Broadway at the Eccles 2023-2024 Season Announced!

Zions Bank Broadway at the Eccles is Excited to Announce

the upcoming 2023-2024 Broadway Season featuring

SIX, MJ, HAMILTON and more!

Salt Lake City, UT – We are pleased to announce the 2023-2024 Broadway at the Eccles season, bringing the best of Broadway to Salt Lake City. The season begins with one week of the timeless classic MY FAIR LADY, nominated for 10 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, followed by the smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, MAMMA MIA!, and don’t lose your head, but Broadway’s hottest new ticket, winner of 23 awards in 21/22, SIX, will be in Salt Lake for two weeks. The season continues with the premiere of the most Tony Award®-winning new show of the season MJ, the hit musical sensation that explores the creative mind and collaborative spirit of the legendary artist, Michael Jackson and one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL. Our fourth premiere coming to the Eccles will be GIRL FROM NORTH COUNTRY, featuring the legendary songs of Bob Dylan set in a guesthouse filled with music, life and hope. And as previously announced, the return of HAMILTON for 5 weeks in the summer of 2024.

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Stephen Sanchez

Stephen Sanchez w/ Cece Coakley• March 4, 2023• The Grand at The Complex

Reviewed and Photographed by Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert

Fans packed in The Grande at The Complex on Saturday, March 4th, to catch the sold-out Salt Lake City stop of Stephen Sanchez’s first ever tour! Stephen was joined by the wonderful Cece Coakley for this portion of the tour! 

I first became a fan of Stephen’s music a few years ago. Back when he only had one song, “Lady By The Sea, ” out on streaming platforms. So I was really looking forward to getting the chance to experience his music live! Since I first came across his music, the twenty-year-old artist has substantially grown his discography and his fan base. His song, “Until I Found You,” went viral last year. It could often be found backing sweet moments or videos on various social media platforms.

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Mod Sun

Mod Sun w/ Stand Atlantic & Pardyalone• February 27, 2023• The Depot

Reviewed and Photographed by Kaden Severn

Monday night my fiancé and I had the chance to go to The Depot for a rock-filled lineup. Mod Sun with Stand Atlantic and Pardyalone filled the downtown Salt Lake City venue with excited fans. I have been looking forward to this concert since it was announced. So I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I got the approval to cover the show.

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Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hanson• February 28, 2023• Eccles Theater

Reviewed by Alisha Gregson

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen) in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

In March 2020, Dear Evan Hansen came to Eccles Theater. Unfortunately, after only a brief run of performances, the production had to cancel its tour early due to the Covid-19 shutdown. Now, 3 years later, the Tony Award-winning musical has returned to Eccles. Thousands of Utahns who previously missed out will finally get their opportunity to see the show. We were fortunate to see the production on March 4, 2020. We hoped that shows would only be pushed back a week or so. Clearly, that wasn’t to be.

February 28th was opening night, and the theater was filled with excited guests. I noticed far more teenagers in the audience than I typically see at a Broadway show. This was no surprise, as Dear Evan Hansen resonates with a younger crowd on a deeper level than most musicals. That’s not to say this is a performance that only appeals to a teenage crowd. This musical has already become a favorite among theater lovers of all ages. 

The emotionally raw storyline focuses on an anxiety-filled teenage boy, whose deceitful stories both build up his confidence and weigh him down. Dear Evan Hansen covers a variety of heavy topics. Topics like suicide, mental health, grief, acceptance, and both the positive and negative impacts of social media. While the performance brought many in the audience to tears, the witty humor and quirky characters kept everyone laughing. 

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen), Alaina Anderson (Zoe Murphy) in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN,, Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

The modern-day setting makes Dear Evan Hansen stand out among other Broadway productions. While rarely used in other plays, modern technology, and social media were integral to the plot. Digital panels displaying text messages, emails, and social media covered the backdrop of the stage. The rest of the stage setup remained fairly simple throughout the night. Usually featuring a single bed, couch, or dinner table. The wardrobe, hair, and makeup were also very different from a typical Broadway show. The casual, everyday outfits and character appearances helped the show feel authentic and intimate. 

Without over-the-top costumes and elaborate stage props, the cast of the show had the opportunity to shine. It wasn’t until the end of the night, when they all stood in line to take a bow, that I realized just how small the cast really was. With only 8 characters sharing the stage,  they each had a decent amount of time in the spotlight. I was impressed with the character development. Not only with how well they were written, but how well each actor portrayed them. The characters were complicated, flawed, and relatable, with each one having their moment as both a protagonist and antagonist. Ultimately, as they became more and more vulnerable, it was impossible not to fall in love with each one of them. 

