Globe Theater at the Shakespeare Festival

Visit the 2018 Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City

To go or not to go — is that even really a question?

The world-renowned Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City is ready to kick off another fantastic season this summer with a great lineup of plays and events, including Henry VI, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and more. Whether you are a Shakespeare buff or not, these performances will have you swooning in your chair at the sweet sound of declarations of love, laughing out loud as Shakespeare’s wordplay tests your wit and awe and humble you as you witness the tragic downfalls of heroes pitted with human foibles. Stunning reproductions and performances are sure to leave you inspired, uplifted, and of course, entertained.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival street signs

A Festival Rich with History

The Utah Shakespeare Festival was founded with the mission of presenting life-affirming classic and contemporary plays, with Shakespeare’s work as the cornerstone. They hope these performances will entertain, enrich, and educate. And they have done just that, for over fifty years. Today, the festival attracts attention all around the country every year, as people come from far and wide to act in or watch the plays. Since its formation, the Festival has received multiple awards including the 2000 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the 2001 National Governors Association Award, a 2011 Emmy award, and many others, including Best of State in arts and entertainment.

When the Festival first began in 1962, it attracted a little over 3,000 visitors. Today, it brings in over 120,000 each season. They now have four different theaters, including the famous Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre, a beautiful reconstruction based on Elizabethan-era theaters, similar to The Globe,  the theater in London Shakespeare worked in and then part-owned. Of course, some adjustments have been made to make the Engelstad Shakespearean Theatre comfortable and accessible to modern audiences. Overall, however, it is still a unique opportunity to see Shakespeare’s work in a near-authentic setting.

To learn the whole story of the festival’s formation and growth, check out this article on their website.

Performers at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City

Your Quick Guide to this Season’s Lineup

Not sure which play you should attend? That’s okay — we have got you covered. Here is a quick and easy guide to each play that will be performed this season.

The Greenshow – Ashton Family Greenshow Commons

June 28 – September 8, 2018

The Greenshow is Utah Shakespeare Festival’s free nightly entertainment. Lighthearted song and dance serve as the festival’s nightly welcome to help guests get in the spirit of theater before they enter the play. There are three different shows, which are presented on alternating nights. The show often includes singing, magic, dance, and lots of fun.

Henry VI Part One

June 29 – September 6, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Henry V has died, leaving his son to be crowned king. With war raging in France, various factions vying for power in England, and approaching civil war, Shakespeare weaves together this seldom-told piece of history into a stunning tale of political intrigue.

Othello

June 28 – October 13, 2018 – Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Shakespeare’s Othello is a powerfully tragic story of passion and anguish. It is a fast-paced, devastating tale of how jealousy and fear can unravel the most intelligent minds and purest loves. It’s the story of a Venetian general who secretly marries the beautiful Desdemona. Iago, spiteful and jealous of Othello, is led to believe that Othello has had an affair with his wife. Iago’s anger transforms into a nefarious plot to get revenge on Othello.

Crowd at the Shakespeare Festival

The Merry Wives of Windsor

June 28 – September 8, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known comedies. It is the story of a quirky old man, Falstaff, who has his lusty eyes on a couple of middle-class housewives. These women, however, will not easily let Falstaff get the better of them, and their wit ultimately gets the better of him. This play is lighthearted and fun.

The Foreigner

June 29 – October 13, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

Written by Larry Shue, the Foreigner is a comedy about Charlie, a vacationer seeking solitude at a Georgia hunting lodge. To avoid having to interact with the other guests, he pretends to be a foreigner who doesn’t understand English. However, he soon witnesses bizarre schemes by people who think he can’t understand a word they say, leading to confusion and non-stop hilarity that set up one of the funniest endings in all of theater.

Big River

June 30 – September 1, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

From a book by William Hauptman, adapted from a novel by Mark Twain, gives us another look into the adventures of the beloved classic-American character Huck Finn as he tries to help his friend Jim escape slavery. Featuring original lyrics and music by Roger Miller, audience members describe this play as hilarious, suspenseful, and heartwarming.

