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Oklahoma

Date

11th October 2013

Society

Wigan Musical Theatre Group

Venue

St Michael's Parish Hall

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Tracey Dawson

Musical Director

Joan Bond

Choreographer

Alexandra Keogh

Report

Author: Patricia Connor

Oklahoma was the first musical written by the team of Composer Richard Rodgers and Librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. It opened on Broadway in 1943 and was a big box office smash. It is still as well received today by audiences as it was then and this production by ‘Wigan Musical Theatre Group’ was no exception.

 There were some good characterisations in this production Alexandra Keogh sang nicely suiting the part of Laurey very well and Dave Cox gave a good believable performance as Curly they both acted and sang well together.  Debbi Mulligan was a suitably ditsy Ado Annie and gave a very good enjoyable rendition of ‘I Caint Say no’. Lee Sillery as Ali Hakim gave a very good performance as the wheeler dealer peddler; he had very good comic timing which gave his performance the added dimension. Karl Heaver gave an energetic performance as Will Parker which included some well executed dance moves and John Clinton was suitably dire and seedy as Jud Fry. Christine Armstrong gave a very good characterisation as Aunt Eller and she also had good comic timing, and Ken Rees as Andrew Carnes and Marie Graham as Gertie Cummings  also gave good characterisations in their parts. There were some very good American accents among the cast however on occasions the dialogue was not clear and it was a little hard to follow what was being said but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the production. The chorus sang well and also supported the principles well.  All the cast worked well together and sang the well-known songs with great enthusiasm and gusto. The songs were well received by the audience and a number of the audience were singing along with the music around me.

Choreography by Alexandra Keogh was appropriate for this production and was suitable most of the time for the size of the stage although on a few occasions the cast did appear a little short of room. The small band led by Musical Director Joan Bond played and supported the company well. Costumes were very nice and colourful although I personally wasn't quite sure about Laurey wearing dungarees in the first act. Scenery was effective, looked nice and was appropriate for the size of the stage, so well done to the stage crew, props and also sound and lighting.

Congratulations to Director Tracey Dawson for a very enjoyable show and thank you for an entertaining evening and for making me welcome