Oklahoma! – a review
by Elizabeth Allen
“Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain…” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 work is a classic of musical theatre, and is the latest offering from director Cheryl Atwood and the folks at OnStage Uxbridge.
Oklahoma! tells the story of Laurey Williams, a farm girl being courted by two men—Curly, a cowboy, and Jud, a farmhand. She soon discovers that using Jud to play hard-to-get for Curly has unintended and dangerous consequences. Laurey’s friend Ado Annie also has difficulty choosing between two men, something her father and his shotgun are more than willing to assist with. Everyone makes choices and those choices come back to them in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways.
“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” are perhaps the most popular songs from this musical. Also, “People Will Say We’re in Love,” as well as the title song provide a chance for this cast to show off their vocal talents. And boy, can they sing!
Melinda Delorme plays Laurey with operatic vocals and a heart as wide-open as the prairies. Jeremy Cook’s Curly is strong, clear, and true. Phil Cook delivers Jud Fry dark, dirty, and determined. Ado Annie is played by Kate Hargrave, fickle yet somehow true to herself, while Jonathon Keith does a nice turn as Will Parker, her long-suffering love. Lin Zugloff is everything you want a wise old Aunt Eller to be—smart, wry, and strong. The Persian peddler, Ali Hakim is well-played by Darrel Sultana, while Kevin Fleetwood brings the shotgun-toting Paw Carnes alive. All these fine folks are surrounded by a company of 25 more farmers and cowboys and townsfolk! When it’s square-dancing time, it’s a rollicking good time! And what else do you think of when you think of cowboys and farmers? A dream ballet of course! Tanner Ferris and Kate Hargrave dance beautifully in this amazingly choreographed sequence.
Oklahoma! was fun, beautiful, scary, romantic, and joyful, all in one package. Don’t miss it!
For show and ticket information, visit onstageuxbridge.com, or starticketing.com.