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Calling all theater and musical performance fans! This summer in Logan, two plays and four musicals, as well as several other special performances and concerts, will come to life on stage at the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. But visitors to the festival don’t just attend one or a few performances and leave; they can become immersed in a summer-long musical theater experience.

Starting in June and going through early August, the festival will include 136 shows with 300 professional performers, according to founding general director Michael Ballam.

The lineup

Fans of musicals can enjoy performances of "West Side Story," "Mary Poppins," "Newsies," and "The Marriage of Figaro." While the musicals are a yearly tradition at the festival, this year they will also feature plays, including "Bravo, Caruso" and "Master Class."

What sets these performances apart from other renditions of "West Side Story," for example, is the live

orchestra that will play the music. While most performances of musicals either use recordings or a 13-instrument orchestra, "West Side Story" and "Marriage of Figaro" at Cache Valley will have about 50 instruments in the pit, according to Ballam.

More than shows

The plays and musicals are just the main courses in a weekslong smorgasbord of theater. Breakfast is the literal beginning of the day for four Saturdays during the festival. Visitors can join Ballam and festival stars in the open-air Café des Artistes for a lively discussion. Later in the morning on Wednesdays to Fridays beginning July 10, the artists and creative team will present seminars where guests can learn about the history, artistic preparation, design and technical elements of each production.

Beginning one hour before each show, attendees can learn from free “informances” in which Ballam and other experts explain details of plot, production, and background. After shows on the second, third and fourth Thursday nights in July, the Late Night Cabaret at Cafe Sabor in Logan will host a variety show put on by the stars of the festival.

For those interested in the behind-the-scenes work, visitors can see how costumes are made in the costume shop as well as touring the theaters. Ballam said, “People can experience as much as they want to experience. We’re going to wear them out!”

There's something for everyone at the festival this year; Monday evenings June 24 through July 29, patrons can watch silent films at the Utah Theatre in Logan with musical accompaniment onstage from Mike Ohman at the Might Wurlitzer Organ. These tickets cannot be purchased online, but by calling the number listed on the silent films page.

How to attend

Nestled in picturesque Cache Valley, The Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre is a truly unique event. It’s easy to see why it draws about 30,000 visitors each year from around the world. According to Ballam, past visitors have come from all over the U.S. and even Vienna, Austria.

Don’t miss the opportunity to dive into this immersive musical experience that’s happening right in your own backyard. Depending on the show and time, tickets for a single show start at $16, but you can save money per show with a series pass. Get all the details at The Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre.