Utah Arts Review » Blog Archive » Critics’ Picks for the 2022-23 Season

George Stevens Jr’s “Thurgood” opens at the Utah Shakespeare Festival on September 14.

Thurgood. Utah Shakespeare Festival. From September 14 to October 8.

Utah Shakespeare Festival Acting Artistic Director Derek Charles Livingston stars in the title role – along with several supporting roles – in George Stevens Jr.’s one-man drama depicting the life of the legendary civil rights lawyer and justice of the Supreme Court Thurgood Marshall. Livingston joined the festival staff last year as director of new play development; this will be his stage debut in Utah. bard.org (NCR)

Music by Tchaikovsky, Ives, Thomas and Salieri. Utah Symphony Thierry Fischer. November 3-5.

Whereas Amedee depicted as a mediocre envious of Mozart’s genius, Antontio Salieri was in fact a brilliant and accomplished composer with a unique style. As part of an eclectic program for his final season, Thierry Fischer will introduce Utah audiences to the Overture to the Opéra-Comique by Salieri Prima la musica poi le parole. The program will also feature Augusta Read Thomas Dance bends, which premiered last year at the Proms, Charles Ives’ idiosyncratic Symphony No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1, with Russian pianist Andrei Korobeinikov. (MR)

Donizetti: Daughter of the Regiment. Utah Opera. January 14-22, 2023.

Michael Shell, who directed last season’s goofy production The Barber of Seville, will return to Utah Opera for Daughter of the Regiment, who, like Hairdresser, is a bel canto comedy brimming with covers and sets ready to be jam-packed with gossip and sight gags. Shells Hairdresser was like an episode of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” and bass-baritone Matthew Burns, who garnered huge laughs as Dr. Bartolo, will play a similar role in Regiment, that of the guardian of the ingenue Sargent Sulpice. In addition to comedy, Daughter of the Regiment features glorious tunes from its romantic leads, which will be sung by tenor Jack Swanson as Tonio and Utah-based soprano Madison Leonard as Marie. usuo.org (MR)

Orf: Carmine Burana. Utah Symphony Orchestra/Fawzi Haimor. January 27-28, 2023.

Fawzi Haimor’s guest leads a program that could be described as “spirited”. In addition to Orff’s primitive tour de force, the concert will feature Stravinsky Bird of Fire and the Utah premiere of Joshua Cerdenia’s play in 2017 Firerunken (“Fire-Drunk”), which the composer describes as a “sound meditation…on joy” inspired in part by Dante Purgatory. Carmina Burana will feature tenor Brian Stucki, baritone Christopher Clayton and soprano Liv Redpath as well as the Utah Symphony Chorus and the choirs of the University of Utah. usuo.org (MR)

A separate society. Pioneering theater company. From January 27 to February 11, 2023.

In Kareem Fahmy’s new black comedy inspired by real events, an Iranian family separated by a ‘Muslim ban’ uses a quiet library on the Canada-US border as a meeting place – and the head librarian, a customs officer and of U.S. Border Protection, and a local teenager struggling with ethical dilemmas. pioneertheatre.org (NCR)

Utah Opera presents Donizetti Daughter of the Regiment January 14-22, 2023. Photo: Fort Worth Opera

Hairy and Sherri. Acting Society of Salt Lake. From February 8 to March 5.

An “adorkable” interracial couple from gentrified East Austin face unintended consequences after opening their home to a former foster kid with special needs in this new play from Texas playwright Adrienne Dawes. saltlakeactingcompany.org (NCR)

Price: Piano concerto in one movement. Michelle Cann, pianist with Utah Symphony/Tito Muñoz. April 7-8.

For her Utah Symphony debut, pianist Michelle Cann will perform a piano concerto by Florence Price, an African-American composer whose concerto Cann has championed in recent years. The concert will also feature Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and will be conducted by Tito Muñoz, whose performance of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony was a highlight of last season. usuo.org (MR)

Fire! Plan-B theater company. April 13-23.

Wallace Thurman was a gay black novelist and publisher who rose to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance, but whose contributions are little known in his hometown of Salt Lake City. Actor Carleton Bluford, a former Utahn still popular in his home country, reprises the role of Thurman in this revival of Jenifer Nii’s 2010 play. planbtheatre.org (NCR)

“The wedding.” West Ballet. April 14-22.

by Bronislava Nijinska The wedding, set to Stravinsky’s grandiose score, is the centerpiece of Ballet West’s spring program. The other works on display, all firsts of the company, are those of Jerome Robbins The night, on Chopin’s nocturnes for solo piano; and Gerald Arpino light rain, with original music by Douglas Adamz and Russ Gauthier. balletwest.org (NCR)

Mason Bates: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Utah Opera. May 6-14.

Utah Opera will present a new production of Mason Bates and Mark Campbell’s musical biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs in a Utah Opera co-production.

The Revolution of Steve Jobs premiered in 2017 at Santa Fe Opera and was a hit, moving on to a successful run at Seattle Opera in 2019. The score is eclectic: combining orchestral music with techno, guitar and, in a few places, Tibetan singing bowls with orchestral passages. However, the form of the music rarely deviates from the arias and recitatives to which opera audiences are accustomed. www.usuo.org (MR)

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