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Oklahoma!
a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA MUSICAL


COMPANY : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Holly Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 1545

SHOWING : March 10, 2006 - March 26, 2006

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The Holly Theatre Company is pleased to open the 2006 main stage season with the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical OKLAHOMA!, the great American musical. It is the simple tale of cowhands and farmers finding love and community in the Oklahoma territory caught the imagination and patriotic passion of wartime America. Features such great classic musical theatre favorites such as "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" and the title song "Oklahoma!", this is a show the entire family is sure to enjoy.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Tim Quigley
Curly Steve Batchelor
Laurey Leah Colston
Ensemble Terry Hackworth
Ali Hakim Craig Lovell
Ado Annie Karla Owens
Jud David Pylate
Aunt Eller Gloria Szokoly
Ensemble Jay Varnedoe
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Great show!!!! (3.5)
by mooniemcmoonster
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
3.0
I’ve been in love with musical theatre almost my entire life and as sad as this is to admit, this is the first time I’ve seen Oklahoma the entire way through (and I own the Rogers & Hammerstein DVD box set). I have a love/hate relationship with Rogers & Hammerstein…without them musical theatre as we know it today would not exist, but damn if most of their shows aren’t super cheesy and “apple pie”. That said, I found this show quite entertaining, despite an extremely weak leading lady. Now that I’ve mentioned that I’ll go ahead and discuss it and get it out of the way. I hate being so “harsh” on someone who hasn’t ever had a leading role before (as stated in her bio in the program)…so much so that I almost didn’t even review this show because to do so and to just not mention this particular performace would, to me, be a ding in the armor of my credibility, and I take my reviews VERY seriously, but there were too many good things in this show to NOT review it, so here goes…

Physically she very much looked the part of Laurie, but to me good theatre means more than just casting people that look the part. In fact, that should be the last thing on the checklist, unless there are specific things in the script that are dictated by a physical trait of the character in question. Her acting left a lot to be desired. She was saying the words, but it was like nothing she was saying was connecting in any real way. She could have been reciting the menu at the Corkscrew for all I knew. I’m not sure how familiar you are with “Waiting for Guffman”, but her performance had Libby Mae Brown (Parker Posey’s character) written all over it . Vocally she left a great deal to be desired as well. I know, being an actor myself, that nerves can sometimes get the best of us, especially as a singer. Lord knows I’ve blown many a vocal audition because of nerves…my voice is always the first casualty as far as nerves go. I was at the 3/11 show which, if I’m not mistaken, was opening weekend. You could sing like Julie Andrews in the shower, but if you can’t keep it together enough to be able to do it during a performance then it doesn’t really matter. I’ve heard that her voice has gotten a lot better during the run, which is great, but I can only comment on what I saw the night I went. Overall I’d give her 2 stars out of 5. ***For those of you keeping score at home this is the one disagreement I had with HollyGhost’s review***

Steve Batchelor, as Curly, did a fine job. He looked like a Curly, though maybe not a broad and as strapping as one might envision, but every bit as handsome and as charming a Curly as you could as for. And he’s got a GREAT voice, though with a bit more pop flavor that you might want in a Rogers and Hammerstein leading man. I thought he did a good job. He’s been cast in Black Bear’s upcoming production of Godspell, which I think will compliment his voice on a level that Rogers and Hammerstein can’t. I’m very much looking forward to working with him. A solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The three real stand-outs of this show were Karla Owens (Aido Annie), Nick DeMore (Will Parker) and Gloria Szokoly (Aunt Eller). They were the real backbone of this production, imo. WOW! I have worked with all three of these actors and they were all at the top of their game in this show. I don’t think that Karla could have possibly been any cuter as Aido Annie. She was right on the money with her characterization and her voice sounded better than I’ve ever heard it sound. Her comedic timing, as well as Gloria’s, was impeccable. Gloria could honestly play Aunt Eller professionally. And Nick was the perfect compliment to Karla’s Aido Annie. They fit together SO WELL and played off each other perfectly. Nick was so darn cute! And what a voice! They all get a 5!

Another performance that needs to be noted is Craig Lovell as Ali Hakim. SO funny! I had no idea what a good character actor Craig is. This is the largest part I’ve seen him in, but I look forward to seeing him in many more role and even larger roles.

The costumes were good. The set was great (as usual at the Holly). The ensemble looked like they were having so much fun that you wanted to join them…that’s important when you have a show like this with such large ensemble numbers.

