LOGAN – The “100 Years of Women’s Rights” concert at the Ellen Eccles Theatre on Aug. 8 was like coming home to a warm welcome after a long, tedious absence.
The ladies of the Cache Theatre Company performed songs they were born to sing, to music that the Eccles Theatre was built to showcase and with the kind of boundless talent that we’ve all been missing for nearly six months.
The concert celebrated 2020 as the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women’s suffrage. It was smoothly hosted by Cache Theatre veteran Ryan Leonhardt, introducing 11 women reprising show-stopping performances from previous CTC productions.
Lindsey Kelstrom led off the evening with an appropriately twangy version of “If You Knew My Story,” recalling her memorable lead role in the 2019 production of the blue grass musical “Bright Star.”
Representing the youthful performers of the CTC’s “Frozen, Jr.,” Savannah Leonhardt delivered a dramatic rendition of the show’s anthem “Let It Go.”
But it was performances by the company’s veteran femmes fatale that really brought down the house.
Melissa Otani-Jensen blew the theater’s doors off with a completely over-the-top interpretation of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from her portrayal of the sea witch Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.”
Sebrina Woodland recaptured all the drama of “The Winner Takes It All” from the recent CTC production of “Mama Mia!”
The always watchable Celeste Baillo pulled out all the stops during a supremely catty version Of “Miss Baltimore Crabs” from the musical “Hairspray.”
Other performances included Chrissy Webster singing “Part of That World” from “The Little Mermaid,” “Good Morning, Baltimore” sung by Lauren Sidwell from “Hairspray,” Hillary Peterson singing “Someone Like You” from “Jekyl and Hyde,” “The Lusty Month of May” sung by Karlee Larsen Workman from “Camelot” and Debbie Ditton singing “Take a Chance on Me” from “Mama Mia!”
The concert also included a preview of Cache Theatre’s upcoming production of “Matilda,” with youngsters Tessa Maughan and Ella Kelstrom singing songs from that show.
The production closed with Leah Kennedy delivering a touchingly heartfelt performance of “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from “Phantom of the Opera,” followed by a standing ovation for the entire cast.
To give this return of musical comedy performances to the Ellen Eccles stage just the right note of sophistication, all of the CTC ladies appeared in classy, eye-catching evening gowns.
As part of the ongoing Random Act Community Performance Series hosted by the Cache Valley Center for the Arts, ticket sales for the CTC concert were limited due to the coronavirus. But even with the required social-distance spacing between family groups, the audience turnout for the CTC concert was gratifying larger than in previous weeks.
The CacheARTS organizers of these low-key Random Acts events say they are intended to gradually bring Cache Valley’s performing arts community back to life during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Seating for Random Acts still upcoming events through Aug. 28 will be limited to approximately 100 ticket groups within the 1100-seat Ellen Eccles Theatre to ensure social distancing.
A separate entrance that by-passes the theater’s lobby will be available for attendees who feel the need to take special precautions to avoid public groups.
Events in the Random Acts Community Performance Series will be presented with no intermission, to limit mingling in the theater’s lobby and aisles.
The wearing of facemasks is also mandatory at these performances, thanks to Logan’s citywide mask mandate.
The next Random Acts presentation will be members of Music Theatre West reprising songs from their recent productions. That event is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Eccles Theatre on Aug. 14 and 15.