Author: christopher

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES at BYU is rumpled, but not in spirit

PROVO — Those familiar with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables and its many sequels know that the title character’s exuberant imagination always makes readers wonder what is coming next. BYU’s staging of Peter DeLaurier’s adaptation, directed by Teresa Dayley Love, made me wonder this too, but mostly because the number of scene changes gave me a lot of chances to consider the question. Fortunately, winning performances in the younger roles still shone through the cracks, allowing the guileless spirit of Montgomery’s characters to transcend the production’s choppy rhythm. Anne of Green Gables tells the story...

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A not so modern MILLIE at Terrace Plaza

WASHINGTON TERRACE — Thoroughly Modern Millie, the Tony Award-winning musical with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and a book by Scanlan and Richard Morris, is a modern adaptation that is still dragging its tap shoes in the past. To the first point, it’s part of the succession of movie-inspired musicals that has crowded New York marquees over the last couple of decades. Although this certainly wasn’t a new approach when Millie premiered on Broadway in 2002, it remains a (regrettably) trendy one. As for the second, there are fair questions to be asked about the show’s...

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A BRIGHT STAR indeed at Pioneer Theatre

SALT LAKE CITY — Audiences in this state will shortly have more than enough chances to see Bright Star. Local companies, recognizing the musical’s appeal to Utah patrons, will be quick to secure the performance rights as soon as they become available. Before long, it will be coming to a Hale Centre Theatre or arts council near you. But you will never again have the opportunity to see it like this. The national tour currently playing at Pioneer Theatre features the show’s radiant original star, Carmen Cusack, who is reprising her Tony-nominated role as Alice Murphy before saying farewell to the...

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UTBA reviewers sound off: EXCELLENCE IN 2017

With the end of the year upon us, it’s time for one of our favorite annual traditions: the UTBA post about excellence on the Utah stage in the past year! These shows are not necessarily the “best” Utah stage productions of the year. Rather, they are plays that stick out in our reviewers’ minds for various reasons. There are plenty of excellent productions that do not appear on this list, and most reviewers were forced to limit the number of plays they talked about. Excellent professional (Equity) productions Some day, Newsies might replace Joseph… as Utah’s favorite musical. The...

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SLAC’s 3 LITTLE PIGS is true, depending on your point of view

SALT LAKE CITY — If you have been or had a kid since 1989, you’re probably familiar with Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s children’s book The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, which retells the classic story from the wolf’s perspective. If you’re among the uninitiated, however, you might think of this musical adaptation by Paul Gilvary, Robert Kauzlaric, and William Rush like this: It’s a little bit Wicked, in its attempts to make moral ambiguities palatable enough for a younger crowd, and a little bit The Mystery of Edwin Drood, for its employment of both the show-within-a-show conceit and...

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