Published by Broadway World- Read the original article here
Originally published on September 2, 2015
Lyric to Premiere New Musical BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR This Fall
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma continues its new works initiative this fall with BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR, a world premiere musical that will take its first bows at Lyric’s Plaza Theatre. The show, written by the lauded pair of Adam Gwon and Julia Jordan, will run October 7 through 25. Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story of the same name, the show tells the story of 18 year old Bernice Harvey’s journey from socially awkward to the belle of the country club- and back again.
Michael Baron, Lyric’s producing artistic director and director of this production, was first introduced to the piece at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 2011. “I have always loved directing period pieces and have spent my career trying to make them fresh and relevant for today’s audiences. I am excited to see a writing team also doing the same thing with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR. While the humorous book honors the source material and the music has the jazzy flavor of the period in which the story was written, the writers understand that the complexities of peer pressure and gender roles in society still resonances today. It promises to be an delightful addition to Lyric’s commitment to producing world premiere musicals.”
BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR is set in the summer of 1912, and the teenagers of St. Paul, Minnesota are abuzz with the arrival of Bernice Harvey. When Bernice turns out to be a dud, Marjorie- the most popular girl in town, and Bernice’s cousin- makes it her mission to transform Bernice in to a modern woman worthy of the Harvey name. Soon, Bernice’s newfound popularity begins to rival Marjorie’s, and wins Bernice the attention of St. Paul’s number one bachelor, Warren McIntyre. Jazz and jealousy turn the world upside-down as Marjorie vows delicious revenge.
“I’m thrilled to be premiering BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR at Lyric, and to collaborate with Michael Baron,” said Adam Gwon, the composer of the show. “The amazing cast and musicians- and the beautiful Plaza Theatre- are a match made in heaven for BERNICE. I can’t wait.”
“Bernice Bobs Her Hair‘ is my favorite short story,” added bookwriter and lyricist Julia Jordan. “I have a connection to the material- I grew up in the same St. Paul neighborhood as Fitzgerald. My parents belong to the Town and Country Club that is featured in the show. I also felt that I had something to add to the material as a woman, and as someone who has the gift of hindsight; when Fitzgerald wrote the story, women didn’t have the right to vote.”
Cast members for this musical include Celeste Rose as Bernice, Sarah Quinn Taylor as Marjorie, Russell McCook as Warren McIntyre, Vince Leseney as Mr. Harvey, and Mandy Jiran as Mrs. Harvey. Other members of the cast include Kaley Were, Virginia Newsome, Madeline Dannenberg, Keslie Ward, Travis James Burch, Stephen Stark, Brandon Block, and Hayden Gray.
Michael Baron directs, and Ashley Wells choreographs. Music direction and orchestrations are by David Dabbon. Other members of the creative team include Lee Savage as set designer, Jeffrey Meek as costume designer, and Art Whaley as lighting designer. Rickelle R. Williams is stage manager for the production.
Tickets to all of Lyric’s 2015 shows are now on sale, and start at $25. To buy tickets, visit Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street, call (405) 524-9312 or visit LyricTheatreOKC.com. Performances will be held at the Civic Center Music Hall Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m.
Lyric’s production of BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR is sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, The Chickasaw Nation, The Oklahoman, and the O.K. Detrick Foundation. Annual support is provided by Allied Arts, Inasmuch Foundation, Kirkpatrick Foundation, the Shubert Foundation and the Oklahoma Arts Council. BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival for New Musicals in 2011. www.NAMT.org
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