Renée Elise Goldsberry is a Grammy and Tony Award winner who has been featured in multiple Broadway shows. Her most popular Broadway musical is “Hamilton,” in which she played Angelica Schuyler. She is also known for her roles in “Girls5eva,” “The Lion King,” and “Rent.”
Goldsberry first came to Utah in 2017 to perform at BYU. Now six years later, Goldsberry made a return to Utah Valley, performing at the Noorda Center at UVU.
She started the concert by singing a cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff. Encouraging the audience to clap and sing along, Goldsberry opened her concert with a bang. She told the audience stories of when she was younger, her dreams of being on Broadway, and her life struggles.
She mentioned that with this concert, she hoped that she could convince Utah Valley to fall back in love with the concept of love. It did not matter whether it was romantic, platonic, familial, etc.
Unlike at most concerts, Goldsberry took the time to thank the audience after every song she sang. She also stopped singing to give the spotlight to her crew, whether it be her bandmates or backup vocalists. At one point in the concert, she stopped and introduced every single one of them by name and what they do. That is what made this concert so special. Goldsberry verbally appreciated everyone. She dedicated each of her songs to someone, whether it be specifically to her parents or the students in the audience. She made every person feel like they had a role to play in her life.
One of the most unifying moments of her concert was when she began to sing songs from Broadway shows that she was a part of. She began the end of her concert with her audition song for “The Lion King,” and then moved on to her most popular song, “Satisfied.” She encouraged the audience to sing with her. Not even 30 seconds after the song, the full house gave her a standing ovation. She was so pleasantly surprised that she encouraged the audience to stand up, dance, and sing with her as she sang “The Schuyler Sisters,” a song from Hamilton.
After performing her final song from the Broadway musical “Rent,” Goldsberry walked off the stage, with her band and backup vocalists following soon after. Once again, another immediate standing ovation was given. After five minutes, Goldsberry and her crew came back onto the stage and agreed to do an encore, which consisted of an original song called “Twinkle” and a song from the Broadway musical “Carousel.”
There is no doubt that Goldsberry unified Utah Valley that night. Her powerful voice was crystal clear, the music was pleasing to listeners of various genres, the lighting was beautiful, and it was truly a breathtaking performance. Utah Valley would be delighted if such a wonderful woman like Goldsberry returned one day.