The Empress’s BIG: THE MUSICAL has a big heart and shows great community spirit

It’s sometimes difficult to offer a review or critique of a community theater production when a community comes together and … Continue reading


Anyone who hasn’t made the trek to downtown Magna to visit the Historic Empress Theatre (nearly 100 years old) will be pleasantly surprised with this little community theatre tucked in the heart of the quaint town next to the Copper Mines. The Empress is the true essence of “community theatre”. Full of heart and a staff of volunteers made up of locals and natives of the area that love their little theatre. The Empress operates on a shoestring budget and this limits a lot of the technical capabilities, costuming, etc. But the many volunteers compensate for this with late hours and sacrifice to pull off ambitious shows with their limited resources. Continue reading

The Best Halloween Show in Utah goes to Skye’s the Limit Productions’ “Sweeney Todd”

If you get to see one show this month, this is the perfect one for Halloween. It is a well written script with phenomenal music and performed with talented actors and good directing. In spite of all the slit throats and disturbing subject matter, there is also a solid moral lesson in “Sweeney Todd”. It teaches what path vengeance and revenge will ultimately lead to and how it can consume and destroy one’s soul. This beats a haunted house any day! Continue reading

This is NOT the moment for Dark Horse Company Theatre’s “Jekyll and Hyde”

If you are in the mood for a dark musical just in time for Halloween this may be a good choice. “Jekyll and Hyde” is a challenging undertaking for many reasons… In order for “Jekyll and Hyde” to be successful two things must be present: very strong directing and detailed choices to compensate for the lacking material, and a strong dimensional actor playing Dr. Jekyll. Unfortunately this production was not up for the challenge and failed on both accounts… Continue reading

Around the Globe Theatre Company’s “Bob Juan Casanova”, an edgy new play, benefits from strong acting and directing

It’s always enjoyable to attend a new work that is homegrown right here in Utah. “Bob Juan Casanova” is a “provocative new play” written by Robert A Easton that is presented from the perspective of Bob, a single guy living in Utah that isn’t Mormon, and his struggle to find love. Such references as “Miss Magna”, Mormon culture, Utah State University, Cache Valley, and the Sundance Film Festival all serve as influences in the writing and make this show easily relatable in a unique way to Utah audiences. Continue reading

Springville Playhouse’s You Can’t Take it With You…passable but not impressive

I say that this performance was “passable but not impressive.” And let me explain. The lines were all memorized, no obvious missed lines or mishaps, and the actors were well rehearsed. The set, constructed by Mark Taggart, was excellent; it was very well designed with lots of levels, props and color. The props added some nice comedic moments such as having a skull shaped candy jar and a Hawaiian Tiki as the pencil container. The stage space was well utilized by the actors and the director, Robin Booth, did a nice job with blocking and creating pictures and variety. The technical aspects went fairly smoothly—the microphones were generally working, and light cues and sound cues were all on. And the costumes, wigs, hairstyles, makeup were carefully done with historical accuracy which enhanced the production. So it passed. But for me, this is only the beginning. Continue reading

Syracuse City Art Council’s “Into the Woods” shows great community spirit

In reviewing this particular production of “Into the Woods,” it was apparent that the majority of the actors were newcomers to the theatre and I applaud these actors’ efforts in tackling challenging material as their first or one of their first productions… Continue reading

Be Sure to Save some Money to Pay for RENT this month at Midvale Main Street Theatre

I had the privilege of attending Saturday night’s production of “RENT” at the Midvale Main Street Theatre. I had never been to this theatre or a production of “RENT” in Utah before, so I was excited for the opportunity. “RENT” is a very popular production nationally, but is rarely performed in Utah, due to the subject matter and controversial issues that it addresses. However, “RENT” in a lot of ways is even more relevant to Utah audiences in light of recent political events and controversies involving LDS views on homosexuality, proposition 8, etc. The name “RENT” is an appropriate title for the piece—not only is it tender for living in a space (which is a central conflict to the plot, but it also means “torn apart”). Continue reading

  • Subscribe to Backstage Utah

    Get the latest Audition, Now Playing, and Classifieds posts directly in your email.