The Pioneer Theater Company, nearing the end of its 2021-2022 season, is ready to open one of Broadway’s most enduring hits, HELLO, DOLLY!. The iconic role of Dolly Levi will be played by Broadway star and award-winning TV host Paige Davis when it airs May 13-28.
But that’s not the only surprise Salt Lake’s professional regional theater has kept hidden under its hoop skirts. The brief role, in Act 2, of the JUDGE will be played by a rotating cast of some of Salt Lake City’s most notable leaders in county government, the administrative branch of the University of Utah, journalism, the business and legislature of the State of Utah.
DR. ANGELA DUNN, former state epidemiologist who is now executive director of Salt Lake County Health, takes her turn on stage with DR. MARTELL TEASLEY, acting senior vice president of academic affairs and dean of the University of Utah; BABS DELAY Principal Broker and Owner of Urban Utah Homes & Estates; State Senator LUZ ESCAMILLA; and Fox 13 reporter BEN WINSLOW.
Each guest artist will participate in three evenings and one morning. Dr. Teasley will open the race with appearances May 12-14; Dr. Dunn will be on stage May 16-18, including our Wednesday student matinee; Babs DeLay will take the shift from May 19-21, followed by Luz Escamilla from May 23-25, and the race will end with Ben Winslow from May 26-28 on the closing weekend.
“We thought the community would appreciate seeing some of its best-known and beloved members perform on stage, somewhat out of their element,” said PTC artistic director Karen Azenberg, who made the decision to choose the (especially!) novice actors. “I want to thank these very busy people who take the time of their lives to provide our customers with unexpected pleasure.”
DR. MARTELL L. TEASLEY (Judge, May 12-14) is acting senior vice president of academic affairs and provost after joining the University from the University as dean of the College of Social Work in 2017. Before d Obtaining a multitude of degrees, including a Doctor of Social Work, he served in the US Army for 10 years, participated as a licensed practical nurse in the First Persian War and attended the Drill Sergeant School. These things prepared him for a career as a production manager, not an actor, but you have to start somewhere, right?
DR. ANGELA DUNN (The Judge, May 16-18) is executive director and chief health officer for the Salt Lake County Health Department. Dr Dunn has no theater credits to his name, but has extensive TV experience, having starred in a weekly series last year called ‘The Covid Update’. She started her career as a sailor on an oil tanker, chipping paint and cleaning the deck en route to Valdez, Alaska, and probably by mid-2020, that must have looked like a pretty good job.
BABS DELAY (The Judge, May 19-21) is no newcomer to the scene. They replaced Roma Downey in the Broadway show, The Vagina Monologues, then produced/directed it in Utah for 20 years. Because all actors need a side hustle, Babs’ has been one of Salt Lake’s most successful real estate agents for 38 years, an even more impressive fact when you realize that includes years of giving away homes. on every street corner. Babs is a spouse, parent and grandfather of four grandchildren, as well as a lifelong Girl Scout…leaving us wanting Samoa.
SENATOR LUZ ESCAMILLA (Judge, May 23-25) is the first Latina elected to the Utah State Senate and the first immigrant elected to the Utah State Legislature. She is now in her fourth term and is the Senate Minority Whip. She’s on the boards of Primary Children’s Hospital, Days of ’47 Rodeo, the advisory board of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and the Hale Center Theater (but who put you on stage, huh?) Her acting background, other than on the floor of the Senate, consists of a Spanish-speaking theater group at the University of the University while in college and consuming Korean and Chinese dramas. So be careful; she can pull out a K-Pop track if she forgets her lines.
BEN WINSLOW (The Judge, May 26-28) was an on-air reporter for Fox 13 for more than ten years, winning a national Edward R. Murrow Award and honors from the Utah Broadcaster’s Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He worked as a part-time model during the pandemic, showcasing the latest PTC face masks. It has received more “Best of TV News” awards from Best of Utah than John Saltas can keep track of. This is Ben’s acting debut since he bombed the college theater, which is clearly the only thing he hasn’t been successful at.
For more information visit: https://pioneertheatre.org/