ROCK SPRINGS — The folksy rock production “Deep Love: A Ghostly Rock Opera” will play for one night only at Western Wyoming Community College. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the WWCC Theatre. Admission is free for this original production featuring former “The Voice” contestants Jon Peter Lewis, Ryan Hayes and Amy Whitcomb.
Western’s Performing Arts Department and its Associated Student Government are co-sponsors for this one-night-only event. Reserve seats by contacting Performing Arts at (307) 382-1721 or emailing email@example.com.
Lewis and Hayes, who competed on “The Voice” as the folk duo Midas Whale, star in their own original theatrical production, which has been deemed a “polished show with pop ambitions” by the New York Times. “Deep Love” tells the tragic tale of a jealous lover's reach from beyond the grave. The stage production blends traditional folk melodies with bluesy American rock and is a true rock opera, as the entire story is told in song.
“Deep Love” is the brainchild of songwriters Ryan Hayes and close friend Garrett Sherwood. Lewis, who was an “American Idol” finalist before he competed on “The Voice,” stars in the lead role of ghost Old Bones and is the show’s co-producer and director. Talking Broadway gave high marks to Lewis’s performance, saying that “Lewis wields his voice as a violent caress….” Broadway World added that “Lewis squeezes intimidating tension out of his tenor.”
Over the past five years, the audience for “Deep Love” has grown from the two dozen people who attended a reading in Lewis’s living room to thousands of devoted fans who have attended the company’s regional theater tours.
In August 2014, the creative team launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund expansion of the show. One year later, “Deep Love” was selected from hundreds of candidates by a grand jury of Tony Award-winning directors and producers to be one of 10 featured musicals produced for the 2015 Next Link Project of the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), which occurred this past July.
Hayes and Lewis met fellow contestant Whitcomb during the duo’s appearance on Season Four of “The Voice.”
“We were blown away when we heard Amy sing,” Lewis says. “Ryan and I quickly agreed she would be perfect in the role of Florence, the jealous lover.”
Whitcomb’s performance has been singled out by more than one critic; Theater Mania noted that “the irrepressibly fierce Whitcomb sings like the genetic offspring of Pat Benatar and a Valkyrie,” and Talking Broadway said, “Whitcomb gives you something you can’t get at ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ or anywhere else....” Theater Scene, meanwhile, described her performance as “emitting old-time villainous Hollywood glamor…Amy Whitcomb robustly scores as the meddlesome Florence.”
"We are pleased to see ‘Deep Love’ reaching more and more people every year,” Hayes says. “This year will be our biggest season yet.”
Joining Lewis and Whitcomb on stage are Garrett Sherwood and actress Alexandra Lovin, who have also received their share of accolades. Theater Scene said that Sherwood has “a raspy voice and a rock star charisma in the vein of Steven Tyler” and that he “is very fitting as Friedrich.” Lovin, a trained opera singer, recently returned to the cast of “Deep Love” for the first time since 2010.
“Deep Love” is intended for all ages. Audience members are encouraged to wear their best funeral attire to the show.
Western’s Associated Student Government and Performing Arts Department are pleased to present this free, one-night-only production to the campus and community. Reserve seats by contacting Performing Arts at (307) 382-1721 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.