Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearses for the Christmas concert at LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
Review: Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrates the gifts of Christmas
Review » ‘Les Miz’ star and a genuine hero thrill the crowd.
First Published Dec 14 2012 10:43 pm • Last Updated Apr 08 2013 11:33 pm

The Mormon Tabernacle always likes to reserve some surprises for its annual Christmas extravaganza, but this year’s edition may have topped them all, including one surprise too delicious to give away.

Every program includes an inspirational or heart-tugging Christmas-themed tale (ready-made for a picture book to be released in time for next Christmas). On Friday, newsman Tom Brokaw, known for celebrating America’s "Greatest Generation," told the story of "Candy Bomber" Col. Gail "Hal" Halvorsen. The Salt Lake City man spearheaded an operation that dropped 23 tons of candy during the Berlin airlift of 1948-49. The 21,000 concertgoers in the Conference Center sat rapt as the tale unfolded amid eye-popping special effects, then leapt to their feet when Halvorsen, an energetic man of 92, took the stage. Brokaw’s brief interview with Halvorsen was the highlight of an already enjoyable evening.

At a glance

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The annual Christmas extravaganza.

With » Tenor Alfie Boe, narrator Tom Brokaw, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square, conductors Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, and organists Richard Elliott, Andrew Unsworth and Clay Christiansen.

When » Reviewed Friday, Dec. 14; repeats Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m.

Where » Conference Center, 60 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City.

Running time » 90 minutes; no intermission.

Tickets » Free, but “sold out”; standby line forms at the north gate of Temple Square.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The marquee guest was tenor Alfie Boe, winner of a Tony Award for his performance in Baz Luhrmann’s celebrated production of "La bohème" but better-known these days for his starring role in the concert version of "Les Misérables" that airs during every PBS pledge drive. Boe sang with fire and intensity, which made the next-door-neighbor charm of his between-songs banter all the more disarming. His earnest performance of his signature song, "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miz" — already rendered almost unbearably poignant by the tragic school shootings earlier in the day — earned every last teardrop it drew from the crowd.

Organist Richard Elliott added to his highlight reel with his clever use of registrations on a theater-organ-inspired arrangement of "Sleigh Ride." The red-and-gold Conference Center décor — the most attractive in many years — and Susan Memmott Allred’s stylish costumes also had a hint of Old Hollywood about them. Choreographer Carol Iwasaki likewise was in fine form.

The choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, led by Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, gave their usual solid performance on assorted sacred and secular seasonal selections.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.