“Oklahoma,” a box-office smash when it hit Broadway in 1943, is gracing the stage of a local high school 70 years later.
Students at Discovery Canyon Campus are performing the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical April 12-14 and are sure to please the crowd with their performance.
Set in 1906 in the Oklahoma Territory, the story is that of cowboy Curly McLain and his attempts to win the heart of his love interest, Laurey Williams. But every romance has a twist, as does this one, when Laurey rejects Curly’s offer to the social dance and instead agrees to go with the evil Jud Fry.
The story takes many twists and turns and also involves Aunt Eller, Will Parker, Ado Annie, Ali Hakim and Gertie Cummings.
“We wanted to do ‘Oklahoma’ because we want the kids to have a variety of musicals and plays,” said Amy Keating, DCC drama teacher, adding that this is only the school’s s second musical. “We did ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ last spring and that was more modern. We wanted a classic.”
“This is the best thing I’ve done in high school,” senior Rachel Shumway said. “I’ve established myself somewhere in the school. I’m excited to put on the performance.”
This is the first musical Shumway has performed in. An accomplished singer with the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, she decided to join theater for her last year of high school and is playing the part of Aunt Eller.
Acting isn’t new to senior Kevin Buzzetta, who plays the part of Jud Fry. Buzzetta often plays the bad guy.
“It’s much more fun than playing the good guy,” Buzzetta said, adding that he wants to pursue acting and is planning to study theater next fall at the University of Northern Colorado.
Buzzetta said he enjoys performing in “Oklahoma” and for him there is a push to put on a good production.
“It has a lot more singing and dancing to it. It’s a classic. Everyone knows the songs,” Buzzetta added.
For assistant director senior Billy Burckel, “Oklahoma” has given him the opportunity to direct his first musical. Although he doesn’t plan to pursue a career in directing, he does plan to stay involved in theater.
“I’m absolutely going to continue in community theatre,” Burckel said.
The students can’t wait to entertain the audience with the production they have worked so hard for, and are hoping that this performance will help establish a reputation for their musicals.
DCC’s performance of “Oklahoma” will take place at 7 p.m. April 12, 13 and 14. There will also be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. April 14. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $6 for children 10 and under.