Author: saraclaverie

BECOMING AN HONORARY CRONE is worth the sojourn

SALT LAKE CITY — Becoming an Honorary Crone was written and performed by Lori Prescott Hansen and is a collection of stories about a woman’s life growing further into adulthood. It was produced by The Great Bear Folk Theatre at the Salt Lake Fringe Festival.  Hansen begins by asking the audience, “Do you believe in fate?” and shares some history about the three fates from Greek mythology. She muses on what makes a woman valuable to herself and how can she lead girls younger than her into that strong future. The stage was set with a spinning wheel that she sat at during her fairy tale of the spinners, and to the side there was a small table with a mirror on top, which she referenced at the beginning, talking about really looking at herself in the mirror and accepting everything she saw. This show was full of storytelling and she references various fairy tales like “The Little Mermaid” and “Little Red Riding Hood” before starting into her own tale called “The Three Spinners.” It reminded me of “Rumpelstiltskin” with enough of a twist to make it new and enticing. This story ends with a beautiful moment between mother and daughter and further understanding from the girl about the value that is gained though aging. The first portion of her show was hard to follow at times, but once she...

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BALLAD OF A MEADOW is musically moving

SALT LAKE CITY — Ballad of a Meadow, written and performed as a one-man play by Omar J. Hansen and produced by the Great Bear Folk Theatre, is a deeply moving story of a man who was a part of the Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah on September 11, 1857. It was a much different style of show than many of the other shows at the Fringe, which was a nice contrast. Hansen’s show was even more interesting with his original songs he played on the guitar. At the beginning, Hansen’s character confessed to ordering the Indians to kill the Arkansas pioneers who were massacred in Utah on their way to California. Then he went into a lot of history, most of which was applicable and interesting, though sometimes there were moments I didn’t quite see the connection to the main story, like why he talked about federal troops coming to Utah to do away with slavery and polygamy. I also thought his second song slowed down the story by repeating emotionless information about what he had just shared. On the other hand, there was a song near the end that did the opposite, where it really held onto the strong feelings he had just expressed and ingrained them more deeply through music, and was very effective. Hansen’s presentation was solid: he had great focus, spoke clearly and loudly, and shared...

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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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