Author: Tara Nicole Haas

Indulge in Utah Rep’s Politically Savvy CABARET

Salt Lake City – “In here, life is beautiful.” The catchphrase of the Tony Award winning musical rang true as I was invited to my table by a couple of cabaret boys and given a drink. While interacting with the cast, with snacks and tea lights laid out before me, I was impressed with Utah Repertory Theater Company’s hospitality, and immediately felt immersed in the Kit Kat Club and ready to be entertained. Cabaret, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and a book by Joe Masteroff, takes place largely inside the sleazy Kit Kat Club in 1930’s...

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“Out There” at Tuacahn, see THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

IVINS – Finally joining Peter Pan and Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a strong addition to the classic tales on stage this season at Tuacahn Amphitheatre. Following the 1831 Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame tells the story of Quasimodo (played by Julian Decker), the bell ringer of the Notre Dame cathedral, and the gypsy temptress, Esmeralda (Summer Naomi). With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz featured in the 1996 Disney film (as well as new additions), the musical soars with an emotional score depicting the beautifully tragic story of love, desire,...

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Check out THE RENTAL at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Fest

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re looking for a lighter option than my Fringe recommendation in my previous review, The Rental may be the offering for you. Presented by The TwoFifteen Project, The Rental is a sweet and simple play that looks into the lives of four quirky friends the night before their college graduation. The gang comes together in the place they first met—the local video store—one last time before it closes. Written by Sierra DuCharme-Hansen and directed by Shawn Saunders, The Rental is chalk full of movie references, goofy humor, and friendship. Structured like a romantic comedy, the...

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ROUND² puts entangled lives on the GSL Fringe stage

SALT LAKE CITY —  Taking a deep look at relationships, human connection and sexuality, Round², written by JayC Stoddard, centers around four characters and how their lives interconnect. Directed by Bobby Cody and produced by Utah Repertory Theater Company, this intriguing story of sex, deception, and struggle captivated my attention and caused me to contemplate the ideas of basic human instinct, desires, and needs. In Round² a war “Vet” (played by JayC Stoddard) and “Girl” (Natalia Noble) spend the night together, but what was meant to be a casual hook-up becomes more as their stories unfold. Their lives become intertwined with “Husband” (John R. Belliston) and “Wife” (Ali Lente), when these two characters decide they want to participate in a sexual threesome with “Girl.” Husband and Wife are then forced to individually reexamine their marriage and what they truly want out of life. I was most impressed by the natural acting style embraced by all of the actors, as if I was simply viewing real people that in no way seemed like actors speaking scripted lines. Lente, as “Wife,” was genuine and sincere, demonstrating some of the truest of human emotions and complexity. As her relationship with “Girl” develops, I could see an awakening within her character that I found beautiful. Noble is equally as realistic in her role, bringing an abundance of humor to her charismatic but apathetic character. Belliston and Stoddard...

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Try SEX WITH STRANGERS for an intimate Fringe experience

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City’s current arts craze is the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival. In its second year, this impressive festival features one week of consistent theatre with 52 short plays. With all plays running under 90 minutes, it is a wonderful opportunity to see multiple shows back to back or throughout the day, and indulge in the quality theatre that the Utah arts community has to offer. Various theatre companies and groups have gathered from all over the state, as well as a couple from out of state, to participate in the festival. The fringe has...

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