Author: kwebb

Feel “Top of the World” at Hale Centre’s HUNCHBACK

SANDY — The Hunchback of Notre Dame, created by the team of Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, and Peter Parnell, rings in a triumphant entrance at Hale Centre Theatre. The tale borrows from elements of both the popular Disney film and Victor Hugo’s original novel, toeing the line between gothic sobriety and Disney gaiety. Set in 1492 in Notre Dame, the play follows the story of two brothers: Jehan and Claude Frollo. While Claude prefers a more pious pursuit, Jehan enjoys the temptations Paris has to offer, ultimately leading him to run off with a gypsy woman. Illness takes the lives...

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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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‘Planet’ to see SLAC’s MERCURY as swiftly as you can

SALT LAKE CITY — Mercury, by Steve Yockey, is an absolute curiosity in the best of ways. I had no idea what I was about to get into when I entered the Salt Lake Acting Company‘s theater, but by the time I left, I wanted a repeat performance. Three separate stories intersect in a delightfully dark comedy, due to the negative effects of Mercury in retrograde. The first story revolves around two unhappy housewives that had previously sought satisfaction with each other in an illicit affair. When Heather (Brighton Hertford) decides it is time to stop, however, and return...

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Yeehaw! Sundance’s JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT is a fun hootenanny

SUNDANCE — I’ve never quite understood the phenomenon behind Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. While Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s music and Tim Rice‘s lyrics are catchy, the show always felt as more of a musical revue and less a cohesive narrative to me. There aren’t any real peaks or valleys in the story, and there isn’t much dramatic tension. Joseph is a lot of flash and not a lot of substance. Despite personal preference, I remained invested in the technical value of this show. There is no shortages of productions of Joseph within Utah, but fans of this musical are...

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No wobbly land legs for Herriman’s THE LITTLE MERMAID

HERRIMAN — We all know the Disney version of The Little Mermaid. A young girl finds unhappiness in her sheltered life below the seas, wishing to know more about the humans that live above. Her father expressly forbids any contact with humans, which only prompts the teenaged Ariel to seek the humans out more. When she helps the handsome Prince Eric escape a watery grave, Ariel decides to enlist the help of the crafty sea-witch Ursula to exchange her fins for legs, and strikes a bargain: get Eric to kiss her within three days, or lose her soul. The only...

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