Oklahoma!

Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers


Directed by John Cramer
March 8 to 24, 2013


Read the Reviews:

Waukesha Freeman, WaukeshaNOW

Photos:
Click on a photo to see a larger image

Photos By Carroll Studios Of Photography

Volunteer of the Production

Julie Moore

Sponsored In Part By

WCT projects are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Cast 

Aidan Bagley

Bobby Baily

Anthony Bagley

Billy Bailey

Elizabeth Bagley

Becky Bailey

Evelyn Barta

Beth Bailey

Jeff Barta

Slim Bailey

Jacqueline Boelkow

Laurey Williams

Paul Burkard

Ike Skidmore

Christina Cefalu

Gertie Cummings

Ted Cefalu

Andrew Carnes

Tim Conn

Tom Wallace

Nathan Danzer

Ali Hakim

Catherine Davis

Gwen Cummings

Kaitlyn Downing

Jess Kellner

Elle Erato

Lily Lawrence

Seb Goeller

Joe Cummings

Emilie Grunfelder

Kate Tully

Sharon Grunfelder

Maureen Tully

Valerie Grunfelder

Maggie Tully

Brandon Haut

Curly McLain

Alex Johnson

Fred Lawrence

Sydney Johnson

Anna Elam

Tyler Johnson

Adam Elam

Jake Koch

Artie Carnes

Jonathan LaMack

Patrick Tully

Karl Magsig

Arnie Carnes

Max Mainwood

Will Parker

Jim Mallmann

Mike Tully

Denise Meagher

Aunt Eller

Mary Melter

Loretta Lawrence

Chantae Miller

Greta Cummings

Julie Moore

Ado Annie Carnes

Briitta (Welch) Moritz

Vera Wallace

Nicole Morley

Ellen Lawrence

Elizabeth Novacek

Vivian Skidmore

Bryan O’Connor

Cord Elam

Lee Piekarski

Kitty Elam

Alyssa Proell

Suzie Skidmore

Dorothy Riesing

Daisy Cummings

Mitch Roehl

Sam Kellner

Emma Schoultz

Abby Carnes

Hannah Snyder

Virginia Bailey

Danny Strayer

Jud Fry

Emily Thompson

Armina Elam

Alaina Valuch

Lizzie Kellner

Lisa Valuch

Leah Kellner

Debra Vanderpoole

Sylvie Skidmore

Jim Volden

Garrett Cummings

Jayden Welch

Hal Skidmore

Patty Wilson

Aggie Carnes

Production Staff 

Director

John Cramer

Music Director

Anne Van Deusen

Stage Manager

Kelly Krause

Scenic Designer/Master Carpenter

A.J. Simon

Costume Designer

Sallie Burkard

Lighting Designer

Scott Fudali

Sound Designer

Aaron Schmidt

Properties Designer

Michelle Tiarks

Choreographer

Becca Osmon

Wig Master

Anthony Mackie

InstrumentalEase Programmer

Jon Jones

Set Construction Crew

Phillip Alonge
Paul Burkard
Ted Cefalu
Vincent Cefalu
Nathan Danzer
Brandon Haut
Jim Mallmann
Julie Moore
Britta Welch Moritz
Bryan O’Connor
Shawn Spellman
Debbie Volden
Jim Volden
Jayden Welch
David Vanderpoole
Rachel Vanderpoole

Costume Construction Crew

Aleta Bernard
Jill Cefalu
Carol Dolphin
Carol Janz
Karen Jones
Joanie Kraus
Carol Montoto
Julie Moore
Lee Piekarski
Ellen Rohr
Sharon Sohner

Civic Theatre steps back with timeless classic

Energetic musical 'Oklahoma!' includes 50 cast members
By JULIE McHALE - TimeOut Theater Critic
March 14, 2013

WAUKESHA - “Oklahoma!” the first artistic collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein, occurred in 1943. Since then, this talented pair has created countless musicals that have endured for many years as classic favorites: “South Pacific, “The Sound of Music,” “The King and I” and “Carousal.” There has never been a pair more in synch than these two talents.

The Waukesha Civic Theatre has launched an impressive styling of this early gem under the auspices of artistic director John Cramer. With a large enthusiastic cast of 50 participants, they have transported us to a time around the turn of the 12th century when farmers and cowboys were battling for territory, while Curley and Judd were battling for the hand of Laurey Williams. Also, Oklahoma was about to join the Union, which was a historic event. It is a vigorous production, alive with soaring music, clever lyrics, scary conflicts, spirited dancing and poignant romance.

The strong leads - Jacqueline Boelkow as Laurey with her clear, lilting voice; Brandon Haut, not as strong on the vocals but excellent on the acting; Danny Strayer as the foreboding Jud Fry with his arresting good looks and resonant pipes; Denise Meagher as the tough but compassionate Aunt Eller; Max Mainwood as the persistent Will Parker, the ardent pursuer of Ado Annie, portrayed with spunk and verve by Julie Moore; and the Persian peddler Ali Hakim, comically rendered by Nathan Danzer, who provides a lot of humor as a foil for Will - all making a significant contribution to the story.

