, were designed to complement
the effects on stage.

Cast and Crew

HCT’s “Zorro” is directed and choreographed by David Tinney, with
specialized Flamenco choreography by Solange Gomes, fight choreography
by Brad Schroeder and musical direction by Kelly DeHaan. The show stars
Casey Elliott and Derek Smith as Zorro, Preston Yates and Paul Cartwright
as Ramon, and Megan Heaps and Jacquelyne Jones as Luisa.

The musical features costume design by Tamara Clayton; hair and makeup
design by Trisha Ison; technical direction and scenic design by Kacey Udy;
lighting design by Michael Handley; assistant technical direction and sound
design by Dan Morgan; production assistance by Melanie Budge; and props
by Michelle Jensen.

Performances are Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with matinées
each Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. (no 12:30 p.m. performance on
March 31). Admission prices start at $26 for adults and $15 for children
ages 5-11. Tickets may be purchased online at www.halecentretheatre.org
via telephone at 801-984-9000 or at the Hale Centre Theatre box office,
3333 South Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, Utah.

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