Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd / Editor: Jillian Ball

2011

Sound of Music: Heart & Beauty!

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: Friday June 10th, 2011

“The Sound of Music” is an absolute perfect classic and one cannot help but expect to attend comparing the wonderful movie with Julie Andrews to any live performance. Jenny Rottmayer in the role of Maria Rainer is quite capable of enchanting the audience into forgetting to make that comparison from the very first scene. Her voice is crisp and pure and her interpretation of the young woman meant for motherhood, song and joy rather than reflection within the confines of a nunnery is genuine and convincing.

The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein tells the story from the book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse suggested by the true story of “The Trapp Family Singers.” It is the story of a young postulant nearly ready to take her final vows at Nonnberg Abbey. She is sent as a governess to the home of Captain von Trapp, a strict widower with seven children to care for. Continue reading

Alice in Wonderland: Great Talent

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: May17th, 2011

Fantastic fantasies are the bridge adults use to recapture the dreams of childhood lost. Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” is the book that showed us that our adult interpretations of childhood dreams and impressions are quite universal. The adaptation by Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus translate Carroll’s wonderful book into a fine stage production. Director Shawna Linck has the daunting task of bringing the play to life for Poteet Theatre audiences.

The play is a difficult project to mount with a large cast of unique characters. Of course the first order of business is to find the perfect youngster to bring Alice to life. Anna Hall is exactly the right young lady for this part. A fifth grade student, Hall brings a great deal to the interpretation of Alice and only a bit more experience is needed to fine tune some of her recitation skills in important pieces such as ‘Jabberwocky’. Continue reading

“Money Matters” Delightfully Comic

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: April 24th, 2011

“Money Matters” the final Jewel Box Theatre production for the season gives the audience a sense of delightful farce and British style comedy. Carole Brendlinger submitted “Money Matters” to the Jewel Box Original Playwriting Competition in 2002 and earned a well-deserved first place for the script. Don Taylor directs this production which has been brought back by audience demand. Taylor does a marvelous job of directing; actors have the opportunity to deliver some truly great one-liners and the audience has the opportunity to appreciate those moments. The action takes place in 1894, the basic story concerns a young questionably principled gentleman who decides to rescue his family status by marrying money, but he is unable to open his heart to his enthusiastic bride due to his mis-understanding of propriety. Continue reading

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” Great Effort; Great Cast

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: April 15th, 2011

The Pollard Theatre continues Seasons of Laughter with “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” a surprising musical. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is a musical based on a successful movie about two con artists creatively bilking unsuspecting wealthy women of their assets. The screenplay by Dale Laudner, Stanley Shapiro and Paul Henning is full of wit and twists. The book by Jeffrey Lane should be a good read. However, the musical does not translate fully. Music and Lyrics by David Yazbeck create an average musical for a great cast. Unfortunately, good directing and solid casting do not counter the fact that reducing witty repartee and complicated set ups to a series of song and dance numbers eliminates much of the nuance and challenge created in the original movie.

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OKC Improv a Must!!

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: Mon, Apr 11, 2011

OKC Improv twists the audience into apoplectic seizures once again with their line-ups. “The Ones Your Mother Warned You About” are, as always, outstanding as they seize a zany idea delivered by some hapless member of the audience and create improvisational humor around the idea with brilliant one-liners made up on the spot. Cristela Carrizales, Buck Vrazel, Clint Vrazel and Raychel Winstead deliver a series of six different ‘couple’ dialogues that reveal a complete understanding of common misunderstandings. Humor is very revealing, reminding us of the universality of miscommunication, and misdirection. That is, if we can stop laughing long enough to catch our breath!

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Fiddlin’, Pickin’, Grinnin’

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: April 1st, 2011

Back in the days of the Great Rebellion, many of us didn’t know much about bluegrass. Hearing the term made us think of Kentucky, but not Bill Monroe. Everything was about Rock & Roll. New and original, Rock & Roll is the music of a generation. Eventually we ran across The Flying Burrito Brothers and one of the best Rock & Roll experiences ever – “The Last of the Red Hot Burritos”. We discovered Byron Berline on the fiddle and we finally discovered bluegrass. We began to trace back Byron’s history in music and fell in love with bluegrass, and every album of every group Berline has been affiliated with. What a fiddle! Continue reading

Jim Garling — Cowboy Crooner

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: March 25th, 2011

Jim Garling is just about the most versatile crooner around. Garling frequently appears with Byron Berline and is also a member of the Sons of Sage – a group consisting of Garling, with Greg Burgess and Richard Sharp. Sharp and Burgess are regular members of the Byron Berline Band. Garling frequently appears solo, as well as with Berline or the Sons of the Sage, and occasionally with others. His performances are often scheduled at the R & R Restaurant & Event Center, 209 W. Oklahoma, Guthrie, Oklahoma. Continue reading

“Ain’t Misbehavin”….oh yeah……

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: March 12th, 2011

The whole joint’s a jumpin’ at Poteet Theatre in Oklahoma City through March 20, 2011. Nobody’s not being good exactly – they just “Ain’t Misbehavin’”! While not every one in the world is necessarily a jazz fan, every soul has just got to love Fats Waller. Thomas (Fats) Waller was born in 1904 and was already the organist at his father’s church by age 10. By 18 he was a recording artist making the ‘big time’. He died of pneumonia in 1943 (far too young) while touring across country. But in those years between he made a lot of great music, and those who loved his music loved his laughing life. He is known as a great symbol of Harlem and an inspiration to the civil rights movement. In 1978 the show “Ain’t Misbehavin’” co-written by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr. became a Broadway sensation as well as a tribute to his music. Continue reading

Radio Mystery Plays

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: March 11th, 2011

Sit back and close your eyes surrendering to the sweet bliss, not of sleep, but of imagination. Such are the days of the old time radio mystery plays. Let the mind fill in the blanks with wild flights of fancy as actors read fascinating scripts over the magic airways. The Jewel Box Theatre brings us back to our imagination with “Mystery Radio Plays.”

Artistic Director Chuck Tweed in collaboration with Director Linda McDonald visits cyber-space for several pre-television radio plays and presents them along with a few commercials as “Mystery Radio Plays”. Continue reading

“Biloxi Blues” A Credit to CityRep and Theatre OCU

Elizabeth Hurd  Published: March 9th, 2011

Neil Simon, one of America’s most popular playwrights, is considered a master of situational romantic comedy. His most critically acclaimed works begin with his autobiographical trilogy. “Biloxi Blues” is the second of this group, and certainly one of his best works. Published in 1985, the play loosely chronicles Simon’s wartime experience combining all the best elements of humorous dialogue with the challenging interchange between young men as they come of age in wartime conditions. Continue reading