When SCERA Production & Programs Manager Shawn Mortensen heard 14-year-old Mckenna Hixson audition for a spot in SCERA's Night of Broadway, he was speechless.
"I audition people all the time," he says. "But she nearly knocked me on the floor. I literally could not say anything; she was that amazing."
Hixson, who will perform a number from "Hallelujah Baby," set the bar for the other performers, according to show producers Mortensen and SCERA President & CEO Adam Robertson.
"This has made it the best cast ever," Mortensen says. "You'll see both SCERA veterans and newcomers. It's always a fun night, not only because it's a great escape from winter doldrums, but because we can perform some wonderful music, some of which comes from shows that, for various reasons, can't be produced by SCERA or are rarely produced in this area. For instance, I'm performing "The Song That Goes Like This" with Samantha Frisby. It comes from 'Spamalot,' and it's very funny."
The performances are tonight, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2, and 4 at 7:30 p.m. Reserved-seat tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children (age 3-11), seniors (age 65+) and students (w/ID). Tickets are available at www.scera.org, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, or at the SCERA Center for the Arts, open 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12Noon-6pm.
The 4th Annual Night of Broadway will feature selections from some of the most popular shows that have played in The Big Apple, including "Wicked," "Disney's Tarzan," "Dreamgirls," "Into the Woods," "Secret Garden," "Smokey Joe's Café," "Children of Eden," "Chicago," "Aida," "The Last 5 Years," "Fame," "Godspell," "Bye, Bye Birdie," and "The Sound of Music."
The evening will begin with the energizing 80's rock number "Don't Stop Believin';" from "Rock of Ages" and conclude with a montage of favorite selections from "Les Miserables": "Bring Him Home," "On My Own," "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Empty Chairs, Empty Tables." Additionally, SCERA's adult repertory dance company, Pulse, will present "Hot Honey Rag" from "Chicago."
"We had so much talent, we could have cast a three-and-a-half hour show," Mortensen says. "Those auditioning brought their own selections, so it gave us a wide variety of music to choose from. We're doing a number from 'Tarzan,' for example, because SCERA will produce the musical at the Shell this summer. We are showcasing a song from 'Shrek": The Musical' for the same reason, as the full show will kick off our indoor season this fall."
SCERA President & CEO Adam J. Robertson says, "This is the event patrons look forward to all year, and it's always a wonderful live soundtrack of some of Broadway's best musicals - from the classics, to the lesser known to the hottest new Contemporary Theatre."