Author: Sara Claverie

TRASH! is preachy, but important

SALT LAKE CITY — Trash! is a play performed at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival and written by Mark Macey. It shows the story of three garbage men in a futuristic setting who are struggling with their new jobs of assisting the government in genocide. One complains and decides death is a better option than being jobless. Then, with the assistance of a narrator, the story jumps to the two girls escaping and they find a dead girl that one of them used to be friends with. After they go offstage to bury her, the narrator reappears and berates the audience for not paying attention to what is happening. “There is a fire burning!” is his repeated cry. Director Alex Coltrin did a fine job of blocking and staging the show, and such movement changes were very engaging for me. The pacing at the beginning was much too slow, but thankfully the second half picked up. The stage was very interesting, with a unique look of lit closet light bulbs upside down on the floor lining the edges of the set. Boxed into this space were plenty of recyclables, with one large armchair and a ladder. The finishing touch was the cowboy narrator, played by Joshua Joules, who sat in the chair for a minute before starting the show. Joules was excellent at keeping the audience interested with his...

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Hang out a while at 1222 RANDALL AVE.

SALT LAKE CITY — The TwoFifteen Project is putting on a show called 1222 Randall Ave. at the Fringe. Written by Max Huftalin, and directed by Emilio Casillas, it is definitely worth the wait. And I did wait nearly 15 minutes after start time for the lights to come up. This is the story of young lovers moving into an apartment on 1222 Randall Ave. There are a few love triangles throughout the show that made me want to scream in joy or angst based on who kisses or doesn’t kiss who. Four years pass with a plethora of adult...

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FLOAT shows promise, but needs moorings

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Float, produced by Kallisti Theatre Company, was interesting in many ways.  Written by Elise C. Hanson-Barnett, who also performs in it, Float is about four people that are connected by love and friendship throughout the various scenes set in different time periods. Hanson-Barnett pulled the show along with her fantastic portrayal of each of the characters she wrote and performed. I especially enjoyed the southern belle with the whiskey. The middle scene was the most interesting with two couple’s drama which included one actress, Katherine R. Tietjen, holding another at gunpoint. This was the most engaging part of the entire show, as the mood between Tietjen—in fear and unraveling—and Hanson-Barnett—calmly playing opposite her—was both fearless and nonplussed. This was most intriguing to me as I have rarely witnessed someone being held up at gunpoint and keeping their cool. Jesse S. Curran played the man the women fought over, and rather than go at each other, Hanson-Barnett teaches Tietjen to turn her heart to stone for the men she loves. Another actor, Oscar M. Anderson, performing various roles, was great at emotional delivery but lacked the focus that showed he was comfortable in his roles onstage. During the first scene I saw him drop character between a few of his lines, and stare at his fellow actor waiting for their delivery. Tietjen shared this problem in the first...

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THE PLACE OF NO DARKNESS is mired by inconsistency

SALT LAKE CITY — The Place of No Darkness, produced by Dearly Beloved Theatre Company, is an intense performance for mature audiences about three guys discovering they are in hell and fighting to get out. The stage was set with debris and random items such as crutches and a piano. There was a ripped up couch and several chairs scattered around, some of them topsy turvy. Yellow tape was stretched across the space, assisting the look of chaos. As the lights turned on, three gasping men emerged from behind the couch and piano, and one let out a blood-curdling scream. At first they had no speech and had to re-learn everything from baby to adult. The grunts and toddler-like discoveries at the beginning were somewhat endearing to me, as I have two young toddlers. My favorite part was their discovery of making different sounds by hitting items on walls, floor, chair, etc., and the excitement portrayed was genuine. I thought all three actors, Christian Maestas, Ryan Rasmussen, and Torin Scoffield were equally good at performing their roles, with a similar weakness of lack of focus, which seemed more to be due to the chaotic natural of the show. Also, two of the actors had long hair that blocked much of their expression. As the show went deeper into pain and struggle, the characters showed possession using various props, including a...

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You really should see DO YOU WANT TO SEE ME NAKED

SALT LAKE CITY — Do You Want to See Me Naked?, produced by Sackerson at the Salt Lake Fringe Festival was a delight. This one woman monologue, written and directed by Morag Shepherd and starring Elizabeth Golden, was deeply moving and hilariously witty. Classical live violin music opened the performance and was replaced by a loud clubbing song, and these two music types were inserted throughout the show adding to humor and mood. They were also an emphasis to the contrasting moments throughout Golden’s show. Lines like, “I don’t care what people think of me—yes I do…” Peppered the script....

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