Hey everyone! I hope you are doing well. I am leaving on my big Utah Theater Lovers New York trip tomorrow but before I did I wanted to talk about the great local theater (and symphony) I’ve enjoyed so far in 2022. I’ve got 11 shows to talk about so this will be quick.
Hamilton- Broadway at the Eccles
Right before the Omicron surge shut down a few productions my parents and I got to see Hamilton. It was incredible as always and we found out after that most of our production was understudies and swings! We certainly could never tell. They did an outstanding job. I love the way Hamilton combines hip-hop and broadway in such a seamless way.
Beauty and the Beast- West Valley Performing Arts Center
After their incredible Sweeney Todd I couldn’t wait to see WVPA’s Beauty and the Beast and they did not disappoint. Not only was the singing and dancing exceptional but the staging and costume choices were very unique. Instead of an actor dressing up as the household object they’d be holding that object or something creative like that. I’ve seen this show so many times so it was refreshing to see different takes on the material. And the Gaston was so good!
Laura Bell Bundy in Concert
My friend Camille and I were blessed to attend a concert put on by the OPPA performing group and Layton High of actress Laura Bell Bundy. She went through her career on Broadway and sang hits from Hairspray to Legally Blonde along with songs from her latest album. She was funny and personable and it was a fantastic concert!
The Play that Goes Wrong- CenterPoint Legacy Theatre
CenterPoint always does a great job but I usually don’t see many plays. However, I heard good things about The Play That Goes Wrong so I decided to check it out and it did not disappoint. It was so funny and what impressed me the most was the way the stage morphed and changed to accommodate every joke and set-piece. It was very well done and hilarious!
Bravo Broadway! A Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration- Utah Symphony
It is truly a treasure to have such a world-renown symphony orchestra as the Utah Symphony right here in our state. I especially love it when they do concerts with music like this Bravo Broadway event! We got to hear songs sung by amazing soloists from The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Show Boat, The King and I and more. What a treat!
Treasure Island- Hale Centre Theatre Sandy
For some reason when I got my ticket for Treasure Island at Hale Centre Theatre I thought it was a musical but aside from a few shanties it wasn’t, so that was a little disappointing. The spectacle of the show was outstanding and the first time I have seen their giant water tank in action, which was fun. However, the story takes a long time to get going and it was pretty violent for Hale. I’m glad I saw it but it wasn’t my favorite.
Something Rotten- Pioneer Theater Company
I honestly didn’t know what to expect with Something Rotten but was pleasantly surprised. This comedic take on Shakespeare is especially designed for an avid theater buff like myself. The story centers around Shakespeare’s competition Nick and Nigel Bottom and their attempt to beat the bard by creating the first musical. Meanwhile Shakespeare is a pompous rock star of his era and steals every scene he is in (of course!)
Legally Blonde- OPPA
I have now seen 2 shows up at OPPA and loved them both (Rent and Legally Blonde). They have an intimate feeling to their shows and one can’t help but be charmed by the community spirit of every production. I had never seen Legally Blonde on stage and I loved it! The songs are so much fun and the woman playing Elle was perfect for the role (sorry I can’t find the name!). I’d say OPPA is a hidden gem and worth the drive up to Layton.
The 39 Steps- BYU
I had the privilege to write my first professional theater review for Utah Theater Bloggers for The 39 Steps at BYU. You can read my review here.
The Band’s Visit- Broadway at the Eccles
A few years ago I did an episode of my podcast on the film The Band’s Visit. It’s a slow slice of life style film but I enjoyed it so I was looking forward to seeing this musical adaptation. And while I’m not going to say it is bad, it was definitely underwhelming. I have no idea how it won so many tony awards, beating out shows like Mean Girls and Frozen: The Musical… My biggest problem is none of the songs stood out. Not one. It’s a sweet story of bonding with people different than yourself but with such bland songs I’d just rather watch the movie in the future.
Bright Star- Hale Center Theater Orem
Last year I gave my best musical award to Bright Star at the Ziegfeld Theater, and I could see it getting that prize again this year at HCTO. I absolutely love this show. I love the music, book, lyrics everything and HCTO did a phenomenal job. If I could figure out a way I’d go see it again. It was that good. The whole cast was outstanding. The production, costumes, lighting all were great. It’s a show that’s funny, emotional, romantic and everything in between. If you haven’t seen Bright Star do yourself a favor and see it!
What an incredible winter season of theater I’ve been able to enjoy! Did you get to see any of these shows? I’d love to hear what you thought of them