UTBA reviewers sound off: EXCELLENCE IN 2014

December is full of annual traditions, and at UTBA our favorite is our yearly blog post about the excellence we saw on the Utah stage during the year. In 2014 UTBA reviewed 200 productions, which means we had plenty of great shows to choose from. Here are the plays that at the end of the […]

Difficult to adapt to this SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

CEDAR CITY — I have never adapted a novel into a stage production, but I imagine it must be a difficult process. Becausee most audiences aren’t interested in six plus hours in a theater, the content needs to be cut down significantly. So what ought to be included? What can the audience do without? And […]

New PRIDE & PREJUDICE at BYU exudes charm and wit

PROVO — There is something special about Pride and Prejudice. It seems to have a timeless resonance in our society and our personal lives. My sisters forced me to watch the five-hour A&E version when I was a doubting teenager. This proved advantageous, as my friends would write letters in code referring to others as their […]

Fall in love with Utah Rep’s I LOVE YOU BECAUSE

MURRAY — For years, both movies and television have romanticized the quest for true love in New York with classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and long running tv-shows like Friends. I Love You Because, playing in it’s Utah premiere at the Murray Theater, is Off-Broadway’s response to those cinematic success stories. The delightful score (composed by […]

PERSUASION feels like Austen to me

SALT LAKE CITY — I have a very good friend, named Jane, who once told me the story of an Anne Elliot.  There was a time when Anne was young and in love.  Her family was wealthy and her life was full of possibilities.  But the counsel and persuasion of her family made her doubt […]

Pioneer Theatre Company’s EMMA is a delight

SALT LAKE CITY — To begin, I must make a confession: though I am an avid Jane Austen reader, Emma is not my favorite Austen novel or character; she’s rich, spoiled, and she meddles in other people’s business. Austen herself said of Emma, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much […]

Jane Austen’s "Persuasion": Adaptation and Lost Love

PROVO — By definition an adaptation in something new created out of the original.  Some things will be lost, others gained.  Such is the case with Melissa Leilani Larson’s stage adaption of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, directed by Barta Lee Heiner, now playing at Brigham Young University’s Pardoe Theatre.  Austen’s novel has been condensed into a […]

Pride and Prejudice leaps from page to stage

CEDAR CITY — I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, having read all her books a few times and seen every popular film adaptation. I love her wit and humor. I love the romance and social commentary. I love the magic her words bring to everyday occurrences (well, “everyday,” by 19th century British standards). So I […]