Lyric Stage Presents OKLAHOMA!, 6/15-24

Lyric Stage presents Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA!, with music by Richard Rodgers, book by Oscar Hammerstein II, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and original Dances by Agnes De Mille, based on the play GREEN GROW THE LILACS by Lynn Riggs. The show runs June 15-24, 2012 in the Irving Arts Center's Carpenter Performance Hall, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, Texas. Performances are June 15, 16, 21, 22 & 23 @ 8:00 PM and June 17 & 24 @ 2:30 PM. Tickets are available online @ or by calling the box office @ 972-252-2787.

When a young cowpoke strolled onto the stage of the St. James Theatre on March 31, 1943, the American musical comedy was changed forever. For the first time, story, song and dance were integrated and the modern American musical was born. Rodgers & Hammerstein's first collaboration, OKLAHOMA!, was a musical adaptation of Lynn Riggs' play GREEN GROW THE LILACS. Lyric Stage's production of OKLAHOMA! will feature a full 33 piece orchestra playing Robert Russell Bennett's newly restored original Broadway orchestrations.

Cheryl Denson will direct a cast of 33 actors, singers and dancers, and Lyric Stage music director Jay Dias will conduct the 33 piece Lyric Stag e Orchestra. Agnes De Mille's original dances will be the inspiration for choreographer Ann Nieman. The youthful cast includes Bryant Martin (Curly), Savannah Frazier (Laurey), Sean McGee (Will Parker), Erica Harte (Ado Annie), Kyle Christopher Schnack (Jud), Deborah Brown (Aunt Eller), Brad Jackson (Ali Hakim), James Williams (Andrew Carnes), Jonathan Bragg, Mallory Brophy, Alex Bush, Hayden Clifton, Tyler Donohue, Danielle Estes, Emily Ford, Anthony Fortino, Doug Fowler, Zac Gamet, Martin Guerra, Maranda Harrison, Whitney Hennen, Doug Henry, Kyle Hughes, Elise Lavallee, Colleen LeBleu, Reid Malone, Annie Merritt, Delynda Moravec, Mackenzie Orr, Michael Pricer, Mandy Rausch, Daniel Saroni and Lana Whittington.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's first collaboration remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theater still being followed today. Set in a Western Indian territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides 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. That they will succeed in making a new life together we have no doubt, and that this new life will begin in a brand-new state provides the ultimate climax to the triumphant OKLAHOMA!

OKLAHOMA! opened at the St. James Theatre on Broadway on March 31, 1943. At that time, the longest running show in Broadway history had run for three years. OKLAHOMA! surpassed that record by two more years, running for a marathon 2,212 performances. The national tour cris-crossed the United States of America for an unprecedented 10 and a half years, visiting every single state, and playing before a combined audience of more than 10 million people. In 1947, OKLAHOMA! opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, where it ran for 1,548 performances, the longest run of any show up to that time in the 267-year history of the theatre. In 1953, the Oklahoma State Legislature named "Oklahoma" the official state song. In 1955, the motion picture version of OKLAHOMA!, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones and produced by Rodgers and Hammerstein, was released to great success. Major revivals were seen on Broadway, in London's West End and across Australia in the early '80s.

To date, more than 600 productions of OKLAHOMA! are licensed a year in the U.S. and Canada alone. Productions of OKLAHOMA! have been seen throughout Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and in Berlin, Johannesburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Rekjavik, Tel Aviv, Budapest, Belgrade, Paris and beyond.

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