Wednesday, July 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Oklahoma’ will sweep audiences away

By
From page A10 | April 24, 2013 |

Laurey (Laura Woodruff) and Curly (Travis Nagler) share a moment during the Davis Musical Theatre Company's production of "Oklahoma!" Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

That’s the ticket

What: “Oklahoma!”

Where: Davis Musical Theatre Company, 607 Peña Drive

When: 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:15 p.m. Sundays, through May 12

Tickets: $18 general, $16 seniors and students (Plus $2 facility fee)

Info: Call 530-756-3682, visit www.dmtc.org

A big “Yeeow! Aye-yip-aye-yo-d-ee-ay!” to Davis Musical Theater Company for its energetic opening weekend of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”

This show hits high marks across the board from strong direction and choreography by Jan Isaacson, a strong cast, Jean Henderson’s great costume designs (though I have to admit those cowboys had the shiniest boots I’ve ever seen!), and music direction by Chris Congdon.

“Oklahoma!,” the first musical collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein — who later brought the world the likes of “Carousel,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and “Sound of Music” — changed the face of musical theater history when it debuted in 1943, for telling an emotional story through music, lyrics and dance as had never been done before. Based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs, “Oklahoma!” brought something akin to folk art to professional theater and won a Pulitzer special award and citation for music in 1944.

One dare not look too closely at the plot of this musical, for there is little there. At a time when musicals are just as likely to have a dark side as a cheery side, the story of a boy and a girl, their friends and a lunch box social is not exactly likely to provoke much psychological introspection.

The story is set in the Oklahoma territory in 1907 — the days just before statehood — and touches ever so lightly on the ongoing feud between farmers and cattlemen, though that definitely takes a back seat to the story of Curly, a cattleman, in love with Laurey, who lives on a farm with her Aunt Eller and the hired man, Jud Fry, the dark character who has his eye on Laurey, while Laurey has her eye on Curly.

Travis Nagler isn’t quite your typical pretty boy Curly, but looks every bit the catttleman and delivers solid vocals whenever he opens his mouth. His relationship with Laurey (Laura Woodruff) showed some sparks, especially in their verbal battles with one another, and they were believable in their romantic scenes.

Nagler also does his own dancing in the dream sequence with “Dream Laurey” (Kaylin Scott) and “Dream Jud” (Gabe Avila).

Woodruff was a lovely Laurey, with a beautiful soprano. I particular enjoyed her scenes of introspection, when she talks about her dreams and seems to escape into that wished-for world. It was very moving.

Mary Young reprises her 2006 performance as Aunt Eller, one of her better roles. She’s a crusty old dame, reluctant to let her softer side show, and commanding enough respect that everyone listens to her.

Outstanding was Scott Scholes, as Will Parker, in love with Ado Annie (Ashley Holm) and just returned from Kansas City, where he entered a rodeo trying to win $50 so he can marry the girl of his dreams. His “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City” was a real show stopper, especially with the choreography for the cowboys.

Holm is perfect as Annie, the hormonally charged young woman who just can’t say no to any man who “talks purdy” to her. In Will’s absence she decided she’s in love with the Persian peddler Ali Hakim (Avila), who eagerly returns her interest, but his own interests don’t really lead toward the altar.

Avila was fun as Hakim who is a typical traveling salesman until he finds himself in a romantic mess. He finds a clever way to extricate himself from a bad situation.

Left out of the program, but still an important character is Andrew Carnes (Michael Davis), Annie’s father who refused to permit Annie to marry Will unless Will could show some responsibility by coming up with $50 cash. For Davis, this was one to check off his bucket list, as, after a productive lifetime, he has finally appeared on stage in a musical … and has done a credible job of it too!

I always have trouble with the plot line and the character of Jud Fry (Steve Isaacson). Jud is the “bad guy,” the “outsider” whom nobody likes and who turns violent in the end. Isaacson owns this role. He brings humanity to Fry and gives the audience a glimpse of why he is the way he is. It is a beautiful and moving performance and makes me wish that Isaacson appeared on stage more often, since he is such a talented actor.

In this week, when we have once again seen the length to which “outsiders” will go when they become angry, I couldn’t help thinking of the bombers of Boston and all the other “outsiders” we have witnessed in the news in recent years.

Jud’s “outsiderness” is even more apparent when there is a more or less a sham trial following his death, in the front yard of Aunt Eller’s house, where the judge laughs and pronounces Curly not guilty of murder so the young folks can get on with their honeymoon and not bother about a more formal trial at the courthouse.

One suspects that had it been Fry who killed Curly, the response of folks would have been quite different.

However, “Oklahoma!” is not a message show, unless the message is to kick up your heels and have a good time, which the DMTC audiences certainly will have if they are fortunate enough to catch this production.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Center for Families hosts Summer Carnival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vintage car show planned this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis native named a Schweitzer Fellow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Share your love of nature with young wetlands visitors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Movies in the Park return this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Tips, techniques will give you a green thumb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    How the Bockler wasp got its name

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    DHS Class of ’94 set 20th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Kiwanis golf tournament supports local agencies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Grief support focuses on journaling

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Violence as entertainment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Shocked at vampires story

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Paul Krugman: Corporate artful dodgers

    By Paul Krugman | From Page: A6

     
    Nicholas Kristof: The world’s coolest places

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Gravel mining affects us all

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nightmare on Ballpark Drive for River Cats

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Fiona Buck pushes the limits in para-athletics

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s rally to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    RootStock kicks off ‘Día de Albariño’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Folk musicians will jam in the Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    YoloArts to host a state of change exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    UCD professor Andy Jones named Davis’ new poet laureate

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Molten art on display at Davis Arts Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Brady earns top honors at State Fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Smither releases new CD Saturday at The Palms

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6