Author: Russell Warne

Are online theatre reviews as useful as traditional reviews?

How influential are online theatre reviews, like those that UTBA publishes? Do people actually choose whether to buy a ticket in response to an online play review? Are online critics “just bloggers,” or do they carry some weight with their readers and the public? Some of these questions are answered in a new study that I conducted with the help of my student co-author, Malisa M. Drake-Brooks (currently a student in the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Utah). Background In UTBA’s six and a half years in existence, I have heard anecdotal evidence of people...

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Make room for Utah Shakespeare Fest’s THE ODD COUPLE

CEDAR CITY — After being thrown out of the house by his wife, and with nowhere else to turn, Felix Unger moves in with his longtime friend, Oscar Madison. Before long, the fastidious Felix and the slob Oscar are at each other throats. Their disagreements form the plot of The Odd Couple, Neil Simon’s classic play that made him a household name. What makes the Utah Shakespeare Festival production different from most is the decision to have Festival co-artistic directors Brian Vaughn and David Ivers switch roles and play Felix and Oscar on opening nights. For the September 16...

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Direction makes HENRY V falter at the Utah Children’s Theatre

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Theatre is the most collaborative art; even the most basic shows require the creative input from several people. That is why it is remarkable when a production works. The contribution of just one designer, performer, or technical artist can sometimes make the difference in the success of a production. This was apparent in the Utah Children’s Theatre production of Henry V: despite the impressive efforts of some of the artists involved, essential aspects of this production fell short, and the play never crystalized into the show that it had the potential to be. One of...

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Be enter-tamed by Utah Childen’s Theatre’s TAMING OF THE SHREW

SOUTH SALT LAKE — I keep coming back to the Utah Children’s Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival for Kids and Adults with Short Attention Spans. Having reviewed this festival’s productions since 2013, I have to ask why I keep coming back. The answer is: productions like this year’s The Taming of the Shrew. The Taming of the Shrew, of course, is Shakespeare‘s story of Katherina, a disagreeable woman who must be married off before her highly sought after younger sister, Bianca, can marry. Several men pursue Bianca, but only Petruchio dares to woo Katherina. The result is a battle of wills between Petruchio...

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Utah Shakespeare Fest’s JULIUS CAESAR has nothing to fear

CEDAR CITY — It is a season of changes and transitions for the Utah Shakespeare Festival as they move into the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts. One of the facilities in this new complex is the Eileen and Allan Anes Studio Theatre. With so many changes in the air at the Festival, it is appropriate that the premiere production in this black box theater is Julius Caesar, a play about social change and political upheaval. Despite not being the title character, Brutus is the most prominent character in Julius Caesar. The play opens during the celebration of...

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