At the center of the story, of course, was the anxious and awkward Evan Hansen. The very talented Anthony Norman was perfectly cast for the role. He transitioned seamlessly as his character developed from a fidgety, innocent misfit, to a more confident version of Evan. His voice was beautiful and he captivated the audience while singing some of the show’s most popular songs like “Waving Through a Window”, “You Will Be Found”, and “Words Fail”. 

Heidi Hansen, Evans’s single mother, was played by Coleen Sexton. Trying to balance work, school, and being a mom, Heidi struggles with her own insecurities and shortcomings. Sexton stunned the audience with her powerful performance of “So Big / So Small”. 

Anthony Norman (Evan Hansen), Coleen Sexton (Heidi Hansen) in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of DEAR EVAN HANSEN, Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

August Emerson played Connor, the angry troubled teen whose tragic suicide sends Evan down an unexpected path. Emerson’s portrayal of the tortured teen was flawless. After Connor’s suicide, the character returned as Evans’s inner voice, far milder than the edgy version we meet in the beginning.

Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister, was played by Alaina Anderson. Zoe, who was also Evan’s love interest, struggled to let go of the resentment she held towards her brother even after his death. John Hemphill and Lili Thomas played Connor’s parents, Larry, and Cynthia Murphy. Each member of the Murphy family grieved differently, while the loss of Connor sent the already dysfunctional family into even more chaos. As each of their complex relationships with both Connor and Evan played out, they gave the audience some of the show’s most heartfelt scenes.

Pablo David Laucerica nailed his role as Jared Kleinman, Evans’s “family friend.” Jared, a tech geek who assists Evan in his web of lies, was the comic relief. His comedic timing and delivery were outstanding, as he continued to earn the crowd’s laughter. 

Alana Beck, the bold teenage girl who asserts herself into the middle of the drama, was played by Micaela Lamas. Well-meaning, but desperate for attention, Alana will seemingly do anything to ignore her loneliness. 

In both vocal performance and acting abilities, the cast was amazing. They proved their talent with each new scene and song. As much as I enjoy listening to the original cast recording, I have to say I loved listening to this cast that much more. Maybe it was just hearing them live, but it says a lot to how great this cast was. The moving music and lyrics for Dear Evan Hansen were created by talented songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Who are also known for La La Land and The Greatest Showman. Book writer Steven Levenson wrote a beautiful and emotional story, that successfully takes on some very difficult topics in a touching way. 

I enjoyed every moment of Dear Evan Hansen and appreciated the many strong messages. I would highly recommend going to see Dear Evan Hansen at Eccles Theater if you get the chance. 

Select tickets are still available for Dear Evan Hansen at Eccles Theater. Click here for more info!

SLC LIVE All Star Weekend Hosted By 21 Savage

SLC LIVE All Star Weekend• Hosted by 21 Savage w/ DRAMA• February 17, 2023• The Union

Reviewed and Photographed by Tomo Crestani

SLC LIVE All Star Weekend

With a jam-packed All-Star Weekend of concerts, I had the privilege of attending 21 Savage’s concert/afterparty. The event was held at The Union Event Center just west of Vivint Arena. 21 did not come alone, bringing along DJ Drama. DJ Drama is behind a lot of popular songs that are topping charts all over the world. It was really cool to see the crowd this duo brought out to Salt Lake City. 

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Branson Anderson

Branson Anderson Keep It Moving EP Release February 10, 2023

Reviewed and Photographed by Kevin Rolfe

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe

Branson Anderson is a singer songwriter from right here in Utah. We’ve had the privilege of interviewing and covering another EP release a few years ago. Anderson has also appeared on several stages of other bands we’ve covered. It’s been fun having the opportunity of seeing him perform multiple times over the years. I consider myself a Branson Anderson fan. So it was exciting to get the notice that Branson would be releasing a new EP and that we would get to attend this EP release party. The 2023 release titled, Keep It Moving has six songs that will thrill any Branson Anderson fan. It’s likely to draw him a new fan base as well.

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Patti LuPone

Patti LuPone• “Don’t Monkey With Broadway” Tour• February 4, 2023• The Noorda Center

Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe

“It won’t be easy.  You’ll think it’s strange when I try to explain how I feel…” about Patti LuPone at The Noorda Center of the Performing Arts on the campus of Utah Valley University.  What a moment in this venue’s history.  To have a legend of the Great White Way grace this young stage is a massive get for The Noorda.  But as I’ve mentioned before, this venue was up to the level of the great Broadway Legend and her performance and her still after all these years, powerful voice.  The meeting of Lupone’s voice and the acoustics of The Noorda filled the air of the room was a beautiful union.  

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