A&E’S TOP PICK FOR FEBRUARY 2 – 8 | Choice of entertainment

The Peking Acrobats
Let’s face it: audiences love the show. There are many reasons to go to the theater, but among the most compelling is the chance to see things you don’t normally get a chance to see – like people who can balance on top of a pyramid of chairs or take part in stunt cycling acts and the like bits of physical power. And that’s exactly what the Peking Acrobats troupe has been offering audiences around the world for more than 30 years.

Peking acrobats and their unique skills have been featured in television programs since the mid-1980s, including This is amazing!ABV Wide world of sports and The Wayne Brady Showas well as Fox’s The Guinness Book of Primetime TV show in 1999 where six people balance on top of six chairs 21 feet in the air without safety ropes. The troupe is often accompanied by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments, mixed with high-tech special effects and awe-inspiring acrobatic feats to create a richly entertaining event. Even those who may not think they’ve ever seen a Peking Acrobats performance may have seen the legacy of their work, as troupe alumnus Qin Shaobo became well known to American audiences as the nimble Yen in the 2001 film. Ocean’s Eleven and its two sequels.

Peking Acrobats Featuring Shanghai Circus visits the Val Browning Center at Weber State University (3950 W. Campus Dr., Ogden) on Thursday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 – $55, available through onstageogden.org. Visit the website for tickets and additional event information. (Scott Renshaw)


Wasatch Theater Company: The final act
It’s been a busy 25th anniversary season for the Wasatch Theater Company, featuring a slew of recent productions—including Dreamers and to Moises Kaufman Gross obscenity— as well as moving from a home at The Gateway to Eccles Black Box following the closure of the previous location. But the material keeps coming, including a new play from a WTC family veteran.

Former Wasatch Theater Company board member Georg Plautz serves as dramaturg of The final act, a new show, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the theater world. It follows two long-time best friends, Greg (Jonathan Ibanez) and Ben (Tom Roche), who have always shared a love of theater as well as caring for each other. However, this relationship is put to the test when Ben performs a play that challenges Greg’s sense of trust in his old friend. And how does Greg’s girlfriend Jen (Sam Torres) fit into this world she’s not entirely a part of?

The final act runs February 3-14 at the Eccles Theatre’s Regent Street Black Box (144 Regent St.). Performances are from 7.30pm on 3-4 February, 10-11 and 13-14, with Sunday matinees from 2pm on 5 February and 12 February. Tickets are $20 general admission/$15 for students, plus a special two-for-one offer for the Valentine’s Day closing performance with code VALENTINE; visit arttix.org to purchase tickets and for additional event information. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the WTC’s George Plautz Emerging Playwrights Program, supporting the development of new plays by local writers. (SR)


Repertory Dance Theatre: Regalia
To some extent, it always feels like artists are working against the clock. It’s a slightly different dynamic, however, when they’re working against a literal clock to create a piece within the constraints of a few hours. That’s part of the fun—and the craziness—that makes the annual Repertory Dance Theater experience unique. Regalia fundraiser and choreography competition.

Each year RDT invites choreographers to create a brand new work with specific company dancers and thematic or other constraints. Starting at 14:00 on the day of the performance, these choreographers begin a marathon creative process lasting just six hours to stage the works and prepare them for the audience. This year’s program features four choreographers, all with strong Utah ties: Angela Smith, Ruger Memot, Rebecca JoAnn Guerra and Constance Anderson. And at the end of the show, audience members whose votes will decide which of the four pieces will be commissioned by RDT to produce the piece at a later performance.

RDT Regalia takes place on Saturday, February 4 at the Rose Wagner Center (138 W. 300 South), with a performance at 8:00 p.m. However, admission includes a full evening of activities beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour that also includes bidding on silent auction items and a chance to see the choreographers at work on their pieces. After the performance, guests are invited to join a dance party on stage with music by the Joe Muscolino Band. Tickets are $75; visit arttix.org to purchase tickets and for additional event information. (SR)

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