Alfie Boe, a Tony-winning actor who starred as Jean Valjean in the 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables," is a part-time Salt Lake City resident because of his wife, Sarah, who grew up here.
On his booking agency's web site, he is listed as performing at Temple Square on 12/12/12. See here:
So I contacted his publicist, who e-mailed me this:" This is with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Its for their annual Tv special."
So, is Mr. Boe the special guest for the 2012 Mormon Tabernacle's annual Christmas spectacular — a guest that Doug Wright usually reveals sometime in November in one of the city's best-kept secrets?
I hope so — I would love to see Mr. Boe in concert.
Here is a story that my wife wrote about Mr. Boe back in 2010, when he was about to appear in movie theaters nation-wide in the 25th anniversary production of Les Mis:
Date: November 12, 2010
Salt Lake City tenor sings a big-screen 'Les Miz'
By Lisa Schencker, The Salt Lake Tribune
Their wedding day.
The birth of their child.
The night last month when 20,000 tearful audience members rose to their feet to applaud his rendition of a song from "Les Misérables" in which he quietly pleads with God to save a young revolutionary's life.
These are the top three moments of Salt Lake City couple Alfie and Sarah Boe's lives together. The latest event happened in London, but Utahns will get to witness it soon.
A BBC production of "Les Miz," filmed in honor of the musical's 25th anniversary, will be screened in movie theaters in Utah and nationwide on Wednesday, Nov. 17.
The Boes are thrilled their Salt Lake City neighbors, friends and family will get the chance see the performance, which was a landmark event for them and the musical's millions of fans worldwide.
Alfie plays prisoner-turned-mayor Jean Valjean in the production, which tells a story of despair, love and redemption. It's a role that was something of a departure for Alfie, a British tenor who typically performs classical and opera pieces.
But it was a dream part, he said. "This job performing this role in the West End of London and also in the O2 [Arena] has been, without a doubt, the highlight of my career," he said.
It's a career that has taken the Brit from his hometown of Fleetwood, England to Broadway and stages throughout the world. And it led him to his wife Sarah, who, in turn, led him to Salt Lake City.
Alfie and Sarah, a Utah-raised and University of Utah-trained actor, met while both were working on separate productions in San Francisco. They met on a rehearsal break and went on a date that same night.
At first, Sarah assumed from the way he was dressed that Alfie was a crew member. He told her only: "I work on the show."
His true role didn't come up during the date. It wasn't until she passed a poster toward the end of that date -- depicting him singing in Baz Luhrmann's production of "La Boheme" for which he later won a Tony Award -- that she realized he was a singer.
"I said: 'Oh, my gosh.' I didn't know he was the lead," she said.
The couple were married a year and a half after that date. They lived in London and bought a house in Salt Lake City last year to be closer to family and friends.
Alfie still spends much of his time in London and Europe, but returns to Salt Lake City whenever possible. The pair like to hike, and eat at Pat's Barbecue and the Trolley Wing Company. He's even taken to skiing, despite one of Sarah's relatives leading him down a mogul run at Snowbird during one of his first ski trips. "I was frightened to death," Boe half-joked.
He won't be in town Wednesday for the screening of the production, but says that's just as well.
"I probably wouldn't go see it myself because I hate watching myself," he said. "I'd buy popcorn for everyone and then I'd leave."
But Utah theaters are likely to draw healthy crowds regardless, as the popular musical is especially so in Utah.
Regional productions by the Pioneer Theatre Company and Tuacahn Amphitheatre were among the top three-grossing productions of the show at eight regional theaters throughout the U.S., said Scott Anderson, Tuacahn producing artistic director.
When Broadway Across America-Utah presented the touring show in the early 1990s, requests for tickets blew out the phones. The office received more than 2.5 million call attempts in one day, said Steve Boulay, chief operating officer of NewSpace Entertainment.
"I think a lot of people think it's the lost 116 pages of 'The Book of Mormon,' " joked Tuacahn's Anderson. "People love that story. I just think it's the second-greatest story every told."
Time will tell whether Utah audiences will feel the need to jump to their feet in the movie theater, just as the London crowd did more than a month ago at the live performance.
It's a moment neither Alfie nor Sarah Boe will forget.
"I was so into it and so emotional from what I was singing I just stayed at the microphone and focused on the end of the song," Boe said. "Then the applause got louder and people started to stand up, and it got louder again and it wouldn't stop. Before I knew it, I looked around the audience and everyone was on their feet, and I couldn't believe this was happening to me."
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