Hairspray the Musical• April 11, 2023• Eccles Theater
Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe
Photographs by Jeremy Daniel
The 2022/2023 season of Broadway at The Eccles has been one for the books! Shows like Moulin Rouge, Ain’t Too Proud, and Dear Evan Hansen has thrilled audiences. Eccles Theater has been packed to the rafters with satisfied patrons. The shows of this season have been excellent, but I must admit, when this season was announced, I was thrilled to see Hairspray on the list. I didn’t know there was a tour up until that point. Outside of the occasional regional or community theater productions, my Hairspray musical experience had ended. I really love this musical so I’m sure you can imagine how delighted I was to see it on the season schedule, and how much more ecstatic I was to be sitting in my seat Tuesday night waiting for the show to begin.
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.
Every once in a while we’ll get a musical that has been written in the present tense, with modern themes and modern lessons. Sure you’ll have a show like Hamilton which has many modern elements and musical stylings, but the story takes place over 200 years ago. I’m talking about shows like Hair, which in which the story took place in the ’70s and debuted on Broadway in the ’70s. Another show like this that comes to mind is Rent from the ‘90s. The show takes place in the ‘90s, it’s themes are from current events of the day and the show debuted on Broadway in the ‘90s. You get the idea. Now we have Dear Evan Hansen. A story for our time.
*This review contains mild spoilers. The main reveals in the show won’t be divulged but if you want to go into the production without knowing anything, please read this review once you’ve seen Miss Saigon.*
The New National Tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s revival of Boublil and Schönberg’s (Les Misérables) musical, Miss Saigon made its Utah premiere last night (Oct. 15) at the beautiful Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City. When the Eccles Theater was being discussed and then constructed one of the reasons for building the theater was to be able to house some of the larger scale musicals that the newly renovated Capitol Theater is unable to fit on its 106 year old stage. Miss Saigon is definitely a large scale musical, both with a 42 person cast and a set design that takes every bit of the stage.
When I saw the 2019 Deer Valley Music Festival Utah Symphony summer lineup, one of the first names that stuck out was Renée Elise Goldsberry. Renée has had an extensive career on Broadway, but the reason she is headlining this concert is due to her originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the smash-hit musical, Hamilton. Ever heard of it? Not only did she originate that role, but she won a Drama Desk, Grammy and Tony Award for her performance. So I knew when her name was announced, I knew that I had to be at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater to see this performance. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this.