Local playhouse plays up the spoofs

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If you expect to sit reverently in a theater, quietly observing the story before you, then The Desert Star Playhouse is not for you.

The Desert Star Playhouse, located in Murray, is known for using popular television shows and movies as the setting for its family-friendly entertainment and has held shows in the past with titles such as “Legally Brunette” and “Beverly Hillbillies 90210.” Their new show, “CSI: Provo: Decaffeinated DNA,” continues their spoofing trend.

This new production follows Gil Grimace, a science professor from UVU, who moonlights as a crime scene investigator for the Provo Police Department. During his search for a murderer he has to deal with romantic woes and his rivalry with an English professor from BYU.

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In “CSI: Provo: Decaffeinated DNA,” Gil Grimace (center) moonlights as a crime scene investigator for the Provo Police Department.
Jeff Jensen, who stars as Gil Grimace and has been with Desert Star for three years, said what sets the Desert Star Playhouse apart from other theaters is the unique interaction between actors and the audience.

“Desert Star thrives from getting the crowd involved in the show,” Jensen said. “The audience gets to boo and cheer as they react to what is happening on the stage. The actors themselves are encouraged to improvise and interact with the crowd. Actors will come down during the show with the audience and interact. It creates a really fun element.”

This isn’t the first time “CSI: Provo” has played at The Desert Star Playhouse. The show first debuted in 2005 and was so successful that it has been brought back by popular demand. Since then, the script has been updated to include more current jokes.

The Desert Star takes great pride in creating original content for their audiences, using local humor that you won’t see on any other stage. Liz Christensen, who has worked on and off for The Desert Star for 11 years, said the cast’s main devotion is to professionalism and originality.

“You won’t see our stuff on any other stage,” Christensen said.

Justin Berry does acting and graphic design work for the theater. He has been an employee since 2003 and plays the part of Detective Horacio Caruso, a character modeled after different personae on the TV show “CSI.” Berry awards the success of Desert Star to the inviting atmosphere the theater gives. The shows are written with every age-group in mind, with content that is geared toward both the young and old.

“It comes down to the fact that we are a family theater,” Berry said. “Kids can come, parents can come, grandparents can come and enjoy the show together as a family. It appeals to every generation, there is something for everybody.”

“CSI: Provo: Decaffeinated DNA” runs through March 24 with admission prices between $13.95 and $17.95. The Desert Star is at 4861 So. State St., Murray.

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