Charlie and The Chocolate Factory• June 14, 2022 •Eccles Theater
Reviewed by Alisha Gregson
When I was offered a chance to attend and review Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on June 14th, at the Eccles Theater, I knew it was an opportunity I could not turn down. I have adored Dahl’s fantastic stories for as long as I can remember. His collection of classic children’s books was an influential and memorable part of my childhood. Just as they were for so many others. I have always hoped they would have a similar impact on my children. It just so happens that we are currently in the middle of what we have been calling our “Roald Dahl Summer”. We have been reading through his magical collection and intend to read all his classics before summer is over. Having just recently read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to them, I was elated to have the opportunity to see the musical.
Not to brag but I’m in my forties. The reason I bring that up is I’m at the age where I remember very clearly Guns N Roses rise into the stratosphere. I remember seeing their videos on MTV and driving around with my friends listening to Use Your Illusion I & II from start to finish. Multiple times! It’s hard for me to remember a time when Slash wasn’t a part of the lexicon. When I saw Guns, it was the Chinese Democracy lineup. So, no Slash, No Duff, no Izzy, no Steve. When the band reunited, I, unfortunately, missed the show here in Salt Lake City. So when I heard that Slash would be appearing at the Eccles Theater in downtown SLC with Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators, I know I had to be there.
I sat at my computer looking at the blank document for a long time. I wondered what I could possibly say about this modern musical theater masterpiece. Is there an angle or breakdown of Hamilton that hasn’t already been covered? The more I thought about it, the more white and blank the document became. The answer is most likely, no, there isn’t much to say about Hamilton that hasn’t been said over the last six or seven years. But what I can and will comment on is my experience with Hamilton, and my review of the cast I saw in the And Peggy Tour here in Salt Lake City at the Eccles Theater. Wish me luck!
Disney’s Frozen the Musical Eccles Theater Salt Lake City October 27, 2021
Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe
Warning: This review contains mild spoilers. If you haven’t seen the production and don’t want anything given away, please read after you’ve seen Frozen.
I’m sorry. I really am. But I have to do it. You know I have to. It’s the most obvious tee up ever. I kinda feel like you’d be disappointed if I didn’t do it. So here it goes (clears throat). It felt so good to be inside Eccles Theater watching a Broadway musical “For the first time in forever”! Ok, I did it, it had to be done, it’s over with. Let’s move on. In all seriousness, it felt amazing to be at a Broadway show. To hear the orchestra warming up in the pit, the ushers guiding people to their seats and handing out programs, the bells indicating that the show was about to begin, all of those once so familiar ellements of live theater felt like a homecoming. Broadway is back in Utah, and the excitement was felt inside the gorgeous Delta Performance Hall.
It’s hard to believe, but Little Big Town finally played Salt Lake City on “The Nightfall Tour”. The show had to be rescheduled at least twice. Covid-19 and the pandemic caused a lot of shows to be postponed and ultimately canceled. But Little Big Town never canceled. They tried to keep the initial date, then tried to keep the next one, and finally, they were able to play two nights at Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City. People who held on to their tickets finally got the payoff months later. We had the opportunity to attend night one and it was obvious that both the band and the audience were happy to be together.
With a minute to go until the 8 o’clock showtime, chimes warned the stragglers filtering through security in the Eccles Theater lobby to take their seats. These chimes were more of a guarantee than a warning, as Joe Bonamassa and his band took the stage not a moment past 8:01. Beyond punctual, the all-time #1 Billboard Blues Album record holder has been described as “magical” and “transformational.”
Attending The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at Eccles Theater felt like a joyous homecoming. I love this theater. I was there opening night and have had the great fortune to return many times attending concerts, comedy, and theater. This return, after over a year away felt that much sweeter. I even had the box office staff say, “Hi Kevin, welcome back! Here’s your ticket.” before I even made it to the window. It really did feel like I was home.
“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.
Emmy Award-winning Utah composer KURT BESTOR is collaborating with director LOUANNE MADORMA to bring this very special production featuring Utah musicians, singers, cast, crew and featured performers, including DALLYN VAIL BAYLES , DAVID OSMOND, Tony Award-winner LISA HOPKINS SEEGMILLER, LEXI WALKER and others, to the Eccles Theater, May 7th–15th.“
Utah Concert Review Editor in Chief, Kevin Rolfe had the opportunity to chat with cast member, David Osmond leading up to Friday night’s opening performance.
UCR: I know what it feels like for me to once again prepare to cover a show but to be rehearsing and on a stage and listening to the music, what does it feel like to be preparing for an actual show?
David Osmond: It is goosebumps! We were on stage yesterday and we’re doing our tech rehearsals and the lights are on and you smell that theater smell and everybody’s there and we’re going through the music and its great content. I just have a perma grin. I’m ear to ear, I’ve been able to grow up in the music world since I was a baby in so many different capacities of performing.
As a kid in a barbershop quartet and my brothers as a boy band back in the day to pop music and then the opportunity to get into musical theatre and perform doing Broadway tours and shows and of course “Joseph” was kind of the kingpin of that. I did five companies of it. To do that music again in this setting is epic. There’s nothing quite like it and to know that Eccles has been down for 14 months and this is like we’re kicking the cobwebs off and we’re bringing it back! And this is a Utah show with Utah’s finest. I’m honored to be part of the mix and I think the audience is going to be thrilled not just to be back in seats and not feel that live element again. But because of the show itself, it’s pretty epic.
Nineteen-year-old Jackie Evancho stunned an audience of all ages as she performed at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City this past Thursday. At an early age of 10, she made her first appearance to the world on America’s Got Talent season 5 where she finished with a 2nd place medal. No longer a child, Jackie sang songs from her newest broadway album, “The Debut.” Jackie exclaimed on her website, “I’m very proud to be recording and interpreting songs by these contemporary theater songwriters. Not only do I love the songs, but I am able to tell a story and interpret them from my perspective. It was an incredible experience getting to know these characters and songs and I can’t wait to perform them live!”