Author: Andrea Fife

Don’t miss the adventure of Lyric Rep’s BIG RIVER

LOGAN — According to the disclaimer penned by Mark Twain, persons attempting to find a moral in his book The Adventures of Huck Finn are to be banished.  Despite his warning Big River, the musical adaptation of Huck’s adventure down the Mississippi River, provides plenty of opportunity to examine questions surrounding the tenets of equality, morality, and kindness in the period of American slavery. Traveling with a runaway slave named Jim, Huck discovers that the way he’s been taught to think isn’t always in line with his own moral compass: that Jim seems to care about his people the same way white...

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Little to love in the latest JUANITO BANDITO installment

GARDEN CITY — I got my first taste of Juanito Bandito when I headed north to Pickleville Playhouse last summer, and I so thoroughly enjoyed the experience that I caught the outlaw again at his Christmas special in Salt Lake.  So it was that I settled in to my seat, familiar with the franchise and ready for my riotous journey.  This summer’s Love and Death vs. El Bandito finds Juanito Bandito pitted against his brother and Sheriff Griff in a quest to acquire his late father’s pirate treasure.  When El Bandito falls for the double-crossing beauty Luna, he eventually finds...

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Pickleville’s SHREK is fun, but just short of fairy tale magic

GARDEN CITY — What started as the DreamWorks animated film Shrek in 2001 transferred to Broadway in 2008 in a re-imagined state as Shrek the Musical.  The script by David Lindsay-Abaire and new songs of Jeanine Tesori combine to bring audiences more than just the familiar story of the main characters Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, and Lord Farquaad.  This retelling not only adds backstory to deepen the primary plot, but also relies heavily on the presence and talents of a cast of fairy tale creatures to broaden the story’s scope and add opportunity for flashy production numbers.  The end result is a fast-paced comedy...

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A vibrant JOSEPH…DREAMCOAT at Hale Centre Theatre

WEST VALLEY CITY — Most active members of the Utah theatre community have had more than one opportunity to memorize the particularly famous list of 29 colors attributed to one amazing dreamcoat. Heralded as one of the most overdone musicals in the local scene, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat lends itself to a certain predictability, relying on a standard set of gags to carry the audience from through in this Biblical tale. Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s score and Tim Rice‘s lyrics provide a familiar palette, and many directors simply paint by number.  I entered Hale Centre Theatre tonight expecting to see a similar Joseph to the one I saw...

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Give a hand to Salt Lake Acting Company’s HAND TO GOD

SALT LAKE CITY — Book-ended by monologues contemplating the nature, origin, and roles of basic Christian tenets of good, evil, the devil, and salvation, Hand to God tells the stories of a teenage boy Jason and his mother Margery as they each struggle to cope with the respective loss of father and husband. While Margery seeks reprieve through an illicit relationship with a student in her church-sponsored puppetry class, Jason confronts his issues through his outspoken and painfully direct puppet Tyrone. Set entirely in the classrooms and offices of a Lutheran church, the vein of religion woven strongly through this Robert Askins script...

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