by Paula Citron
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma abounds in energy, is visually gorgeous, features eye-catching production numbers, and is graced with strong performances. It is a definite what’s-not-to-like.
This production also includes every scrap of music R&H wrote for the show, including all reprises, which makes for a long if complete Oklahoma. More importantly, using all the music, including Jud Fry’s “Lonely Room”, helps sharpen the dark side of the musical.
Director/choreographer Donna Feore is in her creative element. Her “Dream Ballet” actually uses Blythe Wilson, Dan Chameroy and David W. Keeley – the real Laurey, Curly and Jud respectively – instead of substitute dancers, which adds to the story’s authenticity.
Patrick Clark’s sets and costumes are to die for as is Alan Brodie’s lighting. The cast is an embarrassment of riches. Along with the talented three leads, Nora McLellan, Jonathan Ellul, Lindsay Thomas and Kyle Blair are delightful in their secondary roles. Clearly, a must see.
Oklahoma continues until Nov. 4.
From the Stratford Festival Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.