Author: Aubrey Warner

A fond farewell to HOLIDAY NIGHT LIVE at UVU

OREM — Holiday Night Live is a Saturday Night Live-style, holiday-themed sketch comedy show written and performed by some of the UVU’s funniest students. It features musical numbers, dance breaks, videos, and audience interaction. This year marks the tenth (yay!) and final (aww) production of HNL at UVU. And what a way to end a tradition! The program did not list the titles or authors of any of the sketches, so I have invented titles, and I assume that all sketches were written by Vincent Van Gogh because his face is on the poster. It was hard to narrow it...

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Not much to BEHOLD in ZEBULON

SALT LAKE CITY — Behold, Zebulon is a play about Molly, a shy woman who moves from suburban Ohio to a small town in North Carolina after a mild mental breakdown. Wiling away the lonely hours when her husband is at work, Molly walks through the town and meets all the kooky characters one would expect to find in the South. There is little substance to the script by Angus MacLachlan, and while the Westminster Players really put their hearts into the show, this production fell flat. There is only so much a director or cast can do with a loose...

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New musical BUMS! has promise

PROVO — Bums! is a new musical dramedy with book, music, and lyrics by local playwright Stephen Gashler. It’s about Edward Pibbles, a young accountant from New York who has an early midlife crisis in the weeks leading up to the stock market crash of 1929. When Edward becomes eligible for a raise at work, he suddenly begins to wonder whether this is the life he wants: Rhubarbra Thwackum, his fiancée, pressured him into this rather unfulfilling career; his boss has unreasonable expectations for him; his wedding is looming ever nearer (although his relationship with Rhubarbra is entirely unromantic); and he’s never had the chance to travel or pursue his dream of becoming a jazz musician. Edward begins spending time with the homeless who roam the streets of New York, forming a special relationship with Dirty Dan, the self-proclaimed “King of the Bums.” Dirty Dan urges Edward not to throw his life away, but with all of this pressure, Edward thinks it might be better to run off and start over, living his life in a teepee in the woods. When she finds out that Edward is considering quitting his job, Rhubarbra gives Edward an ultimatum: to settle down and marry her, or she walks. Things are further complicated when Edward’s boss, Mister Engerman, becomes paranoid that Edward is looking for a job at a new firm. Terrified of...

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Humdrum SHREK in Cottonwood Heights

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — It’s difficult to review community theatre fairly because the reviewer has to make concessions for the limitations of this sort of show: a company’s non-professional cast and crew, a small budget, and rehearsing in a borrowed space. But Cottonwood Heights’ production of Shrek begs the question, where should UTBA draw the line between a pleasant if under-resourced piece of theatre and a community roadshow? Shrek the Musical is a musical based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie of the same name. It follows everyone’s favorite ogre and his donkey cohort on a quest to rescue a princess from a dragon-guarded...

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Rough seas for THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE

PROVO — The Fisherman and His Wife is a participatory play written by Larry and Vivian Snipes. Based on the Grimms’ fairytale, it’s the story of a poor fisherman and his wife, Isabel, who is unhappy with their meager existence. Every day the fisherman goes out to the sea, and every day Isabel tends the garden, makes watery cabbage soup, and hopes that her husband will bring them a fish to eat. One day, the fisherman catches a talking fish who claims to be an enchanted prince. The fisherman sets him free, even though he knows Isabel will be...

