Author: Maren Scriven

ALL SHOOK UP isn’t perfect, but “that’s all right”

OGDEN — All Shook Up tells the story of a young woman, Natalie, as she tries to win the heart of rebel Chad, who has just come into the small midwestern town they call home. Clegg as Chad makes a stir and causes many in the town to question the conventional ways of doing things. They also start on quests to find love, purpose, and excitement. Eventually, Wursten dresses up like a man to try and become closer to Chad, and many other side characters fall in and out of love to add to the confusion, chaos, and eventual happy ending....

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A fitting self-exploration in POP! GOES THE BUBBLE

SALT LAKE CITY — Most readers knows a person who has never left Utah and is immersed into the unique Utah culture. In Pop! Goes the Bubble, Holly Yurth Harmon gives the audience the humorous experience of being a silent observer as a naive Utahn discovers how the rest of the world is outside of the bubble. This one-woman musical centers around Morah, which is short for “Cumorah,” a 28-year-old single Mormon BYU graduate who is sneaking away from home to go to New York City, where she is at first disappointed about not seeing any Newsies, but by the end she is able to get to a place where she takes a long hard look at herself and sees a need to make a change. Harmon has great skill at making the audience laugh, and her comedic timing, facial expressions, and use of pop culture (especially Mormon pop culture) were highly entertaining. The show also contained some extremely humorous songs, such as one about the “F-Word” (not what you think) and one that hits almost every cliché thing that we who grew up in the Beehive State know all too well. Harmon knew her audience, and most of the jokes hit right where they needed to. It is clear there is talent and ability, but this show is definitely a niche audience, and her repertoire would need to be...

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Long potential half-life for CURIE ME AWAY

SALT LAKE CITY — Curie Me Away is a musical by Matheatre that covers the story of Madame Marie Curie, a world-renowned scientist who ended up dying because of the elements that she researched. It is part of the Fringe Festival that has been in Salt Lake City over the last two weekends. Matheatre is a local group that travels to different high schools and colleges around the country, bringing stories about science and math to audiences. I was quite taken by this idea and their purpose. The production of Curie Me Away starred Sadie Bowman (who also wrote the music...

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Sit down as THE GAY UNCLE EXPLAINS IT ALL TO YOU

SALT LAKE CITY — The Gay Uncle Explains It All to You is one of the many that the Salt Lake Fringe Festival has offered the last two weekends, and it is billed as “A Celebration of Pop, Camp, Gay, Underground & Trash Culture of the 60’s & 70’s and Beyond” on the Fringe website. Jeffrey Robert has put together a one-man show that seemed more like a mix between a stand-up routine and a memoir of what it was like to grow up gay in the ’60s and ’70s. Robert has an endearing quality, and the stories that he told ranged from humorous to touching. The audience was laughing and crying, and the experience was more interactive than most theatrical productions. It felt like I was part of a group conversation, rather than a one-man production. Robert began with what it was like to see people like Judy Garland and Bette Midler and other now dubbed “gay icons” on television after school. Robert is also an artist, and throughout his stories he showed many caricatures that he had created while discussing his heroes of the past and present. Interspersed throughout this he had clips of music that helped him tell his stories. Among the more frivolous and the fun he interjected lesser known historical facts about Stonewall and the origins of the pride parades and pride festivals. One of...

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CenterPoint’s 9 TO 5 is relevant for women today

CENTERVILLE — 9 to 5 is a musical that debuted on Broadway in 2009 and is based upon the 1980’s movie of the same name. Music and lyrics are by Dolly Parton, who starred in the original movie, and the book is by Patricia Resnick. CenterPoint Legacy Theatre in Centerville has decided to bring the story of three women working and hating their boss to their stage for their end of number show. Now, here is where I make a confession. While I am definitely a child of the ’80s, I have never seen more than clips of the original...

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