Best of Utah Theater in 2016: Salt Lake City BWW Reviewer's Favorite Shows

Tyler Hinton's Picks:

1. NEWSIES at the Capitol Theatre, www.broadway-at-the-eccles.com

Everything about this national tour (which came to Utah not once, but twice this year) was mesmerizing. With a rousing score, striking stage pictures, fluid movement, sympathetic characters, and athletic dancing, there was always something to excite. It is uncommon for the physical production of a touring company to match its Broadway counterpart in quality, and this one did.

2. AN INSPECTOR CALLS at Pioneer Theatre Company, www.pioneertheatre.org

Director Mary B. Robinson, who helmed Pioneer Theatre Company's extraordinary OF MICE AND MEN in 2012, did it again with her astonishing production of this classic UK drama. The play was tightly written and incredibly interesting, the cast had no weak link and did superb dialect work, and the production design was true to the period and top-notch.

3. A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at Utah Repertory Theater Company, www.utahrep.org

Remarkably well cast, directed, performed, and designed, Utah Repertory Theater Company outdid itself once again with this production. Nestled within the black box theater was a full-sized turn-of-the-century proscenium stage with exquisite woodworking and other details, along with beautiful backdrops. The staging itself was stripped down in a way that wonderfully complemented both the design and the writing of the piece itself.

4. THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO at Pioneer Theatre Company, www.pioneertheatre.org

The U.S. professional premiere of this new Frank Wildhorn musical was given a stunning production that featured exhilarating visuals while still focusing firmly on the heart of the themes and relationships. The performances were emotional without being over the top, and the epic feel of the story was preserved without sabotaging the humanity of the characters and situations.

5. THE PIRATE QUEEN at Hale Centre Theatre, www.halecentretheatre.org

This production was exactly what you would expect and hope a post-Broadway U.S. premiere from Hale Centre Theatre to be. Gorgeous design and solid performances elevated the musical from the composers of LES MISERABLES to a lush whirlwind of beauty. Each scene looked like a watercolor painting, except the paint of choice was light, fire, fog, and fabric.

Honorable Mentions:

BEAUTIFUL at the Eccles Theater, www.broadway-at-the-eccles.com (national tour with Broadway-quality vocals, acting, and design)

JANE EYRE at Hale Center Theater Orem, www.haletheater.org (satisfyingly engaged the senses and uplifted the soul)

Photo Credit: NEWSIES cast

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From This Author Tyler Hinton

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