Utah Opera’s Don Giovanni goes Film Noir

Utah Opera’s 2016-2017 season closes with one of Mozart’s most popular operas, Don Giovanni. The 2016-17 season has been marked by serious operas with themes ranging from PTSD and the effects of war, to violence against women and political expression. Don Giovanni continues that trend with an updated production that shines a stark light on Giovanni’s … Read more

Retrospective: Plan-B Theatre’s 26th season filled with original, rare, essential plays by Utah writers

NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series about Plan-B Theatre, which just completed its 26th anniversary. Part 2 will preview the company’s 2017-2018 season. As audaciously experimental as Plan-B Theatre’s silver anniversary season was last year, the small theatre company in Salt Lake City set forth in its 26th season an original, rare, … Read more

Utah Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor is dramatic, yet subtle

Utah Opera’s 2016-2017 season has played to the moodier and dramatic side of human nature this year, and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is no exception. This tale of a woman manipulated into turning her back on true love and marrying another has tragic consequences. Utah Opera added more drama to the production with a last-minute cast … Read more

Sold out Virtue from Plan-B Theatre is saintly

Pope Benedict XVI formally canonized St. Hildegard of Bingen in 2012 but her creative genius in the fields of music, theater, science, theology, medicine and mysticism have been appreciated for nearly nine centuries. In Plan-B Theatre’s newest production, written by Tim Slover and directed by Jerry Rapier, Virtue explores the fascinating story of the Benedictine … Read more

Ballet West’s The Sleeping Beauty awakes from slumber

Kelli Bramble PhotographyKelli BraKelli Bramble Photographymble Photography

Ballet West has once again revived the timeless tale of The Sleeping Beauty for the February 2017 season run. Meant to appeal to audiences both young and old, the ballet is a traditional telling of the story of good over evil. After Princess Aurora is born, the fairies of Beauty, Joy, Kindness, Temperament and Wisdom … Read more

The top 10 of many fine moments in 2016 for the Utah Enlightenment

There were many fine moments this year for the Utah Enlightenment. In compiling the list of what I believe were the 10 best defining moments of Utah’s cultural awakening for 2016, the pool of choices was more than satisfying in breadth and depth. There has been a great deal of recent press, for example, about … Read more

Kris Johnson’s album Jim Crow’s Tears is masterpiece of jazz verismo

The closing scene of Bamboozled, Spike Lee’s 2000 provocative film, is a montage of historical images that critic Ashley Clark says encompasses “blacked-up Hollywood stars like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney; black stars in demeaning ‘coon’ and ‘mammy’ roles; racist cartoons; and disturbing scenes from films like The Birth of a Nation and Gone with … Read more

Welcome to the union! Plan-B Theatre’s One Big Union is a Utah Enlightenment jewel

Come, all ye workers, from every land, Come join in the grand Industrial band. Then we our share of this earth shall demand. Come on! Do your share, lend a hand! – Joe Hill At the beginning of One Big Union, the cast of six actors walks through the audience, welcoming members to the evening’s … Read more

Spy Hop’s 14th annual PitchNic films prove student filmmakers ready for festival circuit

Impressive as expected, the recent 14th annual PitchNic short film premieres by students at Spy Hop Productions engaged an audience of nearly 500 at the Rose Wagner Center for Performing Arts in many good questions following the screenings. More importantly, the quality of the films indicated that the student filmmakers are ready to submit their … Read more

Ballet West’s season opens with Madame Butterfly

Adapted from the beloved opera, Madame Butterfly flits back to the Ballet West stage to open the 2016-1017 season. A relatively new ballet, the dance version was brought to life by choreographer Stanton Welch and premiered in 1995 in Melbourne, Australia—from which hail the stunning costumes and sets for the Ballet West production. The Ballet … Read more