City Guide 2008 | Culture: Theater - A Play A Day | City Guide | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Guide 2008 | Culture: Theater - A Play A Day 

Regular servings of Utah’s performing arts keep you healthy and wise.

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Do you enjoy the performing arts? I do. I see more than anyone in Utah, even the critics for City Weekly. My friend Anne and I have an unspoken competition for the Person Who Sees the Most Live Entertainment.

If it’s onstage—whether a play, opera, dance, symphony, whatever—we are probably watching it. Live entertainment is a big, thrilling gamble. If the play is done poorly, it’s like two hours of waterboarding at the hands of CIA thugs, whereas if it is done well, it’s like two hours with a gorgeous lover who thinks you are the hottest thing since Mount Vesuvius and who knows just how to make you blow your top.

Because Anne and I know the chance of a big payoff is worth the risk, we are drawn to darkened rooms several times every week, hoping each time that the earth will move.

If you don’t take in performing arts often (or at all) because you think it’s boring or expensive or you don’t know what is playing or you are too cool for theater or you think theater is too cool for you, I have a request: Give up that story. Sample what the Beehive State has to offer. You may have to suffer through a lousy show or two, but judging from what the 2008 lineup includes, chances are excellent you will hit the jackpot.

If you already are a frequent patron of the arts, try a different venue or company than those you usually visit; you may strike a vein of gold you had never anticipated. Here is what’s in the cards for Salt Lake City and environs:

Broadway Across America
Sometime between now and Feb. 10, tell that special lady in your life that you are taking her to a surprise movie. Next, blindfold and take her, instead, to the Rose Wagner Center; then, as the curtain rises, whip off her blindfold, and surprise her with Menopause the Musical! She’ll cry. Riverdance, Feb. 5-10 in Kingsbury Hall, will be even better than the clog dancers you saw at your ward. Take your children or someone else’s to Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, March 4-5 in Kingsbury. Please, please, please take me to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Kingsbury, whenever you like between Feb. 26 and March 2. We got Annie April 8-13 at Kingsbury. Stomp, June 3-8 at Capitol Theatre, will help you look at garbage in a new way. If the teens in your life missed High School Musical on the Disney Channel, they can see it July 29-Aug. 3 at the Capitol Theatre. Lastly, spend an evening with The Drowsy Chaperone at the Capitol Theatre, June 25-29. As Mark Miranda said to Miss Coco Peru, “It’s big, it’s beautiful, and you’re gonna love it.” Various venues, 355-2787,

Egyptian Theatre Company
Life is disappointing? Forget it and see Cabaret, Feb. 22-April 5; Defending the Caveman, April 17-19; and Altar Boyz, June 27-Aug. 1. 328 Main, Park City, 888-243-5779,

The Grand Theatre
Get a little color in your life: Put on your handsomest hat and see Crowns, Jan. 25-Feb. 9. Inherit the Wind plays March 7-22 followed by Big River, May 2-17; sit the balcony where you can make out during the love scenes, just like your mom did when she was a student there in 1964. Just bring $10 and binoculars in case you want to see the actors.
1575 S. State, 957-3322,

Hale Centre Theatre
The Civil War will sound prettier than ever, Feb. 19-April 5; for an intermission pick-me-up, go to the concessions window and ask for the delectable Hale house coffee. Annie Get Your Gun will inspire you to join the National Rifle Association, April 14-May 31; afterward, unwind over a beer and sing your favorite tunes from the show at the Black Bull bar up the street. Take the whole family—especially your craziest relatives—to The Curious Savage, June 5-July 19. 3333 Decker Lake Dr., West Valley City, 984-9000,

Pinnacle Acting Company
You will go nuts for The Seagull at Midvale Performing Arts Center, 695 W. Center St. (7720 South), April 17-26, and crazy for Medea in a secret amphitheater, June 5-7. Bring your nieces and nephews to Charlie’s Aunt, July 17-26. For a romantic date, stroll through SugarHouse Park holding hands, and then see Romeo and Juliet, Oct. 16-25, at Highland High School, 2100 S. 1700 East; tickets are so affordable, you’ll have plenty of cash left over for a trip to the Blue Boutique. Various venues, 674-7956,

Pioneer Theatre Company
Mark this on your calendar right now: Virtuoso director Paul Barnes’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Feb. 15-March 1. You liked The Heiress onscreen; you will love her onstage March 14-29. If you missed the Mel Brooks films or recent touring production of The Producers, don’t make the same mistake this time. Catch it April 25-May 10. 300 S. 1400 East, 581-6961,

Plan-B Theatre Company
Don’t ask what The End of the Horizon is about; just reserve your tickets this week and go March 14-30. Anyone who’s anyone will be at Slam on May 17. The only thing you need to know about The Tricky Part is it stars David Spencer, plays May 30-June 15, and if you wait until everyone you know is telling you how wunnnerful it is, tickets will be sold out and you’ll miss out. Come hungry for tasty treats when you see And the Banned Played On July 21. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787,

Pygmalion Productions
Treat your faithful gardener and housekeeper to two plays neither of you will forget: Living Out, Feb 8-23 and Sordid Lives, April 25-May 10. Your flowers will be the envy of the neighborhood and your toilets will gleam like never before. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787,

Salt Lake Acting Company
Two of the finest directors to whom Utah has laid claim, Roger Benington and Keven Myhre, are sculpting Skin in Flames, Jan. 30-Feb. 24, and The Clean House, April 2-27, respectively; see them and you will never again complain that Utah’s cultural scene is lacking. Saturday’s Voyeur 2008 explodes the Beehive State June 4-Aug 10, but if you think that just because it runs for months means you can wait until summer to think about reserving your seats, your friends will have to listen to you whine that you couldn’t get in because tickets were sold out; spare them that pain and call the box office now. 168 W. 500 North, 363-7552,

Wasatch Theatre Company
Enjoy a proper cup of Earl Grey and a scone at the Beehive Tea Room, and then find out What the Butler Saw, now through Feb. 3. Come back with your momma anytime between May 1-18 and buy a ticket to either Caroline written by Tony Kushner or Change by Jeanine Tesori—whichever one you take her to will be a lovely Mother’s Day gift. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787,
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About The Author

Alexis Baigue

Not only does Alexis Baigue frequent local theater houses, but he is also a local actor. Baigue recently appeared in Pygmalion Productions’ The Sex Habits of American Women and Salt Lake Acting Company’s Saturday’s Voyeur 2007 (as Cardozo, Rocky Anderson’s pet parrot). Baigue will reverse... more

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