OKLAHOMA!, the musical that originated the state song and revolutionized musical theatre, comes sweeping down the plain to the Civic Center Music Hall this summer. Running June 23 through 27, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s production brings together a cast and creative team with Oklahoma roots. The show is the first of four Lyric productions at the Civic Center in 2015.
“After five years of living in the state of Oklahoma, I’m elated to direct this music theatre classic,” said Michael Baron, Lyric’s producing artistic director and director of this production. “Lyric is honored that this production has been named the state’s official production of the musical by Governor Mary Fallin and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, and we will be sure to give this state a production it can be proud of.”
This production stars Oklahoma natives Mateja Govich as the handsome cowboy Curly, Christopher Rice as lovable Will Parker, and Kasey Yeargain as the mysterious Jud Fry. Govich has been seen on Lyric’s stage in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Count Carl-Magnus Malcom), RAGTIME (Tateh), and LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and performed on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s CABARET. Rice, a graduate of Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy and the University of Oklahoma, has been a swing for THE BOOK OF MORMON on Broadway for the past year. Rice’s Lyric credits include THE PRODUCERS, A CHORUS LINE, and THE WHO’S TOMMY. Yeargain is a graduate of Oklahoma City University, and has been seen in the Tulsa Opera productions of ROMEO AND JULIET and CARMEN.
Other notable cast members include Kirsten Scott as Laurey Williams. Scott has been seen on Broadway in BIG FISH (Jenny Hill) and FOLLIES (Young Phyllis). Lyric favorite Julie Johnson will play Aunt Eller, and Dallas performer Morgan Mabry will play Ado Annie. The cast also includes Oklahoma City-based Terry Runnels as Ike Skidmore, Melissa Griffith as Gertie Cummings, and Vince Leseney as Andrew Carnes.
Choreography is by Brian J Marcum, whose credits include associate choreographer on the Broadway production of ELF and choreographer of Lyric’s 2014 production of DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID. Jo Rowan, the dance chairman of the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management, joins the production as the choreographer of the dream ballet. Music direction is by David Andrews Rogers, who has worked with Lyric for over the past 20 years.
Other members of the creative team include scenic design by Michael Schweikardt, costume design by Lyric’s resident costume designer Jeffrey Meek, lighting design by Helena Kuukka, properties design by Courtney Strong, and hair design by Jenny Valentine Sawyer of Elsen Associates. Julie Meyer will stage manage.
Single tickets are on sale now, and start at $25. Season tickets, which include tickets to Lyric’s three other productions at the Civic Center Music Hall- MARY POPPINS, BIG FISH, and BILLY ELLIOT- are still available. Purchase tickets by visiting Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street, calling (405) 524-9312 or visiting LyricTheatreOKC.com.
Lyric’s production of OKLAHOMA! is sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, The Chickasaw Nation, The Oklahoman, Bank of Oklahoma, Express Employment Professionals, Oklahoma Spine Hospital, American Energy Partners, American Fidelity Foundation, Cox Communications, Guernsey, Oklahoma Natural Gas, and W&W Steel. Annual support is provided by Allied Arts, Inasmuch Foundation, Kirkpatrick Foundation, Oklahoma Arts Council and The Shubert Foundation.
(L-R) Andi Dema, Campbell Walker Fields, Terry Runnels, Kasey Yeargain, Melissa Griffith, and Mateja Govich will appear in OKLAHOMA! this summer. Photo by KO Rinearson.