Author: Tony Porter

PTC’S PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE is a champion

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...

Read More

THE PRODUCERS shines brightly in Ogden

OGDEN — There are times that a show comes along that you think can’t possibly live up to either memories of past productions or of a production that you have seen previously. You can’t imagine that they have the resources, the talent, or the space to really mount a quality production. But every once in a while, you get that wonderful experience of seeing a show that so outshines your expectations that you can’t believe your good fortune.  Such is the case with The Ziegfeld Theater’s The Producers. In this show, a down and out producer conceives a plan to find...

Read More

A very shaky FIDDLER ON THE ROOF from Windstorm

MURRAY — Fiddler on the Roof is arguably one of the best known and loved Broadway musicals ever since its premiere in 1964. The 1971 film adaptation added to the musical’s renown, and it is one of the most popular musicals in Utah. Windstorm Theater Company brings their new production of this musical to Murray High School. I only wish it had lived up to these expectations. The familiar story, based on stories by Sholem Aleichem, tells of a Russian Jewish village, Anatevka, and the lives of a dairyman, Tevye, and his family. The trials of Tevye and his family...

Read More

A Nice Evening With THE ADDAMS FAMILY

MAGNA — The Addams Family started as a single panel comic in the New Yorker magazine drawn by Charles Addams, was later adapted to a television show, an animated cartoon, several movies, and finally to this musical adaptation. The Empress Theater in Magna is one of the first companies to produce this in Utah since the rights have been released to amateur companies. And they do a fine job. In this adaptation, the Addams family faces a struggle: Wednesday Addams, the normally dark and dour daughter has fallen in love with the relatively normal Lucas Beineke. The families are scheduled...

Read More

CenterPoint’s ODD COUPLE is full of laughs, but lacks emotion

CENTERVILLE — Neil Simon has long been considered a master playwright, with many highly successful Broadway shows and numerous film scripts to his credit.  One of the most famous of these is The Odd Couple, a highly successful and long running comedy about two recently divorced friends who end up living together.  It had a very successful run on Broadway in the 1960’s, was made into a film, and later into a hit TV show.  It is probably the best known of Simon’s works and a staple for community theaters, and one of my favorite plays.  The current production at Centerpoint...

Read More

Let’s Chat