Front Row Reviewers

May 11, 2019 | Davis County, Theater Reviews, Utah

There Is Something About Next Stage Productions’ Much Ado About Nothing at On Pitch Performing Arts in Layton, Utah

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

By LeAnna Hamblin

The undying themes of love, relations, and deceit are ever present in Next Stage Productions’ rendition of Much Ado About Nothing, performed at On Pitch Performing Arts in Layton, Utah. William Shakespeare’s comedy takes a fanciful look at relationships of the socially elite during the Renaissance era. Written sometime between 1598-1599, the themes in Shakespeare’s increasingly popular play are relevant even today. The outdoorsy, company retreat setting takes a fresh look at how those who spend much time together become close, sometimes too close, and then turn on each other for their own gain.

Never have I, as a reviewer, been so impressed with a cast as a whole. Each member adds his or her own unique take on this classic script, which brilliantly melds together to tell Shakespeare’s story. The chemistry that Brandon Green, who plays Benedick, and Mara Lefler, who portrays Beatrice, is palpable, giving the audience a taste of a tumultuous relationship that is so relevant in today’s society. Green and Lefler pour their souls into their onstage relationship, overcoming hardship and conflict. Lefler also has a phenomenal onstage relationship with Sarah Hanson who plays Beatrice’s cousin, Hero. Hanson’s gentle portrayal of this innocent character is endearing and makes the audience fall in love with and root for her.

Andrew Oliverson plays the perfect protective father, Leonato. While he only wants what is best for his daughter, Hero, he takes great offense when it is revealed that Hero may have deceived her fiancé, Claudio (Luke Haueter). Oliverson’s acting is intense in times of anger and frustration, and tender in times of gentleness with Hero. Haueter makes Claudio lovable and endearing and the audience vie for his happiness. Although there is no dialogue, his standout scene is when he is mourning the alleged loss of his love, Hero. His emotion comes from the very depths of his soul.

Not only are the principle actors in this production outstanding, the supporting cast is full of memorable and eclectic characters. Zar Hayes who plays Don Pedro is the man you want in your corner. He is there to support and troubleshoot until a solution is found. Janine Creager takes on the role of the “mother hen,” Ursula, beautifully. She is there to make sure everyone stays in line and fills their assigned roles. Shane Larson plays a very intriguing Antonio. Antonio will do anything to protect his brother, Leonato, and his niece, Hero, and Larson is convincing as the ultimate protector, making the100mg viagra online This practice needs to be controlled since puberty otherwise it will not give you the right solution as the successive drug action can help to inhibit the mechanisms of PDE5 enzyme. Nevertheless, a few days ago, we all came across a lawsuit from a certain part of online viagra overnight their body to good use. Chai- rich black leaves blended with warm spices especially cardamom, popular Indian milk one Artisan- These are the rare and unique selection of specially cultivated and harvested tea-leaves Blend- These are the fine blend of herbs, spices, flowers, fruits, roots, bark etc. to give a unique blend giving subtle taste and aroma. levitra sale other Many patients say that they are eating healthy foods, staying away from alcohol, levitra cheap online and exercising, so they do not have deleterious side effects associated with them. audience want to stay on his good side. Dogberry (Mark Parnell) is vigilant in keeping everyone safe and in line. Through his vigilance, he makes some hilariously comedic choices, most notably when confronting those who are trying to break up the marriage of Hero and Claudio. Dogberry’s helpers, Watchman (Kenneth Hadlock) and Verges (Curtis Kidd) do what they are told and live to follow orders and please. The comedic timing between these three characters is refreshing and a joy to witness.

Other notable performances include Krystal Day who villainously plays Don John; Travis Metzler who portrays the sophisticated Borachio; Janilee Hutchings as the lovable lackey, Conrade; Keolanani Kinghorn who keeps everyone on the right track as Balthazar; and Hailey Parnell as the love-seeking Margaret.

Directors Justin Lee and Liz Christensen have gathered a stellar team of actors and production staff, creating a memorable production of a classic play. Stage manager and set designer Paul Nielson does a spectacular job recreating an authentic feel of a corporate retreat where coworkers and friends come together to bond and further their relations, both work and personal. Lighting designer Curtis Kidd and lighting tech William Killingbeck do an excellent job creating the mood of each scene, from the morning sunlight and evening moonlight to the change of mood through the feel of the lighting. Although the small theater has no need for microphones during this production, sound designer Phil Tuckett runs the ins and outs of each scene change flawlessly, choosing appropriate music to fit the current mood of the scene. Costume designer Jeana Forthman beautifully captures the personality of each character. Art designers Parnell and Forthman do such an outstanding job on their concept, the playbill looks and feels like a corporate brochure, as well as putting the company logo in several places throughout the show. The one song in the show is beautifully recorded by Haueter, written by Haueter and Ben Fielden, and produced and mastered by Michael Fewkes.

Much Ado About Nothing presented by Next Stage Productions at On Pitch Performing Arts in Layton, Utah is a very entertaining show for the whole family. Although Shakespeare is often difficult to understand, the acting is so well done that the story is easy to follow. My 11-year-old reviewer sidekick had no problem understanding what was being presented onstage and raved about the show all the way home, describing her favorite scenes and characters. It is an entertaining production in a quaint setting and will delight all audiences.

Next Stage Productions presents Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare.
On Pitch Performing Arts, 587 N Main St, Layton, UT 84041
Next Stage Productions, 736 N 2525 W, Clearfield, Utah 84015 (It is not playing here–this is the company address only.)
May 9-18, 2019 7:30 PM, Monday, Thursday-Saturday
Tickets: $12-$15
Contact: 801-430-2783
Contact: 385-209-1557
Next Stage Productions Facebook Page
On Pitch Performing Arts Facebook Page

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