LOOK Celebrates 25 Years of Musical Excellence
Light Opera Oklahoma is celebrating the 25th anniversary festival season by staging three provocative productions exposing a tragic slew of misbehaved men. Presenting the men we “love to hate” and “hate to love” this year’s summer festival includes Meredith Willson’s beloved Broadway blockbuster, “The Music Man,” Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, “Sweeney Todd” and one of Victor Herbert’s most enduring and beloved operettas, “Naughty Marietta.” Both “Sweeney Todd” and “Naughty Marietta” will be directed by LOOK’s own multi-talented artistic director, Eric Gibson. All productions will be conducted by James Bagwell and feature the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.
Meet Harold Hill from “The Music Man!”
Just the thought of the name evokes images of 76 trombones and of a man who lies his way in and out of every situation in a small Iowa town until he gets his foot caught in the door with Marian the Librarian. Based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey, it is set in fictional 1912 River City, Iowa and focuses on Professor Harold Hill, a con man whose scam is to convince parents he can teach their musically-disinclined children to play a musical instrument. Taking money for instruments and uniforms and promising he will form a band, Hill leaves town and moves on the next one before he’s exposed. Hill’s plan is foiled when he falls in love with the local librarian Marian Paroo, who recognizes him for the fraud he is but falls madly for him nonetheless when he befriends her shy, lisping brother Winthrop. Of course, Hill’s gig begins to fall apart and he is faced with the choice of staying with Marian or facing the consequences.
The original Broadway production has successfully spawned two revivals. The original cast included Robert Preston as Harold Hill, Barbara Cook as Marian, and Eddie Hodges as Winthrop. The success of the revivals prompted a 2003 television movie starring Matthew Broderick as Hill and Kristin Chenoweth as Marian.
Filled with classic songs like “Seventy-six Trombones,” “Till There Was You” and “My White Knight,” this family-friendly production features special matinee performances to accommodate the demand for tickets. “The Music Man” will feature the talents of Ron Loyd as Harold Hill, Andrea Leap as Marian the Librarian, Lindsey McKee as Eulalie Shin, James D. Wright as Mayor Shinn and Judith Macdonald as Mrs. Paroo. Enjoying his first performance on the LOOK stage, Izaiah Cowen is bringing life to the role of Winthrop. Previously starring as Little Tommy in the American Theatre Company’s production of “Tommy,” Izaiah is taking a brief hiatus from summer vacation at Jenks East Elementary School to join the 2007 LOOK company.
Meet the Ultimate Villian-Sweeney Todd!
The long awaited “Sweeney Todd” hits the Tulsa stage for the 2007 season. Undoubtedly Broadway’s darkest comedy, the absolute worst of our badly behaved men is Sweeney Todd. The outcome doesn’t get much worse for the victims of Mr. Todd’s revengeful anger in this Stephen Sondheim masterpiece. A barber and a serial killer, Sweeney’s weapon of choice is a straight razor, with which he cuts his victim’s throats. Sweeney’s lovely accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, gingerly bakes the remains into meat pies. Did we mention that this is a comedy?
Various adaptations of this adult thriller have been staples of British and American music halls throughout the century. Tim Burton will direct an adaptation of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” for the big screen. It will star Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and feature Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. The 2007 LOOK cast showcases Ron Loyd as Sweeney Todd and Lindsey McKee as Mrs. Lovett.
Introducing Dick Warrington from “Naughty Marietta!”
Experience the provocative world of 19th century New Orleans and our hero Dick Warrington when LOOK introduces “Naughty Marietta.” He may not be James Bond, but when an Italian princess needs out of an arranged marriage, Dick comes to the rescue. The very badly behaved Bras Picque gets in the way of romance in this tuneful, playful romp by the operetta master Victor Herbert.
Four cabaret concerts paired with members of the LOOK Company performing the witty and entertaining one act Gilbert & Sullivan gem in “Trial by Jury” will round out the season this year. A philandering man cheats on his intended and she sues him for breach of promise. An equally badly behaved judge presides over the case. You can guess how it turns out!
The LOOK 2007 25th anniversary festival runs June 8-July 14. Season and individual performance tickets are available at the LOOK box office at 2210 S. Main St., (918) 583-4267, or the Tulsa Performing Arts Center box office at 110 E. 2nd St., (918) 596-7111. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.lightoperaok.org and www.myticketoffice.com.