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Reimagined ‘Juanito Bandito’ returns to Logan

By Jackson Wilde

The Pickleville Playhouse launched a new version of its comedic holiday tale, “Juanito Bandito’s Christmas Carol 2015,” at The Ellen Eccles Theatre on Friday. The musical will continue through Tuesday with 7:30 p.m. showtimes with an additional matinee on today at 3 p.m.

“We say it’s a reimagined version of the show we did last year,” said T.J. Davis, who wrote the musical and who stars as Juanito Bandito.

Davis said he incorporated more character depth and new songs into this year’s revision with the help of Utah State University music director Luke Shepherd. According to Davis, the duo’s new songs help bring thoughtful emotions, heavy laughter and Christmas spirit to centerstage.

“It feels more like a complete musical,” Davis said.

Angie Roundy, who manages the rental of The Ellen Eccles Theatre, said Davis and his playhouse’s performances are truly embraced by the local community.

“They get an amazing response,” Roundy said.

According to Roundy, four of the Bandito performances scheduled this season sold out in less than a month. As a result, the playhouse added the matinee on Saturday.

Roundy said the playhouse’s productions engage the audience by incorporating unique humor and all-around fun.

“They’re just cool,” Roundy said. “They make you feel like it’s the ‘it’ place to be.”