Kelli O’Hara’s performance on Dec. 5 was postponed because of the winter storm on the East Coast. It will now take place Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. Ticket holders should keep their livestream access code and viewing instructions, which will be required to gain access to the December 12 performance. If ticket holders are unable to view the performance on the new date, please contact the Box Office at email@example.com . A refund will be issued to the credit card that was used to place your order.
Like most performers, Tony Award-winning stage and screen star Kelli O’Hara had to cancel the remaining dates scheduled on her spring concert tour due to the pandemic. As virtual performances began to occur, she explored opportunities to connect with her audience.
“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity and responsibility to perform this holiday season,” O’Hara says about her Dec. 5 return to the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts through the Jorgensen Digital Stage with a program of holiday favorites as well as classics from Broadway and the American Songbook.
Immediately following the performance, O’Hara will talk with Jorgensen director Rodney Rock and answer questions from the audience.
While currently filming a new television project, O’Hara says she will meet her pianist in Storrs, so the program will primarily be songs they have previously performed with some they want to bring back, as well as some new tunes.
“The challenge will be fun,” she says. “We have been able to do a few of these in-person concerts, but in comparison to a normal year of concerts for me, it has felt so empty. I really miss it. I’m looking forward to this chance at the Jorgensen.”
O’Hara has been in the Broadway spotlight for more than 20 years. She earned a Tony as Anna Leonowens in the 2015 revival of “The King and I” and received the prestigious Drama League’s Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award in 2019. More recently, she earned nominations for Tony, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performance in “Kiss Me, Kate.”
In 2015, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Lehár’s “The Merry Widow” and returned as Despina in Mozart’s “Così fan tutte.”
She also has received an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series “The Accidental Wolf.” Her other film and television credits include the second season of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” “Sex & The City 2,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Key to Reserva,” Showtime’s” Masters of Sex,” CBS All Access’ “The Good Fight,” “Blue Bloods,” and “Numb3rs.”
O’Hara says that, when selecting songs for her performance, she wants to bring her audience along her varied life in music.
“I like to choose songs that speak to my journey, both personally and professionally,” she says. “Sometimes they are from my childhood, or from shows I have done, or songs I listen to at home. I have done whole shows by one composer, but I prefer an eclectic mash up of all sorts of songwriting. I have a childhood in country music and sacred music but a degree in opera, and then a career in musical theater with an album of jazz-ish pop music. I find it hard to leave anything out of my story when I’m singing a solo show. I want folks to go on a ride with me.”
O’Hara’s first solo recording, “Wonder in the World,” was a mix of pop songs by the likes of James Taylor, Billy Joel, and Don McLean, and Broadway show tunes that reached No. 12 on the Billboard jazz chart and included two of her original compositions. She wrote a lullaby for her young daughter, “She Sings,” and while she hasn’t composed anything else yet, “I’m always thinking.”
During her award-winning Broadway run in “The King and I,” O’Hara kept a sign on the wall of her dressing room wall that said “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History,” which was a gift from the show’s assistant director.
“We had spoken so much about a perceived ‘woman’s place’ in society, especially at that time but even now,” she says. “It is very clear that Anna Leonowens was a true rule breaker, whether out of sheer necessity or true grit. Either way, she made history because of it. I took that with me on stage every night.”
In a recent interview, O’Hara noted she always seeks to challenge herself so she “can be scared again.” Her upcoming projects indicate her path, including a new HBO series, “The Gilded Age,” with Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon, currently filming in New York City.
“I’m also working on a new musical written by Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas [the team behind ‘Light in the Piazza’] and I am preparing for an original opera at the Metropolitan Opera opposite Renee Fleming and Joyce DiDonato,” she says. “All of these things scare and excite me.”
O’Hara’s Dec. 5 performance through Jorgensen Digital Stage is produced by OurConcerts.live, with support from the Jorgensen CoStars and Circle of Friends, and media sponsors CT Public, Connecticut Magazine, Radio.com and Lite 100.5 WRCH.
Tickets to livestreamed events on Jorgensen Digital Stage must be purchased at jorgensen.uconn.edu. Tickets for the concert are $20 per device. Please plan to purchase tickets online by noon EST the day of the show.