Family Reviews: Big River, Merry Wives of Windsor, and The Foreigner at UT Shakespeare Festival

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) The Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival delights every year with first-rate, stunningly-acted performances of The Bard’s works, along with other fantastic plays. Enjoying the cool weather of Cedar City and its charming small-town shops and restaurants, along with the plays themselves is an annual highlight for my wife and I. This year we had th ...[Read More]



By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) Tuacahn Ampitheatre, also known as Southern Utah's “Broadway in the Desert,” has a stunning lineup of plays for your family this season. But what to choose and how to spend your dollars? I saw them all, so let me help! THE PRINCE OF EGYPT Every single one of my friends who've seen this musical and posted on social media about it have adored ...[Read More]


Assessing Anakin: A Therapist Explores Vader’s Humanity

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) “Not the hero Star Wars deserved, but the one it needed” When the prequel trilogy hit theaters, many lifelong fans felt blindsided by the portrayal of Anakin, the Jedi who became Darth Vader. Long imagining him to be a dashing and heroic figure, instead fans got a whiny child, a petulant teen, and an entitled lover. Many found him unlikable, ...[Read More]


What to See at Tuacahn: Family Reviews of SHREK, NEWSIES, and MAMMA MIA!

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, entertainment critic) Tuacahn Amphitheatre boasts one of the most gorgeously-unique theatre locations in the world. Nestled against red rock canyons just outside of St. George, Utah and boasting a newly expanded restaurant and gift shop, just being there is half of the experience. Fortunately, the other half is first-rate off-Broadway productions that never di ...[Read More]

The Future of Family-Friendly Pop Music: Truman Brothers

The Future of Family-Friendly Pop Music: Truman Brothers

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, media critic) Fans of Michael Buble, John Legend, and other smooth-singers will want to give these guys a listen. Sons of Diamond Rio musician Dan Truman, brothers Ben and Chad are known to many as members of the Nashville Tribute Band, but their solo (duo?) efforts lean away from country and into first-class vocal pop albums, making for some of my favorite li ...[Read More]


Family Review: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (at Hale Center Theater-Orem)

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, media critic) Prequels and backstories are tricky. If done poorly, they threaten to remove the lustre of a well-loved story. If done well, they provide new insights while honoring the original tale, casting it in a new, satisfying light. The five-time Tony-winning play Peter and the Starcatcher is a case of the latter, exploring how Peter became Pan and a capt ...[Read More]

Your New Favorite Christmas Album: “Merry” by NASHVILLE TRIBUTE BAND

Your New Favorite Christmas Album: “Merry” by NASHVILLE TRIBUTE BAND

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT This past week my wife and I were fortunate to catch a Christmas concert by The Nashville Tribute Band, of whom I’d heard many good things but had never personally been exposed. I was so impressed that I bought their new Christmas album, Merry, upon exiting the show. Having listened to it all week, I give it my strongest recommendation for all who’re loo ...[Read More]


Is Media Helping or Hurting Your Kids?

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical Director, LMFT) Recently I was a guest on The HD Radio Show with Bryan Hyde, where we discussed the portrayal of believers in pop culture, using media to bond with your children and teach them values, how to find uplifting and wholesome movies, and more. Have a listen! Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family ...[Read More]

Stage Review: TARZAN at Tuacahn

Stage Review: TARZAN at Tuacahn

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, entertainment critic) I took my daughter to Disney's Tarzan at Southern Utah's Tuacahn Ampitheatre, and it's as masterful a stage production as I’ve ever witnessed. In terms of story and character it’s an improvement over the already-strong Disney film, with moments of powerful emotional resonance among the energetic dancing, vertigo-inducing vine-swinging, an ...[Read More]

peter pan at tuacahn

Stage Review: PETER PAN at Tuacahn

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, entertainment critic) It’s perhaps unfair to this adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan to compare it to the Disney version, which has had a lifetime to burrow its music into our collective minds. The songs here can’t compare to decades of nostalgia, but they’re fun and catchy nonetheless. The cast is superb. Em Grosland brings stunning energy to the role of P ...[Read More]