Hey everyone! Back in April after I was vaccinated I decided to support local theater and write up reviews on this blog for those shows. It has been an incredible experience and I’m proud of my coverage Unfortunately, October came and went without any posts. Between taking 2 trips and getting ready for the Christmas season coverage at Hallmarkies Podcast, I became woefully behind in my writing. And the problem only gets worse the more you wait until it almost feels fruitless to write at all. Nevertheless, I will make the attempt today to summarize the great experiences I had in October, particularly with my travel. So here goes:
New York Trip
To begin with I had an incredible trip to New York City from October 5th until the 10th. It started out attending the NYFF where I saw 2 films and got to meet up with a bunch of friends including recording an episode of the Criterion Project with my friend Conrado (first time we’ve met after recording together for 3 years).
I also got to see 2 Broadway shows on my own. First Hadestown, which I was super hyped for but ended up just liking not loving. A lot of the music is great and the production design fantastic. However, the story I didn’t love and found a little meandering and slow. I also didn’t love the Orpheus character and songs. They were too poppy when compared to the rest of the songs. It was still a good show just a little disappointing since I was so hyped.
Then I saw Waitress which is based on the movie of the same name and tackles some challenging material including infidelity and abuse in a sweet and funny way. I was thrilled to be able to see Sara Barielles in the lead role. She’s one of my favorite singers and she wrote Waitress as well as was starring while I was there!
On Friday my friend Heidi joined me for the weekend and we had some bad luck but still managed to have a good time together. My favorite memories are getting to see my podcasting friend Hannah and going to see Six and Tina. I can see why teenagers love Six so much but I was a little underwhelmed. It’s a pop concert with no story and at only 80 minutes without an intermission it felt weak for the price but that’s just me. Tina is fairly conventional bio-show but lead actress Adrienne Warren was a force! She earned that tony! Incredible!
When I got back from New York I saw a few local shows. First was Once Upon a Mattress at the South Jordan Community Center. I knew nothing about this show before seeing it and found it to be quite charming. The lyrics are funny and the book engaging. The performance at the SJCC had the community feel you want in these type of productions. Very fun.
I also saw Company at the Midvale Main Street Theater. This theater is so underrated. They do edgy more adult shows but do them extremely well and this was no exception. Company is actually my favorite Sondheim show and they did a fantastic job. All of the singing was top notch. I can’t imagine it being done much better to be honest.
Animation is Film LA Trip
After my NYC trip I had a bit of a breather and then I was off to Los Angeles for my first time attending the Animation is Film Festival. I had heard about the festival many times but had never been until this year and what a great experience it was! I got to see Mitchells vs the Machines and Luca on the big screens with panels! I saw a preview for Disney’s new film Encanto, which I can’t wait for. I saw Raya and the Last Dragon with star Kelly Marie Tran and the director there, and I saw the new take on Beauty and the Beast, Belle with director Mamoru Hosoda there to introduce his movie! That was an amazing experience and film! I also got to meet podcasting friends Marisa, Rosa and reconnect with Dory who I had met in our beach trip in July.
Frozen: the Musical and BTTF
I finished off the month with 2 more great experiences. I was fortunate to see Frozen: The Musical a few years ago but we didn’t have very good seats so that hurt the experience a bit. When the national tour came to town I had to see it and fortunately this time I had much better seats. What a wonderful show with great new songs from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. You should see it for the special effects alone. Incredible.
Finally I attended the Back to the Future: In Concert event at the Utah Symphony with my friend Jen and it was so much fun. BTTF is one of my all time favorite movies and being able to watch the film with a crowd, with the great music playing was a great time. If you ever get to go to one of the movies in concert I highly recommend it. I am in awe of the talent of these musicians.