Pepperdine Fine Arts presents its Fall Musical: Oklahoma!
November 1, 2012 -
The Pepperdine University Fine Arts Division presents its fall musical, Rodgers and Hammersteins Oklahoma!, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8-Saturday, Nov. 10, and Thursday, Nov. 15-Saturday, Nov. 17, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Smothers Theatre on Pepperdine's Malibu campus.
Bradley Griffin directs the 34-person Pepperdine student cast, which includes Tyler Burk as Curly, Lauren Long as Laurey, Kelsey Sutton as Ado Annie, Dimitri Smith as Jud Fry, Grace Edmundson as Aunt Eller, Gifford Tompkins as Will Parker, and Jon Gibson as Ali Hakim.
Tony Cason conducts the Pepperdine University Orchestra.
Oklahoma!s position as one of the most beloved American musicals is rightly deserved, and we are thrilled to be presenting it at Pepperdine, Griffin said. The students in the cast are bringing these classic characters to life with an energy and vitality that will have audience members shouting for more."
Rodgers and Hammersteins first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. Set in a western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story. Although the road to true love never runs smooth, we have no doubt that they will succeed in making a new life together and that this new life will begin in a brand-new state, providing the ultimate climax to the triumphant Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! launched a new era in the American musical. It also began the most successful songwriting partnership in Broadway history.
In 1942 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were at the top of their field, writing musical comedies universally praised for their wit, sophistication, and innovation. A decade earlier Oscar Hammerstein II had been at the top of his field, writing operettas that consistently challenged and reshaped the art form; his Show Boat, written with Jerome Kern in 1927, is considered a landmark of the American stage.
Independent of each other, both Rodgers and Hammerstein were attracted to Lynn Riggs folk play of life in his native Oklahoma titled "Green Grow the Lilacs." When Jerome Kern declined Hammerstein's invitation to write the musical adaptation with him, and when Hart bowed out of his commitment to musicalize the work with Rodgers, it was inevitable that the ensuing musical play would become the first work by the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Tickets, priced at $20 for the public, $10 for Pepperdine students, and $16 for Pepperdine faculty and staff, are available now by calling the Pepperdine Center for the Arts box office at (310) 506-4522. Tickets for the general public are also available through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787. Information online: http://arts.pepperdine.edu/performances/theatre.htm
Oklahoma! is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals. More information: www.rnh.com.