Author: Tony Porter

Raucous laughter unearthed with LONG LOST FIRST PLAY

CEDAR CITY — Where do I begin?  How do I review a show so filled with mirth and downright belly laughs that come from the absolute shock and surprise of creative imagining of a long lost first play of William Shakespeare, without revealing parts of the show and thereby ruining the fun?  This new show, entitled William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged), is from the RSC (no, not that one, the Reduced Shakespeare Company) who are responsible for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. If you’ve ever seen that show, you have some idea of what you’re in...

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Neil Simon Fest’s THE DINNER PARTY is a tasty treat

CEDAR CITY — There are some subjects that do not initially suggest themselves as subjects for a comedy. Fairly high on this list is the topic of divorce.  As a basis for drama, there are numerous examples of divorce fueling the impetus for a play, but comedy has fewer examples.  How exactly do you approach divorce as a subject for comedy?  In the case of Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party, the answer is deft skill and very witty dialogue. The setting is a private dining room in a first-rate restaurant in Paris.  A dinner party is set for six guests...

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CABARET lacks luster at the Ziegfeld

OGDEN — Considered a classic since it first opened in the 1966, Cabaret has been a popular musical, winning several awards, including Tonys for the original Broadway run and its revival.  Based on the Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood, and the play I am a Camera by John Van Druten, Cabaret uses John Kander‘s music, Fred Ebb‘s lyrics, and Joe Masteroff‘s book to tell the story of the relationship between a young American writer and a British cabaret singer in Weimar Germany through the construct of a seedy nightclub, the Kit Kat Klub. Cabaret was unusual upon it opening on...

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AN IDEAL HUSBAND is almost an ideal production

OREM — Oscar Wilde was at one time one of the most popular playwrights in London. His most well-known play is The Importance of Being Earnest. Closely following that play is An Ideal Husband, the current production being offered by Utah Valley University‘s Department of Theater Arts. It is an enjoyable production with a few slight drawbacks. An Ideal Husband deals with themes of forgiveness for past sins, and the irrationality of strict adherence to social ideals. It tells the tale of Sir Robert Chiltern, a prestigious member of the House of Commons. In his youth, he was convinced to...

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SALT LAKE CITY – A musical about school children participating in a county-wide spelling bee?. When I first heard of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee back in 2005, I was unimpressed.  It seemed to lack drama or import. Then I saw the snippet on the Tony Award broadcast and knew I was wrong.  So very wrong.  That small tease of the show made me run out to get the cast album on CD.  I sat and listened to the score with my wife and we both fell in love with the show, all without ever seeing more of the...

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