The male dancers are more interesting than those of the women, whose choreography is a bit bland. When the children are involved in the dance scenes, we are drawn in by their rambunctious energy. The show’s climactic ensemble number is decidedly “Oklahoma!” but the lovely “People Will Say We’re in Love” and catchy “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” are memorable, as well. For humor, “I Can’t Say No” by Ado Annie and “Poor Jud is Dead” by Curley and Jud are ringers.

AJ Simon’s sets are quickly changed and create the feeling of wide open spaces in contrast to Jud’s claustrophobic home in the smokehouse. Sallie Burkard’s costumes evoke the past on the frontier. Music director Annie Van Deusen did a fine job of synchronizing the group numbers though they were sometimes a tad ahead of the taped accompaniment.

The cast spilling out into the aisles made the audience seem a part of the story as the music surrounded us. The patrons were fully engaged throughout the show by the story, the music and its well-paced execution.

The Civic Theatre has a reputation for putting on quality musicals. Talented community folk flock in droves to the auditions because they know they will be a part of providing a treat for theatergoers. You don’t want to let this one pass you by.

Review Title

By Reviewer Name
Posted: Month 16, 2012

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WCT's 'Oklahoma!' far more than OK

By Marilyn Jozwik - WaukeshaNOW Theater Critic
March 12, 2013

There's a lightness and ease to Waukesha Civic Theatre's version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "Oklahoma!" that feels like "a hawk making lazy circles in the sky" from the title tune.

All the performers fit comfortably in their roles, like a well-worn pair of cowboy boots, and the familiar tunes were as sweet as the first bird of spring. The choreography just seemed to grow right out of the scenes on opening night like the corn stalks that covered the stage.

There is yet another aspect director John Cramer was able to extract from this well-known musical. Besides the fun, he has emphasized the funny. I never realized just how much humor there is in this show.

There was, happily, no attempt to tinker with the essence of this musical, but to simply allow the wonderful stories, beautiful songs and distinctive characters to materialize on stage as they were meant to.

The marvel is that this is one of the largest WCT casts in recent years - some 49 members. Yet, there is never a jumble of bodies on stage -- none of those traffic jams that come when a production tries to fit 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5-pound bag - even during the ensemble numbers

All this couldn't have been accomplished without strong collaborations with all those responsible, including music director Anne Van Deusen, choreographer Becca Osmon, stage manager Kelly Krause and others.

The charming love story of the handsome cowboy Curly and the pretty farm girl Laurey during the early 1900s when Oklahoma was preparing for statehood just never grows old. Neither do the other endearing characters like Will and Ado Annie, Aunt Eller and the smarmy peddler Ali Hakim.

Brandon Haut opens the show as Curly, strutting onto the stage and intoning "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning." Haut's voice is thin, but pure, and fits his mild-mannered character well. He's really met his match when Jacqueline Boelkow as Laurey bursts out of the farmhouse door and immediately takes charge in Scarlett O'Hara style.

The comedic fulcrum of the show is Aunt Eller, the go-to gal for family and townsfolk because of her wisdom concerning everything from romance to territory justice. Denise Meagher as Eller draws in the audience and her good sense and big heart make everyone wish she were their aunt.

Even more comedy comes from the Will and Ado Annie roles, played by Max Mainwood and Julie Moore. Ado Annie is a plum comedic role for any actress and Moore aces this test. Her "I Cain't Say No" is all wide-eyed naiveté and her pantomime alone could've told the story. Moore is perfectly paired with Mainwood, who combines his character's likability and dim-wittedness to a T. Both have incredibly expressive faces and movements that keep their scenes in motion.

Nathan Danzer as Ali Hakim gets a lot of mileage out of the peddler's many funny lines as his character finds all his amorous advances toward the female customers he meets on his travels get him into plenty of hot water.

The one bad guy in the show, Jud Fry, the loner farmhand who pines for Laurey, is played with apt sullenness by Danny Strayer, who pours out his feeling for his sorry lot in "Lonely Room."

A real plus for this show is the extensive choreography that never seemed heavy or plodding, even with many sizes, ages and skill levels of performers. Clever choreography used small groupings of dancers, who sometimes ended up in the aisles. Especially beautiful was "Out of My Dreams," with Laurey and the girls, which segued into the "Dream Ballet." Boelkow's Laurey moves with grace and urgency as she is torn between the two men who love her in the dreamsequence.

Musically this show is perhaps WCT's finest in recent years. Ensemble scenes have fullness of sound with beautiful blends, never sounding strident or harsh, even with a good many children in the cast. Each song left you wishing for more.

However, one thing the ensemble might want to watch for is reacting to the speaker too quickly, which happened a couple times in "The Farmer and the Cowman," stepping on a couple of good lines.

There is such a sense of genuine joy in this show that went beyond a forced exuberance. This cast was truly having fun, while keeping the integrity of show.

It only makes one wish that this era of the feel-good musicals would return.

Volunteer of the Production - Julie Moore

Julie is an extremely enthusiastic person. Her positive attitude and friendliness were contagious with the rest of the cast and crew. Not only did she have to commute to and from Whitewater during rehearsals and the performance run but she also volunteered additional time to help with the set. One cast-mate said that "Working with her is an honor."