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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Review: Local talent shines in 'Little Women'

By Lisa Christensen

November 7, 2008 | It's a shame every good thing has to come to an end. The Ellen Eccles Theater recently finished its run of Little Women, called "A Little Musical" by local composer Jay Richards, who wrote the music, lyrics and book for the musical, based on the beloved novel by Louisa May Alcott. Running nine shows ending on Oct. 29, the production featured loads of local talent to delight audiences.

Starring USU alumna Karlee Heaps as the strong-willed Jo, the story covered about the first half of Alcott's book, ending with Meg's marriage to Mr. Brooke and a brief epilogue. All of the characterizations were beautifully done with no breaks because of dropped lines or missed cues. The scenery was simple yet lovely and left no doubt that the audience was supposed to be in 19th-century America. The orchestra, conducted by Richards, was highly professional, featuring talented musicians from around the valley and having only a few, unavoidable "string" moments.

The vocals done by not only the stars but the ensemble were beautiful and melded almost flawlessly. Stand-out numbers included Marmee's "My Little Women," a poignant mother's song about the bittersweet task of watching one's children grow up, sung tenderly by another USU alumna, Jennifer Kite-Allsop. Meg and Mr. Brooke's duet, "All That It Can Be," sung by Taren McKenna and Brady Allen, was another memorable number. The flagship number, though, the song that sums up Jo's character and the driving motive for most of the story of Little Women, was the inspiring "I Will Fly," sung both in the first act and as part of the finale.

Overall, this was a fantastic production and a reason to be proud of the talent within out little community. My only real problem with the production was that once again, Jo turned down Laurie (and they're so perfect for each other), but that's really more of a beef I have with Alcott than Richards or any of the performers.



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