The N.C. Theatre Conservatory will present the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma" from July 7 to July 9 at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
The show is a culmination of the N.C. Theatre Conservatory's Master Summer Theatre Arts School, a four-week camp with an emphasis on pre-professional training and is made up of middle school students to rising college students. Yes, these are kids on stage, but they are incredibly talented kids up there. In fact, last year's Conservatory show, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat," won a Broadway World Raleigh Award for Best Local Production. The production also will feature a kids chorus of elementary school children.
The show is directed and choreographed by Tito Hernandez, the dance department head, who made his Broadway debut in the Tony award winning musical Jerome Robbins' Broadway. His other credits include Bob Fosses' Dancin', Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats, the National Tour of Evita and The Gingerbread Lady starring Oscar winner Shelly Winters. He also has worked with the N.C. Theatre for many years.
"Oklahoma!" tells a tale of young love in a land of endless possibilities. Memorable songs include "People Will Say We're In Love" and "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin."
The show will star Carly Grissom (Laurey), Jack Russell Richardson (Curly) and Matthew Sheaffer (Jud Fry).
Grissom is a recent graduate of Broughton High School, who is finishing her tenth and final year with the Conservatory. She's headed to Shenandoah University to pursue a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. This also is Richardson's tenth and final year as a Conservatory student. In the fall, he will attend Ithaca College for a B.F.A in Musical Theatre. And Sheaffer is a rising senior at Ravenscroft. This is his fourth Master Summer Theatre Arts School production.
Shows are 7:30 p.m., July 7; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., July 8; and 2 p.m., July 9. Tickets start at $25. The Conservatory's website has the details and ticket information.