Nothing beats the indelible romance of a hot summer’s night of world-class entertainment. And with the unique red rock beauty of our own backyard to augment the experience, local summer outdoor theater and concerts are simply unforgettable. Explore our list of the best outdoor entertainment offerings for a summer to remember.
TUACAHN CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Tuacahn Center for the Arts, a nonprofit arts organization, prides itself on bringing “Broadway to the Desert,” staging beloved shows with high-quality, professional actors. The spectacular outdoor amphitheater is surrounded by 1,500-foot red rock cliffs in the mouth of Padre Canyon. And with its characteristic high production value in lighting, props, pyrotechnics and outside-the-box set design, it’s always a stunning experience at Tuacahn.
ROALD DAHL’S CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
May 13-Oct 19
Book by David Greig, based on a novel by Roald Dahl
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
In its regional premiere at Tuacahn, the contemporary musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” is a sweet treat to delight the whole family. When Charlie Bucket finds a coveted golden ticket for an exclusive tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the adventure that unfolds for him and his fellow tourists changes them in ways they could never imagine.
May 20-Oct 21
Book by David Henry Hwang
Music and lyrics by Phil Collins
In this delightful blend of Disney’s animated musical adventure and Edgar Rice Burroughs’s timeless classic, “Tarzan of the Apes,” an abandoned young boy washes ashore in West Africa and is raised by a gorilla family. But when a human expedition ventures into his territory, Tarzan encounters creatures like himself for the first time and must grapple with the instincts taught to him by his adopted family and the traits of his inherent human nature.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME
July 15-Oct 20
Book by Peter Parnell; based on a novel by Victor Hugo
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Combining the hopeful optimism of an animated Disney classic with the brooding heft and weight of its gothic source material, the Hunchback of Notre Dame is, well, complicated. Navigating themes ranging from love and acceptance to religion, death, sin and lust; this isn’t your typical Disney fare. Follow Quasimodo on his adventure—accompanied by incredible songs and visuals—and experience this Disney classic like never before as the Tuacahn stage is transformed into 15th-century Paris.
For tickets, visit tuacahn.org
UTAH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2023
Cedar City Utah
Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre Productions (Outdoors)
ROMEO AND JULIET is a timeless tale of "star-cross'd lovers," Romeo and Juliet tells how two young people rise above their families' hatred and find true love. The price is tragic, and its lesson is what makes this one of Shakespeare's best-known, most-loved and more-enduring tragedies.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is a luxurious tale of fairies, dreams and moonlight and is Shakespeare's most popular comedy. "The course of true love never did run smooth" and when the feuding king and queen of the fairies interfere in the mercurial romances of mortals, the result is magical mayhem. Leave it to the roguish Puck, impish fairies, young lovers and bumbling would-be actors to create pure pandemonium!
Of Note: Timon of Athens and Coriolanus will be held in the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre. (Indoors)
Other plays showing at the Shakespeare Festival include Jane Austen's Emma, the Musical; A Raisin in the Sun; and The Play That Goes Wrong in the Randall L. Jones Theatre (Indoors)
For information and tickets, visit bard.org or call 800-PLAYTIX (752-9849)
The Green Show at the Shakespeare Festival
June 21-Sep 29, 7:10 pm
Written and directed by Britannia Howe
Paiute Heritage and Celebration produced by Roger Clark
The Greenshow, an annual Utah Shakespeare Festival pre-show tradition, is a free family-friendly celebration of song, dance, costume and story. With three themes running on different nights—The Hills of Appalachia, English Regency Garden Party and Paiute Heritage and Celebration—there are lots of ways to enjoy the Greenshow season.
O.C. TANNER AMPHITHEATER
Surrounded by the sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park and graced with gorgeous sunsets, the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater is a stunning way to experience music and entertainment in the open desert air. As a part of Utah Tech University, the 2,000-seat amphitheater is a regular venue for concerts and events in the university’s Utah Tech Live series.
With a wide range of musical influences—pop, rock, country, hip-hop—and with an innovative flair, country artist Ian Munsick has also stayed true to his Wyoming roots, paying homage to the Old West with the recent release of his second album, “White Buffalo.”
Stand-up comedian and podcaster, Theo Von, got his start on MTV reality television and made a name for himself in acting, game-show hosting, stand-up comedy and podcasting. He currently hosts his podcast, “This Past Weekend,” and is a recurring guest on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” among others.
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
For almost 60 years, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has been delighting generations of fans with its blend of country, rock, folk and bluegrass. This talented multi-artist, multi-generational powerhouse is known for its reimagined classic hits as well as its original works—truly an American icon.
Acclaimed Grammy-award-winning singer-songwriter, Steve Earle, is a master storyteller with 20 studio albums to his name. His songs have been recorded by numerous artists including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and the Pretenders. He is also a relentless creative artist, pursuing interdisciplinary interests as a writer, producer, actor and radio host.
Zach Williams’ Grammy-award-winning debut album details the Christian rock artist’s past struggles with substance abuse and his road to sobriety. Now, with three albums and a second Grammy award—for a song featuring Dolly Parton—Zach continues to tour and write songs that reveal “powerful transformative moments and stirring affirmations to stay on God’s path.”
Scotty McCreery started out when he won the "Clayton Idol" singing contest held by WQDR-FM at the Clayton Harvest Festival in Clayton, North Carolina, and eventually won USA's "American Idol." His talents filtered through to his successfully releasing a favorite Christmas album, "Christmas With Scott McCleery," which has impressively been certified "gold."
For tickets, visit utahtech.evenue.net
Nothing beats the indelible romance of a hot summer’s night of world-class entertainment. And with the unique red rock beauty of our own backyard to augment the experience, local summer outdoor theater and concerts are simply unforgettable.