Author: Tony Porter

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS delights at BYU

PROVO – A Man For All Seasons is one of those plays that I’ve known about of all my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen. I was aware of the movie growing up, and probably saw parts of it at various times, but don’t remember ever seeing the whole thing. I’d learned about this time in British history in school, and read several books about the time period, but somehow I had never seen Robert Bolt’s play. I now know what I have been missing all these years.   BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts has...

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Come and play on AVENUE Q

SALT LAKE CITY — It is always an interesting experience entering the Babcock Theater at the University of Utah.  This space has a long history of hosting some of the most intriguing, varied and unique theater experiences. I have had some of my most memorable theatrical experience in that venue, both amazingly wonderful and horrendously unforgettable.  Therefore, I expected that same level of innovation in Avenue Q, one of the most intriguing musicals of the past decade.  However, for such a boundary-pushing musical, this production plays it too safe. Avenue Q is an adult, “real world” skewering of Sesame Street. ...

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SEE HOW THEY RUN is fun farce

LEHI — Farce is perhaps the hardest form of comedy to pull off correctly.  It requires precise timing, clear delivery of lines and willing suspension of disbelief by not only the audience, but also the actors on stage.  When done poorly, it can be painful to watch, but when everything clicks it is one of the best evenings you can have in a theater.  Lehi Arts Council’s current production of Philip King’s See How They Run may not be perfect, but it much closer than most community theaters ever come. The play is set shortly after the end of...

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TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA is good summer Shakespeare

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah seems to have a love affair with Shakespeare. Between the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the annual Shakespeare at Pioneer Theatre Company and Grassroots Shakespeare Company, Utah can’t seem to get enough of the Bard of Avon. Ushering in its 19th year, Salt Lake Shakespeare presents Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of Shakespeare’s comedies. Considered by most to be one of his first plays, and by some to be one of his weakest, it was nonetheless a fun production of a lesser performed work. Two Gentlemen tells the story of Proteus and Valentine, best friends from childhood....

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JUANITO BANDITO RIDES AGAIN–and steals the comic gold

GARDEN CITY – Pickleville Playhouse in Garden City, Utah, is a true hidden gem.  For 36 years they have been presenting melodramas and musicals every summer on the shores of Bear Lake.  While this may be a bit of a drive from Salt Lake City, let me assure readers that it is well worth the trip. For the last few years, the melodramas have centered on the charismatic outlaw known as Juanito Bandito.  In this instance, Juanito is in search of the treasure of El Diablo, the pirate who has an interesting connection to Juanito: El Diablo is Juanito’s...

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