OGDEN — Weber County’s newest performing arts group is Broadway On The Side, whose mission is to provide unique, quality performances, performing arts education, and to raise funds to build a performing arts center in Weber County, where such a facility does not yet currently exist. This exciting new company is working towards this lofty goal through a combination of youth performing arts camps, full-fledged musicals, and cabaret-style performances. Their newest cabaret-style performance, Love, Love, Love, directed by Megan Worthen Nelson, is a heartwarmingly entertaining evening packed with impressively talented performers.
This Valentine-themed show is composed entirely of songs about love, whether that be romantic love, platonic love, or familial love. The show opens with an emotional punch as the full cast performs “Seasons of Love” from Rent, where it became immediately apparent that there were some stellar vocalists among the cast. Performers Jackie Manning, Dylan Thomas, Max Moreno and Megan Worthen Nelson stood out in particular among this talented crowd.
The set list for this love-themed cabaret production is a well-rounded mix of songs from older musicals, newer musicals, lesser-known songs, and even some well-known pop favorites. This means that this show can easily be enjoyed by seasoned theatre veterans as well as those that may have never seen a musical production before. The director also made the bold yet innovative choice to include an original composition, which I absolutely loved. The original composition gave a powerful message about hope and self-worth, which left me feeling very moved. The original song added to the production in a significant way, and I love the idea of including original compositions written by local artists as a means of showcasing the talents of our local community members.
As each of the cast members performed their solos, it was clear that their songs held a special meaning to each of them, and I felt their personal connection to the songs. I felt moved once again as I listened to these talented performers sing about the excitement of new love, the sorrow of lost love, and the anticipation of love yet to be. There was even a moment during one of the musical numbers where each cast member shouted out the name of a real person in their life that they love, which was a wonderful personal touch.
The songs are woven into a sort of story with narration by various cast members between the songs. Although the performers were all very talented vocalists, the narration was where some improvement could be made. The venue is equipped with standing microphones that were used for the narration, but even with the microphones, it was often difficult to understand the narration. I feel confident that these capable performers can correct this issue with better projection and diction.
The production was enhanced even further by the clever lighting design by Val Seiler and Jaxson Eggett, which added bursts of color that matched the theming of the songs. For example, performers were bathed in green light as they performed a song from Shrek, the Musical, or basked in pink light as they sang sweet romantic sonnets. This was a subtle yet expert artistic touch that made the show visually appealing and added to the overall quality of the show.
We attend theatre to feel, to experience raw human emotion, and to be inspired. This production met all of these marks, and left me feeling moved in a way that I did not expect to feel from a cabaret-style production. Love, Love, Love makes for a fantastic Valentine’s Day date night, or even just an outing with a friend, a loved one, or by yourself. Audience members will leave this production feeling inspired to live more fully and to love deeper.
Love, Love, Love plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Saturdays at 2 PM through February 18th at Broadway on the Side (454 North 325 East, Ogden). Tickets are $12-15. For more information, visit https://www.broadwayontheside.org/.