Aldersgate Church Community Theater Oklahoma!By Laura & Mike Clark • Jun 26th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Aldersgate Church Community Theater’s production of Oklahoma! [MP3 4:40 1.3MB].
Laura: Friday evening we saw the opening night performance of Aldersgate Church Community Theater’s production of Oklahoma! in Alexandria Virginia.
Mike: Oklahoma! is the first musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is set in a western Indian territory just after the turn of the century. The high spirited rivalry between the local farmers and the cowboys provide 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, with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love’s journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road.
Laura: This show was very well done. It was opening night so there were a few opening night jitters. Overall the choreography was well done. The singing was was good. The costumes were very colorful. They were very much in the style of the old west. Everybody really gave it their all and it was a very enjoyable show.
Mike: This was an enjoyable show, I did have a good time. It started out a little bit slow in the first act, but it definitely perked up later in the show. I think everybody had kind of had woken up and really gotten into their parts.
Laura: Curley McLain, the cowboy, was played by Matt Williams. He did a very good job. He has a good strong voice that really came out during his solo scenes. He also had good emotion. The choreography with the fight scene was also very well done.
Mike: Laurey Williams, the farm girl was played by Maria Benzie. She was very headstrong. She didn’t mind playing with the mind of Curly and the mind of Jud. That set up some interesting scenes later in the show. Maria was very believable as the farm girl. I liked her dance scenes a lot. I also liked when she was interacting with the other girls of the town. She tried to put them in their place and they put her right back in hers. She also had this air of innocence especially when she was buying the perfume from the peddler. I liked that a lot.
Laura: Eller Murphy, Laurey’s Aunt, was played by Patricia George-Hauser. She did a good job. She was quite a spitfire. She had a lot of energy. She said what she thought. She didn’t care who it offended and who it impressed. She just said what was on her mind and that was just really refreshing.
Mike: Jud Fry, the handyman, on the William’s farm was played by Michael Hoskinson. He was very imposing. He was kind of surly and almost stalking Laurey at times. In the scene where he was trying to win the auction of the supper that was made by Laurey was really nicely done. The matter of fact way that he would up his bid worked really well and was very menacing. The scene later with the fight was very nicely done and I liked how he really made that role feel like a scary farm hand who you don’t want to meet in a dark alley somewhere.
Laura: The choreography for Oklahoma! I thought was pretty well done. Choreographer was Kevin Laughon. It was not real complicated, but it was enough that you had people being swung around on stage and for the most part they kept the beat. This was opening night so there were a few jitters and a bit of nervousness, but they settled down in the second act and I thought it went pretty well.
Mike: The set was very effective, and was designed by Susie Poole. The back drop was a cornfield and some fencing around the farm. On stage they had a large section of a house that could be spun around. At times it was the porch of Laurey’s farm and at other times it was the inside of Jud’s house. It was really nice how they swung it around. It fit into the flow of the show and it really didn’t break up the pace.
Laura: Costumes for Oklahoma! were also effective. Costumers were Carol Coyle and Bonnie Kidd. You had the cowboys with their guns strapped to their sides and their cowboy hats. Then you had the farmers with their overalls and their flannel shirts. The girls were all in dresses.
Mike: Oklahoma! is about two and a half hours long with one fifteen minute intermission. It is running through July 8. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Performances are at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria Virginia.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Aunt Eller Murphy: Patricia George-Hauser
- Curly McLain: Matt Williams
- Laurey Williams: Maria Benzie
- Slim Jones/Mens Ensemble: Stephen Hersack
- Will Parker: Christopher John Lindstrom
- Ike Skidmore/Mens Ensemble: Bill Austin
- Jerry Joseph Johnson/Men’s Ensemble: Michael Page
- Joe Renno/Mens Ensemble: Carl M. Tenny
- Marshall Cord Elam/Mens Ensemble: Daniel Scalph
- Jeeter “Jud” Fry: Michael Hoskinson
- Ado Annie Carnes: Marie Wakefield
- Ali Hakim: Michael Fisher
- Nelli Elam/ Womens Ensemble: Amy Howell
- Ellen Webster/Womens Ensemble: Jill Kester
- Abby Blackwell/Womens Ensemble: Jessica Poole
- Kate Weston/Womens Ensemble: Christina Kidd
- Gertie Cummins: Julia J. King
- Andrew Carnes: Teddy Gron
- Dream Curly: Michael Page
- Dream Laurey: Christina Kidd
- Dancehall Girl: Marie Wakefield
- Dancehall Girl: Julia J. King
- Conductor: Jeff Taylor
- Reed 1 (Clarinet): Alisha Dawn Coleman
- Reed 2: Robert Greene
- Flute/Piccolo: Rosalie Morrow
- Oboe: Jane Hughes
- Bassoon: Stephanie White
- Violin 1: Steve Natrella
- Violin 2: Michele Jacobs
- Viola: Kelley L. Williams
- Cello: Cathryn Dutton
- Bass: Kyle Greybeal
- Trumpet: Kevin Byrne
- French Horn: Roger Whitworth
- Trombone: Ben McVety
- Percussion: George Huttlin
- Producer: Susie Poole
- Assisted by: Meghan Lau
- Sine Qua Non: Sam Poole
- Stge Director: Dru Vander-Linden
- Stage Manager: Robin Matthews
- Choreographer: Kevin Laughon
- Dance Captain: Julia J. King
- Stage Combat: Kevin Laughon
- Set Design: Susie Poole
- Master Carpenter: Stuart Travis
- Set Construction: Bill Cleveland, Allan Heyrana
- Assisted by: Jim Lau, Sam Miller, Jeff Poole, Sam Schrange
- Set Painting: Mary Hutzler, Susie Poole
- Assisted by: Margaret Mary H owell, Hannah Lau, Jim Lau, Meghan Lau, Michael Page, Jon Poole, Sam Poole, Jayn Rife, Valerie Wohlleben
- Set Dressing: Sam Miller, Susie Poole
- Costumes: Carol Coyle, Bonnie Kidd
- Assisted by: Bobbie Herbst, Sharon Hersack, Cast
- Properties: Sharon Dove
- Assisted by: Lenny Dove, Bobbie Herbst, Jayn Rife
- Lighting Design: Chris Hardy
- Special Effects: Robin Matthews
- Light Technician: Jon Poole
- Sound Design: Jessica Poole
- Sound Technician: Rachel Lau
- Gunsmith: Michael Hoskinson
- Education Day Dinner: Jeff Poole
- Assisted by: Cindy, Paul & Madelyn Amos, Cast, Crew, and friends
- Technical Dinner: Jeff Poole
- Opening Night Party: Jeff Poole, Pat Travis, and friends
- Refreshments: Jeff Poole, Margaret Mary Howell
- Table Decoration: Barbara Boyce
- House Manager: Dru Vander-Linden
- Box Office: Lyndsay Austin, Bob & Marilyn Berry, Shirley Bolstad, Bob Coyle, Jim Lau
- Announcer: Sam Poole
- Tickets: Meghan & Rachel Lau
- Reservation Ticket Line: Danielle Hatfield
- Program: Meghan Lau, Susie Poole
- Master Class Instruction: Adriana Hardy, Rebecca Littig
- Photography: Sean Logue
- Publicity: Bill Austin, Lyndsay Austin, Bailey Center, Sherri Haddad, Meghan Lau, Susie Poole, Cast & Crew
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1988.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.