Pittsburgh CLO takes on America’s favorite musical, ‘Oklahoma’ | TribLIVE.com
Theater & Arts

Pittsburgh CLO takes on America’s favorite musical, ‘Oklahoma’

Shirley McMarlin
PHotos: Pittsburgh CLO
Sara Jean Ford plays Laurey in Pittsburgh CLO’s production of “Oklahoma.”
PHotos: Pittsburgh CLO
Nicholas Rodriguez plays Curly in Pittsburgh CLO’s production of “Oklahoma.”

“Oklahoma” has been called America’s favorite musical, the musical of the (20th) century and the standard by which all other musicals are measured.

Pittsburgh CLO will present its take on the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece with a production running June 21-30 in the Benedum Center.

Opening on Broadway in 1943, “Oklahoma” launched “a golden era in American musical theater that fuses story and song together with the stunning choreography of the legendary Agnes de Mille,” the CLO says.

The first musical written by composer Rodgers and librettist Hammerstein tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams as she is wooed by two rivals, cowboy Curly McLain and the sinister farmhand Jud Fry. Set in 1906 in Indian Territory (prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907), the musical features standards such as “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” “People Will Say We’re in Love” and the title song.

Veteran cast

Playing Laurey is Sara Jean Ford, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate who made her CLO debut in 2009 as Cinderella in “Into the Woods.” Her Broadway credits include “The Phantom Of The Opera,” “Cats,” “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “A Little Night Music” and “Finian’s Rainbow.“

Making his CLO debut, Nicholas Rodriguez will step into the role of Curly. Rodriguez has performed both on and off Broadway, in shows including “Disney’s Tarzan” and “The Sound of Music.” His television credits include “Madam Secretary” and “One Life to Live.”

Matt Faucher will play Jud. He is a member of the New York-based Garden State Guys, a four-piece vocal group that harmonizes on songs from the 1960s and ’70s. Faucher has performed on Broadway in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

Director Dontee Kiehn is in her second season with the CLO, having previously directed “Brigadoon.” Choreographer Mark Exposito also is a CLO veteran, with more than 12 productions to his credit. Musical director James Cunningham also returns for his third summer season with the company.

Tickets for matinee and evening performances of “Oklahoma” start at $27. Group rates are available.

Details: 412-325-1582 or pittsburghclo.org

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: AandE | Music | Theater Arts
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