Published March 9, 2006
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” the sweeping musical triumph, is the fifth musical production presented by the Cathedral Players on behalf of the Buckhead Christian Ministries. The group, which is the theater ministry of the Cathedral of Christ the King, will present performances of this popular musical on the weekends of March 24-26 and March 31-April 2.
Hardly anyone, especially investors, expected the original 1943 Broadway production of “Oklahoma!” to succeed, but this musical’s smash box-office record was a tribute to its remarkable music, freshness, imagination and the magic that still holds audiences spellbound from the opening curtain. It was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration and remains, in many ways, their most innovative, having set some of the standards of musical theatre still being followed today. “Oklahoma!” originally ran on Broadway for almost six years, breaking all records. The high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides a colorful background. The enormous vistas of love, anger, jealousy and revenge come alive in the early 20th-century Western Indian territory now known as the state of Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma!” depicts the romantic ups and downs of Laurey and cowboy Curly and the flirtatious antics of Ado Annie, accompanied by one of the most beautiful soundtracks in musical theater history, including the songs “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” and, of course, “Oklahoma!” The death of the vengeful Jud is the climax of this riveting story.
Actor Dave Azzarello plays the old-school cowboy “Curly,” a man’s man who’s very comfortable and confident with who he is, what he can do, and what he honestly believes he should have. Azzarello appreciates his character’s “heart-felt appreciation for overlooked things such as a beautiful morning or the simple beauty of a hawk’s lazy circles in the sky,” sentiments seemingly lost in today’s sensory-overloaded world. Opera singer Katie Baughman is “Laurey,” whom she describes as stubborn and “too proud to admit her feelings about Curly.” But Baughman feels that Laurey “shows strength when she stands up to the dangerous Jud.” A native Atlantan, she once sang in Christ the King’s children’s choir and feels excited to now sing in the Cathedral Choir. Her biggest challenge in this production is learning lines—this is her first musical, and opera singers usually don’t need to learn lines. Kim Englehardt plays “Ado Annie” and says her biggest challenge is to find the humor, movements and facial expressions to make the audience laugh. Englehardt says Ado Annie has taught her not to second-guess herself and to go after the things she really wants in life. She started singing and dancing at age 3; her first musical role was in “Gypsy” at age 8.
The Cathedral Players will present “Oklahoma!” on Friday-Sunday, March 24-26, and on Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. Those interested in attending the play can purchase tickets at the link on the Christ the King Web site,
www.christtheking-atl.org. Tickets can be ordered using PayPal or by printing out and mailing in an order form with payment. Tickets may also be purchased after all Masses at the Cathedral on March 12 and March 19 or at the door on the day of performance.
For more information, call (404) 233-2145 (x648) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.