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say this MANY more times…I wish we could give ½ stars, but since we’re limited to whole stars I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
weird... by mooniemcmoonster
i wonder why my is posted basically twice in my post? i wish there were a way to edit it. that's really, really weird.
You can edit your stuff by Okely Dokely
Log in, then click on "Your Account," then "Reviews," then the title of the review you want to edit.
AWESOME! by mooniemcmoonster
Thanks, Mark :)
You're Doing Fine Oklahoma
by dramaqueen99
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
5.0
You’re doing fine Oklahoma…Better than fine in fact! I had the pleasure to see not only one but two of the performances of “Oklahoma” at the wonderful Holly Theatre. I did go on opening weekend and that show was so great that I went back this past Saturday night and took with me several friends. This show just keeps getting better. In fact, this Saturday nights show was a complete sell out!! Not only that, the standing ovation at the end of the program went on and on. Tim Quigley and Colleen Quigley have done an amazing job of putting together a superb cast. Let me start with Aunt Eller, played by Gloria Szokoly. She is probably of the the best Aunt Ellers I have ever seen! Her sassy and fun loving ways make her a joy to watch. She really brings Aunt Eller to life. Next is Curley, played by Steve Batchelor. He does a great job of showing both the stubborn and soft side of Curley. If he were singing to me, I would definitely ride in the Surrey with him!! Next we have Laurey, played by Leah Colston. I had a hard time believing that this was her debut in the performing arts. She has one of the hardest parts to play and sing being that many of Laurey's songs are very high soprano. She is as beautiful to listen to as she is so watch on stage. She is exactly what I picture Laurey being. Onto Ado Annie played by Karla Brookreson-Owens. She is so cute!! Her song “I Can’t Say No!” is one of the highlights of the show. She has just the right timing to hit every mark and she just gets funnier and funnier. Will Parker, played by Nick Demore also does a great job of playing Ado Annie’s love interest. He again fits the part so well! Ali Hakim played by Craig Lovell completes this crazy love triangle. His accent is so real sounding, even in his songs. Last but definitely not least is Jud, the sulky farm hand played wonderfully by David Pylate. He does such of wonderful job of making the audience dislike him and feel sorry for him at the same time. I would love to hear more of his voice!! All in all, I have to say this is the best show I have seen at the Holly! The chemistry between all of the performers seems real at times, and I hated to see it end. I also have to give a big smiley to the musicians who bring all the songs to life with the wonderful talent. This is definitely at must see for anyone who likes musical theater. The Holly has it all in this show! I just wish it were running a little longer. I hope to see many of the cast in future productions at the Holly and surrounding theaters. Two thumbs up to all of the cast and crew of Oklahoma!! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
isn't it strange... by mooniemcmoonster
that three people who saw the same show can have such differing opinions on an intrigal part of the show? in reading this it makes me wonder if we even saw the same show, but i know that we did...because everything else we agree on (well, pretty much everything else).

*scratching my head*
Just one person's opinion.. by cquigley
No, there is no mystery to who I am. I don't do reviews, don't see enough theatre besides what I see at the Holly or Black Bear and then a random trip to Atlanta here and there on my seldom days off...that being said.

Thank you for all of the reviews that are posted for "Oklahoma!", the cast and crew has worked very hard and their efforts have paid off to a solid, great selling production. This production is a great kick start to the Holly's 2006 season...may it continue this trend. Whoever the Holly ghost is, it is still a mystery to me, perhaps I don't want to know, perhaps the fun is in the mystery of it all. Is there really a ghost? Just when I think I have it figured out, I don't.

Reviews as I told one actor last weekend are just one person's opinion...as we can see, everyone has unique points of view on the same production. If we all agreed, where would the fun be?

Again, kudo's to the cast and crew for the many hours of hard work and for the great run...it will be hard to see it go.

So for my 4th production of "Oklahoma!"...I say, YEOW!
Oklahoma is more than OK!
by Holly Ghost
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
4.0
The Holly did something different this year. They opened their 2006 season with a show they already presented back in 1999. An encore, if you will. Not a particularly large gamble, it’s a solid show with recognizable music, and judging from the Holly’s track record, these “western” type musicals seem to go over well with audiences. But, if a company has already done a show, it only puts more pressure on them to do it well. They’ve had practice. They know what does and doesn’t work for the show. And “the little theatre that could” certainly pulled it off.

“Oklahoma!” is one of my favorite shows, so I was extra excited to see the Holly present it once again. A new cast and a fresh feel to it really make this show come to life. The characters are entertaining, and the music is quite beautiful. Kudos to Leigh Ann, Butch, and Bob. Since I didn’t see Joseph, I’ll assume that it was as wonderful a show musically as this one was. The set was simple and quite suiting to the show. The lighting was subtle and complimentary. The costumes looked fantastic. All in all, the technical aspects were just great. And the model train was a nice touch.

Making their debuts at the Holly, Steve Batchelor and Leah Colston, Curly and Laurey respectively, did a fine job. I’m not sure if it was nerves, but both sounded a little softer than I would have liked, but nevertheless, both did a great job with the characters. Gloria Szokoly once again proves she’s one of the most versatile actors the Holly has, and as the spitfire Aunt Eller, she shows us who wears the pants in the family. Karla Brookreson-Owens returns to the Holly once again as the very funny, and slightly confused Ado Annie. Opposite her, Nick DeMore gets his first big shot on the Holly stage, as Will Parker. Both Karla and Nick positively steal the show. Their chemistry is palpable, and they play their characters effortlessly. A wild standing ovation for Karla and Nick! Craig Lovell plays the unfortunate Ali Hakim caught in between Ado and Will. A great actor to be sure, I’m gald to see him in another role that stretches his range. He obviously had fun playing the part. Also new to the Holly, David Pylate plays the moody ranchhand, Jud. He plays the part quite well, and I hope to see more of him att the Holly in the future. The other actors and the Ensemble did a good job too. Many new faces and several old stand-bys gives the show a great mix, and the voices join together for a beautiful sound. In particular, “The Farmer and the Cowman” which opens Act II is very entertaining and is one of the best numbers in the whole show. And the ballet at the end of Act I is haunting, with style and a foreshadowing that really makes it a fantastic piece of theatre.

“Oklahoma!” isn’t generally considered to be the toughest show to produce, but the Holly Theatre certainly makes it seem easy. Beautiful to watch and delightfully acted, director Tim Quigley once again brings a fine show to life on the Holly stage. Keep up the good work!
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Ah hah... by Okely Dokely
I have a guess as to who you are, and I find it verrrrrrrrry interesting that you haven't reviewed any shows that this individual has been involved in.
I have a gut feeling... by mooniemcmoonster
that its more than one person, but we'll see! I also disagree with something in the review, but I'll take that up when I post my review...which will be soon.


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