Oklahoma! - Musical ☆☆☆3
Showing from - Tuesday, September 15, 2015 through till Saturday, September 19, 2015
Brewhouse Arts Centre - Burton-upon-Trent
Bill Pritchard | Wednesday, September 16, 2015
This production by Burton's Mellow Dramatics got off to a slow start on opening night which I put down to first night nerves and I'm sure the cast will pick up the pace during the run.
That said though, there are some solid individual performances from the leading players as one of the town's best amateur groups brings Rodgers and Hammerstein's first musical together to life.
Based on the play, Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, it is set in Oklahoma Territory at the start of the 20th century and tells the story of cowboys a'romancin' farm girls.Cowboy hats off to The Mellow Dramatics for bringing an old favourite to life again
Throw in a travelling salesman and a sullen wretch and them's the protaganists.
Andrew Warner as leading man Curly McLain has a fine voice which is heard before he is glimpsed in the opening number Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' a clever device which had the audience looking round.
Andrew is ably abetted by Helen Donnelly's Aunt Eller, as usual a reliable turn from her. Along with Rachel Wallis as his love interest Laurey Williams these three form the spine of the show.
The other couple whose on/off love affair is charted in Oklahoma! - Ado Annie and Will Parker played by Hannah Parker and Rhys Jones - provide many of the comic moments that lighten the darker events on stage. They are 'assisted' in their struggle for love by Ali Hakim, slickly played by Calum Launchbury.
The standout performance for me though was that of Joe Bromfield as the malignant Jud Fry who was the most sociopathic Jud I have come across.
Most dance numbers were lively but the 15 minute dream ballet sequence did slow the proceedings down. There were also times when dialogue was lost under the music.
Cowboy hats off to The Mellow Dramatics though for bringing an old favourite to life again.
I do hope they continue with their policy of bringing new works, such as Honk! and Bad Girls to the Brewhouse stage but as the audiences attest you cain't say no to the tried and tested shows.
Oklahoma! continues at the Brewhouse Arts Centre until Saturday 19th September with performances at 7.30pm every night and a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
For ticket details contact the Brewhouse box office on 01283 508100
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