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  • I watched Nunsense, when is was an off Broadway play in Grenwich village. It is a cute play!
    September 25, 2016 11:23 pm on It makes sense to see NUNSENSE at the SCERA
  • This production was hilarious! Such amazing talent!! YOu need to go!!
    September 24, 2016 11:23 am on It makes sense to see NUNSENSE at the SCERA
  • We saw this! Those ladies are incredibly talented!!! What great voices!!! And great acting. A lot of fun!!
    September 24, 2016 11:23 am on It makes sense to see NUNSENSE at the SCERA
  • Great review! Well done!
    September 23, 2016 2:23 am on It makes sense to see NUNSENSE at the SCERA
  • Nice review!
    September 22, 2016 10:23 am on It makes sense to see NUNSENSE at the SCERA
  • I very much enjoyed this unique, creative production. Check it out!
  • Maybe it's just because I notice it more now, but this year at the festival has been absolutely unbelievable in terms of costume design I've never seen so many shows where the costumes help tell the storybook well.
  • I have to say, I *LOVE* this costume design. Great way to bridge the past and the present. Also, the principle behind the costume design costume for this show is incredibly faithful to the way Shakespeare's actors would have costumed themselves. Brilliant work USF!
  • Everyone go see this!
  • I totally understand that having a large and varying group writing for you would have differing opinions-and it IS a big task. I can appreciate that. I'll have to see if I can remember specific shows I read things about... I would LOVE to share information about the scholarship. Do you have a link that gives me more info?
  • I apologize if I came off insulted. I'm not. I'm trying to elevate the discussion on Utah theatre and it's never going to be awesome unless more people do it. I'm sorry if I've offended, too. Yes, UTBA's reviews are inconsistent. It's a collection of volunteer patrons (with varying degrees of experience) writing about nearly every show that requests a reviewer. It's a monumental task. I'm sorry that you've read things you've felt were cruel. I would welcome a personal message so I can take a closer look at them. I'm not involved in the day-to-day or editorial content, but I can help. And please encourage UVU students to apply for our critical writing scholarship next year. It's judged by the three SLC-based Equity houses. I would love to see a Utah County student to win sometime.
  • I didn't mean to make it a personal attack. And yes, they can absolutely use some criticism, but I've read some pretty cruel things. And although not every show is good (we've all seen our fair share of terrible theatre) every production has something positive about it-because it is people making art. I am not a reviewer-nor do I plan to be, but as a professional and a consumer of theatre, if I read even a few reviews that have nothing good to say or seem poorly written, those reviews represent the whole. UTBA isn't the only review I'm disinclined to read-but for different reasons. I know some of the reviewers for UTBA, and respect their opinions immensely-but I have found it to be inconsistent. I apologize that you took this as a personal insult.
  • I've yet to see a review in Utah that levies personal attacks on artists. As for students I think it's valuable to receive criticism. Utah's negative reviews are pale when compared to the biting commentary on the national and international scenes. UTBA always welcomes readers that feel they would do better to apply and write for the site. And if they don't want to write for ours, then please start their own. More public discussion of theatre in Utah can only help.
  • Yes and no. You must be able to back up your opinion of a production with thought. You can't just hate it for no reason. I also really dislike when reviewer aggressively attack performers, particularly students, who are learning their craft for their performance. And sometimes they completely neglect to even mention design. All poor quality reviews in my humble opinion.
  • Oh, La. Every review/article out there is hit or miss for quality and bias. Take them as one patron's perspective. I believe every patron's opinion in my audience is worth hearing and receiving. I just have to remember to take praise with as many grains of salt that I do criticism.
  • :) I'll read it after Friday then...
  • It's very fair. But it might spoil the show for you if you haven't seen it yet ;)
  • Is it fair review? Their reviews are hit & miss for quality & bias so I usually won't read them.
  • I appreciate what you're trying to accomplish with The Fringe. And we received such great feedback from women who had suffered that I feel good about out attempts to shine the light. It's a revelation that the issues relating to women were ignored in a production that works so hard to bring them to light. Especially by a woman. It's also disconcerting to be seen as racially insensitive in our attempts to look at other issues in the text. Perhaps we took on too much for a one hour production. Hopefully, there will be women strengthened by our production though.
  • With our writers covering so many shows at Fringe we lowered the minimum word count down to just 300 (still more than many news outlets). Considering this is just one patron's perspective it might be worth seeking commentary on those themes from other patrons. There so many perspectives out there that ought to be heard.