The Four Seasons Theatre Company’s “A Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert” in Smithfield is a Glorious Nod to Great Music

By Leah Checketts

For two nights only, August 15-16, the Four Seasons Theatre Company are creating a musical journey on the Sky View High School stage through their production A Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert. 

With a very simple stage, the music, the musicians, and the stories are all the audience needs to be carried away through six of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s greatest works. Center stage is taken by Rock Strings Quartet, a six-member orchestra featuring top notch musicians. Twenty other vocalists round out the evening with their solo and ensemble pieces.

Director/Producer Jonathon Rash explained after the show that he had done a great deal of research in preparing for this production. Intertwined with the music are quotes and recordings from the composers and some of their original cast members. Narrations by Rash, the show’s Music Director, Melissa Hamilton, as well as some of the performers bring the pieces into focus.

The formal black outfits blend perfectly, letting the music and lyrics be the standout versus the usual scenery and color of the sets these pieces are usually performed on. The joy of hearing and feeling the music while learning more about these incredible men brought moments of great joy and moments of sorrow. When talking about how hard Oscar Hammerstein had worked on the words for “Hello, Young Lovers” (from The King and I) and how hurt he had been by Richard Rodgers lackadaisical response to it, the audience reaction was audible in its sorrow.

“Everyone has their favorites,” is something Rash points out as he addresses the songs to be performed throughout the evening. Even though some of my favorites may not have been on tonight’s menu, the evening was delightful and worth every minute. The only negative I had with the evening was something my husband and I agreed on. The piano was sometimes a little too loud and distracting. It detracted from the sounds of the strings and the voices a time or two, but other than that it was stunning!

Sadly, with such a large auditorium, it was not even a half-filled audience. There’s plenty of room for larger groups to go and sit together at the half-price ticket rate.

There’s more than enough to celebrate as the talented performers navigate through 19 numbers from six shows, starting with Oklahoma! and ending with the touching music of The Sound of Music. This production is a great introduction to many of the classical musical pieces of Rodgers & Hammerstein and is great for family members ages 3 and up.

Four Seasons Theatre Company presents A Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert             Sky View High School Auditorium, 520 South 250 East, Smithfield, Utah 84335             August 15 & 16, 2017 at 7:30 PM
Tickets: $11.00 online, $13.00 at the door (Groups of 10 or more get a 50% discount)     Contact: 435-535-1432
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“Hello, Dolly!” in Smithfield by the Four Seasons Theater is Fun, Humorous, and Meaningful

By Jennifer Mustoe interviewing Dawn Yorgason

Having never seen Hello, Dolly!, I was surprised at how funny Four Seasons Theater’s production in Smithfield is. I laughed so much. I love all of Four Seasons’ shows—I don’t miss them. Their costumes, acting, music, set—all are great. I didn’t know the show Hello, Dolly!, but knew the quality would be wonderful. Even still, I was blown away. I went with my daughter, age 14, a seasoned Four Seasons actress, and both of us loved loved loved this. We were thrilled with the quality. The story is of Dolly Levi, a widow, who is the go-to matchmaker with a few secrets up her sleeve about her own romantic wishes. Hello, Dolly! takes place in the 1890s, filled with fun and dazzle, beautiful songs and a remarkably strong, lively, adorable leading lady.

All the six principals are truly remarkable—funny, talented, cute, completely convincing.

Teresa Jones as Dolly kept me involved the entire show. Her voice is great—beautiful, powerful, funny, very touching. She has to sing really low in one number and it got a fun snicker from the crowd. At times, I wasn’t sure if she was adlibbing the lines, she was so confident and natural.

Horace, played by Scott Hunsaker, plays off Jones well–they are so funny and comfortable with one another. I’ve seen him as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and he sure plays a gruff old guy well. With a beautiful voice. But he there was no Scrooge in this performance. He was Horace 100%.

Celeste Baillio as Irene is fun-loving and adventurous and I was completely convinced of her portrayal as the owner of the hat shop. She flirts with Cornelius (Jon Rash (who is also the Director)), who is also the leader of the two males and does his inventive character so well. He is a wonderful match for Baillio—they are a convincing couple. Minnie (Melinda Richards) is a little shy and so darling—she has a great voice and is a wonderful actress. Her beau, Barnaby (Jeremy Gross) is sweet to Minnie in his shy, unassuming way. They are just a couple of kids and very charming. I’ve never seen Gross in a show—he is so good in his physical acting—very animated and lively.

Director Rash has a great eye and has the cast moving, singing, interacting well. Everything just flows. He chooses his cast well and then uses them to their best ability.  Musical Director Jennifer Bohman has a wonderful group of singers to work with, and the harmonies are stellar. The iconic “Hello, Dolly!” is great—even though it’s a well-known song. Technical Director Danny Rash’s vision for this show is outstanding. Everything fits perfectly. The stage is full but not overdone. The set has such wonderful attention to detail. We are transported to a different time in Hello, Dolly!. A huge backdrop was very nice—not too much and not too little. The movable pieces, a doorway, a stairway, Horace’s store, the hat store—all were perfect and very smooth.

Costume Designers Kody and Kim Rash have outdone themselves. This is a costume heavy show and the garments and costume pieces are really out of this world. The dazzle is there, for sure. Dolly’s red dress sparkles with sequins—standing out in the ensemble. I saw it and thought, Wow.

I know Smithfield is a drive for some, but Four Seasons’ production of Hello, Dolly! really shouldn’t be missed. I would go see it again in an instant.

The Four Seasons Theater Company presents Hello, Dolly! Lyrics and music by Jerry
Herman, book by Michael Stewart
Sky View High School Auditorium, 520 South 250 East, Smithfield, Utah, UT 84341
Tickets: $10.00
Contact: 435-535-1432                                                                                                 Facebook Page          Facebook Event