BYU BRAVO! series hosts Broadway composer and soloists

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Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn and five Broadway soloists will perform at BYU’s BRAVO! Professional Performing Arts series on Mar. 17 at 7:30 p.m in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center.

“At BYU’s BRAVO! series, we present music, theater and dance throughout the world in concert here at BYU,” said Jeffery Martin, the producer of the BRAVO! series. “The professionals who come usually do some teaching with our students while they are here.”

Wildhorn will come with a live band and Broadway singers to perform his celebrated catalog of hits and show tunes. He will also talk to the audience during the concert about the background of each song.

Wildhorn became the first American composer in 22 years to have three shows running simultaneously on Broadway in 1999. Some of Wildhorn’s well-known works include “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “Jekyll & Hyde.” “The Count of Monte Cristo” received its U.S. premiere at BYU in 2015.

“Since Wildhorn’s first concert here at BYU in 2013, BYU continues to enjoy a long-lasting friendship with him,” Martin said. “He is a generous and talented man, and we thoroughly enjoy our interactions and collaborations with him.”

The performance will feature Broadway soloists Ashley Brown (Broadway’s original star of “Mary Poppins,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Dallyn Vail Bayles (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables”), Jackie Burns (“If/Then,” “Wicked”), Kevin Kern (“Finding Neverland,” “Wicked”) and Teal Wicks (“Finding Neverland,” “Wicked”).

“This event really is going to be a Broadway and pop music concert. Wildhorn wrote for artists like Whitney Huston for example,” Martin said. “It will be fun, contemporary music with show tunes. His music has very much a pop and rock feel to it with some jazz. It’s kind of a different genre, which is fun.”

BYU’s Young Ambassadors will also perform at the event. The BRAVO! series likes to have student interactions with the guests while they are at BYU, according to Martin.

Jessica Jensen, a dance major and member of the BYU Young Ambassadors, said the Frank Wildhorn and Friends concert will be a great opportunity for the audience to feel uplifted through stunning music.

“It’s going to be a beautiful event,” Jensen said.

Young Ambassadors Director Randy Boothe said it will be a rare opportunity for the students to perform onstage with Frank Wildhorn and the Broadway talent.

“It is an honor to have been invited to join Wildhorn onstage for this performance,” Boothe said. “Many new arrangements of Wildhorn’s music have been created for this performance at BYU.”

Boothe said it’s nice for the Young Ambassadors to be taking a short break from practicing for their upcoming tour by singing some of Wildhorn’s most beloved songs for the BYU community.

He encouraged all to not miss this delightful evening with Frank Wildhorn and Friends.

“Wildhorn has contributed to the rich cultural environment of our BYU campus, allowing our students to premiere some of his work in the US,” Boothe said. “We are delighted that he is coming back with more great music and a cast of talented professionals who have lit up Broadway stages in numerous shows. And we get to experience all of this right on campus in the shadow of Y mountain.”

Tickets are available to purchase in person at the BYU Ticket Office in the HFAC or Marriott Center, by phone at 801-422-2981 or online at the BYU Arts website.