Finally, there is an escape for students suffering from the capricious spring weather and the stress of upcoming finals. The time has come to indulge yourself with two hours of colorful cornfields and sunny days in UPROD’s production of “Oklahoma!”.
With the current war and other maladies evident in this troubled world, a pleasant family show is exactly what many may need. Flowery and familiar songs such as “Oh what a Beautiful Morning!” and “Oklahoma!” promise to distract audiences from current issues and present them with an array of vivid dance numbers and magical scenes from times long ago.
Though the show is peppered with fun and uplifting moments, it still manages to relate to today’s issues and offer advice. The show’s main character, Curly, explains in a monologue that, “The world is changing and we’ve got to change along with it.”
Director Linda Goodrich-Weng agrees that “Oklahoma!” has a profound message for audiences. She explains, “In these times of pessimism, we focus on troubles in life.” She then added that rather than portraying the world tragically,” “Oklahoma!” is a celebration of the human spirit.”
Goodrich-Weng and her actors have prepared extensively for the upcoming production. They have taken no shortcuts and their rehearsals have included a dialect coach to perfect the Oklahoma accent. Every cast member has developed an intricate character in the show. Everyone, from the ensemble to the leads, has their place in the community.
Special features of the show include the Dream Ballet choreographed by Mark Esposito and the song “Kansas City.”
A devoted cast ensures that this show will be special. Cast member Alex Michaels says, “I can’t think of a more beautiful or exciting way to do my first production at U of M.” Thomas Berklund, who plays Slim, adds, “I’ve never felt more prepared for a show … I think it’s going to be quite impressive.”