Holiday Spectacular and sing-along is a Park City tradition
What: Park City Holiday Spectacular and Sing-along
When: 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14; 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15
Where: Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St.
More than 40 local artists will show there is no place like home for the holidays when they perform during the sixth annual Park City Holiday Spectacular and Sing-Along this weekend at the Egyptian Theatre.
“The talent in Park City is incredible, and most of them are Broadway-quality,” said the event’s artistic director Amber Hansen. “Other than the ‘Park City Follies’ and our YouTheatre program, this is a chance for these artists to perform on our stage.”
The performances will run from Friday to Sunday, and each night will feature a different lineup, according to Hansen.
“A majority of the acts are singers, but we also have musicians and dancers,” she said. “It’s all about finding a good mix of where to put the upbeat songs, the ballads and the dancing.”
The spectacular has grown over the past six years, and Hansen decided last year to present a different lineup every night, and that will continue this year.
“We just had so many people audition who were all so good,” she said. “And we had to tell some people ‘no’ this year.”
Still, Hansen, who worked with Utah Conservatory co-founder Debra Cook in curating the talent, tried to cast as many people as she could, and still makes sure each evening would run close to 90 minutes to engage even the youngest of the audience members, she said.
“We put some acts together for group numbers, so there wouldn’t be one solo after another,” Hansen said. “Some of the people who auditioned will lead the singalongs. Since I’m hosting this year, I didn’t think it would be fun for the audience to have me also lead the singalongs.”
Hansen scheduled six singalongs each night.
“The singalongs are audience favorites, and we picked songs that were easier for everyone to sing,” she said.
Hansen and Cook held auditions for the Park City Holiday Spectacular on Nov. 13, and some of the talent submitted videos, Hansen said.
“The artists are all very professional, and they range in age from 2 to 70,” she said. “While we have some of the same people who are in the show every year, we do get a lot of new people. Many of these new people have never performed on our stage before, which is exciting.”
While Hansen organizes the spectacular, she said Cook is the “maestro” who takes on the lion’s share of the work.
“She does the preparation and rehearses everyone to make sure they are show-ready,” Hansen said. “Then she and I get together with the cast during tech rehearsals and then it’s showtime.”
In addition to the performances and singalongs, Santa will make a stop to hand out candy canes and visit with the kids after the performance, Hansen said.
“This year we were able to get the real Santa,” she said. “When I found him, I told him I needed to put a contract together so he could get paid. I asked him who I should write the check out to, he said his legal name was Santa Claus, and I said, ‘Looks like I hired the right one this year.’”
The Park City Holiday Spectacular is also a chance for the Egyptian Theatre’s technical crew to get creative, Hansen said.
“Our video designer, Bob Melanson can create video stories that will go with the songs, and our lighting director, Peter Mayhew, can pull out all his tricks to make the stage look really festive,” Hansen said. “So this is truly a locals-only production, which is a thrill, because it’s a true Egyptian Theatre creation that has continued to be successful over the years.”
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Jonathan Kolon will honor Park City and mark the trials the country has gone through with COVID-19 when he releases his new song “This Highway Ends” on April 30.