Author: Megan Crivello

SATURDAY’S VOYUER 2013 is somewhat stale at 35

SALT LAKE CITY — There is no denying that Salt Lake Acting Company has a winning formula with Saturday’s Voyeur. Not only has it become a season staple, but it has amassed an almost cult following that guarantees sold out houses and extended runs year after year. 2013 marks the 35th year of SLAC’s Voyeur, a burlesque-style satire about all things Utah that is known for its originality as well as its no-holds-barred irreverence. This year, Voyeur picks up where last year’s theme of “the Mormon Moment” left off: Election Day. The action is set on Temple Square in the...

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SHERLOCK HOLMES and the BLUE CARBUNCLE is a pleasant holiday exploit

SALT LAKE CITY — There is something both nostalgic and romantic about radio drama. The extra description in narration, the ever-present sound effects, trying to pick out different voices from the same actor; all are part of the incredibly intimate and personal experience of listening rather than seeing a theatrical performance. Plan-B Theatre Company once again brought modern performance and the retro format of radio together with Sherlock Holmes and the Blue Carbuncle, a one-night only live broadcast/performance in conjunction with KUER’s Radio West. Six previous episodes of this special event (called Radio Hour) have aired since 1995, mostly with spooky stories correlating with a run near Halloween. Carbuncle breaks the pattern with a Christmas themed story and a good deal of broad comedy. Based on a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, the story follows Holmes’ on a surprisingly low-stakes independent adventure. A police commissionaire discovers a large sapphire in a goose after finding both the goose and a tattered hat in the aftermath of a possible mugging. A large sapphire known as the Blue Carbuncle has coincidentally gone missing from a countess’s belongings just a few days before. With a puzzle to solve, Holmes is on the case and Watson is not far behind. Playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett has previously been challenged with condensing literary classics like Frankenstein and Alice in Wonderland into easily digestible fifty minute radio...

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LADY DAY hits strong, bittersweet note

SALT LAKE CITY — When I think of Billie Holiday, I think of black and white album covers, gardenias, and her incredibly distinctive and often imitated voice.  Pygmalion Productions’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill presents Holiday in full color and shows the very real and complicated woman behind that iconic voice.  Lanie Robertson’s script takes place near the end of Holiday’s career and is set in 1959 Philadelphia. The audience of the play is intended to be the crowd at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, so seating is cabaret style: round tables set up to resemble a speak-easy or slightly seedy club venue with votive candles and a light haze providing the appropriate ambiance. There was a small cash bar, too, which provides some fun authenticity to the experience, but did not steal attention from the small stage and the silver vintage microphone atop it. The simplicity of the set in conjunction with the seating created a wonderful sense of anticipation because I knew the piano off to one side and the microphone would be used for their actual purposes. It was also incredibly intimate, and I appreciated that change of pace from the typical theatre patron experience. The story starts with a snatch of overheard conversation, incomprehensible but sharp. The lights come up and the audience is welcomed by Jimmy Powers (Laikwan Waigwa-Stone). He briefly introduces Billie...

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VERNON GOD LITTLE provides little depth

SALT LAKE CITY — When I picked up my tickets to the University of Utah’s production of Vernon God Little, I had no idea what to expect. I had read the description about the play on the University’s website and learned that it was supposed to be a satirical look at aftermath of violence and the American media. I wasn’t sure how that was going to work, but I was willing to find out. When I took my seat, a pre-show was already in progress and appeared to be characters from the show participating in a karaoke night at the...

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HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH: Sex, drag and rock n’ rollicking fun

PARK CITY — Sometimes the word ‘revival’ when attached to a play can be synonymous with “been done before,” just like “re-boot” can mean “we fixed it.” Neither is true for Plan-B Theatre Company’s current production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. This is Plan-B’s third go at the cult favorite, with the previous incarnations in 2003 and 2005 being bold, popular offerings from the company. But this third time is definitely a charmer. If you are not familiar with Hedwig, you easily can be. Plan-B has always been innovative with marketing, often including Facebook  events and a weekly blog...

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