Magician Rick Boretti (center) performs a magic trick with two audience members at the Moab's Backyard Theater. Magic shows are just one of the events lined-up this year on the theater's schedule. Other shows will include jazz music, bluegrass music, a western movie night, fire dancing, and the Moab Western Show. [Photo courtesy of Sunnie Sheff]

Moab’s Backyard Theater is opening its gates for the season with a full line-up of live music, comedy, magic, fire dancers, and more.

In its second year, owners Sunnie and Sand Sheff have revamped the schedule to include at least four or five nights of entertainment each week throughout the summer. Last year, the theater was open about two nights per week and featured a variety show that included skits, music, and magic. Sunnie Sheff said they have added more shows this year and changed the format to include only one or two types of performances each evening.

“We decided to take the variety show, which had magic, music, comedy, and spread it out to give all of those performers a little bit more time on stage,” she said.

Last year, the Sheffs opened Moab’s Backyard Theater to offer performers an alternative venue for their crafts.

“Moab really doesn’t have a lot of entertainment venues,” Sunnie Sheff said. “There are restaurants and bars, but as performers, my husband and I thought it would be neat to have a place that is less formal and outdoors to promote more live entertainment.”

Sunnie Sheff said that as the summer continues, they hope to attract more local and visiting performers to their stage.

“We want to encourage more people to come and perform,” she said. “My hope is to become known as a place where (performers) can just stop in and do a little show.”

Performers interested in a spot on the schedule can contact Sunnie Sheff through the theater’s Web site.

For the month of April, there will be a jazz night on Tuesdays featuring the David Steward Trio, and Wednesdays will have bluegrass music with Quicksand Soup. The weekend schedule rotates between a magic show with Rick Boretti, a western movie night, a western music night featuring Yodelin’ Dave and his Hot Guitar, and the Moab Western Show.

The Moab Western Show is the new comedy show. Sunnie Sheff said the 90-minute show features three actors and three band members. The musical comedy has skits accompanied by music.

“The Moab Western Show is a lot fun,” said Shane Bartosh, one of the actors in the show.  “There are many different characters featured from dinosaurs to Jeepers. There is also an old west shootout. It’s a great comedy show that both children and adults will enjoy and it gives a humorous look at the history of Moab.”

The Moab Western Show will premier Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. Admission for the show will be $5.

Admission to the Wednesday night bluegrass show is free, and the other night admissions range from $3 to $10 for adults and $1 to $5 for kids. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

Concessions, including bottled water, soda, popcorn, and candy, are available for purchase at the show. Guests are invited to grab a seat on the chairs, benches, or straw bales available at the venue, or they can bring their own.

Moab’s Backyard Theater is located at 56 W. 100 South, just past the entrance to Zax restaurant. The performance schedule can be found at: Performances are also listed on the marquee outside the theater’s gates.

“It’s a great family fun evening of entertainment,” Bartosh said.

Performances include live music, comedy, magic and more

“Moab really doesn’t have a lot of entertainment venues. There are restaurants and bars, but as performers, my husband and I thought it would be neat to have a place that is less formal and outdoors to promote more live entertainment.”  

Where: 56 West 100 South (Next door to Zax Restaurant)

When: Check the schedule at:

Cost: Adults vary from Free to $10, Children vary from Free to $5