Strong vocal performances enhance ‘Saturday’s Warrior’

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    By BRANDON MULL

    The quality of the singing and sincerity of the performers is sufficient to make the Draper Historic Theatre production of “Saturday’s Warrior” an enjoyable experience.

    As the popular LDS musical opens, a group of premortal spirits contemplate their approaching opportunity to experience life on Earth.

    The future Flinders children look forward to helping each other through mortal trials. Eternal sweethearts Tod (Spencer Warner) and Julie (Krista Hardy) worry about finding each other. Kestler (David Purles) and Green (Kevin McClellan) plan how they will spread the gospel when they serve missions.

    When these spirits finally descend to Earth, many obstacles impede the goals they previously held so dear.

    The best part of this play is the music. And this performance had a lot of good voices to give life to the score.

    A surprising amount of young girls with beautiful voices sing brief solos. The play opens with a solo by a young girl with excellent poise, pitch and vibrato.

    Warner has the most solid voice of the male leads. His solos are loud and strong. But sometimes he pushes so hard he sounds a little strained.

    The play uses a lot of dance to go along with the songs.

    When Jimmy (Matt Dodge) sings “Sailing On,” a girl comes out and does a simple interpretive dance. As the song progresses, more people join her.

    The dancing effectively provides visual elements to accompany the music. But occasionally the choreography is so simple it looks like it belongs in a junior high school production.

    Not all of the acting is first rate. Much of the dialogue sounds rehearsed. And a few actors fall into patterns with how they deliver their lines.

    But in some tense scenes, like where Jimmy confronts his parents about having too many children, real emotion comes through.

    The neutral set lends itself to various locations, from the premortal world, to the Flinders’ home, to a park. As a result, scene changes are impressively quick.

    “Saturday’s Warrior” plays Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. Encore performances will show Jan. 7, 8 and 10.

    Tickets cost $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. For more information call (801) 572-4144.

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