Author: C. T. Lewis

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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UTBA reviewers sound off: EXCELLENCE in 2015

At the end of every year at UTBA we collect our members’ thoughts on the excellent shows they have seen that year. And for the fifth year in a row, it is clear that the Utah theatre scene is vibrant, with entertainment options available for patrons of all types. Below are the shows that stick out in our reviewers minds as 2015 draws to a close. Excellent Professional (Equity) Productions Who would have thought that a farce written in the 1890’s would still be belly-aching funny 120 years later? The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s take on Charley’s Aunt was phenomenal all around:...

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Hey! Unto you is staged THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER at CenterPoint

CENTERVILLE — There is something unavoidably self-referential about The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Watching a community theatre production of a play about producing a play that involves herding large numbers of children on and off the stage in the right combination and sequence always makes me wonder to what degree fiction and reality have coincided. Moreover, Barbara Robinson’s 1982 stage adaptation of her own 1971 book is such a fixture of the season that, in its more than thirty years of production history in community, church, and educational venues, many a parent has doubtless reacted much like Mr. Bradley in...

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