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2016 Utah Shakespeare Festival

Reviews

New Beginnings at the Utah Shakespeare Festival

 
The spacious new Beverley Center for the Arts opened to much fanfare just weeks ago, and already folks from the vicinity and beyond the state flock to Utah Shakespeare Festival ’s bigger and better offerings. The new Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre repeats the same shape as the older Adams O, but accommodates nearly 1,00 people.

The centerpiece of summer is Mary Poppins, a musical that pulls out all the stops for spectacular effects at a fraction of Broadway’s cost. As for Shakespeare (oh, him!), Julius Caesar joins the two Shakespearean summer shows, a history play and a comedy, at the end of the month.  But in comparison to the total number of plays, Shakespeare takes a back seat to comedy, with the addition of the Odd Couple and Murder for Two later in the season. The former is a must-see, featuring the two artistic directors, David Ivers and Brian Vaughn, in a play that may mirror their own working relationship, to much hilarity.

Also in late August the festival gives a boost to contemporary playwriting with staged readings of One Big Union by Debora Threedy and How to Fight Loneliness by Neil La Bute.

This artistic team certainly knows its audience, but to the detriment of their original mission staging Shakespeare. Still, the spirit remains to “be inspired.”  And the pervasive professionalism of every offering makes the Utah Shakespeare Festival an important destination of the full play of theatre lovers.

 

The Utah Shakespeare Festival unfolds through October 22, 2016 in Beverley Center for the Arts in both the Randall L. Jones Theatre and the new Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre just off the campus of Southern Utah University with summer and fall offerings. Tickets range from $20.00 to $77.00; phone 1 (800) PLAYTIX or online at www.bard.org. Walk-up box offices are now located outside the new Eileen and Allen Anes studio theatre, just east the corner of 300 West and Center Streets in Cedar City, Utah, 84720.