Author: Amber Peck

Enjoy a stroll in the woods with the U.’s AS YOU LIKE IT

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s a popular theory that Shakespeare wrote As You Like It using elements he knew would be a hit with his audiences, and that it maybe wasn’t one of his more successful shows.  He even finishes the show with a speech from Rosalind about the mixed reception the play might have. And though the University of Utah’s current production has a great deal of strengths, I must say that I didn’t like it. The inconsistency in apparel was a major problem for me in this play. Costuming might not seem like a big deal, but attire can provide...

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9 CIRCLES is upsetting and necessary

OGDEN—Through the first three scenes of Weber State’s 9 Circles, I sat dreading the negative review I’d have to write. This script could be a winner, I thought, but the rigid, almost robotic delivery of the text was killing it, line by line. Even taking into consideration the speech pattern of military personnel, and the technical jargon of a lawyer/attorney, I could not justify the loud, overly annunciated recitation of each sentence by all four of the actors. But thankfully, the heavens opened and the lead actor became a regular (albeit mentally disturbed) human being, and his cast mates...

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Plan-B teaching kids thru RUFF! times

SALT LAKE CITY — Plan B Theatre Company will soon be touring elementary schools with their adorable new production Ruff, by Jennifer Nii. This play is a sweet and optimistic take on the sad circumstances of two shelter dogs. One dog has been abused, neglected, and abandoned over the years, and the other’s “Nana” has passed away. The two dogs are placed in the same kennel at the animal shelter, and as they share that space, they share a few lessons with each other, too.  I attended one of the performances at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival with my husband and...

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Pleased as punch by DROWSY CHAPERONE at Pickleville Playhouse

RICH COUNTY — With a title like The Drowsy Chaperone, and promotional material that generally features an armchair or a record player, I’ve never been that interested in attending this play. It was only because a review was requested, and because that request came from Pickleville Playhouse, that I decided to check it out. And from the quirky monologue that begins the show, to the casual snacking post-intermission, and all the way through the touching final number, I was so pleased that I had. In this play, written by Bob Martin and Don McKeller, I discovered that the iconic armchair lives...

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CHARLEY’S AUNT splitting sides and slapping knees in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY — As a theatre critic, there are moments when my fellow audience members laugh loudly, and I do not. Unfortunately, I am often too busy dissecting the elements of a play to fully experience what I should. So it was freeing for me to toss my head back and laugh at this year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival. Charley’s Aunt, written by Brandon Thomas and directed by David Ivers is full of puppy love, plotting, a lord in ladies’ clothes, and some outright lunacy. Ivers mentions in his director’s notes that Aaron Galligan-Stierle, a beloved actor at the festival,...

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