One of Broadway’s most beloved musicals will come to life on the South Shore next month, when the Eastern Nazarene College Theatre Department presents its production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
To be presented in ENC’s Cove Fine Arts Center on the college’s main Quincy campus, Oklahoma! will run Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Oct. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m.
Director Tara Brooke Watkins noted the famed musical has special significance for her. “I’m an Oklahoma native, so I grew up with this show – it has a special place in my heart,” she said. “To me, Oklahoma!exudes warmth and family, and especially community.”
To that end, Watkins added, ENC’s production will feature teens and adults from the community as well as ENC students in the cast, all performing such classic Broadway show tunes as “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” “I Cain’t Say No” and of course, the title song.
“It’s been exciting to see students, professors, pastors and community m embers all come together to sing the music from this iconic musical,” Watkins said. “We will be making this as realistic as possible for a musical: The set will appear as an open Oklahoma prairie, with farmhouse and the surrey with the fringe on top.”
Set in a Western Indian territory at the turn of the last century, Oklahoma! recounts the romance between cowboy Curly and farm girl Laurey set against the backdrop of the local rivalry between farmers and cowboys.
When Oklahoma! first premiered in 1943, it was considered to be a groundbreaking musical for the way in which the songs were fully integrated into the story line. The show also marked the first collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein, earning the duo a special Pulitzer Prize.
Oklahoma! also broke new theatrical ground for its inclusion of a ballet dream sequence within the more conventional Broadway musical numbers and story line.
Eastern Nazarene College is located at 23 E. Elm Ave. in Quincy. Tickets for Oklahoma! are $15 general admission, $10 students and seniors, $5 children 12 and under. For tickets or more information, call the ENC box office at 617-745-3715 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.