The Mansfield Operatic Society is returning to the stage soon with a sparkling production from Oklahoma!

Opera song
Don’t miss Oklahoma!, presented by the Mansfield Operatic Society at the Mansfield Palace Theater from March 9-13. (Photo by David Stringfellow)

The company is thrilled to combine wonderful music, storytelling and dancing, brought to life by a great cast and an incredible 15-piece orchestra, along with dynamic direction and choreography, in a production of Rodgers’ classic musical. and Hammerstein Oklahoma!, running at the Leeming Street site March 9-13.

Tickets for the show cost £15 at the box office 01623 633133 or book online at www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre

The original musical Oklahoma! had a huge impact on the theater and became one of the most

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influential musicals written in the 20th century, which is why the Mansfield Operatic Society felt it was the show to do.

Oklahoma! was a unique show as it blended character, plot, song and dance in pursuit of a dramatic and cohesive storytelling, pairing memorable music with themes and messages throughout the production.

It also brought together the famous duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein, who created many more brilliant musicals, including Carousel, South Pacific and The Sound of Music, as well as past productions of MAODS (Mansfield

Amateur opera and theater society).

Curly McLain (Sean Curtis), Aunt Eller (Ann Colgan) and Laurey played by Amy Shaw (photo by David Stringfellow)

Set in the western territory of India in the summer of 1906, the fiery rivalry between local farmers and cowboys serves as the backdrop for the love story between Curly, (Sean Curtis) a handsome and confident cowboy, and Laurey, (Amy Shaw) a beautiful farm girl, who lives with her doting but feisty Aunt Eller (Ann Colgan).

There’s a social box coming up, and Curly asks Laurey if she’ll be his date. The problem is that Laurey thinks he’s waited too long and, in a fit of anger, instead accepts an offer from boorish farmhand Jud Fry (Wayne Shutt), a mysterious loner.

This decision by Laurey sets off a very dangerous chain reaction of “primitive violence” events and pushes the plot forward, making Oklahoma a new style of theater for its time.

Oklahoma! presents a 15-minute “dream ballet” originally choreographed by Agnes De Mille in 1943.

Rodeo hero Will Parker (played by Jamie Savage) and troublesome Teen Annie (Helen Mumby) in the Oklahoma production by the Mansfield Operatic Society! (Photo by David Stringfellow)

De Mille’s choreographic style meant that dance was used as a medium to tell the story instead of filling in the gaps of the musical performances. The “Dream Ballet” expresses Laurey’s struggle with her conflicting feelings about her two suitors, Curly and Jud.

Choreographed by Cassey Brough-Savage, the expressive, modern, dark and elaborate dream sequence, including mood lighting, enriches the plot using traditional dance mixed with contemporary dance, tap and classical ballet.

Laurey’s dream turns into a nightmare, unsettles her and drives the musical’s second act.

Cassey is “excited for the casting of ‘Oklahoma!’ as they rose to the challenges of this show and we are delighted to share that with our Mansfield audience”.

The refrain from the MAODS production of Oklahoma! (Photo by David Stringfellow)

Life President Pam Frith is “proud that, despite the struggle of the past two years, the theater is returning to Mansfield with Oklahoma” and her beautiful music by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

“Enjoy the show’s iconic opener, Oh What a Beautiful Morning plus The Surrey with the Fringe on

Top and People Will Say We’re in Love, alongside many other famous classics that make this a must see show! Under the musical direction of Paul O’Leary, the direction of Ally Sadler and the choreography of Cassey Brough-Savage, you will not be disappointed!

Music Director Paul O’Leary can’t wait to see the show again, with its wonderful songs and incidental music.

Having previously played the show with MAODS, he knows how good it is and feels that with this cast, this orchestra and the revised score, it will be a magnificent show.

MAODS President Paul Williamson remembers playing in Oklahoma! back in 2011.

Don’t wait too late to buy your tickets to see Oklahoma!

“In our 116 years, the Covid virus is the only time we have been prevented from performing, apart from the two world wars.

“Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II loves the theater and Oklahoma! is her favorite musical production, which is another reason you should come see the show, especially as we prepare to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022″.

If you are interested in joining MAODS, please contact Jamie Savage, MAODS Secretary on 07453 575350.

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