I thought about attempting to be objective enough to frame this post as a review, but since my husband TJ is playing the lead part in this musical, I can't. I just can't. I am so proud I'm about to bust all over this blog and disgust you all.
All I can say is, if you're in St. George, or even if you can get to St. George, this is a performance you will not want to miss. TJ's portrayal of the prophet was so spectacular it surprised even me, and I had seen a good deal of his practicing at home. I knew his voice would be gorgeous, but I didn't know that his acting would be so convincing. He absolutely pulls you into the story with his passion and conviction.
The script was written and directed by Jaime Young, who started Brigham's Playhouse with the vision of sharing inspiring, family friendly theater, and especially using it to share our faith. It is heartfelt and painstakingly researched. His direction of the play has been instrumental in helping a certified greenie on the stage give a powerful portrayal of Joseph Smith. His cast is remarkably united and committed in their performance. Paige Allred truly did justice to Emma Smith with her beautiful voice and solid acting. She was smart, dignified, funny, and vulnerable. Beau Brewster's Oliver Cowdry is powerfully acted and sung. And especially notable were the beautiful voices of Ronny and Joshua Reusch, a father and son playing the parts of John Taylor and Young Joseph.
Taylor Williams' music is very beautiful, expressive of the setting, and by turns heart-wrenchingly sad or filled with glowing joy. The cast have an amazing deal of conviction behind them, and this especially comes through in their big group numbers. I absolutely dare you not to cry for joy as they transform the misery of Liberty Jail into the most beautiful message of comfort scripture can offer in "Peace Unto Thy Soul." And you will never forget "Joseph's Final Testimony."
The show runs about three hours including the intermission--something to consider carefully when you're deciding if your little ones can handle sitting still that long--but it is worth every minute of your time. You will leave edified.
Tickets are getting snapped up, but if you can't get them for the night you want, go anyway. They usually have some no-shows.