July Utah Theater Update

Hey everyone! Make sure you check out my life update for the non-theater events of July. What a buys month I had and it included 15 live performances! This has to be a record for my life. I won’t have near as many in August because of my 10 day traveling but I want to give my quick thoughts on everything I saw in July. Here goes:

In the Heights- West Valley Performing Arts Center

WVPAC continues to impress with this outstanding production. I loved everything about it from the incredible singing, to the choreography and set design. It was as good as anything I’ve seen on Broadway with a diverse and talented cast that brought the events of Washington Heights to life. 10/10

Spongebob Squarepants: The Musical at Scera Outdoor Shell

Scera did an outstanding job with this production but I didn’t love the book they had to work with. Read more of my thoughts at my utba review here.

Six Years Old at Wasatch Theatre Company

This is one of the 1 act short plays I saw this month and my favorite of the 2. My utba review is here.

Arsenic and Old Lace at Bluffdale City Park. Bluffdale Arts Council

This play is always hilarious and this is no exception. Read my full review for utba here.

Silent Sky at Hale Centre Theatre Sandy

I saw a lot of plays in July (I’m normally more of a musical girl) and this one was decent. It tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt who worked at Harvard with a group of female astronomers. I enjoyed learning more about Leavitt and her accomplishments. They even have an exhibit outside the theater showcasing her work. The cast and crew all did a good job. Nevertheless, it was still a little on the dry side and particularly towards the end the script struggled to keep me interested in the more normal aspects of Leavitt’s life. Still, I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about these important scientists. 7/10

The Music Man at South Jordan City

I love the show The Music Man. I have a lot of nostalgia for it as I saw the 2001 revival on Broadway with my Grandma and cousin Lisa who have both since passed. I miss them a lot and the themes of family, friendship and forgiveness ring true. This was not a perfect rendition of this musical. There were a fair share of dropped lines and missed notes but it was all done with a community spirit and energy I thoroughly enjoyed. 6/10

Singin’ in the Rain viewings 2 and 3. Hale Centre Theatre Sandy

One of the best shows I’ve seen this year is Singin’ in the Rain at Hale Centre Theatre and that includes my Broadway trip. I liked it so much I saw it 2 more times because I wanted to see my old teacher David Smith as Don Lockwood and the 2nd time he was replaced so I went an additional time. No matter the cast this whole production is astonishing. There are still a few days to see it so trust me you’ll love it! It’s a perfect show from the singing, to the choreography, to the incredible production values including the rain. 10/10

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center. Taylorsville Arts Council

My instagram friend Amber Kacherian was in this production and she rocked it as the narrator. She has such an impressive voice and can really hit those high notes! I told her she should go out to New York. There is no doubt in my mind she’s good enough to make it there. Anyway, this was an overall fun time with a big energetic cast. Joseph is such a fun show to do for community theater with its silly songs and bonkers spirit. However, the director decided to embrace a 90s theme for the show which didn’t gel with the 70s pedigree of the show. It was distracting to have Cher from Clueless on stage or John and Uma from Pulp Fiction for no reason. Also they changed “Song of the King” to “I Want it That Way” from the Backstreet Boys which I thought was strange (I hope the director got permission to do that). Aside from the 90s elements it was fun. 6/10

Guys and Dolls at Willowcreek Middle School. Lehi Arts Council

I love Guys and Dolls and for the most part this was an entertaining version of this show. You can read my full review here.

Shrek: The Musical at Skyridge Auditorium. Regalo Theater Company

One of my biggest surprises of this supporting local theater journey was how much I enjoyed Shrek: The Musical. It is an absolutely hilarious show, particularly anything to do with Lord Farquad. You can read my review from last year here. For the most part I felt the same about this production from a new theater company Regalo. The singing wasn’t quite as good as the previous version but it was still solid and the rest of the production was fantastic. Great costumes, choreography, sets and everything else. In my opinion Shrek: The Musical is the gold standard of animated comedies transitioning to Broadway. So fun and I don’t even love the movie. 8/10

The Wild Party at Mid-Valley Performing Arts Centre. Hart Theater Company

Hart Theater is another new theater company in Salt Lake and starting with The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa was a bold and fascinating choice. It’s always fun to go into a show I know next to nothing about and give it a try. The whole team at Hart did a fantastic job with this tricky material and I appreciate they gave the audience a warning about assault going to take place and gave us a chance to step out if we wanted. All the singing and dancing was great. My only complaint is with the book. They set up the story with a traumatic event and promise we will get our revenge and then it never really happens. I felt like they kept wanting us to feel sorry for the abuser in confusing ways and never got that sense of catharsis I needed which was what the whole point of the party was put on to begin with. Still, it was something different, and I enjoyed getting to see it with my friend Jen. 7/10

The Sound of Music at Scera Outdoor Shell

I had a great time seeing this classic show with my friend Rachel even if parts of the production were disappointing. You can read my review for utba here.

Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies. Deer Valley Amphitheater.

This was my first time going to a concert at Deer Valley and my first time into Park City in a while (it feels like a different planet up there sometimes!). As a big Disney fan and big Disney musical fan this was right up my alley. The singers were terrific and they covered all the classics from The Little Mermaid to Frozen with music from the Utah Symphony. They also had a guy selling seafood paella which was delicious and made for a very pleasant evening. Good food, great music, beautiful setting. Perfect place for my 100th show 10/10

Trip at The Great Sale Lake Fringe Fest. The Speakeasy Theatre Company

This is an experimental one act play I saw at Fringe Fest. It has some interesting ideas but didn’t come together. You can read my review for utba here.

So there you have it. What an incredible month for theater! Did you get to see any of these shows or have you seen them in your area? I would love to hear your thoughts. I also did a special episode of my podcast with my friend Jacks talking about my 100th show. If you like theater it is definitely worth a listen


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