Last night I went with Kendryth to a special preview performance of Musical Theatre Productions’ Oklahoma, performed at the Palace Theatre! The theatre was quite full last night, and everyone was clapping along from the beginning of the overture! (Pretty sure that’s a good sign right there!)
I was excited to see a huge number of OKTC connections — quite a few cast members are either current Original Kids, OKTC alumni, or OKTC staff members. And of course, a whole bunch of friends from past shows are involved in the cast and in crew roles. So that was another important reason to get to the theatre — support your fellow thespians!
I’m a full-on Oklahoma newbie. Going in, I didn’t know the storyline, the characters, or the music (other than the title track, and I only knew that from an old episode of Sesame Street with Forgetful Jones!). So I was going into this production with a completely blank slate and no expectations.
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs’ 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie.
There were some standout performances in this production; the actors playing Will Parker and Jud Fry were fantastic. Those were my favourite performances of the production. The actresses playing Laurey and Ado Annie were excellent vocalists and absolutely charming. There were some outstanding dancers in the ensemble, as well as an enthusiastic group of rough-n-tumble cowboys and some lovely farm ladies too!
It’s a long show — almost three hours. But I never found myself checking my watch. Oklahoma has catchy tunes, clever (and often hilarious) lines, and enough “yee-haw” to get even the stodgiest curmudgeon smiling.
Bravo to director Ceris Thomas and her huge gang of cowboys and farm girls, and to the crew and musicians; you have all created something to be proud of.
Oklahoma is performing at the Palace Theatre (710 Dundas Street, London ON). You can purchase tickets online or by calling the Palace Theatre Box Office at 519-432-1029.
Fri. Nov. 15, 2013 – 8pm (Opening Night)
Sat. Nov. 16, 2013 – 8pm
Sun. Nov. 17, 2013 – 2pm
Thurs. Nov. 21, 2013 – 8pm
Fri. Nov. 22, 2013 – 8pm
Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 – 2pm
Sat. Nov. 23, 2013 – 8pm
Sun. Nov. 24, 2013 – 2pm
(This is not a sponsored post. Show tickets were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.)