Wednesday, March 19, 2014

REVIEW: “Kiss Me Kate” at The Empress Theatre

1544118_10202541595754107_1762749396_nLead roles Fred Graham/Petruchio, and Lilli Vanessi/Katherine
Played by Josh Astle and Emily Wells

Photo credit for all photos in this post goes to Carrie Johnson

“Kiss Me Kate”
The Empress Theatre
Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays
March 14, 2014 – April 12, 2014

As you all know, The Empress Theatre has become one of our favorite places for our family to attend a live production. We had a great time last Saturday night at the opening weekend of “Kiss Me Kate”.

I had never seen this production anywhere before, or even heard the storyline, so it was fun to go into it without any kind of expectations.“Kiss Me Kate” is a Cole Porter classic, and is a production within a production. The storyline follows a production company putting on Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew. It follows the actors and actresses backstage and onstage, and their personal lives get tangled up into the storyline of the play.

“This is one of the magical plays that lets the audience in on what really happens backstage, where the magic begins,” said Nancy Jensen, director of “Kiss Me Kate” at The Empress Theatre. “We have laughed at how true so much of this is for each of us as we’ve rehearsed.”

You will notice as you walk in to take your seats, that there is a single light bulb in the middle of the floor. This is called a “ghost light”, which is a light that was always left on all night to keep the theater ghosts at bay. A ghost light is still used at night at The Empress!

My 8 and 10 year old had a hard time following the Shakespeare storyline, but had fun otherwise. We have come to love the familiar faces we see at every production at The Empress, and they definitely have their favorites that they love to watch and laugh with. Even though the storyline was hard for them to understand, they laughed and had a great time being there.

Their favorites were “The Gangsters”, played by Troy Larsen and Kevin Pope, especially during their “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” number.

We had originally planned to see this production as a date night for me and my hubby, but when our kids heard we were attending The Empress without them, they were so disappointed that we had to take them along!

Make sure that you are not so wrapped up in the main characters that you forget to watch the expressions and lines delivered by the ensemble cast. Watching the overall production is what will leave you laughing until your cheeks hurt! Sit back, have fun, and enjoy the chaos unfold around you!


Purchase tickets online, or at the box office in Magna.  You can also call 801-347-7373.


Love Utah, Give Utah

I overheard somebody mention that the sound cut out a few times while the performers were delivering their lines, which leads me to one more thing I need to mention. The Empress Theatre is a 100% volunteer operation, and is run off of donations. All of the actors and actresses are also volunteer.

Love UT Give UT is a once a year fundraiser for various organizations around the state that rely on donations from the public. This year, it will be on Thursday March 20, 2014. The Empress Theatre is participating this year, and is encouraging everybody to just give $10. Your donation will help with things like theater upkeep, new sound equipment, and other items needed to keep The Empress running at tip-top shape! Every time you attend a show, or tell somebody about one of their shows, you are helping keep the arts alive at wonderful places like The Empress for future generations! Live theater has become such an important part of our family’s fun nights out.

Donate to The Empress for Love Utah Give Utah: 

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I was provided with two complimentary tickets to attend and write my review. I was not compensated for my review, nor was I required or persuaded to write any specific type of review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are all my own.

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