“Oklahoma” brings classical theater to the stage

Complicated romances, crimes of passion and famous songs will highlight this fall’s musical production, “Oklahoma.”
“This musical is not just about people being dramatic and bursting into song,” Amber Mitchell, junior, who plays Laurey in the adaption said. “This is one of the first major American musicals thats songs are well connected to its storyline,” she said.
This is also the first performance directed by Steven Beckingham, drama teacher. “I wanted to produce something that people would be excited about but also recognize immediately,” he said.
“Oklahoma” follows the love triangle between the main character Laurey, Curly the cowboy, played by junior Soren Carr and Jud Fry the farmhand, played by junior, Dan Shroy. The musical also shows the romance between cowboy Will Parker, played by junior Kyle Fulton and his promiscuous fiancee Ado Annie played by sophomore Flynn O’Hurley. But with the romance comes affairs, forced marriages and dangerous confrontations. The backdrop of course is Oklahoma in 1906 when it was declared a state and people were settling down to live the “American Dream.”
“Oklahoma” was an inventive musical when it opened on Broadway in 1943. It was written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. It remains very historical and ahead of its time with not only its music but its characters.
“Laurey is an important character that broke traditional status quo with her overalls and stubbornness,” Mitchell said. “It’s interesting to take the outdated script and translate her to modern times to make her more realistic and less two dimensional.”
Performances will run on Nov. 6 to Nov. 15 and feature both evening shows and matinees in the auditorium. Beckingham is looking forward to all performers, actors and orchestra members to put on the classic musical.
“I heard the first rehearsal of the orchestra the other day and I swear they could perform it tomorrow,” he said. “I am confident we will have a spectacle for all.”