Pioneer Theatre makes a fun evening out of “Something Rotten!” – Feb 26, 2022

Matt Farcher and Daniel Plimpton star as the impresario Bottom brothers in Pioneer Theater Company’s Something Rotten! Photo: PTC

At long last, Pioneer Theatre Company has opened its pandemic-delayed production of the Shakespearean spoof Something Rotten! And with world news going from bad to worse every day, this unabashed romp of a musical feels like a welcome vacation, with a show that offers a surprisingly satisfying marriage of sophomoric comedy and smart wordplay.

The 2015 Broadway hit, co-created by Karey Kirkpatrick with his … Read More

Pioneer Theatre premiere explores timely public health theme in “The Messenger” – Jan 16, 2022

Ora Jones as Dr. Therese Stockman and Turna Mete as Petra in the world premiere of Jeff Talbott’s The Messenger at Pioneer Theatre Company. Photo: PTC

A doctor with a dire warning about a threat to the public health. A politician who warns that the doctor’s recommendations could trigger economic catastrophe. A newspaper editor driven by an agenda of her own.

If the central characters in The Messenger—Jeff Talbott’s one-act play, which received its world premiere at Pioneer Theatre Company Friday night— sound as … Read More

Pioneer Theatre’s “Elf” provides a comical sugar rush to get through the holidays – Dec 04, 2021

Max Chernin and Antoinette Comer star in Elf at Pioneer Theatre Company. Photo: PTC

Are you feeling a little low on Christmas cheer after another year of pandemic and strife? Then Pioneer Theatre Company’s Elf The Musical could be the show for you.

Adapted from the 2003 Will Ferrell film by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin (book), Matthew Sklar (music) and Chad Beguelin (lyrics), Elf succeeds in balancing a contemporary sensibility with the peppy song-and-dance energy of classic musical theater. Pioneer’s eye-catching production, which opened Friday, … Read More

Ellen Simon chisels out a witty portrait of family conflict in Pioneer Theatre’s “Ass” – Oct 23, 2021

T Ryder Smith, Laura J. Hall and Ben Cherry in Ellen Simon’s Ass, which had its world premiere Friday night at Pioneer Theatre Company. Photo: PTC

“Narcissism is the birthright of genius,” world-renowned sculptor Jule Waterman proclaims toward the end of Ellen Simon’s comedy Ass, which made its pandemic-delayed world premiere Friday night at Pioneer Memorial Theatre. 

And Simon—herself the daughter of an artistic genius, the late playwright Neil Simon—does make some sharp observations about the ways in which we indulge the creative … Read More

Pioneer Theatre Company to explore family conflict in premiere of “Ass” by Ellen Simon – Oct 20, 2021

Ellen Simon (with actor T. Ryder Smith) whose play Ass will have its world premiere Friday night at Pioneer Theatre Company. Photo: PTC

Karen Azenberg will be happy to have the world premiere of Ass behind her. Not because she isn’t a fan of the acerbic comedy by her lifelong friend Ellen Simon—far from it.

“When we get this show open, it will be a big piece of the missing part of what Covid stopped,” explained Azenberg, Pioneer Theatre Company artistic director … Read More

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” gets the joint jumping again at Pioneer Theatre – Sep 11, 2021

Featuring the music of Fats Waller, Aint Misbehavin’ runs through September 25 at the Pioneer Theatre Company. Photo: PTC

Pioneer Theatre Company returned after a 547-day intermission Friday night with the exuberant musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’. Sassy, sly and silly in equal parts, it’s a timely remedy for the pandemic blues.

There’s no need for a plot in this celebration of the music of Thomas “Fats” Waller; there aren’t even characters per se, as the performers use their own names. The sharply dressed … Read More

Pioneer Theatre Company to offer three-play season in 2021 – May 12, 2020

The Pioneer Theatre Company will be mounting a shortened, late-starting 2020-21 season in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

PTC will offer just a three-show season, opening February 19, 2021 with Something Rotten! The Broadway musical, which takes aim at Shakespeare, is rescheduled from the present season.

Also rescheduled is the world premiere of Ass, which follows on March 26.  Ellen Simon’s demurely titled comedy examines family relationships—though the central character, she says, is not based on her famous father, Neil Simon.

The abbreviated … Read More

Editor’s note on the coronavirus – Mar 14, 2020

As across the country, many Utah performing arts organizations are closed and events cancelled for the next two weeks and some into April due to COVID-19. Utah Symphony/Utah Opera have cancelled all events through March 28, and Pioneer Theatre Company through April 11. Ballet West’s season finale “Bolero and The Dream,” opening April 17, is still on at this time.

We will keep the UAR calendar listings up to date to reflect evolving developments and indicate streaming options where available. Check back for … Read More

Pioneer Theatre’s vibrant “Once on this Island” takes off the winter chill – Feb 22, 2020

Pioneer Theatre Company’s Once on this Island opened Friday night and runs through March 7. Cast members are (clockwise from top): Ava Lynn Smith, Derrick Cobey, Cicily Daniels, Tyla Collier and Jordan Alexander.

Entering Simmons Memorial Theatre to see Pioneer Theatre Company’s Once on this Island is like embarking on a vacation to the Caribbean. The stage seems to sway to the rollicking rhythms of Stephen Flaherty’s music as the cast of 11 actors dance their way through a story … Read More

Killer queens face off in Pioneer Theatre’s seething “Mary Stuart” – Jan 11, 2020

Mary, Queen of Scots (Erika LaVonn) and Queen Elizabeth (Anne Bates) confront each other in Mary Stuart at Pioneer Theatre Company. Photo: PTC

“When shall I have freedom on this throne?” Queen Elizabeth of England laments in Mary Stuart, Jean Stock Goldstone and John Reich’s 1957 adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s classic tragedy, now playing at Pioneer Theatre Company.

Well aware that “you cannot call a man a king who studies all his deeds to please his people,” Elizabeth is faced with a terrible choice: … Read More