CCM presents an All-American classic as it continues its 2011-12 Mainstage Series with the production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Presented Nov. 17 through Nov. 20 at Corbett Auditorium, the musical features celebrated guest artist Pamela Myers, an original alumna of CCM’s Musical Theatre program.
Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, Oklahoma! was the first collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, and the musical first premiered on Broadway in 1943. Set in Oklahoma Territory in 1906, it tells the story of the romance between cowboy Curly McLain and farm girl Laurey Williams, as both Curly and the sinister Jud Fry vie for her heart.
Director and Choreographer Diane Lala is thrilled to take on this timeless classic, and she feels it will serve as an invaluable learning experience for all of the students involved. One of the most popular musicals of all time, Lala asserts that, “the reason Oklahoma! gets done so many times is because it’s just so good.” Her choreography stays basically true to that of the original by Agnes De Mille, but with a distinctly CCM flair. Lala’s goal is to highlight the revolutionary choreography that made Oklahoma! so unique, stating that “the dancing came out of the characters – the dances weren’t just numbers that interrupted the show, they actually let you know more about the characters and the dream ballet really advanced the plot.”
CCM is excited to welcome Tony Award-nominated alumna Pamela Myers back to CCM for this production. Myers will be playing the role of Aunt Eller in all five performances. For senior Julia Johanos, who is playing the role of Laurey Williams, the opportunity to collaborate with an accomplished professional has been both fulfilling and fun-filled. “It’s been really inspirational for all of us,” says Johanos. “She’s never afraid to just jump into something.”
For senior John Riddle, this production’s Curly McLain, the learning experience has had additional significance due to the fact that Myers was the first graduate of CCM’s acclaimed Musical Theatre program. “It’s been really special to have that person with us who paved the way for what the program has become,” says Riddle.
Johanos is also very appreciative of the opportunity to perform a classic musical as well-known as Oklahoma!, which she feels has something to offer all generations. “Oklahoma! is a classic, but Diane has taken it in a really exciting direction.”
“In the first 20 minutes you’ve got big hit songs and it’s so wonderful to hear them in their context. There’s a lot of history that goes with it,” says Lala. CCM’s production of Oklahoma! promises to delight audiences with its classic tunes and show-stopping dance numbers.
About Pamela Myers
Myers was the first graduate of the CCM Musical Theatre Program developed by her voice teacher Helen Laird and Dean Jack Watson. After graduating she went to New York and was cast in Company, the Stephen Sondheim musical, for which he wrote her a song. She was then nominated for a Tony award for her performance in that production.
Myers has starred in regional theaters around the country in such shows as Harold and Maude, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Sunday In The Park With George, I Do I Do, Annie Get Your Gun, Steel Magnolias and back to Broadway for the revival of Into The Woods. She additionally had the pleasure of working with Charles Schulz creating the role of Peppermint Patty in Snoopy. She appeared with Marvin Hamlisch and Jerry Herman on In Performance At The White House on PBS and guest starred on numerous TV shows such as Happy Days, Alice, Starsky and Hutch, Major Dad and Sha Na Na. Myers has also guest starred with the Boston Pops, the Cincinnati Pops, and the Carnegie Hall Tribute to Judy Garland.
Myers appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
- Thursday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.
- Friday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 19, 2 & 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m.
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
Tickets & Parking Information
Tickets to Oklahoma! are $27 matinee/$29 for adults, $17 matinee/ $19 for students. $11 student rush tickets will be available for the Saturday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 19; limit two rush tickets per student ID.
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (at the base of Corry Boulevard off of Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. For complete ticket and parking information, visit ccm.uc.edu or call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.
Oklahoma! Principal Cast List:
- Pamela Myers* as “Aunt Eller” (guest artist)
- John Riddle as “Curly McLain” (senior from Vermilion, Ohio)
- Julia Johanos as “Laurey Williams” (senior from Louisville, Colorado)
- Patrick Shelton as “Ike Skidmore” (senior from Seattle, Washington)
- Matthew Amira as “Slim” (junior from New York, New York)
- Eric Huffman as “Will Parker” (senior from Lenexa, Kansas)
- Chris Blem as “Jud Fry” (senior from Tampa, Florida)
- Michelle Rombola as “Ado Annie Carnes” (senior from Buffalo, New York)
- Nick Laughlin as “Ali Hakim” (senior from Fairfield, Ohio)
- Connor Deane as “Fred” (sophomore from Orange, Connecticut)
- Katie Johannigman as “Gertie Cummings” (senior from Cincinnati, Ohio)
- Pierce Cassedy as “Andrew Carnes” (senior from Tallahassee, Florida)
- Matthew Hill as “Cord Elam” (sophomore from Los Gatos, California)
* The Actor appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
- *Lisa Slama, stage manager
- *Brittany McManus, costume designer
- Mark Williams, lighting designer
- *Marcia Willard, wig & make-up designer
- *Douglas P. Wilken, sound designer
- Roger Grodsky, musical director
- Diane Lala, director and choreographer
* CCM student
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theater Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
Production Sponsor: Leo Munick, MD & Alice Fegelman