Renée Elise Goldsberry•September 16, 2023•The Noorda Center
Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe
Photos provided by Utah Valley University
Renée Elise Goldsberry’s concert was a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience that left the audience in awe. Held at The Noorda Performing Arts Center on the campus of Utah Valley University, her performance showcased not only her exceptional vocal talent but also her captivating stage presence and storytelling abilities.
From the moment the Tony and Grammy Award winner stepped onto the stage, Renée’s charisma and energy were noticeable. She engaged the audience with her warm and genuine personality, creating an immediate connection. Her concert was a seamless blend of musical genres, including Broadway classics, jazz, and R&B, demonstrating her remarkable versatility as an artist.
Goldsberry told the Noorda audience that neighboring school, Brigham Young University is responsible for the solo show we were seeing. Some years back, BYU invited Renée to perform a concert at the Provo campus. She put together a band and songlist for that concert and the rest is history. Many of the songs and band members are still in the show today. It was nice to see her back in Utah County, the area where this really entertaining show began.
As always, The Noorda Center was an amazing performance space for a show like this. The acoustics were excellent, and there’s not a bad seat in the venue. I saw Renée Elise Goldsberry perform at Deer Valley in Park City in 2019. It was a delightful show. No complaints. But I have to say the audience at The Noorda was excellent and only enhanced the show. They were much more lively both in how they responded to the stories and humor Goldsberry provided, but they did not hold back when it was time to sing or clap along.
Renée’s vocal range was nothing short of extraordinary. Her voice soared effortlessly through high notes, resonated with emotional depth during ballads, and grooved with infectious rhythm in upbeat numbers. Each song was delivered with impeccable precision and a genuine emotional connection, leaving the audience moved and enchanted.
But it wasn’t just her singing that captivated the audience. Renée shared personal anecdotes and stories that added a layer of intimacy to the performance. Her storytelling between songs offered insight into her life, career, and the meaning behind the music, creating a deeper connection with the audience.
One of the standout moments of the evening was when Renée performed songs from her acclaimed role as Angelica Schuyler in the hit musical “Hamilton.” The audience erupted in applause, and it was clear that her portrayal of this character had left an indelible mark on fans. That show is so huge. And to have a member of the original cast performing these songs was not only surreal but a memory that will be impossible to forget.
As much as I loved hearing the Hamilton songs, I must admit my personal highlight was when Renée sang a medley of songs from another show she stared in on Broadway, Rent. Songs like “I’ll Cover You” and “No Day But Today” were very moving and inspiring and it left a powerful feeling in the room.
In the end, Renée Elise Goldsberry’s concert was a celebration of music, talent, and the power of storytelling. Her ability to connect with the audience on a personal level, combined with her unparalleled vocal prowess, made this concert a night to remember. Those fortunate enough to attend left with their hearts full and a deep appreciation for this remarkable artist and performer.