A 2023 holiday season exclusive for U.S. and Salt Lake City: Pioneer Theatre Company set for production opening of Christmas in Connecticut musical adaptation

The most enduring Hollywood movies about Christmas reinforce the nostalgia about holiday celebrations, even when chaos threatens to upend plans for the perfect gathering. In 1945, as GIs began to return to the States after the long world war, American audiences welcomed the holiday madcap farce of Warner Bros.’ Christmas in Connecticut.  Nearly 80 years … Read more

Halloween season must-see productions: Ballet West’s Dracula, Pioneer Theatre Company’s The Rocky Horror Show

What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with the first-class productions of Ballet West’s Dracula and Pioneer Theatre Company’s The Rocky Horror Show. BALLET WEST: DRACULA  By Chris Myers  In 1997, choreographer Ben Stevenson chose to celebrate the centennial of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with a ballet adaptation that would not have seemed out … 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

Delivering all the ‘zazz,’ Pioneer Theatre Company’s Utah premiere of The Prom is rollicking exhibition of gold medal theatrical gymnastics

Sometimes, a feel-good musical comedy reminds us that the ideal of everyone dancing together at a concert, festival or school prom has not yet fully materialized. In Hairspray, segregation is the barrier but Tracy Turnblad’s bountiful optimism in hoping that everyone of all identities can dance on The Corny Collins Show prevails.  In The Prom, … Read more

Spirited, well-acted production frames Pioneer Theatre Company’s offering of Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me

After a 2019 survey by the American Bar Association revealed some discouraging gaps in civic literacy, Bob Carlson, then ABA president, said, “We cannot be content to sit on the sidelines as democracy plays out in front of us. For the sake of our country, we all need to get in the game.” For example, … Read more

Pioneer Theatre Company’s Putting It Together is a Sondheim tribute assembled like a perfect martini

Nearly 50 years ago, the compilation Side by Side by Sondheim premiered to strong reviews and audience response, so persistent that by the late 1980s, Sondheim was urged to do an update or a sequel. Relenting to the request, he collaborated with Julia McKenzie, who was one of the creators and stars of the earlier … Read more

Pioneer Theatre Company’s world premiere presentation of Kareem Fahmy’s A Distinct Society is superb on all counts

In the middle of the superb world premiere production at the Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) of Kareem Fahmy’s A Distinct Society, Peyman, an Iranian cardiac surgeon, tells Manon, who runs the tiny Haskell Free Library straddling the Canadian-U.S. border, “When I was young my father told me: ‘Peyman, politics is shit. Ignore politics, and it … Read more

Pioneer Theatre Company’s A Christmas Story: The Musical is spiffy, enjoyable homage to holiday film classic

The 1983 movie A Christmas Story was a definitive sleeper hit. Directed by Bob Clark, the film did reasonably well at the box office, easily recouping its comparatively low production costs ($3.3 million) after opening right before Thanksgiving and it was still in about a hundred theaters on New Year’s Day in 1984. Clark was … Read more

Popping every kernel of song, dance and comedy perfectly, Broadway-bound Shucked receives a splendid world premiere at Pioneer Theatre Company

There has been a smattering of musicals on and off Broadway which not only had stories based in rural America but also had country music and songs as part of the book and score. They include rousing shows such as Pump Boys and Dinettes, Floyd Collins, Smoke on the Mountain and A Good Old Fashioned … Read more