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story.lead_photo.caption Jessi Green and Keith Enloe perform a powerful scene from “Other Desert Cities” during rehearsal at Scene One Theatre on Jan. 14. Ken Barnes/News Tribune

Scene One Theatre is starting 2020 with a dramatic production that may hit "close to home" for audiences.

"Other Desert Cities" opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Scene One Theatre. The show centers on Brooke Wyeth, who returns home to Palm Springs after six years to celebrate Christmas with her family. When she announces she is planning to publish a memoir that deals with a tragic event in the family's history, old secrets are brought to the surface.

Director Mary Jo LaCorte said the show deals with themes that are relevant today, including political divisions within the family, and noted it takes place after the attacks of Sept. 11.

"It brings to light a lot of things that are going on right now," LaCorte said. "It hits close to home for a lot of people. There's a lot of shame in it that comes out."

LaCorte said the cast and crew have been preparing for about five weeks, making a short turnaround for a full show. She said the cast did a read-through early on, but they've found they find new aspects to the show with each rehearsal.

"It just keeps getting richer and richer," she said. "I would expect that some people who are real theater-goers will want to come two times, it's that rich."

The black box theater setting within Scene One should help audiences be fully immersed in the performance, LaCorte said, noting the show is a bit heavy, but completely worthwhile — especially when it comes to the ending.

"The ending is well worth the trip," LaCorte said.

"Other Desert Cities" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today through Sunday and Jan.30-Feb. 1 at Scene One Theatre, 623 Ohio St. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and Shrunken Head Tropical Lounge will be on site to provide tropical drinks. Tickets are available for $15. To purchase tickets, email [email protected] or call 573-635-6713.

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