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Ellen Fagg Weist

Reviewer, Arts, entertainment and culture

801-257-8803, ellenf@sltrib.com


RECENT ARTICLES

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Mark Fossen and Anne Louise Brings play Ray and Una in Utah Repertory Theater Company’s ’Blackbird,’  a harrowing contemporary play soon opening at the Sorenson Unity Center Black Box Theater. Una has sought out Ray 15 years after their ’involvement,’ when she was 12 and he was in his late-40s. They were photographed during rehearsal in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Edgy ‘Blackbird’ made a lot of noise on Broadway, now it’s getting a regional premiere at Utah Rep
    Una is young, and at first glance a little wild, maybe crazy. In “Blackbird,” David Harrower’s tough-edged contemporary play about criminal love, she ...
    Updated Jul 19 2017 07:54 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    R. Scott Phillips, executive director of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, says a few words during the dedication of the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, Cedar City, Thursday, July 7, 2016. Rarely seen ‘Henry VI’ in the spotlight at Utah Shakespeare Festival in 2018
    Dramas about racial issues will be in the spotlight at Utah Shakespeare Festival next year. “Our 2018 season provides a unique examination of intolera...
    Updated Jul 19 2017 07:54 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Courtesy photo)     Actors Nickie Nixon, Merry Magee, Shawn Saunders and Robert Scott Smith in Morag Shepherd’s new play, ’How Long Can You Stand on the TRain Tracks: A Game for Two Sisters.’ The show is receiving a premiere production by Sackerson and Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory at the University of Utah’s Babcock Theatre. New Utah play — in which sisters play chicken on train tracks — explores power of shifting family relationships
    A pair of sisters are playing a game of chicken on train tracks. That’s a simple description for the backdrop of Utah playwright Morag Shepherd’s surr...
    Updated Jul 03 2017 10:47 am   |     |   Share
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  • Quinn Mattfeld as Will Shakespeare and Betsy Mugavero as Viola de Lesseps in Utah Shakespeare Festival’s regional premiere of ’Shakespeare in Love.’ Karl Hugh  |  Utah Shakespeare Festival At Utah festival, falling in love with Shakespeare — again
    Just about every day of this summer, Betsy Mugavero’s characters will be falling in love onstage at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Some days, Mugavero...
    Updated Jul 11 2017 03:16 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Salt Lake Acting Company’s new ’Saturday’s Voyeur’ show has a spy-versus-spy plot line for 2017, with music inspired by ìMission: Impossibleî and James Bond themes. Review: Spying on the Russian connections in ‘Voyeur’
    How do you satirize Utah’s local culture under a Trump administration? The title of this year’s edition of “Saturday’s Voyeur” — the blunt-edged “The ...
    Updated Jul 02 2017 09:10 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Salt Lake Acting Company’s new ’Saturday’s Voyeur’ show has a spy-versus-spy plot line for 2017, with music inspired by ìMission: Impossibleî and James Bond themes. Pictured from left are Dan Larrinaga, CJ Strong, Eb Madson, Emilie Starr and Justin Ivie. Putin, Trump administration get ‘Voyeurized’ in Salt Lake Acting Company’s annual musical satire
    The plot of this year’s “Saturday’s Voyeur,” Salt Lake Acting Company’s annual irreverent musical satire, has been compromised by Russian connections,...
    Updated Jun 22 2017 03:25 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Courtesy photo)    Anne Cullimore Decker (Lady Bracknell) and Jared Larkin (John Worthing)  star in Pinnacle Acting Companyís production of ìThe Importance of Being Earnest,î playing through July 1 at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Review: Utah theater company’s stripped-down ‘Earnest’ has fun along the way
    Perhaps “The Importance of Being Earnest” is the perfect comedy of manners for a fake-news era. After all, listening to the deliciousness of Oscar Wil...
    Updated Jun 22 2017 04:19 pm   |     |   Share
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  • Writer Mary Roach will promote her new book, ’Grunt,’ in Salt Lake City on June 21. Jen Siska  |  Courtesy Meet Mary Roach, who explains the science of protecting soldiers
    From a reader’s point of view, just the idea of a thematic ingredient list for a Mary Roach book sounds, well, interesting — in a disgusting sort of w...
    Updated Jun 29 2017 10:50 am   |     |   Share
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  • (Rick Egan  |  Tribune file photo)   Bears Ears Buttes are located near Comb Ridge, a few miles from Bluff. The area is part of the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument. Check out the new book of Native American voices about Bears Ears
    An important new collection of Native American writers essaying the cultural significance of Utah’s Bears Ears landscape will be launched with two Uta...
    Updated Jun 29 2017 10:50 am   |     |   Share
