r The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre turns 32 years old this year and will celebrate with a 2016 summer season under the stars packed with concerts, musicals and outdoor movies. Most performances will begin at 8 p.m.
Festivities will begin Memorial Day, May 30 with an Acappella Supershow featuring Rockapella and special guests Voice Male and Utah Valley University’s VoiceLine. One of the world’s most sophisticated vocal groups, Rockapella owns the corner of cool! Since the early ’90’s when they first achieved national television fame on PBS’s Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, they’ve toured the globe and provided a funky soundtrack to generations of vocal music fans, while keeping it fresh along the way. With buckets of catchy original pop songs, and contemporary revisions of sparkling Motown, pop, and soul classics, Rockapella’s dynamic blend has always been often imitated but never duplicated. As one of the originators of the astonishing full-band sound of contemporary acappella, Rockapella is fearlessly famous for their pure vocal power and astonishing originality.
The first live theatre production of the summer is Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” directed by Shawn Mortensen and playing June 3-18. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic Disney animated film, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including Under the Sea, Kiss the Girl and Part of Your World. Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue handsome Prince Eric in the human world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs help from her colorful friends Flounder the Fish, Scuttle the Seagull, and Sebastian the Crab to restore order under the sea.
Also featured in June, on the 20, is David Archuleta. David Archuleta became a star when he was just 16, as 30 million television viewers fell in love with his angelic voice and their 44 million votes made him runner-up in Season 7 of “American Idol.” Since then, the beloved Utahn has released four best-selling albums, and gained a fiercely loyal following of fans young and old who connect with his authentic humility and angelic and golden voice. His song Glorious was featured in the movie “Meet The Mormons” and Archuleta crushed records as one of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s most popular featured vocalists.
July brings two events that are sure to please. July 1-16 is the “Footloose: The Musical,” directed by Jeremy Showgren. Based on one of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory, “Footloose” tells the story of Ren and his mother, who move from Chicago to a small farming town, where Ren fights against a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, who is determined to exercise control over the town’s youth. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, relationships are tested as a heartfelt story emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and a young man trying to find his way in a new and unfamiliar world. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated Billboard-topping score, Footloose is the ultimate dance musical with a message!
Add to your pioneer week celebrations on July 18 when country music superstar Craig Morgan comes to town. A self-described American boy who loves his country, his family and his God, Tennessee-born Craig Morgan is one of country music’s best singer/songwriters and member of the Grand Ole Opry. A former Army veteran, farmer, outdoorsman, EMT, sheriff’s deputy and motorcross racer, Morgan is as authentic as they come, with huge hits including Almost Home, That’s What I Love About Sunday, International Harvester, Little Bit Of Life, Redneck Yacht Club, Tough, This Old Boy and more. From working class anthems to real-life love songs, Craig’s songs are country chart toppers coming from a man who lives the life he sings about. A cheerful optimist, husband of 25 years and father of four, Morgan is the same person on stage as he is off – and that believability helps him connect with audiences in a way few others can claim.
The third and final musical of the summer is the classic “South Pacific,” directed by Jerry Elison. Playing July 29-August 13 and set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. Nellie learns that the mother of his children was an island native and, unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised, refuses Emile’s proposal of marriage. Meanwhile, the strapping Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he’s fallen in love out of the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that claims Joe’s life, Nellie realizes that life is too short not to seize her own chance for happiness, thus confronting and conquering her prejudices.
August continues with three concerts. Laura Osnes and Mark Masri will present an evening of beautiful music on August 20. Two-time Tony-nominated Broadway star Laura Osnes recently wowed critics in The Big Apple in the title role of Cinderella and is a sought-after lead actress on Broadway, in major concert halls, and with prestigious orchestras. With two solo albums and numerous cast recordings, and guest appearances with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, she endeared herself to Utah audiences with her sweet personality and pitch-perfect vocal prowess. Classical/crossover vocal tenor Mark has a unique theatrical pop style, and whether he’s performing with The Vivaldi Orchestra in Moscow, headlining his own tour, or guesting on David Foster’s PBS Special, his jaw-dropping range and classical training combined with his charismatic stage presence and sensuous tenor voice delivers a live concert experience filled with emotion.
Thrilling ballroom, jazz and hip-hop choreography will be showcased Aug. 26-27 in the 11th annual “Dancing Under the Stars,” featuring award-winning teams from Center Stage, dance studios from across the state, and a professional featured dance group still to be announced.
August 29 will feature the #1 R&B group of all time, Boyz II Men. Four-time Grammy winners, Boyz II Men’s style has been described as hip-hip doo wop mixed with a little a’cappella and a lotta soul. With their smooth trademark harmonies, synchronized dance routines and huge hits like End of the Road, I’ll Make Love to You, On Bended Knee, One Sweet Day, Motownphilly and more, BIIM will also kick the chords with classic Motown tunes including Just My Imagination, Tracks of My Tears, Reach Out I’ll Be There and Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing from their Motown tribute album.
The 2016 summer season concludes Labor Day Sept. 5 with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The coolest swing band on the planet is a high-spirited, fun and electrifying stage show featuring a vibrant fusion of the classic American sounds of jazz, swing, and dixieland. BBVD has become legendary for their retro-cool sellout concerts, and their classic 40’s style, fedora hats and gentlemanly demeanor. Their incredibly energetic live show and horn-infused music spans generations of fans, transporting them to a more wholesome, optimistic time. Back by popular demand, don’t miss the one-of-a-kind vocal and instrumental genius of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
“We’ve got something to entertain just about everyone,” says Adam J. Robertson, SCERA President & CEO. “Some country, pop, acappella, classical, Broadway and swing — plus some stage favorites that are nostalgic, magical and fun.”
Season tickets include all three musicals and all seven concerts and offer a 50 percent discount off the individual event price. General admission season tickets are $90 for adults and $80 for children (age 3-11), and seniors (age 65+). As a bonus, season tickets holders also receive a series of six outdoor movies free. Outdoor movies include: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (June 15), “Hook” (July 6), “Jurassic World” (July 13), “The Parent TraP” (Aug. 3), “The Sandlot” (Aug. 10), and Anastasia” (Aug. 17). Each outdoor movie begins at dusk. Admission to an individual movie is $4 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.
To purchase season or individual event tickets, call (801) 225-ARTS, visit www.scera.org or stop by the SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 South State, Orem, open 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12Noon-6pm.
The SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre is located at 699 South State, Orem, in the middle of SCERA Park. Patrons can bring a blanket or rent a first-come, first-serve chair for $1.00.