The Friday 5: OKLAHOMA's Baugher, Bupp, Riggs and Lamb
2015 First Night Honoree Martha Wilkinson directs - with musical direction by Tim Fudge, and choreography by Curtis Reid and Lauri Gregoire - the first collaboration from Music City Theatre Collective and Metro Parks Theatre Department of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, running at the Centennial Park Bandshell June 17-July 2.
Matt Baugher stars as Curly, Corrine Bupp is Laurey, with Andy Riggs as Jud Fry and Amanda Lamb as Aunt Eller. Today, the four actors take on our Friday 5 queries, offering you some insight into what makes them tick - and work so well together - and they explain why you should come see the show!
Matt Baugher (Curly)
What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? The first show I remember seeing was The Magic Show on Broadway with Doug Henning when I was 8 years old. I was mesmerized. And the first production that I was in was a Summer theatre production of Once Upon a Mattress. My Dad was the lead and I was just a kid wearing embarrassing tights.
What is your favorite pre-show ritual? As much quiet as possible up until it's time to warm up. That and hot water with lime.
What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? That's an easy one. The 2013 BRT production of Noises Off where I got the stomach flu 15 minutes before the start of the show and kept leaving the stage to throw up, then coming back on and trying to do all that slapstick while balancing myself on other cast members. That was quite a night!
What's your dream role? The Phantom.
Who's your theatrical crush? Laura Benanti
SUPER-SECRET EXTRA-SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: Why should people come see OKLAHOMA? An incredible cast, unforgettable songs, and a reminder of a simpler time. Food for the soul amidst the craziness of our world.
Corinne Bupp (Laurey)
What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? The Wizard of Oz. It was the first musical I saw and the first couple musicals I was in! Always a munchkin...
What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Anyone that's done a show with me knows that I run around a bunch before a show - it warms me up and gets me excited. However, I don't think getting 'warm' is going to be an issue at the bandshell.
What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Oh, goodness...I once got my wisdom teeth taken out at all night clinic in Anaheim and then did a 9:30 am performance for hundreds of children the following morning. Nothing will compare to that nonsense.
What's your dream role? I feel like it changes daily but the one that will always remain is 'Dorothy' in The Wizard of Oz. That show is the reason I got into this and it's incredibly dear to me.
Who's your theatrical crush? I don't think I have an answer for this! I admire so many people!!!
SUPER-SECRET EXTRA-SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: Why should people come see OKLAHOMA? Because it's beautiful and you shouldn't miss an opportunity to sit under the stars and be surrounded by fireflies while enjoying a classic.
Andy Riggs (Jud Fry)
What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? The first thing I saw in a theatre was the ballet, Peter Pan. I was five years old and I remember my mom talking to me before the show about the importance of being still and silent in my seat. The dancers only said one word, "PIRATES!" I remember that being the coolest thing!
What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I feel more comfortable if I walk around the stage. It seems like a small thing but the physical act of standing on the stage before a show makes me feel better about my performances.
What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Without a doubt watching the stage manager of my first play army crawl behind the ground row to check on a child. She locked her knees during the Christmas Pageant portion of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and fainted off the risers.
What's your dream role? Sweeney Todd, if I'm being realistic. The Phantom, if I could somehow become an operatic tenor through witchcraft or the miracle of modern medicine.
Who's your theatrical crush? Renée Elise Goldsberry. Fantastic singer, actor, and mother. Phenomenal rapper (look up her rap in the BET Hamilton cypher from last year: "Like Sojourner she's the truth, Hand on the Bible; Book of Esther, Book of Ruth).
SUPER-SECRET EXTRA-SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: Why should people come see OKLAHOMA? Working on Oklahoma! has been an honor and a blessing. I've had the advantage of seeing lots of the company numbers from the audience and I can say with certainty this show is not to be missed by fans of musical theatre.
Amanda Lamb (Aunt Eller)
What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? I was in a few church Christmas plays, but the first "big" show that I saw was Cinderella at Cherokee High School in my hometown. I was in third grade, and I still remember thinking it was the most amazing thing ever. I wrote several entries in my Hello Kitty diary about it.
What is your favorite pre-show ritual? My favorite preshow ritual is having good dressing room conversations. There is also the necessity of having an acting pill before you go on...aka an Altoid breath mint. Daron Bruce calls them that, and it has stuck.
What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? My most memorable "show must go on" moment had to be when a snake decided to join our performance of Annie one night at Chaffin's Barn. It was pretty epic.
What's your dream role? My dream role is just to be able to keep being on stage. It really is a dream within itself.
Who's your theatrical crush? My theatrical crush right now is the entire cast of Oklahoma! They are a positive, hard-working bunch!
SUPER-SECRET EXTRA-SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: Why should people come see OKLAHOMA? It's in a beautiful setting at the park, you can picnic and then enjoy a historical piece of musical theatre that a ton of work has gone into. Also, good looking cowboys!
About the show: 2015 First Night Honoree Martha Wilkinson directs - with musical direction by Tim Fudge, and choreography by Curtis Reid and Lauri Gregoire - the first collaboration from Music City Theatre Collective and Metro Parks Theatre Department of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, running at the Centennial Park Bandshell June 17-July 2.
All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with pre-show entertainment beginning at 6:30 p.m. All performances are entirely free to the public with a suggested donation of $10 collected at the gates before the show. The high-spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful backdrop for the love story between Curly (played by Matt Baugher), a handsome cowboy, and Laurey (played by Corinne Bupp), a winsome farm girl. With these two at the reins, the road to true love is about as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road.
The cast also includes Amanda Lamb as Aunt Eller, Andy Riggs as Jud, Everett Tarleton as Will Parker, Mallory Mundy as Ado Annie, Tyler Evick as Ali Hakim, Sawyer Brown as Andrew Carnes and Joy Todd as Gertie. The ensemble members include: Millicent Martin, Rae Robeson, LaDarra Jackel, Caressa Alan, Ashley Wolfe, Jaclyn Brown, Melissa Silengo, Michael Spencer, Austin Olive, Scot Patrick Wilson, Jess Darnell and Iordanis Ekimogloy