Eccles audiences are thrilled at the tremendous Encore: A Musical Review

There are concerts with a lowercase “c.” And there are also Concerts, uppercase C. “Encore: A Musical Review,” staged by Live! at the Eccles was most certainly a Concert.

Beautiful singing, friendly banter, and humorous stories made the one-night-only concert endearing.

Let’s start with the performing guest artists. Three (not one, not two) Broadway stars traveled to Salt Lake, arriving in the morning, returning to New York City that evening.

■ Jeremey Jordan, who has become a household name with his TV and film roles also created the lead roles in Newsies and Bonnie and Clyde on Broadway.

He treated the enthusiastic audience to a welcome preview, singing “For Her.” After premiering at the Papermill Playhouse, The Great Gatsby is preparing for a Broadway opening, and Jeremy missed a day of rehearsals to travel to Salt Lake.

Another highlight was “Santa Fe,” his ballad from Newsies, which had concertgoers wildly applauding — and standing in awe — at the song’s conclusion. There were similar reactions to the other two soloists.

■ Kara Lindsay originated the role of Katherine Plumber in Newsies, alongside Jeremy. Their “Something to Believe In” duet electrified.

Kara’s last performance as Glinda in a Wicked tour was on the Eccles stage, and “Popular” was a popular solo from the long-running (and popular) musical.

■ Jessica Vosk is acclaimed for her unprecedented two-year run as Elphaba in Wicked. She also played the role of Narrator in Lincoln Center’s 50th anniversary of Joseph … Dreamcoat.

In her solo of “Heart of Stone,” she playfully asked the audience to sing along, and Jessica was surprised that so many knew all the words from the sole ballad in Six, a show running on Broadway that came through Salt Lake City in January.

Two of Jessica’s duets were additional high points: with Kara, “I Will Never Leave You” from Side Show, and with Jeremy, “You Matter to Me” from Waitress.

The most amusing story came from Jeremy, explaining that his 5-year-old son calls him “Jeremy Jordan” rather than “Dad.”

When Jessica played the role of the nagging dead grandmother in the Fiddler on the Roof imagined dream sequence — which comically closes Act One — she completely shocked the Tevye actor (along with theatergoers) at the top of Act Two when, unbeknownst to him and with no public announcement, she took on the role of his loving wife Golda, when the original actress fell ill during intermission.

At the risk of employing a superlative, the concert was magnificent.

Also, wow! Music director Ross Boothe, who had little rehearsal that morning before the matinee and evening performances, wowed everyone with his flawless, flashy piano accompaniment.

The major surprise was an odd omission. Despite clamors, the concert — titled “Encores” — ended without an encore! It would have been a comical finale if the three returned to the stage in street clothes, toting their packed luggage as they hurried to catch the final flight back to New York City.

“Encores” remarkably was the first concert the three soloists had performed together, and with their expertise as Broadway stars, they were very comfortable performing together — and had great fun on stage with each other.

And the concert would not have happened were it not for the brainchild of producer Tanner J. Christensen, who assembled the performers and arranged all necessities to premiere this Encore.

“We have had numerous reviews pour in about what a great time everyone had,” remarked Christensen. “The energy was undeniable electric. I sat and watched both shows, and each time I had people sobbing next to me out of excitement for seeing some of their favorite people on stage sing their favorite songs.”

He also explained that Broadway is recognizing the great fondness Utah has for musical theater.

“Performers and producers seem to always be surprised at how receptive the audiences are here and how many successful theaters are in operation,” he said. “The three performers each noted how electric and responsive the audience was and are hopeful to visit again soon.” or call 801-355-ARTS (2787) for tickets to future Encore, Live! at the Eccles, and Broadway Across America events

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