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 … Continue reading July Utah Theater Update
Category: arts and entertainment
May Update and Utah Theater Report
Hey everyone! I hope you are doing well and having a great Memorial Day. As usual I’ve been keeping myself very busy and had a wonderful month. I somehow have … Continue reading May Update and Utah Theater Report
My Thoughts on 11 Shows I Saw in Utah Winter 2022
Today I give my quick thoughts on the 11 shows I saw in Utah in Winter 2022
Ranking My Next 10 Live Theater Shows 2021 (20-29)
When I got vaccinated I made it my goal to support local theater as much as possible. I was excited to help the arts in any way I could but I don’t know if I even thought I would watch 30 live shows by the end of September! And I’m so glad I have and that I made this goal. What a tremendous experience it has been. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every show I’ve seen to one degree or another. I just love live theater so much and appreciate the efforts the cast and crew put in to putting on these shows. I’m so lucky to live in a place where there are so many local theaters putting on incredible productions. Blessed.
As I have done with 1-9 and 10-19 blocks of shows I will rank the 20-29 shows I’ve seen. Again, I’ve enjoyed all of them but it’s fun to rank things so here we go!
10. Footloose (West Valley Center for the Arts)-
I enjoyed the choreography and energy behind this production but some of the casting didn’t work for me. It’s not my favorite show to begin with its songs being all over the place in tone and style but I still appreciate the effort and had fun with my friend.
9. The Secret Garden (Hale Center Theater Sandy)
I love the songs from The Secret Garden. They have beautiful words and lyrics with a mixed sound that you don’t always here in contemporary Broadway. I enjoyed all the performances at this show at Hale but the gothic production design felt overwrought and the garden didn’t feel magical enough. It was still fun to see with my family but not my favorite.
8. Always…Patsy Cline (Hale Center Theater Sandy- Jewelbox Theater)
I consider myself a fan of country music and Patsy Cline’s beautiful singing, so I had a great time with Always…Patsy Cline. It’s a sweet show about an unlikely friendship between Patsy and one of her devoted fans. This show is very cute and the performances were amazing; however, it does feel more like a concert than a Broadway musical so that’s why it is at 8.
7. Sister Act (CenterPoint Theater, Centerville, UT)
CenterPoint theater always puts on a great show and Sister Act was no exception. The talent of the performers especially the lead was incredible. It’s one of those times when I feel bad such talented people are performing here in Utah rather than on American Idol or something like that. I kind of wish the show had 1 song from the movie but it’s Alan Menken music and you can’t go wrong with him. I also saw this show with my niece which was a ton of fun.
6. Hunchback of Notre Dame (Hopebox Theater. Kaysville UT)
Speaking of Alan Menken I saw another of his shows just last night. I was glad to see the stage adaptation improved upon the animated film in many ways including much better character development throughout. It also kept better control of tone and atmosphere. The Hopebox’s production is full of energy and a community spirit I love. If you can get up there to see it I recommend it.
5. The Last Five Years (Luminaire Theatre Company, Mid-Valley Performing Arts Center)
I have wanted to see The Last 5 Years for some time as I adore the songs and it did not disappoint. This moving and tragic portrait of a marriage (or a divorce) is tough to watch at times but emotionally true and devastating. The 2 person cast at Luminaire did an incredible job with very difficult songs. Plus, it was neat to finally see something in the new beautiful arts center. Maybe a little too sad to make my top 4 but I still thought it was wonderful.
4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (West Valley Arts)-
I have always wanted to see Sweeney Todd but was a little nervous with the darker themes and atmosphere. I am not much of a horror person so I didn’t know what to expect with this show. Fortunately I was very impressed by Sweeney Todd and the incredible production by West Valley Arts. It’s by far the best of the 3 shows I’ve seen there and I would love if they created a niche for themselves with more adult, darker themed shows. The singing was fantastic. The production design, costume and sets were first rate. I honestly can’t imagine the show being done any better.
3. Annie Get Your Gun (Hopebox Theatre, Kaysville, Utah)
I love Annie Get Your Gun and as my first show at Hopebox it did not disappoint! I love the cheekiness to the show, the romance between Annie and Frank Butler. The supporting characters are great and you can’t beat those Irving Berlin songs! The Hopebox did a great job with this. Sure a few things are outdated but I loved the casting especially the girl who played Annie and the community spirit to their shows is perfect for Annie Get Your Gun!
2. The Drowsy Chaperone (Scera Center for the Arts, Orem UT)
I admit there is a certain amount of nostalgia with this placement. I saw a preview performance of The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway way back in 2006 with star Sutton Foster. I loved it then and loved this production at the Scera. All the leads were wonderful including the title character, Adolfo and the Man in the Chair who narrates the show. It’s extremely funny and a lovely tribute to musical theater that warms my heart every time I watch it.
I am as surprised as you that a non-musical topped my list but The 39 Steps is such a delight it had to be number one. This murder-mystery satire is so mad-cap and hilarious it is a must see for any theater fan. I was laughing from start to finish and the performances at Hale Orem were phenomenal. How they are able to keep track of so many different characters, sometimes within the same scene is a joy to watch and the creative staging and production design made everything flow perfectly. It’s the kind of show I immediately recommended to all my friends because I knew they’d have a great time. How can you not when you are laughing your head off at such a funny show? I loved it
So there you have it! The ranking of 20-29 shows. I wonder w hat 30-39 will bring me? I have a Broadway trip coming up that I am very excited about and some local shows after that. Then the end of October I will probably slow things down because of the busyness of my holiday movie coverage. Still it should be lots of fun! What do you think of my ranking? If you saw any of these shows let me know!
[THEATER REVIEW] ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ (Hopebox Theatre. Kaysville, UT)
Today I give my thoughts on The Hunchback of Notre Dame at The Hopebox Theatre in Kaysville Utah
[THEATER REVIEW] ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ (SCERA Center for the Arts- Orem)
Back in 2006 my Aunt Katie was living in New York City while she was getting her masters degree. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and took 2 … Continue reading [THEATER REVIEW] ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ (SCERA Center for the Arts- Orem)
[THEATER REVIEW] ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ (West Valley Arts)
I think all musical theater fans have those shows they’ve heard about but haven’t actually seen. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of those shows for … Continue reading [THEATER REVIEW] ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ (West Valley Arts)
[THEATER REVIEW] The Secret Garden (Hale Centre Theatre Sandy)
Here in Utah you can always count on Hale Centre Theatre to put on a great show. Even if the material isn’t the best the production values and performances are … Continue reading [THEATER REVIEW] The Secret Garden (Hale Centre Theatre Sandy)
[THEATER REVIEW] The 39 Steps (Hale Center Theater Orem)
Today I give my thoughts about the spirited comedy The 39 Steps at Hale Center Theater in Orem
[THEATER REVIEW] Sister Act (Center Point Theatre)
Today I am sharing my thoughts on Sister Act at Center Point Theatre