2010 – Oklahoma!

Oklahoma! was 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.

The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943.  It was a box-office smash and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, later enjoying award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation.  It has long been a popular choice for school and community productions.

This musical, building on the innovations of the earlier Show Boat, epitomized the development of the “book musical”, a musical play where the songs and dances are fully integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals that are able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter.

In addition, Oklahoma! features musical themes, or motifs, that recur throughout the work to connect the music and story.  A fifteen-minute “dream ballet” reflects Laurey’s struggle with her feelings about two men, Curley and Jud.  A special Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for Oklahoma! in the category of “Special Awards And Citations – Music” in 1944.

Cast

Jud Fry – Chris Head
Ado Annie – Angela Bithell
Ali Hakim – Jonny Dagley
Gertie Cummings – Laura King
Andrew Carnes – Keith Reynolds
Cord Elam – James Donnan

Cast

Aunt Eller – Karen Jamieson
Curly McLain – Sam Hutchinson
Laurey Williams – Emily Watson
Ike Skidmore – Eric Coxon
Slim – Mike Smith
Will Parker – Richard Craggs

Production Team

David McKnight
Howard Marriott
Leanne O’Brien
Deb Wilson
Nick Head

Crew and Techs

Stuart Brabbin, Garry Cox, Lloyd Davis, Ian Harvey, Mike Head, Wayne Rogers, Howard Rogerson – Crew
Claire Brabbin, Ken Brabbin, Stuart Brabbin, Garry Cox, Lloyd Davis, Gordon Fletcher, Nick Head, Beth McKnight, Wayne Rogers – Set Design & Build
Paul Muller – Lighting
Simon Birchall, Lesley Mitchell, Jane Broomfield – Sound
Winnie Meadows – Wardrobe
Joan König-Neville – Props
Karen Lambert – Prompt

Ladies, Children, Cowboys & Farmers

Philippa Allen, Helen Barker, Shirley Bettison, Georgia Brabbin, Matthew Browne, Bethan Burton, Kathryn Clowes, Rebecca Cox, Steve Cox, Rachel Craggs, Ann Dawson, Lily Fearn, Paul Flanagan, Kate Garrs, Daniel Holbrook, Michael Keavney, Lynn Kelly, Emma Laing, Hannah Mansfield, Peter Meadows, Wilma Mulgrew, Helen Parker, Roger Popejoy, Julie Rimmer, Jean Sands, John Sedgley, Bill Sherwood, Charlotte Swarbrick, Hannah Swarbrick, Mia Thomas, Grant Topping, Rachel Wallis, Charlotte Williams, Freddie Woodyatt, Keith Youles

The team of Snow White horses – Ozsca and Merlot (courtesy of Smithards Bakery)

Orchestra

Lou Carter, Catherine Edwards (Violins), Stephanie Fraser (Viola), Julie Houlton (Cello), Tony Mortimer (Bass), Jen Gilchrist (Harp), Peter Cresswell (Percussion), Jane Kimberley (Flute), Joe Harris (Bassoon), Matthew Pope (Trumpet), Richard Bush (French Horn), Laura Storer (Oboe), Soo Underwood, Catherine Matthews (Reeds), Nick Walker (Trombone)