The Really Useful Group in London has authorized a special, limited engagement of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber to be produced almost entirely with Utah talent for Utah audiences in celebration of the return of live performance to Utah stages. The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber will feature iconic songs from Lloyd Webber’s most popular shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and others.
Emmy Award-winning Utah composer Kurt Bestor is collaborating with director Louanne Madorma to create this very special production featuring Utah musicians, cast, crew and singers including Dallyn Vail Bayles, David Osmond, Tony Award-winner Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller, Lexi Walker and others.
The Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City will host 8 performances, May 7-15. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 26 at 10am. These shows will be performed with limited capacity audiences, social distancing and all recommended health and safety measures. Audience members are required to wear masks.
“Having presented shows in Salt Lake City for 30-plus years, we are delighted to be leading the charge to reopen the Eccles Theater,” says MagicSpace Entertainment’s Steve Boulay. “For audiences, performers, crew, venue staff and the downtown community, this first event in over a year is an important moment. We all look forward to experiencing a live performance together knowing that things are getting better each and every day.”
“After this very long intermission, we are thrilled to work with our partner, MagicSpace Entertainment, to reopen the Eccles Theater with The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, “We are happy to welcome guests back to the theater while continuing to follow COVID safety precautions, including face coverings and social distancing.”
Emmy Award-winning Utah composer and performer Kurt Bestor will collaborate with director Louanne Madorma to cast, conceive and produce this special production of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. “It’s truly a thrill to be involved in this historic reopening – something that would not happen under normal circumstances. You’d never see all of these performers, Utahns who have had starring roles on Broadway and have toured the world, sharing the stage together in a special, limited engagement like this one. They would all normally be busy with separate projects away from home. Each time I make a call to invite someone to join the cast, the reaction is the same. They are ecstatic that this will be their first return to the stage. Anyone lucky enough to grab a ticket is going to see an unforgettable show.”
Director Louanne Madorma’s career began with an on-stage role in Starlight Express. “I’ve found myself returning to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s work ever since that first role,” says Madorma. “I’ve directed or choreographed productions of Joseph, Superstar, Evita, Starlight and others in the US and Europe. Collaborating with Kurt Bestor on this production is going to be really special. All of us have been in quarantine away from our theatrical families, away from our home in theaters and rehearsal studios and away from live audiences. We cannot wait to get back to work and I cannot think of anything I would rather work on than this music which created so many memories for so many people.”
Dallyn Vail Bayles, originally from Green River, Utah, has performed throughout the US and abroad on tour with Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. He understudied and performed the roles of the Phantom and Raoul on tour. His numerous theatrical, recording and concert credits include performing “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables with The Tabernacle Choir in 2012.
Emmy-nominated David Osmond has performed the lead role of Joseph in Joseph and theAmazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with five separate companies including an historic 50+ performance run at Kingsbury Hall when he took over from his famous uncle Donny. David has appeared alongside artists such as Stevie Wonder, The Eagles and Steven Tyler. David hosts the TV program Wonderama.
Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller is Utah’s only Tony Award winning, Grammy Award nominated Soprano. She received a 2003 Tony for her portrayal of Mimi in Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Bohèmeon Broadway. Seegmiller has performed across the US and Europe in concerts, operas and musical theatre. She was nominated for the 2010 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. Seegmiller lives in St. George, Utah.
Lexi Walker is a singer, songwriter, actress and recording artist with SONY. She has shared the stage with Kristen Chenoweth, The Piano Guys and Lindsey Stirling. She has opened shows for Clint Black and Idina Menzel. Walker has produced and/or performed in many music videos. Several featuring “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen have more than 100 million combined views including one with Alfie Boe.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of some of the world’s best-known musicals includingCats, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard. When Sunset Boulevard joined School of Rock – The Musical, Cats and Phantom on Broadway in February 2017, he became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers and Hammerstein with four shows running concurrently.
As a composer and producer, Lloyd Webber is one of an elite group of artists to have achieved EGOT status by receiving an Emmy, four Grammys, including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, his setting of the Latin Requiem mass, an Oscar and eight Tony Awards including the 2018 Special Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He has won seven Oliviers and a Golden Globe and his honors include the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, a BASCA Fellowship, and the Kennedy Center Honor. He owns seven London theatres including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the London Palladium. He is the only theater owner to re-invest every cent of profits into his buildings. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1992 and created a life peer in 1997. To mark his 70th birthday, his best-selling autobiography Unmasked was published by HarperCollins in March, 2018.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has been a tireless advocate for reopening theaters. In August he tweeted, “Just completed the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trial. I’ll do anything to get theatres large and small open again and actors and musicians back to work – ALW.” (@OfficialALW)
“There are 154 downtown bars and restaurants currently open,” said Dee Brewer, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance. “Make a night of it and have dinner before or after the show.” The Downtown Alliance has provided a list of restaurants open for dining here.
Tickets for Salt Lake City performances will go on sale Friday, March 26 at 10am at www.arttix.org.
Performances Friday, May 7 at 8pm; Saturday, May 8 at 2 & 8pm; Sunday, May 9 (Mother’s Day) at 3pm; Thursday, May 13 at 7:30pm; Friday, May 14 at 8pm and Saturday, May 15 at 2 & 8pm.