Author: russwarne

5th annual OFF THE MAP: Catch SECRET LIFE. Pass on MACBETH.

PROVO — Now in its 5th year, BYU’s international theatre festival, Off the Map, has imported an eclectic mix of productions: puppet theatre, an audience collaboration piece, and a Shakespeare adaptation. All give Utah audiences a taste of the diversity of worldwide modern theatre in the 21st century. The first week of Off the Map this year features The Secret Life of Suitcases and Macbeth, while The Fever opens February 1. The Secret Life of Suitcases Originating in Scotland, The Secret Life of Suitcases is an innovative puppetry show created by Ailie Cohen and Lewis Hetherington. The play tells the...

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Sneak away to Grassroots’s ROMEO & JULIET at SCERA

OREM — Romeo and Juliet are Shakespeare‘s famous “star-crossed lovers” whose whirlwind romance ends in tragedy. Their story is on stage again in Utah, thanks to the Grassroots Shakespeare Company and the SCERA. Unfortunately, just like the title characters’ romance, this production’s run is far too brief. I hope readers in Utah County will see this version of Romeo and Juliet before it closes on Saturday. Longtime UTBA readers know that Grassroots blends Renaissance-era and modern theatrical practices. The biggest difference between a Grassroots Shakespeare production and most modern productions is the lack of a director. Thankfully, Romeo and Juliet...

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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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Does singing show tunes fight off dementia? Maybe not.

On Twitter last month, two of my colleagues in the American Theatre Critics Association tweeted an article from the New York Daily News stating that singing musical theatre songs helped “stave off the effects of” Alzheimer’s disease. Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia: study — Frank Rizzo (@ShowRiz) November 25, 2017 Singing show tunes helps fight off dementia: study (But what does it do to the listeners?) — New York Theater (@NewYorkTheater) November 26, 2017 Sounds great, right? As an arts lover and a psychologist, I was intrigued, so I decided to click the link. It...

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“Watch What Happens” at Pioneer’s amazing NEWSIES

SALT LAKE CITY — For years fans have fallen in love with different versions of Newsies. But whether their favorite iteration of the story is the film, the Broadway production and its tour, or the recording of the stage version that is now available on Netflix, there is still plenty that is surprising (and delightful) in the current production of the stage version at Pioneer Theatre Company. Newsies tells the story of newsboys working in New York in 1899, as they scrape by on the pennies each day that they get from selling newspapers on the street. Their hand-to-mouth existence...

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