The summer theater season is in full swing.
Lucky for me, I had the privilege of hitting the open road to check out most of the offerings. I put more than 1,200 miles on my car in less than two weeks and crossed at least 12 county lines and, though I have yet to get the bug guts off my windshield, I loved every second of it.
Thank you to the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Tuacahn and Utah Festival Opera for truly enjoyable seasons. Please don't forget these great local offerings when planning your summer getaways.
I also would like to note an impressive start for the new Dark Horse Theatre Company, which recently closed its first musical, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."
The theater company, which does not have its own performance space yet, rented Park City's Egyptian Theatre for the short, five-show run.
Since I was road-tripping during the opening weekend, I missed the first two sold-out houses. But, not to worry, the crowds were back to help the company and cast close the show with a big yee-haw!
In a town where many dream of starting a theater company, founders and local actors Daniel Simons, Ginger Bess, Ali Bennett and Jon Copier not only did it, but they did it with flying colors, sold-out houses and a pretty darned good show.
The cast featured some great local talent accompanied by a talented but small ensemble of live musicians.
With varied performing backgrounds, the company's four founders also helped create the show. Simons directed, Bess did musical direction, Copier did technical direction and Bennett served as the company manager.
But perhaps most impressive are the number of volunteers who came out to help give the company's first show a great start.
"People have been crawling out of the woodwork to help us get started," said Simons over the phone before the company held auditions for the show.
"There are four of us, but we have 30 people helping us and volunteering. They just really want to see this succeed."
And if the first show is any clue, succeed they did. The company was able to pay a stipend to every performer, and it has already scheduled two more productions, "A New Brain" in October and "Reefer Madness" next April.
Perhaps it is because the founders are colleagues, or maybe it's their focus on lesser-known, off-Broadway shows that has the theater town buzzin', but either way, Dark Horse had an impressive start in this very competitive race.