Student Reviews 2015

A Crazy Catastrophe

Who knew that something so crazy, could be so romantic? Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, in 1601, played in the BLANK BLANK theater on October 9, 2014. Through many crazy events and loves, this story will steal your heart, and make you laugh.

When Viola and her brother, Sebastian are shipwrecked in places far from each other, crazy things start to happen. Viola dresses as a man to be able to find a job, and Sebastian meets up with a shady criminal named Antonio. Next, Viola finds a job as a servant to Count Orsino, and falls in love with him while delivering love letters and pleas to Count Orsino’s love, Oliva. Olivia falls in love with Viola, thinking she is a man. Meanwhile, Maria, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew cook up trouble from Olivia’s manor. They trick a man named Malvolio into trying to impress Olivia with very strange behavior, ending him up in jail. Soon after, Sebastian shows up and gets married to Olivia, as Olivia thinks he is Viola. Then Olivia and Count Orsino meet each other and Count Orsino finds out Olivia loves his servant. Then everything goes crazy, but as the twins meet each other once again, it ends up all right.

The lighting of this play is amazing, different parts of the stage are lit up in different times, so you are never confused who to focus on. The main set is a large stone structure with two staircases that the actors go up and down all the time. At the top of the structure there is a small, three person band that is incorporated into the story. The makeup was very well done, age makeup might have been used, but it was so well done it was hard to tell. The costumes really portrayed who that character was.

This was the best play I have ever been to. The actors did a wonderful job of portraying their character and using the lines to communicate feelings and thoughts, without just saying it outright. The way that the actors used the lines made it feel comical, but still heartfelt and special. Nothing bored or irritated me at all. Similes and Metaphors were used occasionally, but always correctly.

I give this play a full five stars! This is such a must see. Sebastian, Viola, Count Orsino and all of the characters will have you laughing and crying through the whole thing. This play will leave you stunned and amazed with crazy, amazing events for weeks afterward.

Let’s Dance

With many songs and brilliant dance moves, Salem High School brings an outstanding version of the original 1984 film of Footloose. Dancing through the days, this show was shown on November 20, and ran to the 24, of 2014. Footloose brings the story of a teenage boy, named Ren McCormack who just loves to let his dance moves run wild. He then finds himself moving to a small town, where he finds out that dancing is illegal. Devastated by this law Ren McCormack finds himself determined to find a way to get these small town people to bust a move once again.

Dancing! The one of the things that really brought this play to life was its dancing. The dancers seemed to enjoy every second of the challenging dance moves that were performed. The dance moves seemed to bring an exciting feel that could be felt buzzing through the air, bringing the show to a whole new level. For example, there was a part when Willard was learning to dance, and busted out some impressive moves, bringing an impressed crowd applauding. One flaw I noticed when everyone was on stage dancing, was that some of the dancers were off cue. This meant that they were a bit behind everyone else, so it became annoying, and distracting. Most of the main dancers, like Kevin Bacon, were actually really good. Just watching him you could tell that he was made for this role, his dance moves proved to be a highlight of the show. He showed by example that the people in town shouldn’t be afraid to dance, they should embrace it, making dancing a part of everyone.

The singing was another important part of this thrilling show, the music sang by the actors brought excitement and energy, that went coursing through the audience. The songs showed the feelings the actors were enduring, sending you the message that they were not only singing their songs, but they were also expressing it. For example in the favored song “Footloose” you could see the excitement in each character through not only their singing but, also in their facial expressions, and movements. When this song came on you couldn’t help but feel like you should stand up and dance along with the actors. One other flaw I noticed in the production was the person who was playing Kevin Bacon, seemed to have trouble hitting some of the notes, making some of his words not as clear, but as the show went on he did a great job hiding it.

I would rate this production a 4 out of 5, because of some of the flaws that occurred during the show, but also because of many other things they did well. This show was enjoyable show full of excitement. They threw their hearts into their characters, creating a better picture, and making the stage come alive by thrilling the crowd with its songs, and dance moves. Not only did the audience seem to love it, but so did the actors. As you watched you could see each actor seemed to blend with their character, almost like they were that person in the real life. It is amazing how directors can find the perfect part for each person, and how each person seems to connect so well to their characters.

Killing Comedy

Remember Michael Jackson’s famous hit song “Thriller” as well as the spectacular music video that went along with it? This specific theatrical event is somewhat based on that, having the identical name of “Thriller”. The University of Utah organized this event at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake, Utah, which is in the University of Utah’s campus. This wonderful play had been going on from October 10th to November 1st of 2014, as I attended it on October 25th.

