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An Unprecedented Season

Tuacahn Amphitheatre debuts new performances, seating, parking and more

Article by Marianne Hamilton

Photography by Photogray Courtesy of Tuacahn

Originally published in St George City Lifestyle

Attendees at current Tuacahn Center for the Arts performances can be forgiven for thinking it’s New Year’s—or maybe Christmas—even in July. With a host of new features at the venerable venue, and a slate of productions being staged for the first time in its 28-year history, Tuacahn’s 2024 season offerings are worthy of celebration.

Long known as the premiere locale for the production of family-friendly Broadway and Disney musicals, Tuacahn’s outdoor amphitheatre—nestled amongst our renowned red rocks—has consistently drawn sell-out crowds for nearly three decades. This summer’s season is no different, with the highly anticipated Amphitheatre staging of Disney’s “Frozen” and “Anastasia” now eliciting oohs and ahs from every child in attendance, along the musical “Jersey Boys” opening this month. All three Amphitheatre shows will then run in repertory through mid-October.

At the same time, Tuacahn is presenting fare at its indoor Hafen Theater that skews more adult, with “Ring of Fire” celebrating the music of Johnny Cash, as well as the perfect way to ring in the holidays, courtesy of “A Christmas Carol.” Add in Amphitheatre concerts with The Fab Four, Zeppelin USA, the Doo Wop Project, KC & the Sunshine Band, the inaugural Southern Utah Blues Festival, and a laser light show set to Taylor Swift favorites, Tuacahn’s new schedule is setting an ever-higher bar for artistic excellence.

This year, it all starts with the seating, says Kevin Smith, Tuacahn CEO and executive producer. Kevin has been with the Center for 25 years and was recently elected to the Ivins City Council.

“We’ve added 500 new seats, bringing our seating capacity to 2,500,” he confirms. “That was made possible through the generous support of the Utah State Legislature, Washington County and various contributors. So now what used to be the grassy area on the sides of the Amphitheater—where you’d kind of slide down the hill, which wasn’t very efficient—has seats, lights and audio components.”

Those 500 seats were actually relocated from the center area, making way for brand-new, padded seats that now stretch from Row O to the front of the venue. Long term, Kevin and his staff hope to replace every conventional seat with cushier, more comfortable ones. “We have to do it in phases; this was phase two,” he says.

With a 20% bump in seating has come other upgrades: More parking spaces have been created, along with a new exit at the back of the Amphitheater, making post-performance getaways much easier. For those wishing to enjoy a pre-show meal at Tuacahn Café & Grill, a new, louvered awning now covers the adjacent patio, letting in sunshine or providing shade as needed.

Says Kevin, “The awning came courtesy of Stuart Awnings, through our good friends Stephen and Marcia Wade. It features misters for the summer and heaters for the winter, and it ties everything together nicely, from the Amphitheater over to the Café.”

The Café, Kevin adds, is open Monday through Saturday for lunch, and when Tuacahn’s Saturday Market is underway, it’s also open for breakfast.

“There’s no better place in the area to eat, with all of the windows that look out over the red rock canyon. And, the food’s great!”

Kevin and his team are proud of the diverse range of productions being presented this season. For the more senior members of the community who may assume that Tuacahn only offers “kids’ stuff,” he hastens to point out the variety of performers who typically grace both stages each year.

“We do country, rock; we’ve had comedians and The Piano Guys, and we bring in the Professional Bull Riders each year. We try to have a pretty well-rounded season, with something for everyone. Our Hafen Theater has consistently been a place where we’ve done shows for a more adult crowd. Hopefully, the concerts, along with our other offerings will bring in that diverse audience who will then see how fun Tuacahn can be, and will become season ticket holders,” Kevin says.

Giving a very grateful nod to Tuacahn’s 2024 Broadway Season Sponsor, Black Desert Resort, Kevin encourages veteran audiences and first-time attendees alike to take in one—or more—of this year’s musicals. “Jersey Boys,” which earned “Best Musical” honors at the Tony Awards and Olivier Awards, boasts an all-new, PG-rated script, as well as a generous dose of the hits that saw The Four Seasons inducted into the 2020 Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. And even as temperatures soar into triple digits, the imaginative staging and soaring tunes of Disney’s Frozen are keeping everyone cool.

“All five of our productions are ones we’ve never done before,” Kevin says. “There are so many new, amazing things happening at Tuacahn—we hope everyone will come out and see us!”

For tickets and information, visit tuacahn.org.

Marianne Hamilton is a veteran journalist and marketing writer whose work appears in regional and national publiications.           

“We’ve added 500 new seats, bringing our seating capacity to 2,500.” ‒ Kevin Smith

“We do country, rock; we’ve had comedians and The Piano Guys, and we bring in the Professional Bull Riders each year. We try to have a pretty well-rounded season, with something for everyone." ‒ Kevin Smith

  • Kevin Smith, Tuacahn CEO
  • Tuacahn Entrance
  • Tuacahn Amphitheatre Water Feature
  • Tuacahn 2024
  • Concert
  • Anastasia
  • Tuacahn Saturday Market