Author: melanie

Grassroots knocks THE FANTASTICKS out of the park

OREM — If you’re looking for something fun and entertaining to do out in the fresh air, the Grassroots Shakespeare summer tour is where you need to be. This year’s production of The Tempest by William Shakespeare has a fun and nuanced production with exciting characters and lots of action. Grassroots involves the audience in their shows, encouraging boos for the bad guys and cheers for the good. The show is family-friendly, and even though the language and the revenge themes and the politics might go over their heads, there’s plenty for kids to enjoy as well. But Shakespeare in the...

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BLITHE SPIRIT is a tough slog, despite artists’ best efforts

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re looking to listen to Americans shout at each other in posh British accents for three hours, Blithe Spirit is the show for you. The play is a tricky combination of wonderful talent and excessive dialogue. While Westminster College has an impressive talent base in the theatre department, even Westminster College couldn’t save this rambling Noel Coward script. But first, the good news. Director Melanie Nelson selected the perfect cast, with every actor an excellent choice for the part.  The whole cast had an electric energy together, a chemistry that would be more typical of a cast that’s...

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Prepare to give your heart to LUNA GALE

SALT LAKE CITY — Perhaps the best way to gain empathy for people who are different is to listen to their stories.  Sometimes those stories can be shocking or disturbing and we want to shy away and avoid discomfort, but it is so important to remember that the people in the stories have no such option.  They can’t just opt out, those stories are their lives.  Westminster College’s Luna Gale, while not based on specific person, presents events that have happened countless times to real people. Written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Jared Larkin, this play explores the most...

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The fantastic FANTASTICKS at the Empress

MAGNA — The longest-running show in America, The Fantasticks is an exciting and intriguing story with a small cast. But it’s so energetic that it feels like a huge production. Director Kyle Esposito explains it well in his note in the program, “The Fantasticks is, at its core, a morality tale about the realities of life and love.  It is the ultimate romantic Anti-Romance.  It satirizes the over-the-top nature of young love and those romantic stories, while simultaneously viewing that young love as important in forming who we are.” The story begins with Matt and Luisa (played by Jordan Briggs...

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Funny fraud, hilarious hijinks in CASH ON DELIVERY

OREM — If you’re in the mood to laugh for two hours straight, Hale Center Theater Orem’s Cash on Delivery is where you need to be. The jokes were non-stop, the characters were hilarious and charming, and the energy between the actors was electric. Michel Cooney’s play has many different kinds of humor, from clever wordplay to slapstick injuries, from mistaken identity to a fight with a rogue washing machine. Real-life married couple Greg Hansen and Rachel Woodward Hansen play Eric and Linda Swann, two lovely British people with steady jobs and calm lives—except that while Linda is at work, Eric is at...

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