Dancers at the Shakespeare Festival

The Merchant of Venice

June 30 – September 7, 2018 – Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

This play is often described as a comedy, and yet, throughout the years, we have begun to call attention to many of the deep-rooted themes Shakespeare wove throughout this play.  When Antonio, a wealthy Venetian merchant, borrows money to help his dear friend Bassanio pursue love, things turn south when the moneylender learns that Antonio may not be able to make good on his bond. The Merchant of Venice is as much a suspenseful tragedy as it is a heartwarming romance-comedy. It is a story of racism, revenge, love, humor, greed, justice and mercy.

An Iliad

July 12 – October 9, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

This play is a modern retelling of the ancient classic, written by By Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare. An Iliad is the tale of the events following the Trojan war, sung by the Poet, who witnessed it all.

Pearl’s in the House

August 23 – October 13, 2018 – Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

Workshopped at the Festival in 2017, this musical play focuses on Pearl Bailey, performer and special delegate to the United Nations in a racially-charged mid-twentieth century America. Bailey was a trailblazer for African-American women, yet a talk-show host in 1987 questions many of her motives. So Bailey responds the only way she knows how—through her music.

The Liar

September 14 – October 13, 2018 – Randall L. Jones Theatre

In this play by David Ives, the charming Dorante cannot tell the truth, and his manservant Cliton cannot tell a lie. From this simple premise springs one of the Western world’s greatest comedies, a spirited seventeenth-century French farce brilliantly adapted for today, complete with mistaken lovers, suspicious fathers, sparkling romance, frothy comedy, and an abundance of breathtakingly intricate “alternative facts.”

Crowd shot at Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah

Plan your trip to Cedar City

With so many different plays to choose from, from a variety of Shakespearean classics to modern comedies and dramas, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has something for anyone to enjoy. Tickets fill up fast, so now is the time to plan your trip to Cedar City!

Shaka’s Country Lanes in Idaho Falls: A Tasty Shuttle Stop

We love convenience

It is hard to deny the convenience of a gas station. Roll in, fill up, and then get back on track to your destination. Add the fact that literally every gas station out there is also a convenience store, jam-packed with shelves of snacks, goodies, drinks, and just about anything else you could ever need while on a trip, and we have something truly amazing.

But let’s be honest, as convenient as a gas station is, not all stations are created equally. Especially the food on their made-to-order menu. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Spongy potato wedges, waxy mozzarella sticks, soggy pizza slices, or chicken nuggets that squeak when you chew them.

We’ve all tasted this kind of food before. Hunger gets the better of us and we find ourselves wolfing down the first thing we see, leaving behind nothing but disappointment and much regret.

That is why we love Idaho Falls shuttle stop Shaka’s Country Lanes located just off 1-15. They are one of those exceptional few stations out there that truly delivers convenient and tasty food, all at a nice price, too.

Shaka’s Country Lanes

Shaka’s Country Lanes in Idaho Falls is so much more than a gas station. The moment you step foot inside you will see what we mean. Sure, they’ve got everything every convenience store does, but they also have so much more. Try an in-house chef and a fresh deli for starters. The store also has a clean, friendly vibe that is much appreciated.

The in-house staff work daily to provide delicious and fresh food every day, from mouthwatering sandwiches to fresh, breaded chicken, salads, and more. They are always running deals and promotions throughout the week, including free food with certain purchases or awesome discounts as well, so don’t forget to follow them on Instagram.

Make Shaka’s Country Lanes your Idaho Falls pickup or drop off location

We have been using Shaka’s Country Lanes as a pickup location for some time now because delicious and convenient food is the perfect companion to a busy traveler. And now with online ordering capabilities, it easier than ever to plan ahead and have food waiting for you when you arrive in Idaho Falls, or ready for you to grab just before you board the shuttle to depart.

So join us, and the many happy customers, who choose and trust Shaka’s Country Lanes for delicious and convenient food you can trust and depend on. Give them a try. They just might win you over, too. I just had a sandwich from them yesterday, and I’ve been singing “Aloha Friday” ever since and it’s only Thursday.

car on u.s. map for a road trip

The Road Trip Checklist: 7 Things to Remember

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to. – J.R.R. Tolkien

What does freedom feel like to you? For recent graduates, spring breakers, or fortunate victims to wanderlust, this freedom likely manifests itself in the form of a full tank of gas and an open road. Whether you are heading home, to the airport, to the coast, or simply wherever the road takes you, the commencement of any road trip is full of possibilities.

