Two hundred and fifty folk were transported to the farming plains of Oklahoma in the 1940s Tuesday night, laughing and tapping their toes to the magic that was happening on stage. The lights came up and Aunt Eller, played by Carnie Reimers, began churning butter. Her green bonnet in place and her stage make-up perfect, she enthralled the audience. The play kicked off and the audience was clearly spellbound.
Oklahoma! is well cast and the best part of the show is the boundless energy. The viewer can’t help but love being part of the special night because the performers obviously love every minute of being on stage.
As always there are some favorite moments: Makali’I Kelen seems born for her part as Ado Annie. She is charming, flirtatious and funny as she belts out the song “Can’t Say No” and then later allows a very funny Ali Hakim, played by Duke Gaston, to kiss her up one arm and down the other. It is fun to watch Curly, played by Bryant Zebedy, and Laurey, portrayed by Teeri Komwenga, develop their relationship through songs such as “People Will Say We’re in Love.” On the serious side, Tommy Kabua, plays a convincing, dark and moody Jud Fry.
If you didn’t see the play yet, don’t even think about leaving during the intermission. The first half was wonderful but the second half outshines the first. Aunt Eller begins Act II as she auctions off Ado Annie’s basket. Will Parker, played by Jobod Silk, does a grand job as he cautions Ado Annie in song that he expects “All Er Nuthin.”
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