Charlie's In The House: A UPR Theater Review

THURSDAYS AT 3:30 & 4:30 P.M. AND Fridays 7:42 & 8:42 A.M.

Cache Valley critic Charlie Schill presents weekly reviews and previews of local theater productions. Charlie’s In the House will highlight the rich and varied entertainment scene in Cache Valley and throughout Utah. This Utah Public Radio program will focus on professional, community and academic theatrical productions and other special events.

Charlie's In The House is made possible by in part by the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau. More information can be found here. 

Charlie's In The House is also made possible in part by Beazer Lock & Key at 4th and 100 W in Logan. Serving Cache, Rich and Box Elder Counties for 25 years. Details can be found here. 

And Charlie's In The House is also made possible in part by The Sportsman on Main Street in downtown Logan, serving Cache Valley since 1947.  Details can be found here. 

 

Photo courtesy of CTC

 


The Cache Theatre Company celebrated the Year of the Woman last weekend with the premier of its production of Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias.” 

 

 


Theatrically, the pickings have been pretty slim around here since 2020 dawned, but things are looking up for February. 

 

Three local productions will premiere here in Cache Valley next month and there are also a couple of really interesting offerings slated in Salt Lake City during February. 

 

Juniper Street Productions

 


The joke is on you if you passed up the chance to see “Beautiful - The Carole King Musical” at the Ellen Eccles Theatre last week. You missed the hottest touring show to hit Cache Valley in years. 

Pioneer Theatre Company

 


Fine acting and brilliant staging are bringing a museum-piece drama to life in the Pioneer Theatre Company’s ongoing production of Mary Stuart. 

 

(Photo courtesy of The Herald Journal by Tyler Larson

 

 


A man who had a huge impact on the Cache Valley theater community left us all in late December. So this is a humble tribute to W. Vosco Call. 

 

Photo courtesy of ODT

 


It’s official: all Nutcrackers are not created equal. 

 

We’re talking about ballets here, of course, not ugly wooden trinkets. If you want to see a traditional version of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, you can take your pick of productions full of artistry and refinement up and down the Wasatch Front at Christmastime. But if you want to see a Nutcracker that’s full of imagination and fun, the only game in town is The Redux Nut-Cracker by the Odyssey Dance Theatre. 

 

Photo courtesy of FSTC

 

Some holiday events are just worth seeing over and over again. The recent production of A Christmas Carol by the Four Season Theatre Company in Smithfield was a prime example of that.

Pickleville Playhouse

The problem with holiday traditions is that they’re always the same. See the Nutcracker. Trim the tree. Over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house. Same, same. Ditto, ditto.

Four Seasons Theatre Company

After a two-year hiatus, the Four Season Theatre Company is once again staging its trademark holiday production of A Christmas Carol. If the quality of their six previous presentations of this show is any indication, this one will be spectacular as usual.

Andrew McAllister / Caine College of the Arts

The ongoing production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre by the Theatre Arts Department at Utah State University is both an entertaining and educational experience.

Utah State University

If you think that children’s theater is kid’s stuff, guess again. The Theater Arts Department at Utah State University treats preparing its students for the unique challenges of performing for young audiences as serious business. But that doesn’t mean that watching their shows intended for children can’t be a delight for both young and old.

Cache Theater Company

At the risk of being accused of spawning a terrible pun, the Cache Theatre Company’s ongoing production of the blue-grass musical Bright Star really shines. It’s a feel-good show that works, because the performances are strong enough to make the audience care about its characters.

Moab Folk Festival

So I visited the Moab Folk Festival this past week, where I collected some good old-fashioned memories and got a sunburn.

Fair warning: this is a shameless plug for Utah Public Radio’s upcoming Comedy Night at the Cache Venue. That event is set for Saturday, Nov. 16th and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Odyssey Dance Theatre

The Odyssey Dance Theatre’s deep dark secret is that its most popular Halloween extravaganza Thriller isn’t really scary. Unless, of course, you’re frightened of ghouls, zombies, mummies, ghosts, dinosaurs, Frankenstein’s monster, skeletons, scarecrows, phantoms, witches, vampires, a horde of homicidal Chucky dolls, hockey-masked maniacs with chainsaws, killers hiding under the bed and things that just generally go bump in the night.

Pickleville Playhouse

The Davis clan has done it again. Their production of The Addams Family at the Pickleville Playhouse in Bear Lake is an absolute delight.

Four Seasons Theatre

Last weekend, the Four Seasons Theatre Company threw its heart and soul into the local debut of the newest Disney musical, Freaky Friday. The opening night show featured perfect casting, terrific vocals and a cleverly simplistic set design augmented with impressive high-tech lighting effects. 

Andrew McAllister / Caine College of the Arts

The Department of Theatre Arts at Utah State University opened its 2019-20 season last weekend with the contemporary drama Civics and Humanities for Non-Majors.

Music Theatre West

You have to see Music Theatre West’s ongoing production of The Music Man. I was blown away by the show. It’s marvelous. Not “marvelous” for an amateur production. Not “marvelous” for community theater. Forget all those qualifiers. The Music Man is marvelous. Period.

Waldron Creative

I have to confess that I’ve always unconsciously assumed that our Lyric Repertory Company and the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre rank somehow below more prestigious theater programs like the Utah Shakespeare Festival. But I never had the opportunity or the inclination to test the validity of that impression until this past summer.

Karl Hugh / Utah Shakespeare Festival 2019

It’s true confessions time! I really don’t care much for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I know, that’s practically heresy for anyone living in Utah, given Donny Osmond’s well-known connection to that show.

Pickleville Playhouse

I’m embarrassed to admit that in three decades of living in northern Utah, I had never visited the Pickleville Playhouse in Garden City prior to last month.

Twelfth Night is the Shakespearian equivalent of the screwball comedies that Hollywood made during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Done right, the comedies of William Shakespeare are that hilarious and the Utah Shakespeare Festival knows how to do these shows right.

Lefler Photography

The Cache Theatre Company staged an amusing little amateur production of Frozen Jr. featuring talented teens from Cache Valley high schools last weekend.

Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2019.)

Everyone knows that even bad Shakespeare is pretty good. But there’s no bad Shakespeare at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and their current production of Macbeth is the Bard at his best – lean and mean.

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