TR Robertson — The Center Theatre at the California Center for the Arts was the scene for a two day performance by six outstanding Broadway performers last weekend as they thrilled audience members with over 20 different songs from a variety of musicals. The musicals ranged from older classics to some of the newest musicals now touring the United States.
These six extremely talented performers have performed in a number of musical theatre around the country and in a number of Broadway productions. An audience favorite, Jared Gertner reprised one of the songs he sang as Elder Cunningham from the production of “The Book of Mormon” when he joined with Aleks Pevec in “You and Me, but Mostly Me” as well as singing a touching version of “Suddenly Seymour” from “Little Shop of Horrors” along with Jessica Snow Wilson. Aleks Pevec has performed in Broadway productions like “Catch Me If You Can”, “Evita”, “Aladdin and “The Most Happy Fella”. He delivered powerful versions of “Something’s Coming” from “Westside Story” and a powerful performance of “Gethsemane” from “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Rhett George got things started on stage as he belted out “Magic to Do” from “Pippin” soon joined by the cast. Later in the show Rhett sang “Let It Sing” from “Violet” and “Make Them Hear You” from “Ragtime”. Rhett has been in numerous Los Angeles productions and was in the Original companies of the Tony Award winning musicals “Wicked” and “Memphis”.
Photography by Karli Cadel
Jessica Snow Wilson has performed on Broadway as Olive in “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, as Marcella in “Good Vibrations”, as Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors”, as Eponine in “Les Miserables” and in several more. For the Escondido productions, Jessica moved the audience with “On My Own” from “Les Miserables”, “The I Love You Song” from “The 25th Annual Putnam county Spelling Bee”, “My New Philosophy” as Lucy from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, and with Jared Gertner in “Suddenly Seymour”. Heather Lundstedt has performed throughout Southern California for the last 10 years singing a variety of musical styles getting a rave reviews from “Broadway World” for many of her performances. Her soprano voice soared in “Adelaide’s Lament” from “Guys & Dolls”, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl” and a wonderful version of “As Long As You’re Mine” from Wicked”, sung with Aleks Pevec. Perhaps the most powerful singer of the evening was Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, an actress, singer, songwriter and producer who played Kiki on the Emmy Award winning series, “The Fresh Beat Band”. Yvette performed in Fox Televisions productions of “Grease” and numerous other television shows. She has performed in many musicals including Broadway’s 1st National tour of “In the Heights”. Yvette has also won a Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Female Lead. Her most recent performance was as Nikki in “Sweet Charity”. For the Center Theatre production, Yvette wowed the audience with her performance of “Cabaret”, a moving presentation of “Memory” from “Cats”, and “Burn” from “Hamilton”.
Joining the performers on stage was The Barnes Stage Company from Temecula under the direction of Gerald Sternbach. The 6 piece band, along with Gerald on piano, provided a beautiful evening of accompanying the singers, never missing a beat, and producing a sound worthy of any Broadway production.
The two evening performance is an example of the quality productions The California Center for the Arts in Escondido provides throughout each week of the year. Some of the upcoming performances include “Tosca” on the Center Theatre Stage October 7th and 14th, on October 6th Lucia Micarelli – violinist in the Center Theatre, October 18th Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez in the Concert Hall, October 18th We Banjo 3 on the Center Theatre Stage. On Saturdays, Food Truck Saturdays Curbside Bites takes place from 4-8 pm with performers on a stage between the performing theatres. On October 6th Allice Wallace with Lisa Sanders, Brown Sugar and Friends will perform and on October 13th Digging Roots takes stage.
For more information go on line at www.artcenter.org or call 1-800-988-4253. Informative brochures and pamphlets are available at the Center.