Actors and guests enjoy a Wizard of Oz themed night in the Emerald City

Idina Menzel and the Emerald City

A Night in the Emerald City

On Oct. 1, UVU supporters spent a magical evening in the Emerald City. Prior to the night's big concert featuring Idina Menzel, they enjoyed pre-show entertainment from UVU theater arts students. Dinner and dessert were served by the UVU Culinary Arts Institute.

The event's Emerald City theme tied into the theater students' hugely successful performance of "The Wizard of Oz" at Summer Sundance Theatre and Idina's Broadway performance in "Wicked." The room was transformed with green decor, props from "The Wizard of Oz" were on display, and cast members were dressed in costume.

Dorothy and munchkins perform a song from the Wizard of Oz

In attendance for the evening were trustees, Foundation Board members, and long-time UVU supporters. Some of the entertainment they enjoyed were performance numbers from Sundance Summer Theatre's "The Wizard of Oz." These included the songs "Merry Old Land of Oz" and "Munchkin Land Melody" performed by Dorothy, Glinda, munchkins, and Oz citizens.

After a beautiful rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," sung by actress Hannah Pyper (Dorothy), a moment was taken to recognize the night's talented performers. Then costume designers Nancy Cannon and Carla Summers presented Hannah with ruby slippers – a touching gift that would help the actress always remember her time as Dorothy.

After a round of applause, guests were also given a token to remember their time in the Emerald City. Each received a "Wizard of Oz" ornament.

The Magic Continues With Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

After the pre-show, guests went to their balcony seats to enjoy Idina Menzel in concert at the UCCU Center.

Menzel is a Broadway star and actress best known for her performance in the musical "Wicked" and as the voice of Elsa in Disney's "Frozen". She recently performed in the Broadway musical "If/Then", released her Christmas album "Holiday Wishes", sang the national anthem at the 2015 Super Bowl, and received a Best Actress Tony Award nomination.

Throughout the concert, she sang classic pop, musical theater favorites, and selections from her own catalogue. The superstar gave a stellar performance to match her reputation.

A Benefit for School of the Arts

"When we heard Idina Menzel, an incredible Broadway star and entertainer, was coming to campus, we felt this was a perfect opportunity to host a benefit for the School of the Arts and give donors a great night out," said Jeri Allphin, acting assistant vice president for development & alumni.

Utah Valley University is currently planning to construct a new performing and visual arts building. The building will provide more classroom and performance space for UVU's award-winning arts students. The community has already shown tremendous support for the project. The event raised $3,000 to benefit the new building, bringing it ever closer to the finish line.

Over $15 million has already been raised for the new building. You can be the one to help us cross the finish line! Make a donation.

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