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. 

 

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.

Four Seasons Theatre Company

Now that our local summer theater season is over, there’s time for me to vent about one of my pet peeves – Disney musicals.

Waldron Creative

If you loved The Barber of Seville during the 2018 Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre season – and who didn’t? – make a beeline for the final performance of the current production of The Marriage of Figaro. It’s another great comic opera with the same hilarious characters, equally beautiful music, thrilling performances and gorgeous costuming.

Andrew McAllister – Caine College of the Arts)

If you don’t think that a 90-minute farce with a tiny cast can be as entertaining as a full-scale musical comedy, then you obviously haven’t seen the Lyric Repertory Company’s current production of Murder for Two.

Waldron Creative

The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre launched its 2019 main-stage offerings with a rousing production of Newsies, an old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing musical.

Waldron Creative

When performing one of the greatest works in the whole canon of American musical theater, the quality bar is naturally set sky-high. The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s ongoing production of the classic West Side Story easily vaults that bar and continues into the heavens.

Andrew McAllister - USU Caine College of the Arts

In a surprisingly gutsy move, the Lyric Repertory Company has played the high-voltage drama card again in its 2019 season. The Lyric’s trademark is feel-good comedies and small-cast musicals, after all. But the company’s artistic directors Richie Call and Jason Spelbring have assembled a group of performers who represent a high-water mark of talent this year. So why not go for broke?

Andrew McAllister / Caine College of the Arts

If you haven’t been living on Mars for the past two decades, then you know that Mama Mia! is a juke box musical featuring the eclectic music of the Swedish pop group ABBA.

Lyric Repertory Company

Any good theater production can make you laugh or cry. But only a truly great show has the power to frighten you. The scary thing about the Lyric Repertory Company’s ongoing production of A Raisin in the Sun is the realization that this drama is as relevant in our supposedly post-racial 21st Century as it was when Lorraine Hansberry penned the script 60 years ago. The topics may have changed when we discuss race and family relations nowadays, but the issues have not.

Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre

The Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre’s fireworks will begin right after the 4th of July this year. That’s appropriate because festival impresario Michael Ballam has surprises in store for all of us in the weeks ahead.

Lyric Repertory Company

The start of Cache Valley’s local theater season is just a couple weeks away. For the Lyric Repertory Company, according to artistic director Richie Call, the big news is six hot shows in three cool venues. The Lyric is staging six shows this year, rather than its traditional four, by moving three of those productions into theaters on the Utah State University campus.

Cache Theatre Company

In mid-April, the local Cache Theatre Company conspired to steal a bit of the thunder of the 2019 summer theater season with its production of the jukebox musical “Mama Mia.” The Lyric Repertory Company is slated to debut the same show in June, but CTC beat them to the punch.