Author: Kat Webb

Strong cast buoys Grassroots’s ANTONY & CLEOPATRA

PROVO — Antony and Cleopatra, as penned by William Shakespeare, stands as one of his lesser-performed tragedies of star-crossed lovers. As Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra distracts one of the triumvirs of Rome, Antony, from his duties. The two bask in their love, a seemingly endless parade of drunken revelries. However, without Antony present, Rome’s political state begins to suffer, prompting resentment from his wife and the people. His wife dies, but Antony still returns to Rome to resume his stately duties. There, he and Octavius Caesar (another triumvir) decide that Antony marrying Caesar’s sister will fix their shaky alliance. Antony...

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DANCING AT LUGHNASA provides an intimate family portrait

HIGHLAND — Dancing at Lughnasa, by Brian Friel, shows the events of one month in the Irish Mundy household, which consists of five impoverished, unmarried sisters living together and keeping house together in the countryside. The story is told as remembered by the bastard child of Christine Mundy, Michael. His recollections make up the vast part of their story of a group of women banding together as they try to forge a home in their community and reconcile their personality differences. I was most impressed by the co-directors’ (M. Chase and Brooke Grant) ability to foster a tight sense of...

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Orem Hale creates an intimate production of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

OREM — The Diary of Anne Frank remains a staple in modern literature, the personal thoughts and feelings of a young Jewish teenager during the Holocaust striking and resounding against a backdrop of Nazi facism. I remember reading the book in high school and being impressed that a simple teenager could have recorded the world while preserving the energy of the around her. The nuances of her storytelling capture a slice of life, not necessarily honed in on the horrors of Nazism, but the day-to-day happenings of her family. A balance of personal and political, her writing manages to serve...

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A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG is a striking premiere

PROVO — I am always curious at the foundation of new theater companies: what niche they seek to fill in their locales and what stories they seek to tell. Most theatre companies are a result of an honest endeavor to bring something new to the masses. Happy Accidents Theater Company, a brand new troupe to the Utah Valley theatre scene, seeks to perform “honest stories presented in spaces that contribute to the performance and the overall experience of the audience.” And what a punch they packed with A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. The piece is an unconventional one, unusual for...

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YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU charms and delights

OREM — There’s something warming in rediscovering an old love, in remembering things once lost. I recall days spent in my youth, curled up with a mug of hot chocolate, and listening to old-time radio shows like Fathers Knows Best, complete with little advertisement jingles for Ovaltine, and family-centric melodrama. Voice actors with a caricatured charm acted out stories that lulled me off to sleep.  These were the quintessentially happy moments of my childhood; the carefree, comforting charm of listening to radio shows eclipsed many alternatives. From the first moment I entered the theater to see You Can’t Take It With You,...

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