Brigham’s Playhouse, founded by Brigham Young ancestor Jamie Young, is committed to bringing plays promoting eternal values to Southern Utah. Their current lineup, which includes the classic Fiddler on the Roof and the newer Bridge to Terabithia, provides options for theater-goers of various tastes.
Fiddler is my favorite play, and I’m pleased to report that this production nails it. While I’m of the opinion that no living actor can match Topol as Tevye in the film version, Michael Forrest does a fine job of combining the character’s warmth, temper, and wry sense of humor. The entire cast does solid work, in fact, at bringing this tale of faith and family, tradition and change, to life. For such an intimate local production, it’s amazing how immersive the on-stage world is, and the dance sequences are truly impressive. The music is as powerful, and the message as pertinent, as it ever was. Fiddler on the Roof is not to be missed.
Bridge to Terabithia tells the story of two outcast youths, a boy and a girl, who escape their worries by creating an imaginary magical kingdom in the woods near their homes. It’s a tale of youthful innocence clashing with the harsh realities of life, and how friendship and family can help us through hard times. The stage design is impressive, though the quality of the performances varies greatly. Still, this is a thoughtful, heartfelt piece that will be appreciated by fans of the book or film.
Jonathan Decker is a licensed marriage and family therapist available for face-to-face and online webcam sessions. He’s also a film critic for The KJZZ Movie Show and Movie Dad. His book, 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families, is available in paperback and Kindle.