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  • (Courtesy photo)    Utah writer Gerda Saunders. Meet the Utah writer whose field notes on dementia became an act of self-preservation
    In her memoir, “Memory’s Last Breath,” Gerda Saunders reports on her life’s most extraordinary journey: her clear-eyed steps into dementia. The book (...
    Updated Jun 29 2017 10:50 am   |     |   Share
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  • One actor, wrapped in a fat suit, anchors ‘The Whale’
    The themes of playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s “The Whale” are visually anchored in the presence of the actor encased in a fat suit to play the 600-pound...
    Updated Jun 09 2017 10:45 pm   |     |   Share
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  • Utah theater’s lesbian version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ transforms it into a ‘sex-and-violence-and-drugs story’
    Imagine Juliet falling in love with Romeo, another young Italian woman. Imagine two rival political philosophies or houses of thought, conservatism an...
    Updated Jun 09 2017 03:11 pm   |     |   Share
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  • |  Courtesy   Actor Conlon Bonner as Joseph in Hale Centre Theatre’s production of ’Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.’ Hale Theatre’s new production finds new colors in ‘Joseph’
    Director Jennifer Parker Hohl considers herself a “Joseph” junkie. Playing the Narrator, she’s offered more than 400 performances in some 13 or 14 pro...
    Updated Jun 03 2017 08:08 pm   |     |   Share
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  • |  Courtesy   Writer Dennis Lehane. Dennis Lehane and Maile Meloy to read in Salt Lake City
    Two writers with national followings and regional anchorings — Dennis Lehane and Maile Meloy — will read from their newest novels this week at Salt La...
    Updated Jun 04 2017 12:11 pm   |     |   Share
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  • Hayden Stanes, Tatyana Lubov and the company of ÎRodgers + HammersteinÌs Cinderella,Ì playing at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday through June 4.   Courtesy | Carol Rosegg Review: Classic ‘Cinderella’ gets reality TV-era twists — and princess fashion
    There might not be rose ceremonies in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” but this fairy tale has been cheekified for reality TV-loving families. As...
    Updated Jun 02 2017 10:18 am   |     |   Share
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  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Alicia Washington, Bijan Hosseini, JJ Neward, Darryl Stamp, Isabella Reeder, Bryan Kido, Matthew Ivan Bennett,  Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin, Rachel Bublitz, Shane Mozaffari, Matthew Sincell, Lily Hye Soo Dixon and Nicki Nixon, pose for a portrait at the Utah Capitol Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Stage: ‘(in)divisible’ sees Utah playwrights, actors stage readings across political borders
    Plan-B Theatre Company commissioned 12 Utah playwrights to write dual responses after America’s divisive presidential election. Each playwright was a...
    Updated Jun 03 2017 08:08 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   George Maxwell, Colleen Lindstrom, and George Pesck at Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Theatre, Tuesday April 25, 2017. Changing of the artisan guard at Pioneer Theatre Company
    In the costume shop working on his first Pioneer Theatre Company show, George Pesek was assigned to tailor 10 pair of jeans for the male actors in “Ok...
    Updated May 26 2017 04:56 pm   |     |   Share
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  • Tatyana Lubov and Hayden Stanes star in ‘Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,’ playing at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday through June 4. Courtesy Carol Rosegg This isn't your childhood fairy tale: New-gen ‘Cinderella’ lands in Salt Lake City with sincerity and snark
    Tatyana Lubov, who plays the lead role in the national tour of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” offers glass-slipper-sized advice for theatergoer...
    Updated May 31 2017 08:24 pm   |     |   Share
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  • (Courtesy photo)   Frank Mack Utah Shakespeare Company hires new executive producer
    Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Je...
    Updated May 24 2017 10:40 am   |     |   Share
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  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Sylvia Torti’s second novel, ’Cages’, is about the scientists at a university like the University of Utah conducting birdsong research. Torti, the dean of the U’s Honors College, is a PHd-trained biologist who draws upon her love of science to write fiction. She was photographed at Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Tuesday May 16, 2017. Why the caged bird sings is the question of a new Salt Lake-based novel
    In a University of Utah biology lab, writer Sylvia Torti unlatches a soundproof cooler to reveal the zebra finch hopping around inside the cage, weari...
    Updated May 22 2017 10:42 am   |     |   Share
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