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Decker in full plumage

Published February 28, 2012 4:59 pm

Utah theater • Brighde Mullin's "Rare Bird" gets its world premiere at Babcock, with Utah actress in a many-feathered role.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The aging glamour queen is the stuff of drama legend, conjuring images of everyone from Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard" to Rosalind Russell as domineering stage mom Rose Hovick in "Gypsy."

Adding to the archetype, and in a world premiere production in our backyard no less, is Brighde Mullin's "Rare Bird." Esteemed Utah actress Anne Cullimore Decker plays the title role as Harriett, the "oldest living former showgirl" with feathered wardrobe that piques the interest of ornithologist Donald Kroodsma, and a purported fortune that has psychic and financial consultant Phoebe at her side.

It's all about one woman's coming-of-age crisis, it's all set in Las Vegas, and it's an entirely professional production staged to benefit scholarship funds and financial awards for students. Mullin, currently director off the master of professional writing program at the University of Southern California and studio professor at U.C. Santa Barbara's theater department, has seen her plays performed across the United States and in London.

"Rare Bird" is directed by Elizabeth Williamson, who's worked in the past at Theatre de la Jeune Lune Chicago's Steppenwolf. "I had admired Brighde's work for many years," Williamson said in press materials. "I loved ["Rare Bird"'s] wild beauty, and its unexpected humor."

Playing March 9-18, "Rare Bird" may be the best opportunity you have all year to catch a world-class world-premiere work, and benefit a great cause at the same time.

bfulton@sltrib.com

Twitter:@Artsalt

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"Rare Bird" world premiere with Anne Cullimore Decker at Babcock

When • March 9-11 and 14-18, 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees March 10 and 17.

Where • Babcock Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East on the lower level of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre on the University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City.

Tickets • $7.50-$20. Call 801-581-7100 or visit http://www.kingsburyhall.org for more information. —

"Rare Bird" world premiere with Anne Cullimore Decker at Babcock

When • March 9-11 and 14-18, 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees March 10 and 17.

Where • Babcock Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East on the lower level of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre on the University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City.

Tickets • $7.50-$20. Call 801-581-7100 or visit http://www.kingsburyhall.org for more information.