Friday, February 10, 2012
Tuacahn Ampitheatre, just outside of St. George, Utah, a real treat!
Last week we were in St. George, Utah. While there we saw that the Disney musical "The Little Mermaid" was being performed at the Tuacahn Ampitheather.
We lucked out and were able to get tickets only a couple days before the only showing that would fit into our schedule. That was my daughter, Lindsey's doing. She LOVES musical theater. So, we went. "The Little Mermaid" is performed MWF nights, and "Grease" is performed TThSat nights.
Here's a link to "The Little Mermaid" at the Tuacahn.
I'm not really a fan of musicals...I mean, I'm happy to go see local productions at our high school or community theater when our children are involved, but aside from that I don't normally get too excited about theater. But my experience at the Tuacahn was so good I had to tell you about it.
First of all, the location is extremely impressive. The ampitheatre is located in a red rock canyon just outside of Ivins, Utah, at the mouth of Padre Canyon, next to Snow Canyon State Park, north of St. George, Utah. The ampitheatre is not a huge place...well, it will seat just over 1900. Our seats were actually in an overflow area at the far right side of the seating area, but the seats were great! From what I could tell, there wasn't a bad seat in the house!
Here's a shot looking back at Tuacahn from up in the canyon.
And here's what the stage looked like from our seats.
And here is a shot of the upper seating area and control booth/lighting rigging.
The show itself was pretty incredible. The first thing that happened was that water was pumped into a stream bed that led right to the stage. When the water hit the stage it spread all the way across the stage and ran over the front edge. Then a large ship rolled on and the play started...much like the Disney movie (in fact the whole play was much like the movie, so there were few surprises that way).
If you look at the photo of the stage you will also see a structure running the entire distance across the stage, and that was used to release a curtain of water, like a sprinkler, but facing down. It was light enough that actors could move through it easily, but it was also heavy enough that images could be projected onto it.
There was a huge amount of creative thought put into the costumes and the choreography. Because most of the story takes place in water, the actors, which were merfolk, fishes, etc., needed to appear to glide rather than walk across the stage. This was accomplished by them wearing "wheelies" and as they wheeled along there was a thin film of water on the stage so the stage was constantly dark black and the wheelies left a trail in the water...adding an additional aquatic feeling to the show. They also used an awesome fly-system from time to time where actors were 10-30 feet off of the stage. Wow!
The show was a class act through and through. The voices, live music, staging, choreography, acting, etc., were all great! And, they even had the system down for helping people leave the parking area smoothly, traffic control helping people exit the canyon, etc.
I heartily encourage you to see something at the Tuacahn Ampitheatre if you are headed to or through St. George. You will want to get your tickets well ahead of time though, since it is an extremely popular venue, and many shows are sold out.
Break a leg!
(Originally posted 8-8-2011)