Author: christopher

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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Experience the truth of Utah Rep’s DOUBT

SALT LAKE CITY — The subtitle of John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 play Doubt calls it “a parable.” At one point in the play, Father Flynn, a Catholic priest, is describing his style of sermonizing to Sister James, one of the nuns who teaches at the parish school. He explains that he frequently uses stories to illustrate a point he wants to make. When Sister James asks if his stories are true, he admits that they are not, adding that “truth makes for a bad story.” Yet Doubt, which won both the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize...

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Weber’s NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT tries, but doesn’t get it

OGDEN — In the living room of the Long Island beach house occasionally inhabited by the wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter, there stands a purple polyester couch. It resembles a piece of furniture recently excavated from someone’s basement, the kind whose cavernous hide-a-bed bowels preserve such relics as popcorn kernels, candy wrappers, $1.67 in change, and the Nintendo controller that has been missing since the ‘80s. The creative team behind Weber State’s production of Joe DiPietro’s Nice Work If You Can Get It has tried to retrofit it for the Prohibition era by dressing it up with gold scrollwork across the...

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The U’s HELLO, DOLLY! at Kingsbury Hall is a sign of good things to come

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah’s production of Hello, Dolly! embodies both the ambition of its title character, Dolly Gallagher Levi, and a few of the unpolished edges of the object of her designs, the self-made Horace Vandergelder. Director and choreographer Denny Berry remarks in the director’s notes that Dolly, the Department of Theatre’s first foray onto the Kingsbury Hall stage since the revival of the musical theatre program in 2010, represents a “milestone” as the “biggest endeavor” the program has ever undertaken. Faced with such a task, the heft of the department’s faculty resources has been brought to...

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West Valley Hale delivers on expectations in BEAU JEST

WEST VALLEY CITY — Hale Centre Theatre is much more than a theatre, it is a brand—a brand that is synonymous in Utah with crowd-pleasing musicals and comedies. That isn’t a criticism. The West Valley Hale artistic staff knows what their target audience wants, and they are experts at delivering it with quality and consistency. Naturally, this consistency also breeds some repetition because their particular niche in the market does place some constraints on what they produce. For example, since HCT’s inaugural season in 1985, over half their productions have been repeats (not counting the annual A Christmas Carol). More...

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