Just like any type of freedom, it comes with a cost. There is a literal cost associated — road trips tend to dip into your wallet, if just for gas alone. You also face several hours in the car alone or, for better or for worse, with a full cab. You need to consider food, lodging, and not to mention you are racing several thousand pounds of machinery through the country which denotes some obvious hazards.

Prepping for your road trip, however, can be a joy. After all, remember, with the freedom of the open road there are innumerable possibilities. How will you equip yourself for such a journey? Here are some things we believe you should absolutely consider when getting ready to hit the road.


healthy snacks on a road trip

Snacks

A robust cache of road trip snacks is invaluable when driving cross-country. Your body is still burning calories just by sitting there, and more so if your playlist is good. Plus, what else is going to keep you awake when the hour is late and the scenery is bland? (Or if your playlist is bad.) You never really need an excuse for snacks, but a road trip is a good one.

Some tips: avoid too much sugar. It tastes delightful and makes you feel great while listening to “Life is a Highway” for the fourteenth time. But you’ll crash hard. Maybe in more ways than one. Caffeine may or may not sustain you; a good alternative is orange juice or green tea.  Try throwing in some healthy snacks like apples or something that will make you work, like sunflower seeds.

listening to a podcast on a road trip

Soundtrack

Depending on your destination, you’re facing a lot of hours just staring straight ahead. Thinking time is criminally underrated, but it is also good to fill the silence.

Assemble a killer road trip playlist with a good mix of your favorite tunes. Get creative and try to explore beyond the hooks of the afore-mentioned “Life is a Highway” or “Surfin’ USA.” Finding songs named after your destination or places you’re traveling through can be fun — then again, your music choice doesn’t have to evoke a place at all. Songs with deeper meanings and plenty of layers engage your mind — rotate these in with more danceable tracks.

You don’t have to limit yourself to music, either. Subscribe to different podcasts that interest you, or rent an audiobook online or from the library. However you can best engage your mind and senses is worth preparing beforehand. Above all, avoid distracting yourself from attentive driving.

hand out the window - road trip

Working vehicle

There’s something thrilling about going by the seat of your pants, just hopping in and handing the reigns over to fate and adventure. But you may find that if you’re too footloose, you could end up stranded on the side of a lonely stretch of highway — you don’t want that much adventure.

Swing by your favorite service center on your way out of town for a last-minute checkup. Get an oil change, top off your fluids, replace wipers, whatever you have to do to ensure a safe journey. Your vehicle will thank you and show you a heartwarming amount of loyalty throughout your road trip.

road trip buddies

Buddy

Some of the best memories you can create are shared memories of a road trip. Inside jokes, stories both intimate and exaggerated, and experiences at that one place with the guy will follow you forever. This is the principle upon which some of the best travel and buddy comedies build: Planes, Trains, and AutomobilesThelma & LouiseDumb and Dumber…in fact, has there been a good travel comedy recently? Shout at me.

Whether you take a friend, a family member, or a perfect stranger, this person or people will undoubtedly make your road trip memorable. That being said, Salt Lake Express generally advises against picking up hitchhikers.

idaho map for a road trip

Map

Yes, I know you usually get your instructions from Siri. And sure, if you’re heading home chances are you already know the way. This one is more of a fun invitation: buy a roadmap from the gas station while you’re filling up and let it be your guide. Not only does it enhance the adventure but it gives you a bigger picture of where you are. You’ll learn more about surrounding areas and maybe even be tempted to take a quick detour to see that thing over there. Plus, when dead zones may strip your phone of its authority, your map will cease to be a novelty and will save the day.

However, it is the digital age, and we recommend you also keep your phone charged and ready to save your bacon. Physical maps don’t update as quickly or often as Google Maps…you should be ready to let technology go to work when you need it.

first aid kit on a road trip

Emergency supplies

As they say, “[stuff] happens” and perhaps, despite all your precautionary measures, you end up stranded or worse (we certainly hope not). You don’t have to plan on it before you head out the door but absolutely plan for it. Again, this undercuts the spontaneity that can be so fun about road trips. But when it comes down to it, you’ll be very glad you thought ahead.

Keep some emergency cash on hand and pack a little extra food and water than you normally would for yourself. Also, and this is just a good rule of thumb, keep a full first aid kit and blankets in your car.

