Farmington’s “Seussical” was a Suessierific Family Production

By Becky Evans

I took my daughters to see Farmington City’s summer production of Seussical the Musical at the Farmington Arts Center and we all left singing and shaking our tail-feathers as wanna-be bird-girls.  As we learned more about the actors and actresses in this hometown production, we realized it was a show put on by families for families. Seussical follows a little boy named JoJo’s adventures in a town inhabited by Dr. Seuss characters including Horton the Elephant, Whos from Whoville, a General who is going to war with butter-side downers, Maysie the bird, a sour kangaroo, and many more.

Breanne Hendricks has worked tirelessly this summer as director and choreographer and it shows.  Derek Hendrick touches heartstrings with his on-pitch and sweet portrayal of Horton the Elephant caring for the Whos. Hendrick is also credited for designing and building the sets, which were lively and “Seussy.”  Rose Jenson costumed the show in a manner that defined who was who while allowing our imaginations to fill in the extra. Jenson is expressive and entertaining in her featured role as JoJo’s mother. She became involved in this production to spend extra time with her son this summer.

Hollie Lowell did a great job pulling big sound from a relatively small cast and her husband took turns alternating between the Cat in The Hat and the General along with the talented and extremely energetic Jason StowellAngie Burton rocks her part of the Sour Kangaroo with great facial expressions and dance moves although the sound cut out for some of her riffs and her vocal embellishments were hard to hear. Lowell’s daughter plays the bouncy young kangaroo and even looks related to Burton.

The actresses that stole the show in the hearts of my girls were the two bird girls: Lena Conatser as Maysie and Jamila Lowe as Gertrude.  Conaster’s energy was electric as she strutted and sang with confidence about her fabulous tail. Gertrude looks up to Maysie both literally and figuratively as she sets about trying to earn a tail like Maysie’s.  Although I would have liked to have heard her words more clearly during “All for You,” she sings with heart along with Horton in the “Finale” as they decide to care for Maysie’s egg together. It was a show-stopping moment when the egg hatches and an unusual creature is born. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.

Seussical the Musical was a fun, uplifting show to bring the whole family to. Farmington’s production ran only one week, Aug 1-7 but if you would like to be involved in the next hometown production, they are having auditions for their fall dinner theatre Play On this Saturday, Aug 12 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Farmington Arts CenterKatie Evans is directing and is looking for 13 comedic adults to join in the fun.

Farmington City presented Seussical the Musical                                                       Farmington Arts Center, 120 South Main Street, Farmington, Utah 84025                   Aug 1-7, 2017  6:30 PM                                                                                                 Tickets: $7

 

 

 

Dance Your Way to Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse to Take in the Fun of “All Shook UP”

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By DeAnn Patterson

Walking into Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse in Ogden, my husband and I had no idea what kind of evening we were in for. We are relatively new to the area. We had never been to this theatre before, and we had never seen All Shook up before.

Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse has been providing entertainment to the community for 25 years.  It was easy to find and parking was plentiful. On driving up, the building was clearly transformed from an old grocery store.  You would never guess that from the inside. It was an older, but fun and cozy setting with a thrust stage. We were warmly welcomed and quickly assisted in finding our seats. We definitely felt like we were closer to the stage and more intimate with the cast than in many theatre settings. The one downside is that the seats are very close together. It would be somewhat uncomfortable if you are not at ease sitting in close proximity to your neighbors. Because of the closeness to the stage, the sound was better than many theatres. We had no problem hearing any of the speaking or singing.

All Shook Up is a jukebox musical set in 1955. It is a rendition of William Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. It is full of fun, toe-tapping music of Elvis Presley, lots of dancing, and a collection of fun one-liners and comedy.  Set in a small Midwest town, an out-of-town roustabout, Chad (Dave Clegg) comes riding into town with a guitar and brings in a lot of excitement, much to the dismay of the uptight mayor, Matilda Hyde (Carla Zarate.)

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From the opening song “Jailhouse Rock”, to the closing “Burning Love,” the cast is full of energy. It will have you laughing out loud, tapping your toes, and clapping along.  Samantha Wursten does a fabulous job as Natalie, a young female mechanic who dreams of love and adventure. She portrays a sweet, innocent girl who is instantly smitten by Chad, who unfortunately is not interested in “grease-monkey” Natalie. He has his eyes set on the museum caretaker, Miss Sandra (Stephanie Petersen.) Dennis (Zack George) is an adorably awkward long-time friend of Natalie who secretly adores her, and . painfully watches Natalie pursue Chad. The musical becomes humorously tangled and convoluted as Chad brings his influence into town.  It feels as if the entire town becomes entwined in a spider web of people attempting to chase their romantic feelings. All actors did a wonderful job and I believed their characters completely

Costumes by Jacci Florence and Jamila Lowe were great. Very time appropriate and fun—down to the blue suede shoes. Set design by was by director Ferrin and was simple but fun and appropriate for the small space. Music Director Brittney Ann made sure all her rockin’ singers did a great job. The harmonies were lovely, though to my husband’s trained ear, he said some of the cast strained on the higher notes. To me, it all sounded just great.

This is the first time All Shook Up has been performed at Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse. It is directed by Shelby Ferrin and choreographed by Kylee Ogzewalla.  We found the performance to be light and full of energy. The dancing and choreography is strong and engaging to watch.  Every cast member brings energy and humor to the stage. My husband and I both agreed that our favorite performance was by George as Dennis. He did a spectacular job portraying his character. We enjoyed the performance and would love to bring our kids back to enjoy it as well.

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Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse presents All Shook Up, an American jukebox musical with Elvis Presley music and book by Joe DiPietro.                                   Beverly’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 S. Washington Terrace, UT 84405 August 4-September 16, Monday, Friday, and Saturday, 7:30 PM                             Tickets $9-14                                                                                                                     801-393-0070                                                                                                          Facebook Page      Facebook Event