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Oakton High School Oklahoma!

By • May 22nd, 2011 • Category: Cappies

Energy was high and laughs abundant Saturday night at Oakton High School’s production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. The first musical written and composed by this duo, Oklahoma! was not only incredibly successful on Broadway, but is a very popular choice for community theaters and high schools, and Oakton’s cast certainly handled it well. With strong solo performances as well as effective ensemble work, the show was enjoyable from beginning to end.

Leading the cast of forty was the lead couple, Curley and Laurey-played by Henry Ragan and Holly Kelly. Ragan and Kelly shone with believable chemistry as they teased and bantered back and forth throughout the entire show. It was refreshing, however, to see them transition from the “I won’t say I’m in love” mind-set, to the actual loving couple in the course of the show, displayed beautifully in the number “People Will Say We’re In Love.” Kelly in particular had a very impressive vocal range and handled the soprano Laurey, very well.

Providing the bulk of the comedy was the over-the-top, flirtatious Ado Annie (Esther Workman), her almost beau Ali Hakim (Kevin Sol) and his Persian Goodbye that makes her other, more serious suitor, Will (Spencer Waters) very jealous. Workman’s character was a nice contrast to Kelly’s Laurey, with slapstick that elicited riotous laughter, especially in her high-spirited number “I Cain’t Say No!”. Also hilarious, was the peddler man Ali Hakim, who was played with vigor by Sol, who stole scenes with his cheeky dialogue.

Though the principals did carry the show with their impressive solo numbers, the ensemble and the dance numbers were definitely of the same caliber. Most impressive was Laurey’s “Dream Sequence” and elaborate dance number where Kit Mahoney portrayed Dream Laurey and revealed her true feelings for her suitors: supported by strong female ensemble dancers. Not to be outdone, the boys ensemble also danced their way into the hearts of the audience in the number “Kansas City,” where the girls ballet was matched with heel clicking square dancing. It was notable that-even when the entire ensemble was on stage-they never stole focus from the principals, and were able to add to the scene without obstructing the plot.

The technical aspects of the show were altogether solid, especially the creative lighting, designed by Matt Lucas, Daniel McEwen, and Hyun Ho Lee, that chronologically followed the show, and not only set the time of day, but also changed to represent emotions onstage, especially in the “Dream Sequence”. The sound was spotty during some numbers, and at times the large orchestra overpowered the actors, but the runway that extended into the audience in front of the pit was utilized by the actors and made hearing them much easier. The stage crew must be given props for their near seamless and very quick scene changes that kept the flow of the show intact.

Free-wheeling and always energetic, the cast of Oakton’s Oklahoma! was a joy to experience that has one humming the tunes long after the final “Yeehaw!”

by Sarah Chapin of G.C. Marshall

Photo Gallery

Holly Kelly as Laurey, Henry Ragan as Curly Ari Veach as Jud, Henry Ragan as Curly
Holly Kelly as Laurey, Henry Ragan as Curly
Ari Veach as Jud, Henry Ragan as Curly
Oklahoma Cast Seth Pacheco, Esther Workman, Spencer Waters, Holly Kelly, Henry Ragan, Claire Mahoney
Oklahoma Cast
Seth Pacheco, Esther Workman, Spencer Waters, Holly Kelly, Henry Ragan, Claire Mahoney
Ari Veach, Henry Ragan
Ari Veach, Henry Ragan

Photos by Chris Papas

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