And don’t just pack safely for yourself — it’s good practice to carry extra automotive fluids, a spare tire/jack, and if you’re a super prepper maybe even a gallon of gasoline. The most important thing is that you feel secure when hitting the open road.

open road on a road trip

Games

What was your favorite road trip game to play as a kid? Pumping your arm to make semi drivers honk their horns? I Spy? M.A.S.H.? Mad Libs? Kids are amazing at coming up with fun ways to pass the time, and as an adult, you can too.

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper if you are the driver and can’t get too distracted. You can entertain yourself (and your passengers) without the luxury of “games”, too; pretend you’re a guest on a talk show host and ask yourself questions or sing about things you pass on the road. It sounds a little crazy right now, but after enough time in the car (and perhaps enough caffeine) it can become very entertaining.


Assuming you have everything else packed, you’re all set to get going. Charge your phone and your camera battery, lock up behind you and let the road trip begin.

 

Charter Bus Rentals for Group Transportation - fleet.

Charter Bus Rentals for Group Transportation

We as human beings have a primal desire to fall into groups. We marry, raise families, work in companies, go out with friends, join teams, and go to movie theaters. And sometimes, this desire to pack together not only has social and emotional benefits but logistical as well. It is much easier to move a planeful of people from one country to another than to individually ship them. And at Salt Lake Express, we offer charter bus rentals because we know your need for group transportation.

There are many ways to individually get from point A to point B. But when it comes to moving an entire team or another group of people, options become more limited. Say you’re a baseball team with not only a whole roster of players but a large amount of equipment. Or maybe you’re a church group and you need space for all the food to feed them. Very quickly, a well-intentioned work retreat can turn into a logistical nightmare.

This is where Salt Lake Express can show you what it’s really made of. Just how can we help you transport your group, and whom do we serve? That is what we hope to address.


Charter Bus Rentals for Group Transportation - MCI D-Series

We offer charter bus rentals.

Salt Lake Express is a time-honored shuttle service serving over 100 stops throughout the intermountain west. Spanning from Montana all the way down to Nevada, our route includes numerous popular destinations like Yellowstone, Zion’s National Park, Sun Valley, and Las Vegas. With this blessing of serving such areas comes an inherent responsibility. Millions of people visit these and other spots annually, and most come from outside the region. We are committed to assisting them in their journey.

And more often than not, people make these trips as groups, not just individually. This where the issue of logistics returns. How do you comfortably move a large group of people when there is such limited space, and high demand? The answer lies in charter bus rentals.

With four different bus models in our fleet, we are well-equipped from the beginning to customize your trip to your needs. If you are traveling a longer distance, you can specify that you require a restroom on the bus. Thankfully, each of our buses comes with heating and air conditioning so no matter the weather, you can still comfortable on the bus. Each bus, regardless of the model, also comes with overhead storage and reclining, high-back seats.

Convenience and specific requests come at no extra cost — just identify what you need and we’ll take care of it.

Charter Bus Rentals for Group Transportation - Grech M2 GM40

We offer group transportation.

We and our drivers take group transportation very seriously. The overall success of your trip — and the determinant of future trips like it — largely depends on having the right travel accommodations.

Is everyone comfortable? Is the bus traveling at a safe speed? Have we been living up to the promises we made? These are the questions our drivers ask themselves. We want you to not only be safe and comfortable but to have an overwhelmingly positive charter bus experience.

No matter the group, we provide transportation at an unbeatable group price. Here are just a few of the different groups we provide charter bus rentals for.

Charter Bus Rentals for Group Transportation - M1235

Athletic

We’re coming into the baseball season, which means you’ll need to get your team to state and regional championships in a couple months. But no matter the sport, regardless of the season, we are dedicated to getting you, your team, and your equipment there safely. Our charter bus drivers also sometimes even get into the team spirit and cheer the team on.

School

From field trips to competitions, Salt Lake Express also works with high schools, colleges, and universities. Take your school group on your next educational outing through one of our charter bus rentals.

Corporate

Taking the office on a corporate retreat? Hoping to dress potential future VPs? Take everyone to that placid lake all together on the same bus. Our Gretsch Freightline M2 GM40 is well-equipped for corporate group transportation. With Salt Lake Express’ motto — “Executive Service. Always” — you know on whom you can depend.

