Author: Russell Warne

Actors, Director Live Up to “Great Expectations”

CEDAR CITY — The Randall L. Jones Theater was buzzing with excitement on the afternoon of July 9, 2010.  A new musical was having its world premiere.  History was being made.  If the show were a success, then hundreds of lucky patrons would be able to tell all their friends and relatives that they were the first audience to see the show.  After all, who wouldn’t want to brag at a party that they had seen the first performance of the latest Broadway hit?  Such was the excitement at the opening of Great Expectations: A New Musical. Great Expectations tells the story of Phillip Pirrip—commonly known as Pip—who rises from the masses of the common country folk to the become a gentleman through some luck, good deeds, and occasionally his own initiative.  As a young boy, Pip aids an escaped convict who was hiding near his home.  Also near his home is the mysterious Satis House, where the elderly Miss Havisham mourns her broken heart after her fiancé jilted  her on their wedding day many years before.  To exact her revenge on the male sex, Miss Havisham adopts a girl named Estella and trains her to be cruel to all men—Pip being an especially convenient target, because of his infatuation with the young girl.  Years later, Pip is surprised by a visit from the lawyer Jaggers who tells the...

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UTBA Shakes It Up!

CEDAR CITY — Without question, one of the most important theatrical events of the year in Utah is the beginning of the Utah Shakespearean Festival‘s season.  As the only Tony Award winning theatre company in the state, the Utah Shakespearean Festival has been the pinnacle of theatrical achievement in Utah for decades. UTBA was thrilled to be invited to the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s 2010 opening performances.  Early Thursday morning, UTBA founder Dave Mortensen, assistant editor Russell Warne, and reviewer Julia Shumway met together and traveled to Cedar City as a group in order to experience the opening performances of all six of the festival’s current productions.  The three of us will watch all six plays, review two productions, and respond to one another’s reviews.  In total, you’ll have three separate perspectives of all six shows for you to enjoy. In addition to watching the productions, writing reviews, insulting one another’s opinions, and engaging in childish name calling, we’re busy generating other Festival-related content.  Our hope is that we can either prepare you for your visit to the Festival, or help you feel a little bit like you’re down here in Cedar City.  Look for our reviews starting Friday.  We’ll likely post one each day through Wednesday. Not all content is available on the UTBA site.  We’re posting most of our photos on our Facebook profile page.  We’re also twittering...

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Q&A with the UTBA

Who are we? How can I become a reviewer? Awards?…There are a lot of questions starting to make their way through the digital grapevine and here is our attempt to answer a few of them.

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The new critic

If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably seen the end of a performance dozens of times. The audience claps, the cast takes their bows, the curtain goes down and the lights come up. The audience shuffles out as the staff cleans up and prepares for the next night’s show.

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