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