LOGAN – The recent production of The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Ellen Eccles Theater was not only a dazzling spectacle, but also a vivid reminder of the top-notch professional entertainment we have all been missing since the coronavirus outbreak over a year ago.
The show – featuring the most iconic music from the British impresario’s legendary musical canon – combined jaw-dropping vocal performances, superb orchestration, stunning lighting effects and searing choreography. What more could an audience ask for?
The show’s premiere on Friday was met with enthusiasm by a near-sold-out crowd at the Eccles Theater in downtown Logan.
The limited engagement performance of The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber here in Utah were produced with local talent to celebrate the return of live entertainment to stages across the state as the coronavirus pandemic abates.
Rarely in recent memory has the huge stage of the Eccles Theater been so filled with talent.
The show opened with a huge orchestra led by the incomparable Kurt Bestor on piano performing a spirited instrumental version of “Jellicle Ball”. Cats. The Emmy Award-winning Utah songwriter was later joined by five featured singers – Dallyn Vail Bayles, David Osmond, Nicole Riding, Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller and Lexi Walker.
Each of these artists came with a list of scene credits that was longer than your arm.
Bayles has performed with touring Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera and Wretched and the international premiere of Wretched in China.
David Osmond is an Emmy-nominated actor, singer and television host. He has performed in numerous productions of Joseph and the incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat, including replacing his famous uncle Donny in a historic series of this show at Kingsbury Hall.
Ms. Riding is an Actor’s Equity member. She has performed in the National Broadway Tours of Wretched and in the productions of Joseph and the incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat and West Side Story at the Tuacahn Amphitheater.
Ms. Seegmiller is a Grammy-nominated soprano who won a Tony Award in 2003 for her performance in Baz Luhrmann’s production of Bohemian on Broadway. Her other stage credit includes performances in the United States and Europe in concerts, operas and musical theater.
Ms. Walker is a singer, songwriter, actress and YouTube personality. Her credits include appearances at Carnegie Hall and the National Concert Hall in Taipei. She has performed with Kristen Chenoweth, The Piano Guys, Lindsey Sterling and Idina Menzel.
One of the many strengths of The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber Bayles delivered two solo showstoppers: the rocking song “Song of the King” by Joseph and the incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat and the title of power ballad of the much maligned Starlight Express.
Bayles also joined Ms. Seegmiller in performing two breathtaking duets from The Phantom of the Opera.
Ms. Riding showed off her talents with an exhilarating rendition of ‘Buenos Aires’ by Evita, with the fraternal dance team of Ezra and Stephani Sosa performing a scorching samba in the background.
As expected, Osmond’s outstanding performance was a dramatic solo from “Close Every Door” by Joseph and the incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Finally, Ms. Walker performed beautiful renditions of the emotionally charged “I don’t know how to love it”. Jesus Christ Superstar and the melody of the title of Love never dies, Following The Phantom of the Opera.
The evening also included music from two of Webber’s less successful musicals, Aspects of love and Whistle the wind.