Bright golden haze on the Regent

MILTON Musical Society has chosen the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Oklahoma! for its spring pro­duction at the Regent Centre in Christchurch, from Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th April.

Based on the 1931 Broadway play Green Grow the Lilacs, Oklahoma! was the first collaboration between composer Rodgers and lyricist Ham­merstein. After a 1943 Broad­way premiere, it became an immediate hit,  a bright beacon of hope for audiences during the dark days of World War II.

Oklahoma! came to the West End in 1947 with Howard Keel in the lead and eight years later got the full Hollywood treatment in the film starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger and Gloria Grahame.

This brilliant musical celebrates the pioneering spirit of the Old West.  The Indian Territory of Oklahoma, is about to join the Union but until then the rule of law has been the gun. The story of cowboy Curly and his rivalry with farmhand Jud for the hand of Laurey, mirrors the conflict between farmers and cowmen for supremacy in the Territory.

So many of the songs have become classics. Listen out for Kansas City,  All Er Nuthin, Pore Jud Is Daid, Surrey With The Fringe On Top, People Will Say We’re In Love, Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’ and of course the title song, with its whooping finale.

The Christchurch production is dir­ected by John Teather with musical direction by Lee Marchant and choreography by Stephanie Constantine-Smith

Alex Cook plays Curley, with  Shan­non Fisher as Laurey, Suzanne Teather as Aunt Eller, Adam Davis as Will Parker, Charlotte Deverill as Ado Annie, Martin Mansfield as Ali Hakim and Max White as Jud Fry.

Performances are nightly at 7.30 with a 2.30 Saturday matinee.

For more information, telephone 01202 499199 or visit the website, www.regentcentre.co.uk

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