The MCC theatre department is currently presenting Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic 1943, musical “Oklahoma” directed by Tracy Williams. The musical is based on the Lynn Riggs 1931 play “Green Grow the Lilacs.” “Oklahoma” was conceived by the Theater Guild, a New York City theater company that adapted Riggs’ play to a musical format. Prior to “Oklahoma,” acting and music were only combined in the variety shows. It was Roger and Hammerstein’s first work together and opened to a large success in 1943. The theater department’s production was executed flawlessly and brought the rustic, campy feel of Oklahoma to life for the audience.
The Rogers and Hammerstein classic is set in turn of the century Oklahoma. The story revolves around a small, close-knit community before Oklahoma was admitted into the union. Our main characters Curly McLain, (Tanner Vidos) a young cattlemen and Laurie Williams (Lindsay Jolliff) Curly’s elusive love interest, leads our cast in this comedy.
The story puts Curly, and Laurie in a strange love triangle with another suitor of Laurie’s, Jud Fry played by Bruce Ayers and follows the young couple’s friends, Ado Annie Carnes, played hilariously by Rachael Hodge and Will Parker, played by Timothy Cabal, through their romantic mishaps.
Musically it was an impressive evening. Vidos’s vocals were commanding and perfectly complemented by Jolliff’s siren-like voice.Vocally, the breakout star of the evening was Rachael Hodge, who brought Ado Annie’s flirty character to life. Hodge kept the humor high all evening. Beyond the laughs, Hodge’s vocals were awe inspiring.
Elan McMahan and Carol Liu Seefeldt played dual pianos and gave the production a whimsical Honky-Tonk feel.
The stage set was simple but effective. The feel of the set was rustic. I could smell fire pits in the distance when I closed my eyes. Set changes went smoothly and without event. Oklahoma struck a chord that resonated with the audience.
Oklahoma runs through the March 19.
Curly McLain–-Tanner Vidos
Laurie Williams–-Lindsay Jolliff
Jud Fry–-Bryce Ayers
Aunt Eller Murphy–-Joanne Kissinger
Ado Annie Carnes–-Rachael Hodge
Will Parker–-Timothy Cabal.J
Judge Andrew Carnes–-John McCoy
Ali Hakim-–Samuel Hayden Sproul
Gertie Cummings-–Sawyer Henderson
Ike Skidmore-–Maxwell Dannenberg
Cord Elam-–Don Naegele
Joe Zachary-–Ryan Elliott
Skidmore’s Wife–-Ana Reyes
Skidmore’s Daughter–-Annabella Rojas