Mormon Miracle Pageant Opens Tomorrow
By Suzanne Dean
SALT LAKE CITY—More people around Utah should know more about the Mormon Miracle Pageant than in the past after a media blitz by Pageant leaders and selected cast members last week.
The Pageant representatives participated in the second annual “Media Day” on Tuesday, June 5, designed to pump up interest in the production, which opens its 52nd season tonight on Temple Hill in Manti.
Last year, Pageant leaders made the appearances. This year, “we involved the youth in that process, and it really freshened up the opportunity,” Milton Olsen, Pageant president, said.
In fact, so many media wanted the youth to appear that the visitors from Sanpete County had to divide into two groups.
Cody Alder of Ephraim, who plays Zrarahemnah, and Cambrya Cox of Ephraim, a dancer, went together to the Morning Show on KSL Radio with Brian Martin and Amanda Dickson.
They recorded two other interviews at KSL to be played later on TV news or public affairs programs.
Abrielle Hardy of Roy, who plays Mary Henshaw, one of the lead characters; Easton Cluff of Manti, who plays her husband, Robert Henshaw; and Andreanna Judd of Gunnison, a dancer; along with Olsen, appeared live on the Right Place Show on Fox Channel 13.
They also recorded a segment on the Channel 4 show, Good Things Utah, with Nicea DeGering. That segment was aired the next day.
Then members of the group recorded an interview with Rod Arquette, a talk show host at KNRS Radio (105.9). Olsen is not sure if the interview has aired yet.
For the past three years, the Pageant has also invited media to Manti to photograph and report from the dress rehearsal. On Tuesday, Olsen said he expected Channel 4 anchor Brian Carlson and possibly crews from two other TV stations.
As for preparations for the production, “in the broad scheme of things they’ve been going pretty well,” Olsen said Tuesday.
This year, Pageant leaders have stressed commitment to the cast and crew. They’ve talked about the importance of attending all rehearsals, attending the pre-performance devotionals, and remaining on the temple grounds for the whole duration of each performance, even when they aren’t on Temple Hill.
“I think we’re seeing them step up and do that,” Olsen said.
For the past years, groups have performed on a stage near the Family History Center each night before the Pageant has started. That’s not happening this year.
However, a group called the Pageant Show Choir, organized by Denise Hagemeister, the Pageant director, and consisting of teens and young adults, will perform nightly from 7-8 at Snow College. The choir will appear before LDS youth attending the Snow Fun program during the Pageant.
Besides the choir concerts, members of the Pageant presidency and youth from the cast will give short talks to Snow Fun participants.
The wild card in connection with the Pageant is always the weather. The forecast from tonight through next Tuesday, June 19, is for cloudy or overcast skies, but with little chance of rain.