“Oklahoma!” a classic tale of two unlikely people falling in love within a spirited community of cowboys and farmers opens at the Tibbits Opera House, in Coldwater, Michigan, on July 7 and runs through July 16.
Celebrating the American frontier, Curley, a handsome cowboy played by Taylor Eliason, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl played by Catherine Skojec, perform their love story. Amidst a cast of memorable characters, these two characters take on a bumpy ride of romance through dancing, song, and the celebration of hope. According to Charles Burr, Artistic Director of Tibbits Summer Theatre, “With the dance company we have again this year, audiences will see ‘Oklahoma!’ as they’ve never seen it danced before.”
Also in the cast, returning from previous summers, Gloria Logan as Aunt Eller, Jacklyn Collins as Ado Annie, Drew Porrett as Will Parker, Joey Gugliemelli as Ali Hakim, Charles Burr as Andrew Carnes , Maureen Duke as Dream Laurey, and Ben Shimkus in the chorus. New to Tibbits are Mitch Voss as Jud Fry as well as Michelle Carter, Tim Eidman, Sean Thomas Noonan, William Thomason, Alec Talbott, Cesar Razza, Jennifer Barnaba, Emma Thomas, and Sarah Stiner. The characters and story combine into a celebration of patriotism, community, and optimism.
This year’s exciting performance, directed and choreographed by Kevin Halpin and under the musical direction of Cheryl VanDuzen, will captivate the audience with a wide array of unforgettable dialogue, dancing, and classic tunes such as “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin”, “People Will Say We’re in Love”, “I Cain’t Say No”, the unforgettable “Oklahoma!”, and critical storytelling that will engage the audience with lessons of compassion, justice, and hope.
Opening, with its Broadway premiere, at the St. James Theatre, on March 31, 1942, based on the 1931 play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs. “Oklahoma!” is the first musical written by the famous team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The original production ran for 2,212 performances and earned award-winning revivals, including an Academy Award for its film adaptation and a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944.
“It has been a long time since Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s first musical together has been a part of Summer Theater – 30 years in fact, almost to the day,” says Burr. “I played Andrew Carnes back then, too.”
“Oklahoma!” is produced with the support of the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities. “Coldwater is fortunate to have a community asset such as the Tibbits Opera House,” says John Schroll, CBPU Board of Directors President. “The CBPU has always been a proponent of keeping the arts alive, and we feel that the production of “Oklahoma!” is a great way to celebrate these timeless pieces that are performed in our hometown.”
CBPU provides safe, reliable, competitive and efficient utility products and services, including: Electric, Water, Wastewater and Sewer. They also offer Telecommunications services: HD Cable, High-Speed Internet and Digital Phone. CBPU’s Simply Efficient Energy Optimization Program contributes to dozens of residential and commercial rebates, recycling programs and home energy check-ups in order to help reduce usage and ultimately lower utility bills.
CBPU is proud to offer superior customer service including 24/7 help desk. Learn more about the CBPU by visiting online at www.coldwater.org; or in-person, at the HLB Municipal Building, One Grand Street, Coldwater, Michigan. The CBPU phone number is 517-279-9531.
Tickets for “Oklahoma!” are $33 for reserved seating with discounts for members, groups and students. General seating in the upper balcony is available for $12. Prices include fees. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16. Matinees are available at 2 p.m. on July 7 and 13. For the best value passbooks offer the option of six tickets to be used throughout the summer and offer nearly a 10 percent discount. Passbooks must be purchased in advance and are designed for seeing multiple shows.
Tickets are available online at Tibbits.org, through the Tibbits Box office at the theater from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays or by calling 517-278-6029. All performances are heled at the beautiful historic Tibbits Opera House, at 14 South Hanchett Street, Coldwater, Michigan. For more information call or visits Tibbits.org.
This summer’s performance of “Oklahoma!” is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals.