Author: callieo

PARENT TRAP at Utah Children’s Theatre pays homage to Disney

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Parent Trap under the direction of Joanne Parker at Utah Children’s Theatre meets expectations, even if it doesn’t exceed them. The Utah Children’s Theatre is locally known for taking stories popularized by Disney and re-inventing them on stage or taking those stories back to their literary roots.  In this production, however, Parker deliberately pays homage to the 1961 Disney film starring Hailey Mills and Maureen O’Hara in which two girls go to summer camp only to find out that they are identical twins separated shortly after birth and then scheme to get their parents back together after...

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Hale’s THE MUSIC MAN is slick as a traveling salesman

SANDY — The Hale Center Theatre’s production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, directed by James Christian, is not unlike Professor Harold Hill, himself.  It is slick, polished, even a joyful distraction—yet it lacks a certain something. To be sure, the folks at the Hale definitely “know their territory,” a necessary requirement for any salesman, as one character repeatedly reminds his audience in the opening number.  The new theatre in Sandy freely invites sold-out audiences with its easy access off the freeway and garage parking, the sparkling open lobby with concessions and bathrooms aplenty (we live in a culture that craves...

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ROBIN HOOD at Utah Children’s Theatre is one for the boys

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Woooosh! A real arrow flies across the stage in the opening moments of Robin Hood under the direction of Joanne Parker at the Utah Children’s Theatre.  And this arrow was not to fly solo.  No—again  and again arrows flew in dizzying speed across the stage.  When arrows weren’t flying, swords and quarterstaffs were.  This is a production of monumental battles and intricate fight choreography.  Fortunately, it is also a production of solid stage direction and good acting. Joanne Parker opened the show with warnings: First, that the battles on stage would seem rather threatening to the audience...

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PETER PAN at Utah Children’s Theatre is one of the lost plays

SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY — One of the most beloved plays for children of all-time, Peter Pan, draws crowds to the theatre based on title alone. Utah theatre audiences must note, however, that Utah Children’s Theatre’s production of Peter Pan is not the classic original by Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie. Rather, it is “a stage adaption of the classic story of Peter Pan.” This adaptation seems unnecessary given the quality of the original and the faults of the new version. This is not to say that this production, directed by Joanne M. Parker, lacks merit, but it is not one...

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TRAIL OF DREAMS is about “Ordinary People,” but is no ordinary musical

OREM — In history, truth is often stranger, more exciting, more tragic, and more miraculous than any fiction that could be manufactured. This is especially true, perhaps, for stories of the Mormon exodus of the nineteenth century, when thousands of people left their homes and traveled across land and sea to settle West in the Salt Lake Valley. The Trail of Dreams, a musical about that exodus, written by James Arrington, Marvin Payne, and Steven Kapp Perry (who also wrote the music) uses historical documents to convey the pathos and triumph of those Mormon pioneers that risked all to make that...

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