Noorda Center announces inaugural season

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Following the opening of the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts last March, the 2019/2020 season has been announced. UVU will now be host to several of the biggest names in theater and music, premiere productions and the Utah Symphony.

“We have an extremely exciting first season,” said Isaac Walters, marketing manager for the School of the Arts. “It’s kind of astounding for a theater to have such an impressive line-up in its first year.”

The first official season will begin with an original musical brought about by a unique collaboration. Fly More Than You Fall will have its premiere at the Noorda in September before heading to Broadway in 2020. The New York-based creative team of lyricist Eric Holmes (Smash, The Good Fight) and Jeff Whiting (Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish) scouted local Utah talent for this exciting new production.

Promotional image for Fly More Than You Fall, featuring actress Lexi Walker

Theater fans will be delighted to see the names of Broadway legends on the schedule. Audra McDonald (Ragtime, Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun) will be performing for two nights in October. McDonald is a six-time Tony Award winner and National Medal of Arts recipient and has previously performed with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

Bernadette Peters (Into the Woods; Annie Get Your Gun; Follies; Hello, Dolly!) will be performing for one night only this January. Peters is known as an authority on the work of Stephen Sondheim, having starred in many of his musicals.

The Noorda Center will also house a touring production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in late October. The production stars Will Swenson (The Singles Ward, The Greatest Showman, Waitress), McDonald’s husband and fellow Broadway veteran.

The Utah Symphony will begin the first year of their partnership with the Noorda with six different performances spread across the season. Their first in September will be a collection of work by John Williams, composer of movie scores such as Star Wars, Jaws and E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial.

Several musical groups will make a stop at the Noorda this year. Among them are The DePue Brothers Band, a bluegrass Americana group, and the Jeff Hamilton Trio, a jazz ensemble.

Also on the schedule is the American premiere of two ballets. Ballet Jörgen will be bringing their adaptation of Anne of Green Gables to the Smith Theatre in October. A retelling of Alice in Wonderland by Anna Niedzwiedz Ballet School will make its debut in May, rounding off the season.

The Anna Niedzwiedz Ballet School from Poznan, Poland will bring its production to the States for the first time. Photo courtesy of UVU School of the Arts.

The School of the Arts Academic Season has also been announced. The first event is a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which opens in September.

For the complete professional and academic seasons, visit the Noorda Center’s webpage.

Correction: Based on the press release received from the Noorda Center, we incorrectly stated that Bernadette Peters had never performed in Utah before. She performed in Park City, Utah in 2013. We have updated the article to reflect this information.