The first time most of us saw Susan Boyle was in that YouTube video. She walked on the stage of "Britain's Got Talent," looking kind of frumpy. The judges talked to her politely but with a hint of condescension in their voices.
Then Boyle belted out that beautiful and dynamic version of "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables." The judges stared in amazement, the audience gave a standing ovation, and the rest of us forwarded the video to our friends or posted it on Facebook.
That was five years ago. Boyle's first album became the best-selling debut of all time in Great Britain, and Boyle has become an international superstar who sells out concert halls all over the world. A stage musical about her life toured the UK and Ireland, and she has started a movie career.
She'll be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Wednesday.
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Tickets sold out quickly. The Van Wezel website earlier this week said that no tickets were available, but hall officials say more tickets could become available closer to the performance date.
For her Sarasota performance, she'll be accompanied on several songs by the the State College of Florida's Chamber Choir.
Details: 8 p.m. Nov. 5, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $47.80-$122.70. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear