Four-time Tony winner and current Private Practice actor Audra McDonald and Tony nominee Will Swenson star in a contemporary musical adaptation of N. Richard Nash's 1954 classic play The Rainmaker. The story, set in a rural, drought-ridden town in the American Southwest, tells the tale of aging spinster Lizzie Curry (McDonald) as she considers two suitors: a respectable, upright citizen, and a charismatic drifter and con man, Bill Starbuck (Swenson), who promises the moisture-desperate townsfolk that he can make it rain.
Originally written for Queen Mary’s 80th birthday in the late 1940s, The Mousetrap has since gone on to universal acclaim, with a diverse fan base that includes everyone from octogenarian monarchs to barely teething toddler theater critics. Barta Heiner directs the Covey Center’s production of the classic murder mystery, leading a talented cast of actors through a story of devious death and drama in a manor. The Mousetrap is the longest-running play in the world; by the time it reached its 25th anniversary in the 1970s, an estimated four million people had seen it—more than three times the amount that tuned in to see The Beatles make an elephant disappear on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.
As a dancer and instructor, Tiffany Enger has pirouetted through world-renowned institutions such as Steps, The Broadway Dance Center, and Joffrey Ballet School. Today, at Just Dance Academy, she and her staff of dance professionals help ignite passion for the art form in children as young as 3 years old. Though their classes build strong foundations in ballet, hip-hop, and other styles, benefits extend beyond just technical dance skills. The instructors strive to help each pupil become comfortable with self-expression and creativity during recitals and state-mandated flash mobs as well as auditions for the studio's competition teams.
The team at the Wasatch Arts Center teases out the creative passions of children without fostering any kind of competition. Instead, the staff prioritizes performance, hosting recitals every six months that highlight their protégés' progress. Whether they teach dance, private music lessons, or preschool, they strive to nurture each student's skills by respecting his or her interests and planning an age-appropriate curriculum.
Professionally and university-trained dance instructors school youngsters in styles such as ballet, tap, hip-hop, and tumbling. Their one-on-one music classes cover the piano as well as string or brass instruments, imparting the value of consistent practice and a strong tuba-throwing arm. For both disciplines, they emphasize proper technique over speed of advancement—this emphasis on fundamentals steadily builds self-confidence and enthusiasm for the art.
Preschool sessions admit a maximum of 12 students—all 3- and 4-year-olds—for activities that cater to diverse learning styles. Teachers present works from famous artists and composers in addition to standard topics, including letters, numbers, colors, and building hooks to help reach doorknobs.
Academy West gives restless young Utahns a chance to expend excess energy in the form of choreographed dance, tumbling, cheer, or gymnastics classes. The adroit staff of CPR-certified safety gurus is composed of deft dancers and top-notch tumblers who teach thrilling routines to children craving more choreography in their lives. The 22,000-square-foot facility is packed with high-quality equipment and enough protective foam to swaddle a Herculean toddler attempting a triple aerial in place of his or her first steps.
Wiseguys Comedy fills Salt Lake City’s state-mandated laugh quota with its rotating schedule of local and national joke handlers. Upcoming appearances include rising comic Spencer King performing an atypical set of irreverent musings at Ogden on February 25 and 26. Equally all-ages-appropriate joke spinner Steve Soelberg, "not Kevin Bacon," steps up to the mic at Trolley Square on March 3, making audiences guffaw as hard as dentists’ trifecta of nitrous oxide, gum-tickling mouth feathers, and insistence on doing old Steve Martin routines during a fluoride treatment. Wiseguys recommends checking the comics out on YouTube to get a flavor for their acts before catching a show.