Ross will perform a 35-minute program of classic musical theatre songs following the festival's opening-night dinner on July 8. Ross, who received the Norton Award for her performances in regional productions of A Little Night Music, The Sound of Music and Ramona Quimby, recently returned from London where she had been rehearsing with the composer of Evita, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White. About her recent adventures, the young performer said in a statement, "This has been a huge step for me. It’s so challenging, but it’s also so much fun to feel you’ve been able to balance school and friends with work in the theatre. And working in the theatre is definitely my passion."
This year's Sydmonton Festival, the private arts festival that often premieres new Lloyd Webber works, will also include a presentation of an old musical the composer wrote with lyricist Tim Rice. In an interview on the Really Useful website, casting director David Grindrod said, "This is what we are putting together at the moment — actually with an old musical which he wrote about 40 years ago with Tim [Rice] which is The Likes of Us. There [are] a few songs and a few characters, although no script yet, and I am working with Simon Lee, the musical director, and Chris Luscombe, the director. We are getting the characters together and slowly working it through from there."
The Likes of Us was the first musical written by the team of Lloyd Webber (music) and Rice (lyrics), but it was never produced. The duo went on to write such hit musicals as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.