Tuacahn celebrates 15th anniversary with impressive summer season

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IVINS -- A major player in Utah's performing arts community is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a blockbuster summer.

I have performed on Broadway stages and around the world, but there is nothing like this place.

–Evan D'Angeles, performer

Surrounded by Utah's famous red rock, musical theater under the stars once again draws a crowd. Tuacahn Amphitheater is having the most successful season in its history.

This summer's offerings include the regional premier of Disney's "Tarzan."

"He's Tarzan; he's pretty much like a Disney superhero. It's the coolest part in the world," says James Royce Edwards, who plays Tarzan in the Tuacahn production.

"Tarzan is breaking all of our box office records," says Scott S. Anderson, Tuacahn's artistic director. "I have never seen a show sell like this. We are packing in almost 2,000 people a night."

Approximately 150,000 see a summer production at Tuacahn. Managers say the recession has not affected them; and their success spreads to the community, bringing millions to the St. George economy.

It also brings top-notch talent. Performers in the three shows -- "Cats", "Tarzan" and "Crazy for You" -- come from across the country; one is a Tony Award winner.

What is... Tuacahn?
The Tuacahn Amphitheatre and Center for the Arts is built on 80 acres of land at the base of Padre Canyon in Ivins. The 42,000 square foot facility was completed in the spring of 1995 and features a 1920-seat outdoor amphitheatre, a 330-seat indoor theater, a dance studio, a black-box theater, a recital hall, a costume shop and scene shop, studios and classrooms, and a gift shop.

"My great grandfather Louis Ramsey was a noted landscape artist, and he painted Zions and Bryce and all these gorgeous southern Utah landscapes; so I love Utah and consider it one of my dear homes," says performer Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller.

Payton Kemp, a hometown Ivins boy, is performing in his first musical. He plays young Tarzan, and audiences have been impressed with his beautiful voice.

"The singing and the flying are really fun," Kemp says.

Many cast members say they have fallen in love with Utah.

"It's a beautiful venue here at Tuacahn," says performer Evan D'Angeles. "I have performed on Broadway stages and around the world, but there is nothing like this place."

CLICK HERE for more information on Tuacahn's 2010 summer season.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com


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Carole Mikita


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