Hanson and Thatcher Stage Non-Equity Oklahoma! Tour, Launching Dec. 16

News   Hanson and Thatcher Stage Non-Equity Oklahoma! Tour, Launching Dec. 16 The new non-Equity national tour of Oklahoma! will be directed by Fred Hanson and choreographed by Ginger Thatcher, who are adapting producer Cameron Mackintosh's recent London and Broadway productions created by Trevor Nunn and Susan Stroman.

Some regional engagements of the touring musical were announced by local presenters in recent months. It launches Dec. 16 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Tour producers Ken Gentry/NETworks, announced the full itinerary May 27. Dates are booked to August 2004.

The tour will retain the West End and Broadway set and costume design by Anthony Ward and lighting by David Hersey.

The musical was a London sensation for its gritty approach, offering the characters as hardscrabble pioneer folk rather than cute musical comedy cutouts. The 1943 musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein is a watershed show that integrated book, music, lyrics and dance like never before in theatre history.

After its London revival run in starting in 1999, a run on Broadway was shorter than expected, starting in the 2001-02 season.

The starless tour cast will be made up of non-Equity performers. Gentry previously told Playbill On-Line that talks with Equity to make the show union didn't pan out. Director Hanson has staged the national tours of Miss Saigon and the Lincoln Center Theater production of Carousel. He served as associate director to Nicholas Hytner on the Broadway productions of both shows, and directed Miss Saigon at the St. Louis Muny. He was on the production staff of Cameron Mackintosh, Inc. for more than 10 years, supervising productions of Oklahoma!, Miss Saigon and The Phantom of the Opera, and worked on the original Broadway production of Les Misérables. He worked on the following Broadway productions and national tours: Execution of Justice, Zorba, Agnes of God, 42nd Street and Evita. He first worked on the production staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera.

Choreographer Ginger Thatcher worked on The Red Shoes, Carousel, Big, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame (Berlin), as well as with American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada (Othello, A Braham's Symphony, The Red Shoes).

The NETworks national tour of Oklahoma! will visit over 25 cities in 2004 including Atlanta, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Detroit, New Orleans, Boston, Costa Mesa, CA, and Houston.

The schedule includes:

  • Denver's Buell Theatre Dec. 16, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004
  • Minneapolis's Orpheum Theatre Jan. 6-11, 2004
  • Appleton, WI's Fox Cities PAC Jan. 13-18, 2004
  • Atlanta's Fox Theatre Jan. 20-25, 2004
  • Nashville's Tennessee PAC Jan. 27-Feb. 1, 2004
  • San Antonio's Majestic Theatre Feb. 3-8, 2004
  • Portland, OR's Keller Auditorium Feb. 17-22, 2004
  • Salt Lake City's Capitol Theatre Feb. 24-29, 2004
  • Seattle's Paramount Theatre March 2-7, 2004
  • Chicago's Palace Theatre March 9-21, 2004
  • Wallingford, CT's Oakdale Theatre March 23-28, 2004
  • Columbus, OH's Ohio Theatre March 30-April 4, 2004
  • Philadelphia's Merriam Theatre April 6-11, 2004
  • Cincinnati's Aronoff Theatre April 13-25, 2004
  • Norfolk's Chrysler Auditorium April 27-May 2, 2004
  • Detroit's Fox Theatre May 4-9, 2004
  • New Orleans's Saenger Theatre May 11-16, 2004
    Buffalo's Shea PAC May 18-23 2004
  • Boston's Colonial Theatre May 25-June 6, 2004
  • Tempe, AZ's Gammage Auditorium June 8-13, 2004
  • Costa Mesa, CA's Orange County PAC June 15-20, 2004
  • Houston's Hobby Center July 6-18, 2004
  • Milwaukee's Marcus Center Aug. 3-8, 2004