Tony Award-winning Kelli O’Hara shares her talents at BPAC

Stage and screen star Kelli O’Hara, established as one of Broadway’s greatest leading ladies, is taking the stage at Bradshaw Performing Arts Center for a night of singing, storytelling, and sharing her art. The renowned, Tony-winning actress will be performing at 7 p.m. on March 18 and is excited to have the opportunity to share her story with the Sandhills.

“I love getting to experience new communities and also think it’s great for me to have the opportunity to introduce myself as a performer,” O’Hara told Sandhills Sentinel. “With artists, we sometimes don’t have as far of a reach as we would like to share our music and art, so doing shows at more intimate venues is a wonderful opportunity.”

O’Hara’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League, Outer Critics and Olivier Nominations. Other Broadway credits include Kiss Me Kate, The Bridges of Madison County, Nice Work if You Can Get It, South Pacific, The Pajama Game, The Light in the Piazza, and more.

When asked what the audience can expect from the show, O’Hara said, “It’s a very personal show. They’ll hear a lot of classical musical theater songs — there will be things they might already know and love. However, they will also come away learning something they didn’t already know and will learn to love, too. Every one of these shows is an opportunity to share something new, and it’s a nice departure from life today to go to the theater and hear music and stories you can leave feeling really good about.”

Though she has performed nearly all her life, O’Hara has been doing these solo shows since around 2005. Along with her Music Director Dan Lipton, O’Hara has toured the country for nearly 20 years, sharing her musical prowess and life story with audiences from coast to coast.

“It’s just part of what I do,” explained O’Hara. “I go out and be myself, and we always have as much fun at these more intimate shows as we do at the bigger ones. I get to sing through my heart, tell my personal story, explain how and why music affected me so strongly, and tell my journey once I got to New York.”

A song accompanies each section of the performance. The songs may be from larger shows O’Hara has performed in, some from personal shows, and others “might just be songs you’ve never heard.”

O’Hara explained that the show is not a scripted event. Rather, she compared it to a “living room concert” where the audience feels that everyone is together. She said she feeds strongly off of the audience and bases the course of the show on the audience’s feedback. O’Hara stated that though she’s the one who knows the story, the energy of the audience is what best helps her tell it.

“I hope everyone enjoys it; it’s a good time, and everyone leaves feeling good,” said O’Hara. “I think songs can be very impactful just by themselves, but when you put a story with it, this gives it so much more meaning. Every song has a story.”

The show will occur on Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m. in Owens Auditorium at 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

Feature photo: Kelli O’Hara performs with Ken Watanabe at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik, Lincoln Center Theater.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Abegail Murphy.

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