Author: Andrea Fife

Some praise is due for RENT

MIDVALE — Making the short list of musicals ever awarded a Pulitzer Prize, Jonathan Larson’s Rent is designed to do so much more than entertain.  Rent could be described as a show about the lives of struggling young artists, about a bohemian lifestyle prevalent in New York’s Lower East Side, or about HIV/AIDS.  Those familiar with the music often feel a connection to individual moments of the score, finding meaning in phrases such as “Viva la vie boheme!” or “No day but today.”  But in its entirety, Rent is so much bigger than a sum of its parts.  Rent...

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LES MISERABLES SCHOOL EDITION is at the top of its class

RIVERTON — Following the journey of ex-convict Jean Valjean as he spends nineteen years making moral amends and evading his parole, Les Misérables is a tale of humanity set against the backdrop of a French uprising.  Wary of this abridged “school edition,” I attended Riverton Arts Council’s youth production expecting to be served Les Misérables Lite.  Instead, I got every bit of “shame, anger, sadness, hopelessness, pleasure, courage, and hope” which director Kim Ostler stated in her program notes she was hoping to display on the stage.  Although the show was performed entirely by students, they handled the adult themes expertly, owning...

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XANADU is a Grand creative experience

SALT LAKE CITY — Based on a failed movie with a great soundtrack, the stage production of Xanadu offers a simple plot with plenty of humor and production numbers around every corner.  Following the story of depressed artist Sonny Malone and the Muse assigned to inspire him, Xanadu is a fast-paced journey through rollerskates, Greek mythology, and a helping of 1980’s pop culture.  While poking fun at itself, the ’80s, and the whole of artistic creation, Xanadu ultimately shows a big helping of heart as it reveals its theme, which is that Xanadu is defined as the human experience...

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