note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Bob Guenthner a k a The Old Grump
Alternate Cast Review
This was my second trip to see this Oklahoma. I had to see if the alternate cast would retain the magic the first one had. I can honestly say that I was not disappointed, not a waste of time by a long shot.
Zachary Hardy played Curly. Now in my humble opinion, Zach doesn't spend enough of his time on stage. He is a busy guy in other ways, but show goers like myself would like to see more of him. He has rugged good looks, with a fine singing voice. He also is very relaxed and sure of himself as an actor.
It was Aimee Doherty's turn to play Laurey. When I first found out that she was doing Laurey, I had my doubts that her voice was up to this role. I was definitely wrong. Aimee was a delight to listen to as well as look at. She is one of the more active players in local theater. When not on stage, she can be found going to a show.
The fellow that did Will in this version was Michael Parson. You will have to search long and hard to find a better sounding tenor voice.
Ray O'Hare was just as good this week as last. He made a great Ali.
Melissa Sousa did nothing to change my mind about her work as Ado Annie. Beautiful girl, beautiful voice, beautiful performance.
I do have to mention Carrie Van Meter. This young lady always plays sweet little girls in shows. I just love the way she does these types of roles
One of my favorite people had to go and injure herself, robbing me of the pleasure of seeing her perform. Susan Walsh was due to play Aunt Eller but went down hurt. She has my sympathy and best wishes.
There were a couple of other people I would have loved to have seen. Jim Jordan as Ali, and the lovely Eleni Kmiec as the Dream Laurey. You can see this show several times, and never see the same combinations. It makes for very interesting Theatre going.
Bob Guenthner AKA the old grump
I haven't voiced my opinion on anything for quite awhile. After seeing Oklahoma I had to come out of my temporary retirement. This is a rousing, athletic adaptation of the famous musical.
Louis Lourens is a handsome young lad. He has the perfect looks to play Curly, and does a good job.
Laurey was played by Kaja Schuppert. A lovely looking blonde, with a lovely voice. She was perfect as Laurey.
Tracy Nygard was Aunt Eller. She gave a happy performance. Her smiles looked genuine. She was having a good time doing her thing.
Chuck Walsh did Andrew Carnes. It's about time he did a role that corresponded with his true age. You know, 70 or 75.
James Tallach was the nasty Jud. I always thought he was a nice guy, but I think his true self came out in this part.
Ray O'Hare was Ali Hakim. There is nothing new I can say about this guy. He always gives his all. Rumor has it that he is going to give the big city a go in a couple of months. I for one am going to miss him. I wish him luck.
The combination of Rob Klimeczko as Will Parker, and Melissa Sousa as Ado Annie, were a strong couple. Rob has a big, good sounding voice to go with his on stage enthusiasm. Melissa was a sexy and gorgeous Ado Annie. I don't think I have seen anyone play this role better.
The direction and choreography was excellent. Jennifer Condon and Patricia Strauss worked wonders in the show. Both of them had talented people to work with, but they made them even better.
Jeff Gardiner was able to take a large stage production, and make it work in this tiny area. He is a master at using folding sets. I marvel at his ability to do his thing.
I am cutting back on my driving, but I just have to see the other half of the split cast. I am familiar with their work, so I know I will enjoy myself.