Author: Maren Scriven

FEELING IN A MODERN WORLD satisfies at GSL Fringe

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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ONCE ON THIS ISLAND a strong debut for Creekside Theatre Fest

CEDAR HILLS — Once On This Island is a musical that is being produced as part of the new Creekside Theatre Fest in Cedar Hills. The show is a telling of a story of love between people of different worlds on an island in the Caribbean Sea. Originally on Broadway in the 1990’s, Once On This Island was written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The story follows a young woman and peasant named Ti Moune, as she is guided by four gods during a journey of finding and falling in love with someone of the rich French farming plantation, and the difficulties of this love. Creekside Theatre Festival’s production is performed in an amphitheater that sits on the bank of a creek, surrounded by trees. Patrons sit on the other side of the creek, and enjoy the lovely creek and stage and scenery. This was one of the best locations I have ever been to. There is no seating, so I would encourage bringing a blanket or chairs to sit on. Adding to the positively delightful atmosphere is the live music used in the production. Music director James Dalrymple put together a fabulous pit in order to provide live music rather than a canned recording, and this always adds to the theatrical experience. The musicians were not listed in the program, but I was impressed with each one of them...

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Come to ROCK OF AGES and ‘Feel the Noize’

OGDEN — The Ziegfeld’s latest production is the 2009 Broadway musical Rock of Ages. This production deals with adult themes, subject matter, and has suggestive language and dancing. The company is very careful to point this out on their website, and in all of the advertisement within the theatre. As I was in line to pick up my tickets, I observed the box office attendant explaining to a parent the play’s content before the person purchased tickets. I bring this up because I overheard some people at intermission express displeasure at the content and then leave. I commend the theater...

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Empress’s JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT does justice to an old favorite

MAGNA — It isn’t summer in Utah without a few productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Empress Theatre’s production happens to be the third review of this Andrew Lloyd Webber show that I have covered for Utah Theatre Bloggers Association. The story is loosely based on the Old Testament story of Joseph, the son of Jacob, and the betrayal of his brothers, his rise to power within the land of Egypt, and the eventual family reunion. The music is well known and catchy, and it is something that people of different ages all seem to enjoy. I put the Empress...

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