Alexander and Knight’s Night of the Comets was commissioned by OCU Opera and Music after the couple's Strike A Match broke attendance records during the company’s 1999-2000 season. Production notes indicate the commission celebrates the "50th anniversary season of Oklahoma City University’s Opera and Music Theater Company."
The story by M.J. Alexander and her husband, Edward Knight revolves around a high school reunion and features themes of "revelry, reverie and revenge as well as an on-stage party band, pit orchestra, and dance numbers throughout."
Alexander and Knight's commission includes "a 30-week workshop, which is under way at OCU," which concludes with the Night of the Comets' premiere in the 1,100-seat Kirkpatrick Theater.
In a prepared statement announcing the commission and workshop, OCU cited several of its recent alumni for their prominent contributions in entertainment including 1999 Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, Tony nominee Lara Teeter, Roy Bean (Mary Sunshine in Chicago), Kelli O’Hara (Emma’s understudy in Jekyll & Hyde), Stacey Logan (Babette, Beauty & the Beast), conductors Jerry Steichen, Tim Long, and Linda Twine, TV’s Ron Raines, Susan Powell and Midge Woolsey; Grammy winner Mason Williams; and opera’s Leona Mitchell, Beverly Hoch, Chris Merritt, Barbara Fox DeMaio, Barbara McAllister and Demetra George.
-- By Murdoch McBride