Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

August 10, 2012

Local production was more than OK

By LISA SIMPSON STRANGE
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Growing up, I loved watching “old” movies on television. Some of my favorites were the musicals, especially anything by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

 “The Sound of Music,” “The King and I,” “South Pacific,” “Carousel” and, of course, “Oklahoma” became much beloved and I watched them again and again. They introduced me to lyrics and music that resonate with me to this day.

I was pleased when I found out the Glasgow Summer Theater was doing a production of “Oklahoma” last weekend and was able to attend the Sunday matinee. I'm happy to report the cast, musicians, dancers and crew did not disappoint.

I warned my seat mates before the show, one of whom had once played Curly in an Off-Broadway production in Tulsa, that I might get carried away and begin to sing along, but good sense prevailed and I refrained. Fellow audience members can thank me now – I'm one of those people who can't carry a tune in a bucket.

A really good song performed well on stage in front of a live audience can raise goosebumps for the listener and that happened to me several times during the show on Sunday.

J. Robert Lindsey as the male lead, Curly, gave a strong performance from beginning to end singing such favorites as “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin,'” “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” and “People Will Say We're in Love.”

This young man will be sorely missed on the local stage as he goes out into the world in search of a wider audience for his talents.

Sayard Kelly as Laurey, the female lead, delighted with her renditions of “Many a New Day” and “Out of My Dreams.”

Making her debut with this production, Highland Elementary Principal Sharon Flowers was wonderful in the role of Aunt Eller. I think she has found a second calling beyond education.

Rick Barnes kept the audience laughing in his portrayal as the peddler, Ali Hakim, and Nick Swayne, one of my former Scottie band kids when I was a band parent/chaperone was convincingly menacing as the villain Jud Fry.

The addition of a dance ensemble to the production added depth and visual interest to the performance.

My favorite moment came at the end with the company performance of the title song, “Oklahoma.” The blending of voices was wonderful – definitely a goosebump moment.

This community is very blessed to have such a rich pool of talented performers. I hope we continue to support them with our time, financial resources and patronage to make more productions like “Oklahoma” possible in the future.