Author: Maren Scriven

HCT’s SISTER ACT is “Fabulous, Baby!”

WEST VALLEY CITY — Like any musical loving kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, I loved the movie Sister Act when it came out. Being a Mormon girl from Utah, my understanding of nuns seemed to be limited to various musical endeavors, so it was not too difficult for me to buy into the idea of nuns suddenly forming a popular gospel choir. So when Alan Menken and Glenn Slater decided to write songs for a stage adaption of the story, I assumed it would be a fun show. However, I had never had the chance to see the...

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All aboard for Pioneer Theatre’s THE LAST SHIP

SALT LAKE CITY — The Last Ship is a 2014 musical with music and lyrics written by Sting, and a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey. The Pioneer Theatre Company marks the first performance of the show after closing on Broadway. Director Karen Azenberg has worked closely with these creators to develop this production, making changes from the original to develop the show into the production they all envisioned. The plot follows a small town in northern England that has been mainly a ship building town as the shipyard closes and the families are faced with losing their professions...

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Drag yourself to Ziegfeld’s LA CAGE AUX FOLLES

OGDEN — The Ziegfeld Theater has shown with past productions its ability to take on interesting material and make it right for the Ogden audience. This production of La Cage Aux Folles, directed by Morgan Parry, is no exception. La Cage Aux Folles is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Harvey Fierstein. It is the only musical to have won the Best Musical Tony Award for the Original Broadway Production, plus two Best Revival Tony Awards. The story is of a couple, Albin and Georges, a drag queen and a showman, who have been...

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Heart: Feeling in a Modern World, is a new play presented the last two weeks at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival. It was a new style of one-man theatre for me, described by actor Kaltin Kirby as “verbatim theatre.” The show is based upon interviews of various individuals who were asked certain questions regarding emotions, and their answers are presented as they were give, with all the nuances and idiosyncrasies of each interviewee preserved in the original form, which Kirby attempted to recreate as a different character on stage. Director Paul Chaus and Kirby put together an authentic look at how people interpret their own emotions and what it tells us about the character and understanding of each person. Kirby is an intriguing performer, and has a good command of becoming a different character at a moment’s notice, an essential skill for a one person show. However, there were technically difficulties during the evening that made the show difficult to follow. Each of the questions that were asked had been played over a computer speaker, and only some of the questions were audible enough to be understood. This made it difficult to understand the characterization that Kirby was trying to portray, or why the answers or stories being told had any relevance. Additionally, while the idea of changing a bit of costuming with each character has some...

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Find new life in a new play: ONE SELF

SALT LAKE CITY — As a novice to the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, I was very interested to see what this experience would be like. As I usually do when I attend plays, I hoped for a theatrical experience that would be new and thought provoking. My hopes were fulfilled when I attended One Self, a new play by Taylor Jack Nelson and masterfully directed by Kacey Spadafora. One Self tells the story of a woman (played by Hannah Scharman) as she interacts with a newly created artificial intelligence. The fascination of looking at life and experience as it is newly created and...

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