John Cudia, Ashley Brown, Curtis Holbrook and Jenn Gambatese Set for Oklahoma! at Lyric Opera of Chicago
By Adam Hetrick
John Cudia, Ashley Brown, David Adam Moore, Jenn Gambatese and Curtis Holbrook will star in the Lyric Opera of Chicago staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein's American classic Oklahoma!, which will be helmed by Gary Griffin (The Color Purple) in spring 2013 at the Civic Opera House.
The production, which runs May 4-19, 2013, will use the original Agnes de Mille choreography, staged by veteran choreographer Gemze de Lappe and Victor Wisehart. James Lowe will conduct a 37-piece orchestra performing the original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations.
Cudia (Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) will portray Curly, with Brown (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast) as Laurey, Moore (Candide) as Jud, Gambatese (All Shook Up) as Ado Annie, Holbrook (Xanadu) as Will Parker, Paula Scrofano (Sunset Boulevard) as Aunt Eller, Usman Ally (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) as Ali Hakim, Matt DeCaro (Camino Real) as Andrew Carnes and Andrea Prestinario (Side Show) as Gertie Cummings.
The production team includes set designer John Lee Beatty, costume designer Mara Blumenfeld and lighting designer Christine Binder.
Oklahoma!, the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, was originally titled Away We Go. During out-of-town tryouts, the addition of the song "Oklahoma!" proved so rousing, it became the title of the musical as well.
Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs, the beloved musical features such songs as "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning," "People Will Say We’re In Love" and "Surrey With The Fringe On Top." The original production premiered at the St. James Theatre in 1943 and ran for 2,243 performances.
The Civic Opera House is located at 20 N. Wacker Drive. For more information, visit lyricopera.org.
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