Author: Amber Peck

CHARLEY’S AUNT splitting sides and slapping knees in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY — As a theatre critic, there are moments when my fellow audience members laugh loudly, and I do not. Unfortunately, I am often too busy dissecting the elements of a play to fully experience what I should. So it was freeing for me to toss my head back and laugh at this year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival. Charley’s Aunt, written by Brandon Thomas and directed by David Ivers is full of puppy love, plotting, a lord in ladies’ clothes, and some outright lunacy. Ivers mentions in his director’s notes that Aaron Galligan-Stierle, a beloved actor at the festival,...

Read More

Wildly funny TAMING OF THE SHREW at the Utah Shakespeare Festival

CEDAR CITY — When the Utah Shakespeare Festival produced its first season in 1962, Fred C. Adams directed the inaugural production, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, which tells the story of the combative courtship between Petruchio and Kate. In 1977, when the iconic Adams Memorial Theater was constructed, again it was Adams and Shrew. That beloved stage will retire this year, as things at the Festival grow and change. Therefore, it is a beautifully fitting farewell to the Adams to again perform The Taming of a Shrew for this 2015 season. This production had a natural comedic rhythm and a sense of...

Read More

A meaningful MARY POPPINS at SCERA

OREM — The stage version of Mary Poppins differs from the Disney film in many ways. George Stiles and Anthony Drewe added new songs like “Practically Perfect,” and tweaked Richard and Robert Sherman’s original ones, like “Step in Time.” Some scenes, “Jolly Holiday” being one, are plucked up and dropped into an entirely new setting. Most significantly, this Mary Poppins carries with it a more serious tone, and a spoonful of distress. Co-creator Cameron Mackintosh made many of these changes in an attempt to bring the film version closer to the original books by P. L. Travers. In the...

Read More

Shocked and Inspired by MACBETH

OGDEN — It’s intense, aggressive, and violent, but entirely enthralling. It is hard not to respond to this “Die Hard version,” (Eric Weiman, actor) that the Utah Shakespeare Festival is touring around schools because it is such an excellent production, and makes Macbeth equal to any of Shakespeare’s plays. The story is full of dynamic characters and winding intentions; there is real pain in this script, and it’s caused by human weakness. One of these characters, a despicable one really, is Lady Macbeth, who wants so badly for her husband to become king. Shakespeare gave this character so many beautiful lines and...

Read More

SLAC’s TWO STORIES told well

SALT LAKE — I know that the evening news is biased and embellished. I know that reality television is staged. And I know that the majority of theatre that I see is fictional. Despite all this, I still get a little excited when these imaginary storylines show me a brighter version of life and humanity. Somehow things seem more possible if I have seen them work out, even in fantasy. I felt that hope as I watched Elaine Jarvik’s Two Stories, at Salt Lake Acting Company. I smiled at the revolutionary image of a neighborly disagreement being discussed face...

Read More

Let’s Chat