Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park is celebrating 30 years of summer picnics with the Bard. The second show of this anniversary season is “Antony & Cleopatra” playing through July 18 at the Myriad Botanical Gardens Water Stage.
By Elizabeth Hurd, For The Oklahoman | Updated: Mon, Jun 2, 2014
Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias” began as a short story for his young nephew. The short story evolved into a screenplay and ultimately morphed into the hit movie of the same name. “Steel Magnolias” launching and revitalizing the careers of six outstanding film actresses—Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Dolly Parton. The movie version is expanded with many scenes including fine male actors such as Tom Skerritt and Sam Shepard. The screenplay action takes place solely in a small Louisiana town Beauty Shop with a cast of six women. The Ensemble Theatre of Piedmont has put on “Steel Magnolias” also in a small town beauty shop, now in Piedmont Oklahoma.
Movies can do a
Not long ago a colleague mentioned that the phrase ‘break-a-leg’ refers to taking a bow. Cristela Carrizales must have taken the phrase literally when injured during the a final dress rehearsal for “In the Heights” scheduled to open April 25, 2014 at The Pollard Theatre in Guthrie. “In the Heights” is an award winning musical taking place during three very hot days in Washington Heights, a New York City enclave.
Possibly the greatest Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, “South Pacific” is dear to the hearts of the greatest generation and their children. Set in the Pacific Theatre during WWII, men and women face the terrors of war and must rise above personal tribulations to bring hope and freedom to the world and to each other. The novel, “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A.
Rhonda Clark directs “Is He Dead” under the hovering presence of authors Mark Twain and David Ives. In 2003 Mark Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin discovered Twain’s marvelous unfinished play – “Is He Dead” written in 1898. Although never produced, the play is an excellent example of Twain as a playwright. The timelessness of Twain in “Is He Dead” is just as hilarious as “Charley’s Aunt” and includes cross-dressing as well. “Is He Dead” originally had three acts and is a story of an artist who fakes his death in order to create value for his paintings. He then masquerades as his own sister in order to sell the art in the estate. The artist, Jean-Francois Millet is real although the play is entirely fictional. (Millet actually achieved recognition and financial security as an artist quite late in life and influenced upcoming artists such as Van Gogh). “Is He Dead” takes place much earlier in his life and the quality of Millet’s work is accurately conveyed by Twain and David Ives follows through.
The story of Helen Keller and her incredible strength in overcoming grave disabilities is known to most everyone as the story of two determined women; Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Helen Keller was a healthy normal baby girl who lost both hearing and sight as an infant. The tragedy robbed her of a normal life without any means of communication. It was hoped that Miss Sullivan would be able to break through the wall of understanding enough to give the girl a functional life. Sullivan did more than that; she gave Helen Keller a successful meaningful life. “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson gives us the initial meeting of teacher and pupil, and sets up the importance of their lifelong companionship.
“Much Ado About Nothing” is being presented in Oklahoma City through February 23 in downtown Oklahoma City. This is the first Shakespearean presentation by a professional company in forty years and deserves great praise and more of the great bard. Shakespeare is often considered an obstacle because the language has evolved so much since the reign of Elizabeth. Shakespeare should be performed rather than read, and the performance needs to bring out the relevance to the modern audience using that language. The audience needs to be able to appreciate the beauty of Shakespeare so that they may enjoy the intricacies of plot. Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (City-Rep) presents, in conjunction with Theatre OCU (Oklahoma City University) “Much Ado About Nothing in the Freede Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall.