‘Oklahoma!’ comes to Virginia

Sarah Coleman and Mac McMullen in "Oklahoma!"
Sarah Coleman and Mac McMullen in "Oklahoma!"

The Radford University Department of Theatre and Cinema is showcasing its production of the musical “Oklahoma!” in April. Originally premiering in 1943, “Oklahoma!” is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

“Oklahoma!” is set in the great plains of America in 1906 and tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and the sly farmhand Jud Fry who fight for the affections of the farm girl Laurey Williams.

“When it comes to music and the sets and the costumes and everything else coming together, it’s probably one of the most elaborate shows I’ve been a part of and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Mac McMullen of Midlothian, who plays Curly.

“I think the audience is really going to enjoy it because it’s so fun and it’s so upbeat,” said Sarah Coleman of Tazewell, who plays the main character Laurie. “It always just drives straight towards the end so there’s never going to be a moment when anybody is bored.”

The musical features 33 people in the cast, including professional guest actor Robin Brooke, who is playing Aunt Eller. "Oklahoma!" is choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Amy VanKirk with the musical direction by Emily Blankenship-Tucker.

The cast of "Oklahoma!"

The cast of "Oklahoma!" pictured left to right: Chris Phillips, Tori Unterberger, David Ratliff, Mac McMullen, Sarah Coleman, James Nugent and Alex Espinosa.

“I want the audience to enjoy it,” said Wesley Young, director. “I want it to be fluid and fun and it will be colorful and pretty to look it because I’m striving to keep the set open in reflection of the openness of the country where it’s set.”

“When audiences get here they should expect a lot of laughs and romance,” McMullen said. “There are fights, ballet, jokes. There’s really something for everybody in this show.”

”Oklahoma!” has universal themes of being happy and wanting to settle down and to have a place to breathe free,” said Young. “I want the audience to be uplifted. I want them to be hopeful like the characters.”

The shows will take place at the Pridemore Playhouse on April 10, and April 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and on April 15 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are free to Radford students, $10 for general admission and $6 for Radford Faculty and staff, seniors 55 or older and groups of ten or more. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 540-831-5289 or by visiting the box office website.

'Oklahoma!' actors interview

Apr 2, 2018
Andrew Pence