While waiting for the play to begin, zombies walked around creepily in the aisles. This was very amusing, as they looked extremely realistic! Then, the first skit came on, and it was the Thriller dance itself. The skit was very amazing and immensely well choreographed, having the same zombies from the aisles dancing in it. Just minutes later, another very astonishing sequence was the Frankenstein skit. None of the members in this actually talked, as they only used body language, which can sometimes be difficult. It was very comical and had much drama. And last but not least, my personal favorite, the Jason Voorhees skit. The three men it featured did the same exact motions at the same time, pulling out chainsaws and other scary items. One of them though, was the unintelligent one as he did not follow the others’ movements. He was by far the most humorous! There were many more skits as well as a few online videos in there too, to give time for the next group to get ready.

As for the theater itself, it was absolutely gigantic. It was so enormous that there was an upper level seating arrangement too. There were approximately fifty or more colored lights over the top of the stage for better lighting. There were fog machines, realistic props, and a huge surround sound system. The costumes were most likely over $150 a piece! There was classical music for some of the skits, but also a hint of modern as well. The whole physical experience was tremendously amazing, as the theater and special effects were perfectly thought out.

All through the event, everything mainly consisted of foreshadowing because there wasn’t an actual plot to the play, it was just a series of skits. Nonetheless, it definitely kept the audience on their toes with anticipation, suspense, and excitement! One example of this element of literature was the Jason Voorhees skit. You just knew that one of the characters was going to do something out of line. Simply because they led us to believe that there was something unexpected about to happen, and without a doubt, it did every single time without disappointment.  

This whole entire play as one was absolutely terrific! I personally enjoyed many things such as the use of a variety of music, Halloween themes and a few modern day segments in there too. However, I disliked the skit about grown adults pretending they are in a childrens play. I thought this was quite funny, but did not belong in a sophisticated college-level play for Halloween. Overall, I would vote this play a 4.75 out of 5 stars just because of the very minor things that weren’t so enjoyable. All in all, this event was definitely a must-see for everyone and I would definitely recommend it, whether you enjoy being in Halloween spirit or not!

A Traumatic Love Story

They snap, they sing, and they dance. Payson High School’s (PHS’s) performance of  West Side Story, performed on November 13, 14, 15, and 17, of 20214. PHS did a phenomenal job with  their 63 member cast. With Jalon Watts, a junior at PHS as Tony, and Taja Throckmorton a sophomore at PHS as Maria. Jalon and Taja both did fantastic. Their characters Tony and Maria are a lot like Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” In this musical, Tony is a member of the gang, The Jets, Maria’s older brother Bernardo (senior, Matthew Weber) is the leader of the gang, The Sharks.

West Side Story is the award-winning adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet”. The feuding families in “Romeo and Juliet” become two warring New York City gangs The Jets led by Riff  (senior, Jacob Hayes) and the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo. Their feud escalates to a point where they can not see with any form of understanding. But when Riff's best friend (and former Jet) Tony and Bernardo's younger sister Maria meet at a dance, no one can do anything to stop them from falling in love. Maria and Tony began meeting in secret, because if anyone found out they would be in a lot of  trouble. They plans  to run away. The Sharks and Jets plan a rumble under the highway - whoever wins gains control of the streets. Maria sends Tony to stop it, hoping it can end the violence. It goes terribly wrong, and before the lovers know what has happened, tragedy strikes and doesn't stop until the climactic and heartbreaking ending.

On the night of the 15 they had some technical difficulties. The techies in charge of sound, did not play the right song, and this led to the actors being very confused. Other than this they did an over all okay job. The choreography, costumes, make-up, props, and sets, were fantastic. The scene changes were quite professional looking. They did a great job at acting and making the sets, they did borrow some of their set pieces from Payson Community Theater (PCT). The choreographers for this play were, Carma Heimuli, Marilyn Morgan, UVU Theater Department, and SFHS Theater Department. The stage director was, Dane Alred, the musical director was, Marilyn Morgan, the assistant musical director was, Jaden Grill, and the assistant technical director was, Erin Fuhriman.

Overall this production was phenomenal. The voices of all the singers were amazing, and the music was fantastic. The song, “Gee, Officer Krupkee.” was one of the best songs in the whole play. Part of the song goes, “ Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke, You gotta understand, It's just our bringin' up-ke, That gets us out of hand. Our mothers all are junkies, Our fathers all are drunks. Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks! Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset; We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get. We ain't no delinquents, We're misunderstood. Deep down inside us there is good!” This shows The Jets talking about there “bringin’ up-ke” as they put it. It tells us how they have grown up, another part of the musical says, “When you're a Jet, You're a Jet all the way, From your first cigarette, To your last dyin' day.” This shows, that them to smoke, they do not have the typical teenage life we think of now. The play was set in the 1960’s  so this gives us the information that them smoking cigarettes was a normal thing to do.

One element of literature in this musical are, the allusion to “Romeo and Juliet.” This play is really just a modified form of “Romeo and Juliet.” This play deserves four stars, it does not deserve five because, as stated above they did have some technical issues. That is really the only reason though had the technical mistake not happened it would get five stars.