CHATHAM, NY—The Mac-Haydn Theatre concludes its 51st season with the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, Oklahoma!, running August 22 through September 1.
The road to true love is anything but smooth in this musical that paved the way for American musical theatre. Set in the western territory on its way to becoming a state, Oklahoma! contains some of the most popular music ever written for the stage—songs including “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” and the title song “Oklahoma.”
James Benjamin Rodgers returns to the Mac-Haydn stage as Curly, following his performance last season as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Born in Wellington, New Zealand and based in New York, James has performed with The MDR Sinfonieorchester, The Kurt Weill Festival, The Ravinia Festival, The Argento Ensemble, The Merola Opera Program, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, and New Zealand Opera. Roles include the title roles in Candide, Young Frankenstein, and Jekyll and Hyde, Jean Valjean: Les Misérables, Anthony Hope: Sweeney Todd, Kudrjash: Kátya Kabanová, Captain Von Trapp: Sound of Music, Frank Butler: Annie Get Your Gun, Camille: The Merry Widow.
Meredith Lustig makes her Mac-Haydn debut as Laurey. Praised for her “radiant soprano” and “outstanding dramatic presence,” Meredith’s past roles include: Blanche DuBois/A Streetcar Named Desire (Opera Company Middlebury), Gianetta/L’Elisir D’Amore, Cephisia/Orpheus (New York City Opera), Eurydice/Orpheus in the Underworld (Virginia Opera), Fiona/Brigadoon (Gulfshore Opera), Megan/The Whole Truth (American Modern Ensemble), Musetta/La Boheme (Syracuse Opera), Daisy/The Great Gatsby (Aspen Opera Theater). She has held residence at the Ravinia Steans Institute, Caramoor, New York Festival of Song, Town Hall Theatre, Glimmerglass, and Pittsburgh Opera. Symphonic appearances include Bernstein’s Mass (Philadelphia Orchestra), Carmina Burana (Erie Philharmonic),Serenade to Music (Chicago Symphony), and as a headliner for the Dallas Symphony and Detroit Symphony.
Rob Brinkmann also makes his Mac-Haydn debut as Jud Fry. Off-Broadway: The Red Room (Barrow Group Theater). Regional: Peter and The Starcatcher (Black Stache, Jenny Wiley Theater), Cabaret (Cliff, Pentangle Arts Center), An American in Paris (Ogunquit Playhouse), Searching for Signal (A.R.T.’s Oberon). Acoustica Electronica (House of Yes).
Rounding out the cast are Rachel Pantazis as Ado Annie Carnes, Andrew Burton Kelley as Will Parker, Cathy-Lee Visscher as Aunt Eller, William Taitel as Ali Hakim and Jesse Lynn Harte as Gertie Cummings.
Oklahoma! is directed by John Saunders, choreographed by Katie Johannigman and music directed by Jillian Zack Rodgers, with costume design by Bethany Marx, wig and makeup design by Matthew Oliver, scenic design by Kevin Gleason, lighting design by Andrew Gmoser, props by Joshua Gallagher and sound design by Nathan Schilz.
For tickets and details please visit www.machaydntheatre.org or call the box office at (518) 392-9292.