Come Look at the Freaks in “Side Show”

The show is made up of an ensemble cast of talented actors, who go from playing side show freaks to reporters, vaudevillians, New York snobs, and an entire host of various roles. Each gave solid performances, regardless of where they were placed, and that gave the show a true repertory feel, which I guess is the whole point of Utah Rep. Continue reading

“The Cross and the Switchblade” is a moving story of hope and redemption

Parable Productions’ “The Cross and the Switchblade” is a story told in two parts. The first part is the story of Nicky Cruz, a Puerto Rican who grew up in an abusive and unloving home, surrounded by superstition and dark beliefs, who eventually became the leader of a notorious New York gang, the Mau Maus. Juxtaposing this is the story of Rev. David Wilkerson, a small-town Pennsylvania preacher who feels a calling to help the gangs and bring them to the love of Christ. Both of these stories are taken from the biographies of these two men, Cruz’s ”Run Baby Run” and Wilkerson’s “The Cross and the Switchblade”. Annie Fields’ adoption of these two works, combined with multi-media images and montages told with dance, gives us a both an entertaining and moving look into these two men’s lives. Lives that would eventually intersect and make both men stronger for it. Continue reading

The Lesson of The Scarlet Letter

As you walk into the Studio Theater at the Rose Wagner Center for the Performing Arts, as with any play done in a studio space, you expect to see the set subtly lit with the stage lights, but you expect it to be vacant with the actors hiding backstage or in the wings waiting for the show to start. That’s not the case with Plan-B’s THE SCARLET LETTER, by Jenifer Nii (Adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne). Yes, you see the set, subtly lit by the stage lights, but it’s not empty. Hester Prynne, played by Lauren Noll, stands defiantly at the top of the scaffold holding her baby bundled in a black cloth. Occasionally the baby cried or otherwise fussed, and she would attend to it. I heard one audience member say, “oh! She’s real” when Hester moved. Continue reading

Sunshine on a cloudy day

Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys is a look at the end of a career for a performer and what it means to him and his family. Willie (Ron Frederickson) has lived in denial about the end of his career ever since his partner, Al (Andrew Maizner), walked off their act decades before the play starts. Willie is bitter toward Al and his decision, but CBS wants to include them in a “History of Comedy” retrospective and reunite them for a single sketch. Willie refuses, but his nephew (and agent), Ben (Jeremy W. Chase), persuades him to go along with it. Al arrives and the results are hilarious as two stubborn old actors try to work together despite decades of bitterness. Continue reading

A Comedy of Shakespearean Proportions

What do you get when you take selections and characters from the works of William Shakepeare, 8 talented actors, the events of recent years (which, honestly, were fairly Shakespearean when you think about it), and a theatre company whose mission is to create unique and socially conscious theatre? You get Plan-B’s Lady Macbeth. Continue reading

Mama’s li’l baby loves Grey Gardens

Wasatch Theatre Company’s latest production, the musical Grey Gardens should not be missed! First off, it’s the Utah premiere of this award-winning musical that first performed on Broadway in 2006. Secondly, it’s based on the true story of Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis’ aunt and cousin. Two women, whom after an all-too brief life of privilege and fortune, find themselves living in a dilapidated mansion that is the home of hundreds of cats, and in conditions that were deemed, in 1972, “unfit for human living.” Finally, you need to see it because it’s GREAT, and a true tour-de-force for leading lady, Jennifer Perry Hughes. Continue reading

Review: I’m Not Rappaport

Herb Gardner’s iconic play about two New York octogenarians and their meetings on park bench is wonderfully brought to life in Holladay at what may very well be the last fully staged production from Holladay Arts Council. But what a great show to go out on. Continue reading

Review: An Ideal Husband

PSST! Hey guys… This is a great date show! Take your significant other, or even that cutie you’re currently interested in to this play. Why? The biggest reactions to this show on the night I saw it came from the ladies in the audience. Both laughs and cries. It’s a “chick” play, and you need to capitalize on it while there are still some performances left.
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