Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Introduces 2018 Season
As Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma embarks upon its 56th season, audiences will have a chance revisit some of their favorite gospel hymns, follow the antics of Broadway's most recognizable matchmaker and dance in the aisles to a bevy of hits from music sensation ABBA.
Lyric's 2018 season includes three intimate productions at Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16 St., - Crowns (Feb. 7-25), Fun Home (April 11-29), and When We're Gone (Sept. 26-Oct. 14) - and three large-scale productions at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker Ave., - Disney's Freaky Friday (June 26-July 1), Hello, Dolly! (July 10-15) and Mamma Mia! (July 24-29).
Additionally, the theatre company will produce two season add-on shows - the children's favorite Junie B. Jones, The Musical (March 7-25) and the holiday classic Lyric's A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23-Dec. 24), both at the Plaza Theatre.
Starting Lyric's 2018 season is Crowns, an uplifting celebration of life that connects the love affair African American church women have with their hats to tales that recount memorable occasions in their lives. The production is brimming with witty storytelling and rousing gospel greats, including "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and "Just a Closer Walk." Based on the book by Regina Taylor, this production was adapted for the stage by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry and features direction from W. Jerome Stevenson and choreography by Hui Cha Poos. The cast includes Kimila "Kizzie" Ledbetter (Mabel), M. Denise Lee (Mother Shaw), Ashley Arnold (Yolanda), Delanie Phillips Brewer (Wanda), Kimberly Oliver (Velma), Nakeisha McGee (Jeanette) and Derrick Cobey (Man).
Following in the footsteps of James and the Giant Peach, Lyric's first foray into Theatre for Young Audiences this past year, Junie B. Jones will come to life on stage in March. This delightful adaptation of Barbara Park's best-selling books follows a tremendously loveable individual in a genuinely comical musical. With lively characters, fun story and upbeat music, first grade has never been more exciting. The production, directed by Lyric's Associate Artistic Director Ashley Wells, features Kristin Kuns as Junie B. Jones. The cast also includes Emily J. Pace, Micah Marine, Mahalia Groningan, Cole H. Cloutier and Justin Larman.
In early April, the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home will make its Oklahoma City debut. With book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, the production will be directed by Michael Baron, Lyric's Producing Artistic Director. Fun Home introduces the audience to cartoonist Alison Bechdel at three stages in her life as she explores and unravels the mysteries of her childhood. The refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes is based on a true story and won five Tony Awards in 2015. Starring in the production are Lyric favorites Lyn Cramer (Alison Bechdel), Mateja Govich (Bruce Bechdel) and Mandy Jiran (Helen Bechdel). The cast also includes Taylor Yancey (Medium Alison), Reese Freund (Small Alison), Coulter Hershey (John Bechdel), Connor Willis (Christian Bechdel) and Taylor Blackman (Roy). Broadway's Sandra Mae Frank, a groundbreaking deaf actress seen in Lyric's 2016 production ofFiddler on the Roof, will return to the Lyric Stage in the role of Joan, Alison's girlfriend.
In June, Lyric heads downtown for the "Summer at the Civic" starting with the regional premiere of Disney's Freaky Friday. This new musical adaptation of the beloved film is about a mother and daughter who, through a little mystic mayhem, wake up to the biggest freak-out ever - trapped inside each other's body. Written by Bridget Carpenter with Music and Lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the production is based on the novel by Mary Rodgers and features direction from Lyric's Michael Baron and choreography by Amy Reynolds-Reed.
Up next at the Civic Center, Lyric celebrates the wildly successful Broadway return of Hello, Dolly! with a lavish new production. The show, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart, is being directed by Lyric's Ashley Wells and choreographed by Matthew Sipress - both starred opposite Carol Channing on Broadway in Hello, Dolly! The tale of the widowed matchmaker Dolly Levi comes to brilliant life as she hunts for a bride for the "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder. With a sold-out run currently on Broadway, this is a rare opportunity to enjoy Lyric's grand staging of Herman's memorable score with a full orchestra and high-kicking choreography. Starring as the matchmaker in Lyric's production is Dee Hoty, a three-time Tony Award-nominated actress.
The summer season culminates with Mamma Mia!, the smash musical hit based on the songs of ABBA. A sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise where on the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother's past back to the island she last visited 20 years ago. The magic of ABBA's timely songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. From Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, this magical production is being directed by Lyn Cramer and choreographed by Rachael Dolan.
The season returns to the Plaza Theatre in the fall for When We're Gone, a world-premiere rock musical by Alana Jacoby and Scotty Arnold. Featuring direction from Lyric's Michael Baron, this production follows Todd, an angst-ridden teen, in plague-ridden, 14th-century London and his desire to make great art in a time of great need. This wildly creative new musical strikes a brilliant balance of modern day characters, a pop-punk score and the life-changing events of 1349. When We're Gone is the fifth production in Lyric's new works initiative, launched in 2014 with Triangle and followed by Bernice Bobs Her Hair(2015), Mann ... And Wife (2016) and Disney's When You Wish (2017).
Closing the year, Oklahoma's favorite holiday tradition, Lyric's A Christmas Carol, returns for its eighth year - opening the day after Thanksgiving. In Charles Dickens' timeless tale, three magical ghosts whisk the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge away on an unforgettable adventure of transformation and redemption. Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, The Fezziwigs and a host of unforgettable characters spring to life in Lyric's spectacular production sparking the holiday spirit in audiences of all ages. Broadway's Dirk Lumbard will return for his third year in the role of Scrooge.
Season tickets are available for all six mainstage productions starting at just $217 per person. For more information, visit LyricTheatreOKC.org or call Lyric's box office at (405) 524-9312.
About Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Founded in 1963, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is the state's leading professional theatre company. Lyric produces classic and contemporary musicals, new works, and plays featuring artists from Oklahoma and around the nation. Shows are presented at two Oklahoma City venues - the intimate Plaza Theatre and in the summer at the grand Civic Center Music Hall. Lyric's Thelma Gaylord Academy is the premier professional theatre training ground, offering classes in all aspects of the performing arts. Lyric is a nonprofit member theatre of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Allied Arts. For more information, visitwww.LyricTheatreOKC.org.