Classic Broadway musical opens Friday
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville High School Drama Club will perform the musical “Oklahoma!” at the high school Nov. 6-8.
Megan Meyers, co-director of the production, said it was a long process in choosing “Oklahoma!” as this year’s musical performance.
“You have to find one that matches the musical ability of the group. You have to find one that has the right number of boys and girls, dance scenes, and they have to have the right fit with our group,” Meyers said. “Once we picked the musical we were really excited because it has a lot of chorus numbers.”
In addition to the chorus numbers, Meyers said she is excited to once again have the school band as part of the performances.
“Our band scene is bigger this year,” she said. “I’m very excited about that. We’re excited to have a full band and we’re excited about the whole show.”
“Oklahoma!” was Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s first collaboration. It is set in a western Indian territory around the turn of the century. A spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys provides the background, as Curly, a cowboy, and Laurey, a farm girl, play out their love story.
Once the musical was chosen, work began immediately on preparing for the upcoming performances.
“We started the second week of September with auditions and we’ve been going ever since,” Meyers said. “We’ve been doing set construction on Sundays. We’ve had a lot of parents show up and help us out.”
With the success of last year’s performance of “Bye Bye Birdie,” Meyers said there was more interest by students and the community for this year’s musical.
“We had a lot more people show up for auditions,” Meyers said. “There is a lot more buzz about it. I had a lot of community members approach me during the summer telling me that they were excited. I even had one person hand me money who said, ‘Here, this is a donation to the program.’”
After auditions, those involved in the production have spent many hours during nights and weekends rehearsing and building the stage sets, Meyers said.
To give those attending the musical performances the atmosphere of a professional musical, a playbill will be provided this year.
“We asked for ads from local businesses and we actually created a playbill, just like you would get if you go to a Broadway theater,” said Leah Armstrong, co-director. “It will have quotes from the seniors, advertisements, and a colored cover.”
Armstrong said the addition of the playbill is an attempt to provide the students with the most “professional experience” possible.
There will be three performances. The performances on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7 will be held at 7 p.m. The matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 8 will be at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $7 at the door.
For the Sunday performance only, a Cowboy BBQ will be held prior to the show. From 12 to 1:30 p.m., in the CHS cafeteria, Bubba’s pulled pork, baked beans, slaw, dessert and drinks will be served. Adult meals will be $10, with a child meal at $5.
Those who want to attend Sunday’s show and the Cowboy BBQ, can buy a ticket and meal for $15 for adults, and $10 for children.
All proceeds benefit future CHS Drama Club productions.
Meyers said those who attend one of the performances can expect a “boot-stomping good time.”
“They’re going to see the kids’ hard work paying off. It’s going to be fun,” Meyer said. “The show is going to be exciting to watch and there’s going to be a lot of really strong characters.”