The Kanab High School (KHS) put on a three-night run of Ahrens and Flaherty’s adaption of “Anastasia” over the course of November 2-4, showcasing the youth edition of the classic play. Attendance was good, the community turned out in numbers comparable if not a bit better than previous shows. Per one of the performers within the show, “We had to delay a little on the first night because the ticket line was so long.”
As an indicator of how the audience were receiving the performance, there were plenty of low chuckles that said the audience was comfortable, along with plenty of big laughs that said they were entertained. At one point, as the show transitioned from Russia to France, a few little voices were heard gasping and pointing out, “Look! The Eiffel Tower!” as though they were visiting the famous landmark in real time - comments like that bode well for the suspension of disbelief, as well as a hardworking team of techs and support crew, with multiple costumes and costume changes, and shifting sets with very different settings.
Left to right, photos by Stacey Cox:
Show leads Kayley Brinkerhoff, Jadon Sanders and Dallin Corry perform “Learn to Do It!”
Elise Donoho (back, center) leads the ensemble in an exciting number.
The show, the abbreviated youth version, wrapped in just over 100 minutes, all one act. The cast and crew were clearly well rehearsed, having prepared for months for this showing - certain timing and character foibles that can only be replicated by hard work in practice were firmly in place. Actors showed moments of emotion that were hard to believe are scripted, but rather seemed the results of knowing their character and understanding small human ticks and applying those believably in the performance.
As the last big showcase of the year, the directors, cast and crew took the time to bid farewell to their departing seniors, with director Mariah Wheeler commenting, “See how much trouble I’m in?” leaving a good-natured bit of ambiguity as to whether she meant the trouble of having and working with so many passionate performers, or the trouble of losing them. Tech Director Tegan Owens gave the tech crew their due compliments, and senior Nathan Unsworth spoke for the senior class giving their admiration to the directors and team.
With the show wrapped, KHS’ Theatre department looks to the upcoming competition seasons, including the regular spring UHSAA season, as well as participation in the winter season hosted in Millard.