Kelli O’Hara takes the stage by storm


Kelli O’Hara gave a fantastic performance in the PAC as part of the MIAC Live Series.

Isabella Lee, staff writer

On March 2, Tony superstar Kelli O’Hara blew her audience away with a jaw-dropping performance of many beloved songs from Broadway in the
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. O’Hara opened her concert with a beautiful performance of “Pure Imagination,” made famous by Gene Wilder in the
film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” She followed up with a rendition of “Cockeyed Optimist”from “South Pacific,” one of the many musicals for which she received a Tony nomination. After greeting the audience’s thunderous applause, O’Hara told a story about how she fell in love with theatre as a child
while watching performances of “Oklahoma!”, which is also reminiscent of her home state. She then performed “What More Do I Need?” from Stephen Sondheim’s “Saturday Night,” much to the delight of several audience members (including myself!) who were in the Theatre Department’s production last spring. O’Hara continued her concerts with a selection of songs from musicals she had performed in before, including“Getting to Know You” from“The King and I” and the title song from “The Light in the Piazza.” The latter marked a full circle moment for O’Hara when she was in it since the musical was composed by Adam Guettel, the grandson of Richard Rodgers, one of the forces behind “Oklahoma!”One particularly impactful song to O’Hara’s career was “To Build a Home” from “The Bridges of Madison County.” O’Hara explained to the audience that the lyrics to the song were specifically written for her, including “18 Years,” meaning that it had been, at the point of the musical’s premiere, 18 years since O’Hara left Oklahoma to pursue a theatrical career in New York City.“Three Hundred Acres” referencing the amount of land she grew up on, and “a son and a daughter” referring to O’Hara’s two children. One of the last songs that
O’Hara performed, a classic amongst many female performers, was “Children Will Listen” from “Into the Woods.”Her penultimate song of the night was “Make Someone Happy” by Jimmy Durante,and then, after a massive encore, O’Hara ended the night with “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady.”
O’Hara’s performance was breathtaking.I always enjoy every MIAC performance I attend, and this was no exception.Only three MIAC events are left this year: Chris Botti onMarch 28, Angélique Kidjo on April 13, and Aaron Tveit on May 3, so get your tickets from the PAC Box Office so you don’t miss out!