‘On the town’ at UCO
The romantic comedy follows three starry-eyed sailors on their first trip to New York City.
Oklahoma City University celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with its April 20-22 season-finale production of his acclaimed musical "On the Town," featuring a cast of 37 and a 32-piece orchestra.
The romantic comedy follows three starry-eyed sailors on their first trip to New York City as they look for adventure and romance on their 24-hour shore leave. Bernstein’s iconic score includes one of Broadway’s bestknown showtunes — New York, New York — and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company will present three performances: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 3 p.m Sunday matinee, in historic Kirkpatrick Auditorium, 2501 N. Blackwelder, at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music.
Tickets ($14-28) available by calling 405-2085227 or www.okcu.edu/ tickets. An opening night dinner ($25) hosted by Dean Mark Parker will be held April 20 in the Atrium of the Bass Music Center.
Director Karen Coe Miller will present a free pre-show talk 45 minutes before curtain. Also on show’s creative team are Matthew Mailman, musical director, and Tye Love, choreographer, of the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment.
“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent at OCU to do justice to this piece,” Miller said in a news release. “Our students have the the singing, acting, dancing, and orchestral chops — and the production resources — to make this an extraordinary season finale.”
"On the Town" has had three Broadway revivals since its 1944 debut, most recently in 2015. The show also inspired the Oscar-winning film starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
The musical was one of the first on Broadway to fuse story, song and dance into a unified whole. The result, described by Adam Green, son of the lyricist, is “a fresh, contemporary hybrid — the genre-mixing slapstick book and nimble, heartfelt lyrics; the ravishing, jazz-inflected symphonic score; the startling modern ballet-to-boogiewoogie choreography, pulsing with erotic urban energy.”
The show is the finale of the 66th season for OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company, the nation’s oldest campus-based opera and musical troupe. The company has won five national production in the past six years from the National Opera Association.
“This is the perfect show for OCU to present as part of the worldwide celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth,” said Mark Parker, dean of the Bass School of Music, in a news release. “On the Town was Broadway’s introduction to America’ greatest musician. Bernstein was a world-renowned conductor — the first American to conduct a major U.S. orchestra — who led more than 300 recordings of the world’s greatest orchestras. He was a composer of opera, symphonies and hugely successful Broadway shows. He also was a pioneering music educator, leading more than 50 nationwide broadcasts of young people’s concerts with the New York Philharmonic. This show is our salute to his lasting influence on American music.”
For more information, go to www.okcu.edu/ music or www.facebook.com/bassschoolofmusic.
City University will celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with its April 20-22 season-finale production of his acclaimed musical “On the Town.”