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Concert Review: ‘Jason Mraz’ Mesmerizes At The Winspear Opera House

Jason Mraz continues to let his voice do all the work.  Not relying on flashy lights, crazy props, or even choreography to distract from his hauntingly gifted vocals.

Have you had a bad day?  Or maybe you just think life sucks in general?  If that’s the case, it might be time to alter your negative perspective and start looking on the bright side of things.  Jason Mraz performed his latest uplifting album, YES!, in a packed opera house filled with audiences who were entranced by every word spoken and every lyric sung.  Mraz is probably one of the most genuinely grateful and happy artist out there, and he makes sure to spread that positive aura.

This is my third Jason Mraz concert. And I will tell you that, besides the incredible music, the best thing about his live performances is his banter in-between songs.  He is quick-witted, funny, and a smart story teller.  He understands how to be philosophical without being preachy.

Mraz introduced his opening band, thanked his audience for their support and choosing to spend a night with him instead of in their beds.

Mraz’s opening act/partners, Raining Jane, were the perfect addition to his special, stripped down, instrumental show.  After Raining Jane sang three of their own songs, Mraz joined them on stage for a magical collaboration.  These girls were no background singers.  In fact, they stood by Mraz’s side during the entire show.  Raining Jane gave Mraz the unique flair he was hoping for in order to keep each concert tour fresh.  The band only heightened the Grammy winner’s voice, by actually letting us clearly hear all his beautiful lyrics.

Though the show primarily featured songs from YES!, including the hit single, “Love Someone,” Mraz also played many old favorites, including “Remedy” and “I’m Yours.”

I love going to concerts, and seeing a singer that can get me dancing up out of my seat is of course great.  But, watching an artist truly hold an audience for nearly 2 ½ hours solely on their voice is the reason I love listening to live music.  Jason Mraz never disappoints, and this latest performance at Dallas’ Winspear Opera House is hands down Mraz’s best concert tour yet.

Musical Review: ‘Godspell’ Might have been more Entertaining in the 70’s

The wonderful music sung by these great actors doesn’t ignore the fact that the Winspear Opera House’s production of Godspell felt like it should have been played in an after school special.

I can’t rag on the premise of the musical because it has been a Broadway classic for decades.  Personally a musical interpretation, that feels more like a lesson of the parables from the Gospel of Matthew, just isn’t my cup of tea.  However, the amazing actors who starred in the Dallas production delivered incredible vocals, and filled the stage with energy.  And the stain glass background made for a relevant and beautiful set. Director David Hogan gave audiences a color full set, and made sure his cast worked well with the limited amount of space on stage.  On the other hand the immature dance moves choreographed by Adele Mackenzie are unimpressive and a little cheesy.

What was flawless was the variety of talented voices among the cast.  Lead by the standout voice of the group, Jake Stern, who not only looks like Jesus but gives a sincere performance as him.   This guy easily had the best voice of the cast, who were all vocally gifted.  Stern’s angelic and soulful voice is made for Broadway.  Graham Parhurst did a fantastic job as the antagonist in this play, adding some drama and mixing things up for the incredibly peppy cast.  And the entire cast started off the play right with an engaging, harmonized a cappella opening number.  I just wish the rest of the play could have been that enjoyable.  You don’t feel that kind of interest until the finale.  This musical just felt a little campy, with the overly excited characters and the constant assurance for the audience understanding the messages of each parable.  I really felt like I was watching an educational skit.

Even the current inside jokes made through out the play felt forced and tacky.  Some of the jokes felt outdated. Godspell was not as exciting for some as it may have been for others, but when I saw the people around me walk out of the musical mid Act I, I did feel envious.

Godspell wouldn’t be my first musical choice, but for those who enjoyed any previous performances they had seen before, this show could be a fun and nostalgic experience.

The show will be running at the Winspear Opera House until Sunday March 2nd.

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