Author: Jocelyn S. Gibbons

“Act with speed” to see ELECTRA

SALT LAKE CITY — Written by Sophocles around 411 BC, Electra is a Greek tragedy that proved 2,400 years ago that yes, female protagonists can indeed carry a show. (Take that, Hollywood.) And though the genre “Greek tragedy” isn’t one that we typically see much of here in Utah, as a combined literary and theatre geek myself, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the Classic Greek Theatre Festival and Westminster College Theatre Department’s co-production. However, though I have in fact read a translation of Electra back in the day (I was an English major), it’s been...

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Weber State’s ARCADIA is a heady masterpiece

OGDEN — Often as an audience member, I want to passively sit and relax and to just let the performance happen—to simply be entertained. I see nothing wrong with this—and find myself seeking escapism and a “fun” night out when I go to see most musicals and plays. Yet despite the fact that Weber State University’s production of Tom Stoppard’s award-winning Arcadia is by no means an “easy” play, I highly recommend it. I went into Arcadia knowing nothing about the play except that it was by Tom Stoppard. But I left wanting to see it performed again, to study...

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UCT’s THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is a magical journey

SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY — Despite its name, children’s theatre at its best is not just for kids. The accessibility of a good children’s theatre allows a show to be enjoyed by young and old alike, making theatre something that can be shared across generations. Such is the case at Utah Children’s Theatre with their current adaption (playwright uncredited) of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Set during WWII in England, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—four siblings evacuated from London to live at a professor’s...

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IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE at CenterPoint is a classic done right

CENTERVILLE — As much as I tried to remain impartial, I have to admit that I went into reviewing Centerpoint Legacy Theatre’s Leishman Performance Hall’s It’s A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play expecting to be disappointed. The trouble is that the Jimmy Stewart movie happens to be one of my all-time favorites, and I just couldn’t imagine any production ever coming close to Stewart’s epic film. However, as I became immersed in the world of the live radio show, though my mind often pictured the scenery and even actors of the classic movie, all expectations were well exceeded and...

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Let Down Your Hair and Enjoy UCT’s RAPUNZEL

SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY — “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!” Everyone knows the line and the story, so the actual plot of Utah Children’s Theatre’s Rapunzel is nothing new. What sets this production apart, however, is the way the familiar fairytale is brought to life, allowing children and children at heart to be immersed in the world of the girl with the long, golden hair. The main quality that kept UCT’s play from falling flat is the energy and commitment of the actors. Director Meighan Smith did a great job taking the (uncredited) script, shaping the cast to work together, and focusing on the audience members that matter most—the children. The actors played to the kids, from silly moments like when Mother Gothel farts (my seven-year-old son appreciated that one) to relatable moments, such as the over-the-top excitement of making a friend during Rapunzel and Evan’s first meeting in the woods. With just a five-person cast, the success of Rapunzel relied heavily on every single cast member. Though playing the villain, Robert Fernandez was my favorite of the night as he fully embraced both the humor and horror of Mother Gothel. The funniest parts in the play happened thanks to Fernandez’s Gothel, which included well-delivered, snarky asides and physical humor, such as fainting and walking in an “old lady” manner. The scariest parts of the play also happened thanks...

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