From the streets of New York to the Atlantic Ocean, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma will send patrons on a transatlantic voyage this summer that promises to make news headlines and leave them dazzled by Hollywood movie magic.
OKLAHOMA CITY — From the streets of New York to the Atlantic Ocean, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma will send patrons on a transatlantic voyage this summer that promises to make news headlines and leave them dazzled by Hollywood movie magic.
The Summer at the Civic season includes three, all-new, large-scale, fully-orchestrated productions at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker Ave., opening with Singin’ in the Rain (June 25-30), continuing with Disney’s Newsies (July 9-14) and concluding with Titanic (July 23-28).
Celebrate Hollywood’s Golden Age with Singin’ in the Rain, a romantic, musical-comedy classic. Your entire family will dance, laugh and sing along to a memorable score featuring a lush orchestra and big splashy production numbers, all while it magically rains on the entire Civic Center stage.
“Singin’ in the Rain is one of my favorite movie musicals, and I can’t wait to bring it to life in full technicolor – live on stage,” said Lyric’s Producing Artistic Director Michael Baron, who is directing the summer season opener. “With set designer, Uldarico Sarmiento, recreating the classic film, including a replica of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and Jeffrey Meek’s costumes dripping with Hollywood glamour, this is going to be one of the most sumptuous productions Lyric has ever done. And, of course, it will rain on stage! I can’t wait to work with this all-singing, all-dancing cast!”
The cast includes Jeremy Benton (Don Lockwood), Richard Riaz Yoder (Cosmo Brown), Tatum Grace Ludlam (Kathy Seldon), Lexi Windsor (Lina Lamont), Lyn Cramer (R.F. Simpson), Andi Dema (Roscoe Dexter) and Phoebe Butts (Dora Bailey/Miss Dinsmore). Written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the production features music by Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Arthur Freed. Singin’ in the Rain will feature choreography from Cramer and musical direction by Brian Hamilton. In addition to designers Sarmiento and Meek, the production will highlight sound design by Anthony Risi, lighting design by Helena Kuukka, properties design by Courtney Strong and stage management from Julie Meyer.
Up next at the Civic Center, Lyric delivers Disney’s Newsies, which is sure to “Seize the Day.” Incredible dancing and rousing anthems raise the roof in this thrilling story of the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. A spirited crew of rag-tag orphans win the hearts of a nation in this unforgettable Disney musical. When publisher Joseph Pulitzer raises the price of what he charges the newsies to sell his “papes,” the street kids are faced with the prospect of being unable to feed themselves or their families (if they have them) and hastily form a union and strike.
“This high-energy production is filled with incredible dancing that will leave many of our patrons inspired to jump in and help ‘carry the banner’ with these newsboys,” said Ashley Wells, Lyric’s Associate Artistic Director, who is directing this production. “You can’t help but empathize with the newsboys who were primarily the sons and daughters of immigrants. They became newsies because they had to help their families survive the oppression and disadvantages of being poor in turn-of-the-century New York City.”
Returning to Lyric in the lead role of Jack Kelley is Sean Watkinson, seen in Lyric’s 2019 summer productions of Disney’s Freaky Friday, Hello, Dolly! and Mamma Mia! and Jimmy Mavrikes (last seen in Lyric’s Girlfriend) as Davey. The production also features Mattie Joyner (Katherine Plumber), W. Jerome Stevenson (Joseph Pulitzer), M. Denise Lee (Medda Larken) and Sam Brinkley (Crutchie).
Newsies will feature choreography from Amy Reynolds Reed, musical direction from Jan McDaniel, set design by Kimberly Powers and stage management by Laurena Sherrill. Lyric’s remaining designers from Singin’ in the Rain return to this production – Meek (costumes), Kuukka (lighting), Strong (properties) and Risi (sound). Newsies was written by Harvey Fierstein and features lyrics by Jack Feldman and music by Alan Menken.
Lyric’s Summer at the Civic culminates with Titanic, which features a cast of more than 40 and a choir of more than 75 voices. The engineering feat of 1912 takes center stage in this Tony Award-winning Best Musical. Based on real people aboard the legendary ship, Titanic is a stunning and stirring production of the hopes and dreams of her passengers, who each boarded with stories and personal ambitions of their own, all innocently unaware of the fate awaiting them. By researching
eyewitness accounts, diaries, and actual photographs, Lyric’s creative team will bring to life the real people who sailed on the Titanic, from the crew to the first-, second- and third-class passengers. Wearing costumes that recreate the actual clothes worn by those on board, Lyric’s cast will embody the excitement, hope and risks of this legendary transatlantic voyage.
“The Broadway musical Titanic is as epic and grand as live theatre can be,” said Baron, who is directing the production. “Not since Lyric’s 2014 production of Les Misérables have we produced a musical this huge. I’m looking forward to directing a cast of 42, a chorus of 75 – featuring Canturbury Voices – and an orchestra of 22 led by OKC Philharmonic’s Alexander Mickelthwate. Titanic continues to captivate the world since that fateful maiden voyage, and Lyric is honored to pay musical tribute to this great ship of dreams.“
The production stars Ashton Byrum (Thomas Andrews), Barbara Fox DeMaio (Ida Straus), Stephen Hilton (Isidor Straus) and Ian Marcontell (Frederick Barrett). Titanic also features Charlie Monnot (Harold Bride), Tatum Grace Ludlam (Kate McGowan), Megan Carpenter (Kate Mullins) and Jessica Anne Martens (Kate Murphey). With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, Titanic was written by Peter Stone and will be directed by Baron. In addition to design work from Powers (scenic), Meek (costumes), Kuukka (lighting), Strong (properties) and Risi (sound), Vince Leseney will serve as choral director. Sherrill will stage manage.
Season ticket packages are still available for all three shows, starting at just $86. Single tickets to all three productions are also on sale. For more information, call the box office at (405) 524-9312 or visit www.LyricTheatreOKC.org.
About Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Founded in 1963, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is the state’s leading professional theatre company. Lyric produces classic and contemporary musicals, new works, and plays featuring artists from Oklahoma and around the nation. Shows are presented at two Oklahoma City venues — the intimate Plaza Theatre and in the summer at the grand Civic Center Music Hall. Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy is the premier professional theatre training ground, offering classes in all aspects of the performing arts. Lyric is a nonprofit member theatre of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Allied Arts. For more information, visit www.LyricTheatreOKC.org.