LOGAN – The recent production of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Ellen Eccles Theatre was not only a dazzling spectacle but also a striking reminder of the top-notch professional entertainment that we’ve all been missing since the outbreak of the coronavirus more than a year ago.
The show – featuring the most iconic music from the British impresario’s legendary canon of musicals — combined breathtaking vocal performances, superb orchestration, eye-popping lighting effects and sizzling choreography. What more could an audience ask for?
The show’s premiere on Friday was enthusiastically greeted by a near sell-out crowd at the Eccles Theatre in downtown Logan.
The limited engagement performances of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber here in Utah were produced with home-grown talent to celebrate the return of live entertainment to stages statewide as the coronavirus pandemic wanes.
Seldom in recent memory has the massive stage at the Eccles Theatre been so crowded 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” from Cats. The Emmy Award-winning Utah composer was then joined by five featured vocalists — Dallyn Vail Bayles, David Osmond, Nicole Riding, Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller and Lexi Walker.
Each of those performers came with a list of stage credit longer than your arm.
Bayles has performed with Broadway touring productions of Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables and the international premiere of Les Misérables in China.
David Osmond is an Emmy-nominated actor, singer and TV host. He has starred in numerous productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, including replacing his famous uncle Donny during a historic run of that show at Kingsbury Hall.
Ms. Riding is an Actor’s Equity member. She has performed in Broadway national tours of Les Misérables and in productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and West Side Story at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre.
Ms. Seegmiller is a Grammy nominated soprano who won a Tony Award in 2003 for her performance in Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Bohème on Broadway. Her other stage credit include performing throughout 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 high points of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber was Bayles delivering two solo showstoppers: the rocking “Song of the King” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the power ballad title tune from the much-maligned Starlight Express.
Bayles also joined with Ms. Seegmiller to perform two breathtaking duets from Phantom of the Opera.
Ms. Riding showed off her chops with a rollicking rendition of “Buenos Aires” from Evita, with the sibling dance team of Ezra and Stephani Sosa performing a steamy samba in the background.
As expected, Osmond’s standout performance was a dramatic solo of “Close Every Door” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Finally, Ms. Walker performed lovely renditions of the emotionally charged “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar and the title tune from Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom of the Opera.
The evening also included music from two of Webber’s less successful musicals, Aspects of Love and Whistle Down the Wind.