Author: Zach Archuleta

Decision: Fly to Ziegfied Theatre’s PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

OGDEN — There is a magic in creation. It can come from anywhere, whether a person makes the perfectly working and color-coded spreadsheet or writes a perfect song reflecting their emotions. More often, it can feel like modern society lost the magic of creation. I have four kids 6-years-old and younger. They are in a constant state of creation. Seeing them so willingly create makes me wish I could have “just stayed a boy for a little while.” Peter and the Starcatcher, written by Rick Elice and based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, evokes that sense of...

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Hallelujah for SISTER ACT’s Utah premiere at Tuacahn

IVINS — Tuacahn presents in its lineup this year the Utah premiere of Sister Act. Going into this show I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had followed some of its progression from the West End to Broadway and knew it was nominated for several Tony awards. However, besides a television performance of the enthusiastic Raise Your Voice, I was coming into Saturday’s performance having not yet been converted to this “Divine Musical Comedy.” Tuacahn’s preaching, though, had me clapping in the pews. Sister Act is similar to the structure of The Wedding Singer, in that it doesn’t pull...

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UTBA reviewers sound off: EXCELLENCE IN 2014

December is full of annual traditions, and at UTBA our favorite is our yearly blog post about the excellence we saw on the Utah stage during the year. In 2014 UTBA reviewed 200 productions, which means we had plenty of great shows to choose from. Here are the plays that at the end of the year we remember most fondly. Excellent Professional (Equity) Productions There were so many excellent professional productions in Utah this year, it’s hard to make just a short list. My favorites include Salt Lake Acting Company’s 4,000 miles, the national tour of Bring It On,...

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Pioneer’s PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is an exquisite flight of the imagination

SALT LAKE CITY — Occasionally, live theatre creates an unforgettable adventure. Even though it’s just minutes from h ome, Pioneer Theatre Company’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher creates a remarkable journey of the imagination, thanks to dedicated artists who bring out the most fun—but also the most difficult parts—of trying to not grow up. Based on a book by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry, and adapted for the stage by Rick Elice, Peter and the Starcatcher is a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s timeless tale of Peter Pan. It does veer from some of the stories that are explained in the original book...

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Grand’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS grows charm

SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY — I like tragedies. I find I’m in a minority about this. People around me like things to end happy and well. But I like the sad but enlivening idea of catharsis. So perhaps that’s why Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors is such a nice medium because most of the show is goofy and frivolous. Excellent acting and superb singing helped the Grand Theatre’s latest production of this perennial classic drive home all the show’s fun and deep messages. The Grand’s production, directed by David Schmidt, has everything that will Little Shop‘s fans...

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