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Q. Smith-On a Tour of Sun Valley
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Having learned of Sun Valley’s Union Pacific connection to her hometown of Omaha, Neb., Q. Smith told  the audience that her grandfather was a chef for Union Pacific Railroad.
   
Friday, February 2, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Q. Smith has canvassed America on Broadway tours of “A Night with Janis Joplin” and “Mary Poppins.” And on Wednesday she took a whopper of a tour around Sun Valley and Ketchum, putting a smile on the faces of all she met with her infectious enthusiasm.

“I got here and saw a fireplace at the airport—you’ll never see a fireplace in the airports in New York,” she told those who turned out to hear her in concert at The Argyros. “And then I the bus rolled up and I asked how much it cost. And when the driver said ‘Free,’ I said, ‘You mean just for today?’ And when he said it’s free all the time, I hopped on.”

The singer hopped off at strategic spots to buy underwear and souvenirs for friends and family back home in New York. Then she stopped at Backwoods Mountain Sports to buy insoles for her shoes.

 
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Volunteer Donna Beaux reveled in the beautiful bouquet that accompanied the hors d’oeuvres table.
 

“This singer Q came to Backwoods and she didn’t know what to do in Sun Valley. She didn’t have the shoes to go snowshoeing—she had high heels on. So, I told her to go to Sun Valley Club and try a pair of classic skis. She invited me to her concert and I am very excited to see what she does,” said Laura Furtado, who came to Sun Valley from Brazil years ago.

Smith wasted no time in putting smiles on the faces of those who came to see her “Broadway Bound!” concert staged by Sun Valley Opera and Broadway.

She told how she had played three different roles for her tours with “Mary Poppins,” including that of the woman who sings “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and the “Bird Woman.”

Composer Richard Sherman, whose doorbell plays “It’s a Small World,” said that Walt Disney cried every time he heard the haunting song “Feed the Birds,” which pleads people to buy bags full of crumbs to feed starving baby birds.

 
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“This is the only moment we will have like this—this group of people, this energy. I try to live my life with gratitude—I’m grateful for y’all,” said Q. Smith as she performed with Sean Rogers.
 

“A tuppence is 2 cents—this is a song about how small things can change lives,” Smith told the audience. “The song also reminds us that each person we meet is watching us.”

Smith told her life’s story with a medley of ‘60s pop songs, including “Going to the Chapel” and “You Don’t Own Me.” Then she presented a medley of tunes from shows she would like to be in, including “Man of La Mancha” and “Sweeney Todd.”

She sang everything—from “How Great Thou Art” to “Somewhere over the Rainbow” with a power and breadth rarely heard.

“Oh my God!” one woman exclaimed after Smith hit a high note.

 
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Stephen Snyder likes “Godspell” while “Susan Snyder is partial to “Les Miz.”
 

“She has quit the personality and a fabulous voice,” said Tedde Reid.

“She’s bubbly, so forthcoming and so adventurous,” added Robyn Watson. “So fun.”

Given the focus on musicals, some in the audience tried to pick out their favorite musicals. Jeanne Mowlds picked “My Fair Lady,” which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

“I love the oldies. I love all the musicals, like ‘Sound of Music,’ ” she said. “When I lived in New York I would go to see every one that came along. They just make my me happy, joyful.”

 
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Sun Valley Opera and Broadway President Kyle Johnson welcomed the audience, which enjoyed cabaret-style seating.
 

Kyle Johnson and Nick Miller both picked “Tommy.”

“It was big when I came back from Vietnam and I just liked the music,” said Miller. “That and ‘Jesus Christ Supersta.r’ They’re both pretty powerful.”

Stephen Snyder picked “Godspell”—a musical he designed sets and lights for while in college. “Musicals are so powerful. My son Mark goes into the weight room and pushes heavy weights while listening to show tunes,” he added.

Sun Valley Opera Co-Founder Frank Meyer, who co-founded Sun Valley Opera 23 years ago, said he and his wife heard Smith seven years ago when she performed “Come From Away” for Seattle Repertory Theater.

“We went to see the show wondering if it was going to make it to Broadway because most don’t make it—it’s so competitive out there. But the audience at the end was so electric they couldn’t stop clapping and Q. was a big part of it.”

On Feb. 12 and 13 Sun Valley Opera and Broadway will bring Puerto Rican singer Natalia Santaliz to Sun Valley for two different concerts. She will sing a variety of selections from musicals and operas, including “Til There Was You from “The Music Man” and “Think of Me” from “Phantom of the Opera,” the evening of Feb. 12 at Gail Severn Gallery.

She will perform “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady,” “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” and “La vie en rose,” at a High Tea & Salon Concert catered by Silver Fox Catering in a private home on Feb. 13.

Tickets are available at https://www.sunvalleyopera.com/ or by calling 208-726-0991.

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