Tara Bone, contributing writer
The dynamic husband-wife duo of Cory and Aubree Keate has been delighting audiences with a variety of serious and comedic performances for almost a decade.
For the Keates, magic sparked the moment they met. In Cory’s memory, time stopped the instant he saw Aubree for the first time in 2008 at a Latter-Day Voices choir practice. Aubree recalls that she “was smitten immediately with Cory’s smile.”
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the young couple. After spending time together for a month, Cory said he panicked and thought she was just too good— that she needed perfection, so he broke up with her. Aubree said she was heartbroken, and for months, had to attend choir rehearsals only to hear his “gorgeous voice right behind me in my ear.”
Fortunately, Aubree debunked all the myths of perfection he had about her, and they were married in October 2009. Since then, it’s been beautiful music, and they have kept the magic moments rolling for audiences.
During their first summer married, they performed together in Pickleville Playhouse shows. Other favorite performances include playing opposite as Meg and Mr. Brooke in Music Theatre West’s production of Little Women, and later as Lumiere and Babette in Four Seasons Theatre Company’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
Aubree said they appreciate the opportunity to have abundant opportunities to perform together in Cache Valley.
“We feel so blessed to be in this valley where we have multiple companies that put on such fantastic productions, and we’ve been able to work with all of them,” Aubree said. “There’s so much talent that it’s amazing to just be part of the cast. To sit and listen to the ensemble sind, I just go whoa—they are so talented and such dedicated directors and the quality of the sets and the costumes.”
The Keates currently portray the love-struck pair, Trevor Graydon and Dorothy Brown, in the comedy musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. Set during the 1920s in New York City, Cory said the production, produced by Four Seasons Theatre Company, will entertain and even teach a life lesson.
“For me, Thoroughly Modern Millie is one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen,” Cory said. “The characters, the music, and the ultimate message will leave a smile on your face. In the end, the ultimate message is great; it’s a story that shows love is what matters, it’s the bottom line.”
Cory and Aubree feel their time doing Thoroughly Modern Millie has been “crazy fun.” They enjoy the melodramatic nature of their characters and pushing aspects of these personalities over the top. The result of their work is captivating and hilarious.
Kody Rash, director of Four Seasons’ Thoroughly Modern Millie, said Aubree and Cory have “impeccable comedic timing that draws audiences in.”
The Keates work together to be their best for the audience. From playing accompaniment for each other at their auditions, to taking notes during each other’s performances to give each other feedback, they are constantly working to help one another.
“We help each other to be the best we can be,” Aubree said.
Music has always been important to both Aubree and Cory. They both knew from the start that music would be an integral part of their lives together.
“We knew one of the first things we would buy together would be a baby grand piano; that was just top priority for both of us,” Aubree said. “I envisioned us singing together, gathered around the piano multiple times a week together, but life happens, so doing these shows carves out the time for the music to happen.”
Cory adds, “It’s like training for a marathon—we sing because we have this show to do.”
Somehow the Keates balance family, work, and musical theatre. Cory owns his own business, a marketing agency, and Aubree enjoys teaching piano lessons. They’re grateful to Grandma Lewis who helps them juggle their three little boys: Chatham, 5, Bridger, 3, and Dawson, 7 months.
“There’s been a few times where I’ve had to swing him [Dawson] in his baby carrier while I’m giving lines at rehearsal,” Cory said.
Que the dramatic music and fluttering hearts, and experience the magic and sorrows of love with Aubree and Cory. Will their onstage love survive, or is it destined to fail? Find out during Four Seasons Theatre Company’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, showing March 16-17, 19, 22-24, and 26. Visit fourseasonstheatre.org for more information and to purchase tickets.