Special events

Don’t leave us to define your reason for renting a charter bus from Salt Lake Express…no matter your special event, convention, what-have-you, we are here to serve you and your needs. When receiving a quote for your charter, let us know how we can make your experience an unforgettable one.

Charter Bus Rentals for Group Transportation - Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

We offer the best prices.

Renting a charter bus for group transportation can be expensive. It makes sense; for one rate, you’re moving a large group of people and shuttle companies need to beat their margins.

We understand the logistical need for a charter, however, and we also understand that budget is the first thing on a customer’s mind. If you wish to rent a charter through Salt Lake Express, we will give you a quote and do our best to work within your budget.


In our human desire to be and travel in groups, Salt Lake Express is making it easier to do so with our charter bus rental services.

Whether you are chartering for group transportation for work, school, sports or something else, we take your trip seriously. And with four different models of bus to choose from and several amenities to include, you can start planning your customized charter trip today.

Be sure to follow Salt Lake Express on social media to receive information on promo codes and charter services.

Gates of the Mountains - things to do in Helena

Helena Montana: Explore the Great West

Nestled in between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, is Montana’s capital city, Helena. A modern city that has also hung onto a lot of its past, Helena is one of Montana’s top 5 interesting places to go. Explore Helena by hiking, site seeing, exploring and going back in time as you visit historical buildings. Here are our top 5 things to do in Helena, Montana.

Gates of the Mountains

Gates of the Mountains - things to do in Helena
Photo courtesy of Mark Holloway via Flickr.

Follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark by visiting the Gates of the Mountains. Located halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, Gates of the Mountains is a canyon on the Missouri River. The river, surrounded by cliffs, got it’s name when Meriwether Lewis wrote in his journal, “I shall call this place: “Gates of the Mountains”. Opening May 27th of this year, enjoy a boat tour through the Gates of the Mountains. This is a breathtaking site to see in Helena, Montana!

Location: 3131 Gates of the Mountains Rd, Helena, MT 59601

Entrance Fee: $16 per Adult, $14 per Senior, $10 per Child, Free under 4 years old

Cathedral of St. Helena

 

helena montana

Consecrated in 1924, the Cathedral of St. Helena was set aside for the exclusive worship of God. The beautiful 59 stained glass windows in the Cathedral tell the story of the fall of Adam and Eve. They were hand-crafted in Bavaria and shipped to Montana. The Cathedral spires rise 230 feet above street level and they can be seen from all points of the town. Take a guided tour starting the week after Memorial Day through Labor Day on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00pm-3:00 p.m. Make sure to explore the Cathedral of St. Helena next time you come to Helena, Montana!

 

Location: 530 N. Ewing St. Helena, Montana, 59601

Entrance Fee: Free

Mount Helena City Park

Montana City Park - things to do in Helena

About 5,468 feet above sea level sits Mount Helena City Park. Park in the parking lot and then enjoy exploring down the 6 different trails across over 900 acres. Open year-round, Mount Helena City Park is a popular destination for hikers and bikers. If you are looking for an easy hike with a direct route up to the top of Mount Helena, then try out 1906 Trail! This is the perfect activity to do next time you visit Helena, Montana.

Location: Mount Helena Park, Helena, MT 59601

Entrance Fee: Free

Montana Historical Society Museum

Things to do in Helena - Montana Historic Society Museum

With over 50,000 artifacts on display, the Montana Historical Society Museum collects and preserves artifacts that pertain to Montana. Open Monday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m., this is a common site that visitors and locals love to see. This museum is an essential part of your travel experience to Helena, Montana. Come and learn about the history of Montana while walking through the Montana Historical Society Museum.

Location: 225 North Roberts, P.O. Box 201201, Helena, MT, 406-444-2694

Entrance Fee: $5 per adult, $1 per child, or $12 per family

Montana State Capitol

 

helena montana

Built on 10 acres of land surrounded by beautiful lawns and other state buildings stands the Montana State Capitol. The main section of the Capitol was completed in 1902, while the two separate wings were finished in 1912. The Capitol is open Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy a self-guided tour any time daily from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. You can also reserve a group tour! This is a site you won’t want to miss on your next trip to Helena, Montana!

 

Location: 225 North Roberts Helena, MT 59601

Entrance Fee: Free