Author: Elise Hanson-Barnett

SLAC presents a fascinating mess in HIR

SALT LAKE CITY — This small California home is a mess. There is laundry littering the floor, rubbish piled up so high by the front door that it is impassable, and whoever approaches the sink is going to have to don a hazmat suit. Not a great place to come home to for young soldier Isaac Conner, played by Austin Archer. He shouts at the front door while his wacky mom tries to explain through zany, mad-cap metaphor that he needs to use the back door. Christy Summerhays is Paige Conner, a veritable lava lamp come to life. Her husband...

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PROVO — Since their debut at the Salt Lake Fringe Festival in 2015, An Other Theater Company has been producing bold, compassionate, and inclusive pieces of live entertainment that make me excited for the Utah theater scene. I was able to enjoy their latest production, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (the first half of Tony Kushner‘s landmark play), and I am pleased to say that their standard for excellence and empathy is still raising the bar for similar companies. Kushner’s Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (with its two parts, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika) is a hallmark of theatrical achievement. It...

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CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a sweet and silly surprise

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Utah Children’s Theatre is something of an institution in the Salt Lake Valley, churning out lively theater capable of drawing the attention of young children while introducing a level of talent and entertainment to interest adults. Upon my first visit to this little theater in South Salt Lake, I was delighted to find that the rumors are true: UCT is a charming place. Charlie and the Chocolate  Factory is a familiar story with a book by Roald Dahl, and already adapted into two films, so I shan’t bore our readers with a recap. This theatrical version by...

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With AIDA, the Hale creates a spectacular debut in new facility

SANDY — Last Thursday night, I attended the grand opening gala for the new Hale Center Theatre in Sandy City.  It was perfectly lovely, as evenings go. Catered food, a new statue, and loads of men trying not to trod on women’s evening gowns delivered a sense of elegance and lavishness. The governor and other such dignitaries gave superlative-laced speeches, and an eternal flame was lit. Minor celebrities peppered the crowd: Michael Ballam fanned himself in the corner near the piano; Carmen Rasmussen wandered to and fro with her husband, the governor’s son. At last, the new theater was opened...

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SHOCKHEADED PETER is macabre merriment and mirth

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman pokes her head out between two curtains, lit dimly by warm light that highlights her grotesque, pale makeup and missing teeth. “I am the greatest actor in the world!” she howls. She steps out onto the stage and performs the speech again: “I am the greatest actor in the world! Behind this curtain stand the portals to the darkest recesses of the human imagination within which waits such monsters as your wildest nightmares could never anticipate!” She will be the emcee, the ghoulish guide through a series of grim and giggle-mugging tales of children...

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