PYGmalion Theatre Company’s Utah premiere of Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid is superb closer to a spectacular company season

In the introduction to her superlative biography Joan of Arc: A History (2014), Helen Castor wrote about her subject’s unique position as historical figure and as an epitome of Medieval Age culture, military history, politics and religious faith: “Unsurprisingly, the effect of Joan’s gravitational field – the self-defining narrative pull of her mission – is … Read more

A musical theatrical bounty for actors-musicians on stage: Pioneer Theatre Company set for Utah premiere of Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

The idea of turning even a rather small part of Leo Tolstoy’s monumental novel War and Peace into a musical would seem daunting, if not damn near impossible. However, Part 8 of the story, which occurs just before the novel’s midpoint, inspired Dave Malloy to do precisely that. Tolstoy, who achieved the epitome of rich … Read more

A prized chamber theater jewel: Outstanding acting invigorates Plan-B Theatre’s production of Melissa Leilani Larson’s Bitter Lemon

The two actors in the fabulous Plan-B Theatre production of Melissa Leilani Larson’s Bitter Lemon persuade the audience to reconsider Shakespeare’s Macbeth, not just as a chronicle about the fatalistic machinations of power but also as the moral conflict about good and evil. This conflict is manifested in Larson’s character creations of Lady Helen Macduff … Read more

Enemy fiction: Melissa Leilani Larson’s Bitter Lemon set for Plan-B Theatre’s (sort of) world premiere this week

In February, Plan-B Theatre mounted a world premiere production of Balthazar, Debora Threedy’s fresh reimagining of The Merchant of Venice’s Portia. As The Utah Review noted at the time, Threedy’s play is a well-crafted piece of fan fiction. In her two-hander script, she successfully sustained the broader integrity of Shakespeare’s literary world while reconfiguring characters … Read more

Plan-B Theatre’s world premiere of Debora Threedy’s Balthazar is a crown jewel of intimate chamber theater

Plan-B Theatre’s world premiere production of Debora Threedy’s Balthazar is a crown jewel of intimate chamber theater, in every measure. Directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff, the 70-minute production is gratifying in the finest sense, with Threedy’s well-grounded fanfiction take on Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice, the ebullient elegance of Lily Hye Soo Dixon and Jason … Read more

Courage, creative fire, innovation, enterprise: The Utah Review’s Top 10 Moments of the Utah Enlightenment in 2023

This year’s selections in The Utah Review of the top ten moments of the Utah Enlightenment in 2023, the ninth annual edition, were the easiest to curate in the nine years of publishing this annual list. Likewise, selecting the top moment among the ten was just as easy. In Utah, there are creative producers in … Read more

Utah Symphony concert to feature Utah premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Rounds with pianist Awadagin Pratt, guest conductor Teddy Abrams

Pianist and conductor Awadagin Pratt remembers meeting Jessie Montgomery, violinist and composer, several years ago and playing chamber music together for a week. “She talked about the experiences she had in making the transition from a violinist to a composer and her thoughts about music making in general,” Pratt said in an interview with The … Read more

Plan-B Theatre, in partnership with KUER-FM’s RadioWest, to present Radio Hour Episode 17: Sherlock Holmes and The Final Problem, in live broadcast with live audience for first time since 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m., from the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, The Utah Review will live blog the world premiere of Radio Hour Episode 17: Sherlock Holmes and The Final Problem, produced by Plan-B Theatre and KUER-FM’s RadioWest program. Tune into KUER-FM 90.1 and follow The Utah Review during the … Read more

Season opener review roundup: Pioneer Theatre Company’s Murder on the Orient Express, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Groundworks, Plan-B Theatre’s Squeak, NOVA Chamber Music Series on Hungarian music

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express has remained resilient. It is surprising for a 1934 novel that more often than not has been denigrated by contemporary scholars of literature as lowbrow along with what they perceived as insensitive portrayals of cultural and ethnic stereotypes they contend … Read more

Pioneer Theatre Company’s 62nd season filled with twists on canonical stories, plenty of music, some of most widely sought after contemporary dramas and comedies

Coming off a previous season that produced several momentous takeaways highlighting Salt Lake City’s enviable status as an important and discerning cultural destination, Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) is offering seven productions for its 62nd season which not only celebrate canonical contemporary classics but also inflect them with just enough twists to stimulate fresh perspectives for … Read more