Fast-paced parody of the Bard among diverse February lineup at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta

Composite image. Background photo shows the Center for the Arts at Kayenta in Ivins, Utah, date not specified. Foreground image features promotional image for "Complete Works of William Shakespeare" | Photo and image courtesy of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — If you are looking for the best entertainment in Southern Utah, look no further than the Center for the Arts at Kayenta’s lineup of shows in February.

Launching the third year has really reminded the center of why they do what they do. After closing out 2019 with more than 7,300 volunteer hours from over 400 volunteers and with more than 75 events on tap for patrons this year, it becomes more evident every day that diversity in entertainment has played a huge role in the center’s continued success

If you have not seen a show at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, now is the time. Here is a list of some of the productions scheduled for February, according to a press release from the center.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Jan. 30–Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 6 p.m.

If you are looking for a rip-roaring good time, look no further than “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield and sponsored by Cherry Creek Mortgage.

You don’t have to be an English major to laugh out loud at the parodies of the plays of William Shakespeare. All of them will be performed in comically shortened or merged form by only three actors. Typically the actors use their real names and play themselves rather than specific characters.

Improvisation plays an important role, and it is normal for the actors to deviate from the script and have spontaneous conversations about the material with each other or the audience. It is also common for them to make references to pop culture or to talk about local people and places in the area where the play is being performed as directed by the script’s footnotes. As a result, performances differ from night to night.

Here’s a fun fact: This play holds the world record for the shortest-ever performance of “Hamlet,” clocking in at 43 seconds, as well as the fastest performance of “Hamlet” backwards, at 42 seconds.

Playwrights Long, Singer and Winfield are former founding members of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and the show was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987 and later played at the Criterion Theatre in London, where it ran for nine years. It has become one of the most popular shows, playing frequently in a variety of languages.

Don’t let the title fool you — this is not a Shakespeare play; it’s a parody and an irreverent, fast-paced romp through the complete works of Shakespeare.

Coyote tales “Flawed”

Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Coyote Tales are live, open-mic style storytelling events with amateur and experienced storytellers. Each event has a theme on which stories are to be based. Potential storytellers may address that theme in any way they choose. Prior to the event, storytellers craft their true on-theme story, practice the telling in five minutes or less and work on eliminating excess detail to nail the perfect ending.

When the doors open, potential storytellers put their name in the hat in hopes of being chosen to share their tale. If chosen, the storyteller takes the stage to delight the audience. The theme for this evening’s stories is: “Flawed!”

If you are interested in getting on stage, please visit the Coyote Tales website to learn more about speaking tips and coaching opportunities. This event generously supported by Utah Humanities and Petite Feast.

Soirée Musicale celebrates Beethoven, with Mykola Suk & friends

Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Poster for the Center for the Arts at Kayenta’s presentation of “Soiree Musicale,” St. George News

Soirée Musicale celebrates the 250th birthday of the great Ludwig van Beethoven with some of his compositions.

The performance will feature world-renowned Ukrainian pianist Mykola Suk returning to Kayenta to present definitive interpretations of Beethoven’s immortal music, accompanied by St. George’s finest classical performers

Love stories in song with John D. Smitherman & Rachel Cox

Feb. 14-15, 7:30 p.m.

Broadway tenor John D. Smitherman will visit from New York a third time to serenade lovers on Valentine’s Day, joined by St. George soprano Rachel Cox.

Tickets are $30 and $10 for students. For $25 more per ticket, you can dance your hearts out to fun romantic tunes played by a live “big-band” and partake from a delectable dinner and dessert bar hosted by Chef Alfredo.

Movie night at Kayenta: “Murphy’s Romance”

Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m.

Kayenta Arts Foundation’s Movie Nights at Kayenta will be showing films from the private collection of Richard Kinsman, a resident of Kayenta.

Kinsman loved movies and had a private collection of over 2,500 films. He had hoped to hold regular movie nights as a fundraising activity for the center as well as a way for people to connect. He did not live to see his vision come to life, but event organizers think he’d be very happy to know that his generous donation of his collection is still raising funds and bringing people together.

The movie is free and open to the public, with the fun starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be bottled water, soda, popcorn, candy and other concessions available for sale. Bring some cash to make a donation to help pay for licensing and labor costs. Everyone is welcome.

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in concert

Feb. 29,  7:30 p.m.

The globally acclaimed Utah native Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company was formed in 1964. Four years later, they began to receive invitations to perform from all around the world.

They have been called to teach and dance in Canada, South Africa, former Yugoslavia, China, the Philippines, Singapore, American Samoa and many places in Europe. Just one month before the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the dancers performed in East Germany and were the first modern dancers to perform in Karl-Marx Stadt in the former Soviet Union and East Berlin in 15 years.

In 1993, the company traveled to Slovenia. Ririe-Woodbury performed a benefit fundraiser for 70,000 Bosnian war refugees who were seeking shelter in Slovenian collection centers. In 2004, Ririe-Woodbury was one of five dance companies invited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. In 2006, the company presented Nikolais’ “Tensile Involvement” at the Fall for Dance festival in New York City.

Recently, the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance selected Ririe-Woodbury as the dance company to house the works of modern dance innovator Alwin Nikolais, as his company the Nikolais Dance Theatre was no longer in operation. Ririe-Woodbury’s performances of works by Nikolais have received five-star reviews in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

About Kayenta Arts Foundation and the Center for the Arts at Kayenta

Kayenta Arts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and create an environment where diverse artistic endeavors can flourish. The Center for the Arts at Kayenta is where people in the greater southern Utah area gather to enjoy, learn, express, appreciate and celebrate art in all forms.

KAF is supported in part by funding from Washington County and Ivins City RAP funds. It is also supported in part by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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