Author: awarner

A renovated DOLL’S HOUSE in Provo

PROVO — An Other Theater Company put a modern twist on Henrik Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House. Originally performed in 1879, A Doll’s House was (is?) a radically feminist piece about Nora Helmer, who illegally borrows money to save the life of her husband Torvald. When Neils Krogstad, a lawyer at the bank where Torvald has just been made manager, discovers the truth, Neils blackmails Nora to ensure his position at the bank. Things come to a head when Torvald finds out about Nora’s indiscretion and reveals his true character, forcing Nora to leave her family in search of...

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A fond farewell to HOLIDAY NIGHT LIVE at UVU

OREM — Holiday Night Live is a Saturday Night Live-style, holiday-themed sketch comedy show written and performed by some of the UVU’s funniest students. It features musical numbers, dance breaks, videos, and audience interaction. This year marks the tenth (yay!) and final (aww) production of HNL at UVU. And what a way to end a tradition! The program did not list the titles or authors of any of the sketches, so I have invented titles, and I assume that all sketches were written by Vincent Van Gogh because his face is on the poster. It was hard to narrow it...

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Not much to BEHOLD in ZEBULON

SALT LAKE CITY — Behold, Zebulon is a play about Molly, a shy woman who moves from suburban Ohio to a small town in North Carolina after a mild mental breakdown. Wiling away the lonely hours when her husband is at work, Molly walks through the town and meets all the kooky characters one would expect to find in the South. There is little substance to the script by Angus MacLachlan, and while the Westminster Players really put their hearts into the show, this production fell flat. There is only so much a director or cast can do with a loose...

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New musical BUMS! has promise

PROVO — Bums! is a new musical dramedy with book, music, and lyrics by local playwright Stephen Gashler. It’s about Edward Pibbles, a young accountant from New York who has an early midlife crisis in the weeks leading up to the stock market crash of 1929. When Edward becomes eligible for a raise at work, he suddenly begins to wonder whether this is the life he wants: Rhubarbra Thwackum, his fiancée, pressured him into this rather unfulfilling career; his boss has unreasonable expectations for him; his wedding is looming ever nearer (although his relationship with Rhubarbra is entirely unromantic); and he’s never had the chance to travel or pursue his dream of becoming a jazz musician. Edward begins spending time with the homeless who roam the streets of New York, forming a special relationship with Dirty Dan, the self-proclaimed “King of the Bums.” Dirty Dan urges Edward not to throw his life away, but with all of this pressure, Edward thinks it might be better to run off and start over, living his life in a teepee in the woods. When she finds out that Edward is considering quitting his job, Rhubarbra gives Edward an ultimatum: to settle down and marry her, or she walks. Things are further complicated when Edward’s boss, Mister Engerman, becomes paranoid that Edward is looking for a job at a new firm. Terrified of...

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Humdrum SHREK in Cottonwood Heights

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — It’s difficult to review community theatre fairly because the reviewer has to make concessions for the limitations of this sort of show: a company’s non-professional cast and crew, a small budget, and rehearsing in a borrowed space. But Cottonwood Heights’ production of Shrek begs the question, where should UTBA draw the line between a pleasant if under-resourced piece of theatre and a community roadshow? Shrek the Musical is a musical based on the 2001 Dreamworks movie of the same name. It follows everyone’s favorite ogre and his donkey cohort on a quest to rescue a princess from a dragon-guarded...

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