So, our little town of Utica, NY hosted two performances of the Rice/Webber hit as the troupe ironed out their final kinks before heading out on a national tour, and my wife & I were privileged to have a couple of tickets to see last night’s performance. As a birthday gift to each other (we were born 8 days apart) we splurged on a couple of the better seats in the house.
I grew up with the sound track on vinyl, played so often I knew all the songs by heart (that and “Superstar” were the backbone of a Rice/Webber phase I went through as a tween), but I had never seen it performed. I was entranced. There were a couple of minor sound system glitches, and the lead’s voice (to be brutally honest) was not as good as that from my memory, but it was a wonderful show.
One of the “wow” moments came when I realized the part of the Pharaoh had been intended to be a shout out to Elvis. I honestly did not get that from merely hearing his signature dream song on the album. It was a riot! I loved the choreography as well as the music, and the stage production overall was excellent. The tone was upbeat and positive throughout, and even the more melancholy notes were never allowed to become heavy-handed.
The finale medley was a total tour de force and it was obvious the cast was throwing it all out there and having a total blast with it. The audience was very much into the rousing spirit and they brought down the house on a very high note.
We are indeed so very fortunate to have The Stanley Center for the Arts in Utica, and that the Broadway Theatre League of Utica does such a stellar job booking high quality off-Broadway acts and technicals for us to enjoy in our little slice of Central New York.