Review: NATIVE GARDENS is Blossoming at Pioneer Theatre Company

NATIVE GARDENS plays through January 27, 2024.

By: Jan. 13, 2024
Review: NATIVE GARDENS is Blossoming at Pioneer Theatre Company

Pioneer Theatre Company’s blossoming production of NATIVE GARDENS is both thought provoking and flat out entertaining thanks to the timely script, solid performances, and extraordinary set. If you’re wondering whether this is one worth seeing, stop wondering and just go. 

NATIVE GARDENS by Karen Zacarías, which premiered in 2016, is still an incredibly timely exploration of finding common ground with those who see the world differently from us.  Tania and Pablo Valle just moved into a fixer upper in a stately neighborhood and are pulling out all the stops to impress the partners at his law firm with a barbecue garden party.  Their neighbors, long-time residents Virginia and Frank Butley, initially welcome them with open arms, but when a rift begins to tear them apart it seems impossible to cross, let alone repair.

The Equity cast is solid and well-matched, including Katya Collazo as Tania, Tito Livas as Pablo, Kelly Coffield Park as Virginia, and Michael Kostroff as Frank.  They each bring out the unique aspects of their characters’ personalities while sharing similar moments of hotheadedness, vacillating between big arm-waving emotion and subtle, moving disclosures that reveal their inner perspectives and insecurities. 

The thoughtful costume design by Lex Liang completes each character distinctively.

The lighting design by Peter Maradudin pleases with nuanced representations of various times of day and night.

And the realistic set by Jo Winiarski is nothing short of extraordinary with two full house exteriors and yards that make it seem as if we are peaking into the lives of actual people.

NATIVE GARDENS plays through January 27, 2024. For tickets, call the box office at 801-581-6961 or visit

Photo Credit: BW Productions