Author: christopher

WAIT UNTIL DARK a welcomed visitor at the Old Lyric

LOGAN — Last summer, in my review of Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s Show Boat, I wrote of the disillusionment of returning to a beloved venue from one’s childhood only to face a reality that doesn’t live up to the memories. So I admit I felt some trepidation this year about revisiting another Logan institution: UFOMT’s older and smaller-scale neighbor from around the corner, the Lyric Repertory Company. I was a frequent patron of the Lyric in the ’80s and ’90s, but have not been back in twenty years. However, I am very relieved to report that this...

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It’s a fine OLIVER! at Pioneer Theatre

SALT LAKE CITY — If there’s a surprise in store for audiences of Pioneer Theatre Company’s latest production of a show based on a Charles Dickens novel and scheduled in the season’s December slot, it’s that it isn’t called A Christmas Carol. Speaking of surprises, I feel a little caught off guard to find myself throwing out the word “refreshing” to describe such a traditional production of so well known a musical as Lionel Bart’s Oliver!. Perhaps that just goes to show how much context can affect one’s impressions, or perhaps it is a testament to the timeless nature...

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Engulf yourself in Sackerson’s BURN

SALT LAKE CITY — The natural wood and exposed brick of Avenues Yoga on K Street in Salt Lake City provide the ideal setting for Sackerson’s production of Burn, the incisive new play by Morag Shepherd, artfully directed by Dave Mortensen. Beneath designer Alex Ungerman’s array of four large, filtered fixtures that resemble sun lamps, the action unfolds at the center of a complex of improvised benches. Made from the frames of stacking chairs and a few boards, these benches—as if they have sprung up organically out of the hardwood planks beneath the audience’s feet—suggest a tangible connection between watching...

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You’ll have to make believe you love UFOMT’s SHOW BOAT

LOGAN — In 1992, I was forced to forego my first opportunity to see a touring Broadway show in Salt Lake City to go to scout camp. To a theatre-obsessed twelve-year-old boy growing up in Brigham City, this was nothing short of an apocalyptic turn of events. I bring this up not only to point out to my parents where they went wrong, but also so you will understand what it meant to me when Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre began its inaugural season in nearby Logan the following year (then sans the “& Musical Theatre”). It was...

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JANE k-EYRE-aoke at HCT Orem

OREM — Given Utah audiences’ love of musicals, Victorian Gothic romance, and period costumes, the musical version of Jane Eyre, now playing at Hale Center Theater Orem, should be more of a fixture in the local theatre scene than it is. However, chances are you have never heard of it—and there is a good reason for that. When even the combined (and considerable) talents of HCTO’s production team, director Christopher Clark, and star Dallyn Vail Bayles cannot salvage this ponderous, lurching adaptation by Paul Gordon (music and lyrics) and John Caird (book), any theatre company would be wise to keep...

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