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Deep Love: Born In The Mountain West

Want a love so strong it lasts beyond the grave? Be careful what you wish for.

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By Mike Romero

This weekend, Deep Love is returning for a brief fall run after a three-year hiatus due to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Performances will occur in both Taylorsville, Utah and Arlington Heights, Illinois, bringing a taste of Mountain West music far beyond Utah’s borders.

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Written by Ryan Hayes and Garrett Sherwood in 2010, Deep Love played for years locally before becoming a featured presentation of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2015. This led to a 2016 invite to the prestigious Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony in Connecticut, where the show was further refined and developed in collaboration with some of the brightest theatre minds in the United States.

The show is a modern take on the opera: entirely sung through with no spoken dialogue. It replaces Italian arias with indie rock, sung by Utah greats like Amy Whitcomb and Queenadilla’s Chase McKnight. The backing band features local instrumentalists like Stacie Fleischer of Drusky. Sound design is by Velour Live Music Gallery’s Al Deans, himself a rock opera composer.

Amy Whitcomb as Florence.
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The story of Deep Love follows Constance (played by co-director Melanie Stone), a widow from a bygone era who is haunted by Old Bones (Chase McKnight), the ghost of her first love. Although unseen, his love is strong enough to keep him in the mortal realm. She struggles to meet the demands of his undying love. Lovers become enemies as they struggle under the weight of it all.

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The New York Times called it “a polished show with pop ambitions.” Theatre Scene said, “The music is a credible sounding rock amalgam… the lyrics are skillfully complementary.”

About resuming live performances, the Deep Love team said, “After not being able to perform the show for 3 years, we will never, ever, take [it] for granted.” You won’t want to miss this.

Utah performances are Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. You can buy tickets for the Utah shows online here. Make sure to follow Deep Love on Instagram and check out “Love’s Bitter Reproach” from the show’s 2017 production below.

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