Author: Andrea Fife

ON GOLDEN POND fails to rise above the mundane

CEDAR CITY — Imagine sitting in a living room watching the mundane, everyday conversations that move a family through a typical summer. Such moments are easy to picture and are so familiar that they have become the iconic stuff of late night reruns.  But without a conscious storyboard to dictate conflict or climax, without an instrumental track to manipulate emotion, without sound effects to punctuate or a live studio audience to lull one into the comfortable act of laughing along, even the best scripted conversation runs the risk of becoming nothing but common. On Golden Pond takes place in the...

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A laid-back journey at HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY

CEDAR CITY — At only twenty-nine years old singer-songwriter Hank Williams died in a way sadly too familiar to the entertainment industry, an example of the dangerous combination of pain and success. Hank Williams: Lost Highway by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik features “The music and legend of Hank Williams” portrayed as a series of vignettes highlighting pivotal moments in his life and career and the observations of those closest to him. By his side in both life and on stage, Hank’s band members Hoss, Leon and Jimmy lend this production the legendary music that formed the bridge between the...

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Don’t miss a shot to see READY, FIRE, AIM—starring Juanito Bandito

GARDEN CITY — Inside an unassuming log cabin alongside the serenity of Bear Lake, Juanito Bandito, “the fastest gun in the West,” entertains locals and tourists alike as a Pickleville Playhouse staple. Although this season’s production Ready, Fire, Aim was certainly not the character’s first shootout, it was both my inaugural experience at this venue and my first introduction to The Bandito himself. In this installment, the sheriff’s attempt to execute the outlaw and his posse goes predictably awry as the thin story line and vapid characters manipulate the plot through a series of checkpoints established for jokes. But do not misunderstand my...

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Extra, extra! NEWSIES tour feels fresh & new!

SALT LAKE CITY — Last summer as I hit the open road with my three sons, I grabbed a long-neglected CD case full of my earliest collection of discs.  Nestled in among my favorite discs from high school and college lay a soundtrack featuring the music of Alan Menken and lyrics of Jack Feldman. As the original film choreography played across the stage of my mind, I realized in sudden horror that I had not yet introduced my children to Newsies, the 1992 film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White and directed by Kenny Ortega. I paused the songs, narrating the basic premise of...

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An animated history lesson in HEROES OF WORLD WAR II

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Heroes of World War II, an expository script by director and playwright Joanne Parker, offers a cursory overview of World War II tailored to and appropriate for elementary school audiences. Offering a bit of name recognition through the stories of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anne Frank, and Rosie the Riveter, as well as those of less famous but historically accurate characters, Heroes of World War II highlights the heroic contributions of soldiers, nurses, performers, leaders and the American, British, and German families affected by the atrocities of war.  Without delving too far into the complexities or the...

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