Tri-School Productions is as pleased as a pig in a peach orchard to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s quintessential American musical, Oklahoma!, to the Gellert Auditorium March 24th through April 1st.
“Oklahoma is a show that takes the audience on an adventure that touches upon themes of independence and loyalty and emphasizes the importance of community,” says Notre Dame senior Celisse Tan who plays Aunt Eller, the voice of reason to the young sweethearts in the show.
Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, the spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys provides the backdrop for the story of two pairs of lovers and all that stands in their way. Serra junior Holden Boger plays Curly, a charming cowboy who can’t quite admit his feelings to the girl of his dreams. “Curly begins the musical an overconfident and immature cowboy without a care in the world. At a pinnacle moment, he finally understands that he must not confuse cockiness with strength and discovers what truly matters in his life,’ says Boger.
The belle in question, Laurey, is played by Mercy junior Isabella Torre. On portraying Laurey, Torre says “Laurey is independent and very headstrong but she is also very delicate. She knows that deep down she is in love with Curly but her pride and sass get in the way.” Because of their stubbornness, the would-be happy couple faces a major hurdle. Serra junior Daniel Shuette is Jud Fry, the hired hand at Laurey’s farm, who wants Laurey for himself. “Jud is interesting. He’s a damaged character with a tough background, but that’s what make playing him so intriguing, and fun for me as an actor,”
It’s wouldn’t be a romantic comedy without the laughs! Another couple in the territory is having troubles of their own. Ado Annie (Mercy senior Michelle Curran) is torn between Will (Serra junior Zach Smallman), a cowboy with a zest for life who has strong feelings for her, and Ali Hakim (Serra junior Gabe Rodriguez), a peddler and ladies’ man who doesn’t want to marry her. Says Curran, “Ado Annie is a well known character, and the challenge of interpreting her growth from the girl who “Cain’t Say No” to claiming it’s “All Er Nothin” has been a joyful opportunity.”
With timeless music, showstopping dance numbers and all the down-home hospitality they can muster, the Tri-School Productions family can’t wait for you to join them down on the farm in Oklahoma!