Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: EMMA Entrances at Hale Center Theater Orem

EMMA plays through June 5, 2021. 

Review: EMMA Entrances at Hale Center Theater Orem

Jane Austen's EMMA at Hale Center Theater Orem is an entrancing musical romance that deftly explores character and relationships.

EMMA (music, lyrics and book by Paul Gordon) is based on Jane Austen's classic Regency-era romance novel. From the composer of DADDY LONG LEGS and JANE EYRE, the show has been available to view as a 1950s-set streaming production since 2018, but it fares better here in its original setting.

Emma Woodhouse fancies herself the ultimate matchmaker and constantly focuses her energies on the task, even when her efforts are more often than not misguided. Will her friends and acquaintances find their correct matches despite her meddling, and will Emma herself ever learn the true meaning of love?

Erica Glenn as Emma Woodhouse (double cast with Kelly Cook) leads with panache, and her supporting cast is filled with talent and likeability.

Especially worthy of praise are David Matthew Smith as Mr. Knightley (double cast with Will Ingram), Calee Gardner as Harriet Smith (double cast with Alyssa Buckner), Dallin Bradford as Frank Churchill (double cast with Skyler Denfeld), and Hanna Schneck as Jane Fairfax (double cast with Rachel Peterson).

Presented entirely in the round, the set by Cole McClure and Bobby Swenson, along with the props by Linda Hale, are simple but effective in telling the story. In like manner, the same costumes are worn the entire show but with clever changes and additions from designer Dennis Wright throughout.

The lighting design by Joseph Governale is purposefully and smartly utilized to differentiate reality from imagination through saturated pink and blue.

Devotees of Jane Austen shouldn't miss the opportunity to see this enjoyable new musical adaptation of her beloved novel.

EMMA plays through June 5, 2021. For tickets, call the box office at 801-226-8600 or visit

Photo Credit: L-R Calee Gardner (Harriet Smith) and Erica Glenn (Emma Woodhouse). Photo by Suzy O Photography.

Related Articles View More Salt Lake City Stories

From This Author - Tyler Hinton