Welcome to UCA's new events blog!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Media Contact:
Hilarie Ashton | Public Relations Manager
hashton@usuo.org | (801)869-9027
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2011


SALT LAKE CITY—Principal Pops Conductor Jerry Steichen and the Utah Symphony will present an evening of Broadway song and dance, featuring the iconic music of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin.

“Bravo Broadway: Dancing and Romancing,” a program inspired by the legendary Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, will be exciting Utah audiences Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14 at 8 p.m. in Abravanel Hall, as well-known Broadway performers Joan Hess and Kirby Ward sing and dance to hits from “Shall We Dance,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “West Side Story”, “Crazy for You” and “Chicago.”

Tickets for the evening performances range from $27 to $58 and can be purchased by calling (801) 355-ARTS (2787), in person at the Abravanel Hall ticket office or by visiting www.usuo.org. Students can purchase discounted tickets with a student ID. Season ticket holders and those desiring group discounts should call (801) 533-NOTE (6683). Ticket prices will increase $5 when purchased on the day of the performance.

Press photos available by logging in at http://www.utahsymphony.org/about/press-and-reviews/itemlist/category/35-media-kit. (Username: usuoimages, Password: media).

Guest Artist Bios

Joan Hess most recently completed her fifth Broadway show, playing the role of the wealthy and hilarious Tanya in Broadway’s Mamma Mia.  She was also seen as Jessica (the “Leggy Blonde”) in HBO’s new Grammy-award-winning comedy series, Flight of the Conchords.  Prior to that, she had the great fortune to play the plum role of Billie Dawn in Garson Kanin's classic play Born Yesterday. She appeared at Lincoln Center in the lead role in the powerful new Lynn Ahrens/ Stephen Flaherty piece, Dessa Rose, directed by the 10 time Tony Award nominee, Graciela Daniele. She appeared as Betty in the First National Tour of Sunset Boulevard, Polly in the First National Tour of Crazy for You, and toured with 42nd Street and Beehive, as well.

Regional theater audiences have enjoyed her in the title role in Gypsy at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, as Picasso’s first love, Fernande Olivier, in the World Premier of La Vie en Bleu, at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater, as Ann in The 1940's Radio Hour for which she received a Best Actress Nomination, in the lead role of Maddy in the Australian import Hot Shoe Shuffle, Lilly McBain in Swingtime Canteen, Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly with Avery Schreiber, Peggy in The Taffetas, Irene in Crazy for You, Grand Hotel, Closer than Ever, Sweet Charity, and the lead role in the World Premiere of Noel Coward and Jeffry Hatcher's Bon Voyage at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, among others.
Joan served as script supervisor on the independent short film entitled Down in the Mouth. She also hosted and produced live television for three seasons, acted in over thirty commercials, modeled for years and is a Colorado native. She is blissfully married to actor and powerhouse tenor, David Hess, with whom she recently toured South Africa, England and Italy for the Travel Channel’s Fantasy Rails for Millionair

Kirby Ward has worked in the arts on five continents and in film, television and stage for almost thirty years. He’s been a resident of Los Angeles and London and now makes his home in Connecticut, but he continues to work in theatre and film all over the world.

When cast as Bobby Child in the London production of Crazy For You, Kirby took his whole family along. His portrayal of the lead character in this West End premier netted him an Olivier award nomination as well as the honor of meeting and performing for the royal family on the Queen Mum’s birthday. You can hear him on the London cast album for First Night Records.

As an actor he’s run the gamut of song and dance roles, playing every “Billy” or “Bobby” from My One and Only to 42nd Street, and a couple of Don’s and Tom’s thrown in to mix things up (That would be Singin’ in the Rain and No No Nanette for those keeping score). Departing from the song and dance motif has lead him into such roles as King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, Arnolph in School For Wives, Vernon in They’re Playin’ Our Song, and even a stint as Che in Evita

In Los Angeles Kirby choreographed portions of Debbie Reynolds’ and Donald O’Connor’s Las Vegas acts, appearing in both for a number of years as a singer and dancer. He also trained Bette Midler and James Caan in song and dance technique for their film For The Boys for 20th Century Fox. Also, while in Los Angeles, he worked as a writer for television at Hanna Barbera Studios. Most recently his original short film Down in the Mouth was awarded best short film at the Kent Film Festival in Kent, CT (www.downinthemouthmovie.com).

Kirby is living in the woods of Connecticut with his wife and three kids, where he's putting the finishing touches on the book of a brand new musical called Romancing the Throne.


George Gershwin
Overture to “Girl Crazy”
Irving Berlin
Top Hat, White Tie and Tails / Steppin' Out With My Baby
Jerome Kern
The Song Is You from “Music in the Air”
Rodgers & Hart
Johnny One-Note from  “Babes In Arms”
George Gershwin
They Can't Take That Away From Me from “Shall We Dance”
Jerome Kern
I Won't Dance from “Roberta”
Leonard Bernstein
Mambo from “West Side Story”
Irving Berlin
Cheek to Cheek


John & Ebb, Fred Kander
Intro to All That Jazz from “Chicago”
Nacio Herb Brown
Singin' In The Rain
George Gershwin
Someone To Watch Over Me / The Man I Love
Irving Berlin
You're Just in Love from “Call Me Madam”
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Suite from The Sleeping Beauty, Opus 66a
V.  Valse
George Gershwin
Slap That Bass
Enrique Garcia
George Gershwin
Shall We Dance from "Crazy For You"

I Got Rhythm


Hilarie Ashton
Public Relations Manager
801.869.9027 office
801.335.9387 cell

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