Author: Andrea Fife

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 Feldmen. 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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Intense reality in STREETLIGHT WOODPECKER

SALT LAKE CITY — As the streetlight glows above the fence, a chorus of crickets announces the coming of each night on Sam’s driveway. Adding to their rhythmic strains is a nearby woodpecker, senselessly banging his head against the metal streetlights of Philadelphia to send out his dominant call.  Benji, an injured war veteran with a purple heart and bronze star, has recently moved in with Sam, his previous living arrangements terminated by his father’s recent suicide. Sam’s driveway becomes audience to arguing, to memories, to frustration, to pain, to laughter, to sometimes giving up and then the inevitable...

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Something to celebrate at THE WEDDING SINGER

CEDAR CITY – Based on the classic 1990’s film by the same name, the musical version of The Wedding Singer tells the story of Robbie, lead singer in a wedding band who loses his faith in love after being left alone at the altar.  Robbie refuses to sing at the upcoming wedding of his coworker Julia, who is engaged to the successful and self absorbed Glen.  After they have spent some time together as friends, it becomes clear to everyone except Robbie and Julia that they are developing feelings for each other.  An upbeat soundtrack with music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by...

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