Friday, April 10, 2020
Girl Power kicks Off Summerfest
Allison Semmes appeared in such Broadway shows as “The Book of Mormon” and “Motown: The Musical” in the role of Diana Ross.
Friday, July 19, 2019


There was enough energy between the three young woman on stage to light up New York City during Saturday’s blackout.

And the power of three Broadway stars with 11 Broadway shows between them was downright engaging.

“I dare you to stay in your seats!” Sun Valley Opera Co-Founder Frank Meyer told the audience.

Tiffany Evariste is in Disney’s smash hit “Aladdin,” now celebrating its fifth year on Broadway. She also has appeared in Broadway productions of “Memphis,” “Mary Poppins,” “Leap of Faith” and “Motown: The Musical.”

Very few people did stay in their seats Wednesday night as Sun Valley Opera toasted the girl’s groups of early rock and roll with a program 42/Seven produced just for Sun Valley.

They wiggled  in their seats as Ashley Blanchet, Allison Semmes and Tiffany Evariste came out singing Sun Valley homeowner Carole King’s “One Fine Day.” They wiggled some more as the trio performed “Tell Him.” And, by the time the group slid into “My Boyfriend’s Back,” it was full-on dancing in the terraces above the stage with a dance revolution brewing in front of the stage, as well.

Ben Frank was among the husbands who couldn’t help but get up and dance their wives across the Pavilion floor, despite being avowed non-dancers.

“When I hear this music, I have to dance—it’s a sin if you don’t dance,” said Frank’s wife Marie Gallo. “Ohmigosh. Oldies are my favorite music—I love all the songs. I used to dance to this music in a discotheque growing up in Belgium and it was such fun music. I will dance 24/7 to this music.”

Sun Valley resident Pawan Mehra was a willing participant in “Chapel of Love.”

She paused from bouncing up and down for just 15 seconds.

“Besides, these singers are so good. They are gorgeous and their harmony so good. They’re so smooth.”

The show was produced by Mike Evariste, Tiffany’s husband and the man who put together last year’s Temptations Tribute at the Opera’s bequest.

He and the choreographer Dionne Figgins brought nine more Broadway credits to the stage with them, including “Motown: The Musical” and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play “Disgraced.”

Ashley Blanchet trained with the Boston Ballet, in addition to singing on Broadway.

“I’m giving these ladies permission to let their voices soar,” said Evariste.

And soar they did with tight knit harmonies and choreographed movements that belied that they had gotten together for the first time just two weeks earlier.

“They’re always talking about the guy groups—the Four Tops, The Drifters…The Temptations,” said Blanchet, who has appeared on Broadway in “Frozen” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” “Most girl’s groups didn’t do a lot of dancing. They let their tight harmonies do the work.

The girls, dressed in red during the first half of the concert, waltzed Elkhorn resident Pawan Mehra to the stage during “Chapel of Love.”

Allison Semmes and the others sang Carole King’s hit song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”

Chances are they could have gotten away without singing—everyone in the audience was doing it for them.

Ed LaGrande was among the many males who were impressed.

“I like that they’re peppy and honest,” said the former political professor.

“The energy of the girl’s groups on stage with their moves and tight harmonies was contagious,” added Meyer. “I was surprised to see how many people were dancing so early in the show.”


“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” kicked off the Sun Valley Opera’s Summerfest. There are three more concerts in the summer festival:

  • Samoan Tenor Ashley Faatoalia will present a Signature Salon concert featuring songs from Tosti, Barber, Bizet, Puccini and others, along with such spirituals as “Ride on King Jesus” and a few Gershwin numbers on July 25. The concert, which will feature Sean Rogers on piano, will take place in the garden of Jen and Ed Springman. There’ll be wine and appetizers catered by Vintage at 6:30 followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150, available at 208-726-0991 or
  • The BYU-Idaho Collegiate Singers will present a free Family concert on Aug. 6. Fifty singers will present an array of music styles that they have performed all over the world at 7 p.m. at the Sun Valley Community School.
  • Country crooner Brandon Lay will perform at a Country Cookout Sept. 1 at Elizabeth and Tom Tierney’s River Grove Ranch. The cookout begins at 5 p.m. and the concert at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $175, available at 208-726-0991 or


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