Watch: Utah’s viral daddy-daughter duo just got a free trip to Broadway
Most recently, the Broadway-loving duo from Kaysville has caught the attention of Ken Davenport — Andrew Lloyd Webber’s executive producer in North America.
Since recording a version of the Andrea Bocelli/Celine Dion duet “The Prayer” in late February — a rendition that now has 6.4 million views on YouTube — Mat Shaw and his 15-year-old daughter, Savanna, have released several duets and been featured on national outlets like “Good Morning America” and “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”
“Like many in the world, I became an instant fan when I saw your stuff,” Davenport recently told the Shaws in an interview shared on Facebook.
During the interview, the Shaws talked about their love of Broadway and how “The Phantom of the Opera” is a family favorite. Savanna Shaw said she’s frequently watched the musical while staying at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mat Shaw said it was the first show he ever saw live.
“My mom made me read the book so I could earn a ticket to go see the show on Broadway,” he recalled.
“I’ve never seen it live at the theater,” Savanna Shaw told Davenport, adding that she’s also never been to New York. “Hopefully someday we’ll be able to go see it.”
A few minutes later, Davenport delivered the Shaws their first surprise — an appearance from Broadway star Sierra Boggess, who is well known for her role as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera.”
And who just happens to be one of Savanna Shaw’s idols.
Savanna Shaw’s hands flew to her mouth. She began to cry as she saw Boggess on the screen. Davenport asked the starstruck teenager if she had any questions for the Broadway star.
“I can’t even think straight,” Savanna Shaw said with emotion. “I forgot English.”
Davenport then told the young singer she could save her questions for later because he was going to fly the duo to New York, put them in a hotel and give them a couple of tickets to see “The Phantom of the Opera” when Broadway reopens.
Both of their mouths dropped wide open.
“You have put such love and such joy and such positivity in the world,” Davenport told the Shaws. “You’ve done obviously such good for so many millions … of people that this is just a little small something to say thank you from all of us on Broadway.”
“You are a dream maker,” Mat Shaw said.
Just a few months ago, before the Shaws went viral, Savanna was a shy singer in a local choir building her confidence. And Mat was a busy father of four who had put music on the back burner, the Deseret News reported.
Their duet of “The Prayer” — which was filmed from their kitchen table — was Savanna Shaw’s first social media post, according to the Deseret News. At the time, she was just posting it for her choir friends — friends she hasn’t been able to see in person because of the pandemic.
The Shaws are still having a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that millions of people have now heard their music.
“I really genuinely only thought that my friends and my family were going to see it,” Savanna Shaw previously told the Deseret News via a Zoom call. “And I think if I would’ve known how big it would get, I probably would’ve been a lot more nervous. I’m kind of glad I didn’t know that.”
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Shaws’ music has been played at funerals and weddings. One man even told them he was trying to use their music to win back his girlfriend.
“It means a lot just to be able to be in a position now — especially in the times that we’re experiencing with this pandemic — to be able to share these messages of hope and encouragement through music,” Mat Shaw told the Deseret News. “Never in a million dreams would we have ever thought that our music would have this kind of impact. That’s been the best part.”