Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Heritage High School Oklahoma!

By • Apr 5th, 2011 • Category: Cappies

Imagine a single spotlight shining down upon on one of America’s most iconic cowboys, Curly McLain–hoping to win the affection of Laurey Williams–as he sings “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin.'” And don’t forget the spirited Aunt Eller, the vivacious Ado Annie and her man Will Parker. Mix it all together and you’ve got Oklahoma! as presented by Leesburg’s Heritage High School.

Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, this timeless classic composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein debuted on Broadway in March 1943 and was a huge hit at the box office. Set against the backdrop of Oklahoma’s quest for statehood in the early 1900’s, Oklahoma! tells the story of Curly and Laurey’s romance.

Christi McCarthy shined as the ingenue Laurey Williams. McCarthy’s angelic voice was pitch perfect and her captivating portrayal of Laurey was spot on. Brandon Spann played the male lead, Curly McLain. His energy was infectious and his vocals resonated with passion. Their duets were endearing and mesmerizing, especially in their duet “People Will Say We’re in Love.” The two actors had dynamic chemistry on stage, making their portrayals of their distinguished characters seem natural and believable.

Hannah Johnson clearly had a good grasp of Ado Annie’s character, charming the audience with her enthusiasm and lively vocals. In the role of Judd Fry-his vocals advanced far beyond his years-was Christian Meudt: each note was sung with pure perfection, each line delivered with clear motivation. Meudt and Johnson gave standout performances.

The always anticipated “Dream Ballet” was a medley of superbly combined dances, featuring choreographer Allison Perhach as Dream Laurey. Her dancing capability and the precision of her every move were stunning to watch. In addition to her fancy footwork, Perhach had fabulous facial expressions throughout. The Dream Ballet also featured an ensemble of dancers who never fell short of expectations.

Heritage High School’s production came to life with the energy and charisma produced by the entire cast as well as the pit band. The vocals meshed in perfect harmony, and everyone was in step throughout the elaborate dance numbers. The production even incorporated a children’s ensemble to join in on the big ensemble numbers such as “The Farmer and the Cowman” and the title song, “Oklahoma.” The enormous ensemble, though not flawless, never lost focus.

Though scene changes could have gone a bit more swiftly, in general, Oklahoma‘s technical elements-such as the simple but effective set, designed by Jack Martin, Garrett Hill and David Bates–added to the country feel of the production. The costumes were fabulous and fitting for the time period.

You just “Can’t Say No” to Heritage High School’s Production of Oklahoma!

by Margaret Murphy of Fairfax High School

Photo Gallery

Hannah Johnson, Raymond Calderon, Tyler Schulze Brandon Spann, Christi McCarthy
Hannah Johnson, Raymond Calderon, Tyler Schulze
Brandon Spann, Christi McCarthy
Hannah Johnson, Raymond Calderon Devon Isaac, Tyler Schulze
Hannah Johnson, Raymond Calderon
Devon Isaac, Tyler Schulze
Christian Meudt Allison Perhach, Tyler Schulze
Christian Meudt
Allison Perhach, Tyler Schulze

Photos by JJ Engelbrecht and Rocco Tenaglia

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