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USNA Winter Musical: Oklahoma!

Feb 19, 2020 9:30:00 AM

USNA Women's Glee Club

There’s something magical about musical theater. It keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. At any moment a character might unexpectedly break into song, sharing their innermost emotional turmoil, or ambitions for pulling something over on another character. In other scenes, the entire cast is suddenly in on the action, belting out the same thought as a choral ensemble. While no one ever really publicly breaks into song to get a message across, there is something to love about campy songs with catchy melodies paired with over-the-top storylines.

Some of America’s most beloved musicals came from the musical gifts of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist-dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II. The duo behind Broadway smash hits like The Kind and I, The Sound of Music, and the production near and dear to the Navy community, South Pacific, captured our hearts and have stood the test of time. This February, the wind will come “sweeping down the plains” of Annapolis when the US Naval Academy (USNA) Glee Club performs Rodgers and Hammerstein’s first collaboration, Oklahoma!

Opening on Broadway in 1943, Oklahoma! ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances before closing in 1948. Its incredible popularity eventually led to an Academy Award-winning film adaption, bringing its story and songs to a nationwide audience. Oklahoma!’s popularity and family-appeal have made it a crowd-pleasing choice for school and community productions ever since.

Set outside the town of Claremore, Indian Territory in 1906, Oklahoma! tells the story of independent farm girl Laurey Williams and the love triangle that develops as she is pursued by hero cowboy, Curly McLain, and frightening farmhand, Jud Fry.

The Glee Club’s Winter Musical is one of the USNA Musical Activities Department’s signature events of the academic year. With all the regalia of a true Broadway production, the Winter Musical is a sight to behold. The audience can expect to be treated to artistic set design, detailed costuming, and expert choreography. The cast of Oklahoma! will be accompanied by a live pit orchestra, further contributing to a Broadway-like experience.

The USNA Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs are highly acclaimed performers, frequently traveling for appearances as choral ensembles at high profile events, such as The Kennedy Center Honors and Christmas in Washington, and to well-known locations like New York’s Carnegie Hall. The Women’s Glee Club is the only all-female military choral ensemble in the world.

This year, both USNA Glee Clubs will travel through Florida and Virginia during the month of March for the Spring Break Concert Tour, before returning to the Yard for the Spring Tour “Home” Concert.

USNA Glee Club Director and nationally acclaimed choral conductor, Dr. Aaron Smith, arrived at the Naval Academy after achieving success as a highly accomplished choral conductor in New York City, including venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Dr. Smith received his Doctorate in Choral Conducting from SUNY Stony Brook, New York.

If you would like to see a “surrey with the fringe on top”, you’re in luck! The Winter Musical is open to the public. Unlike the original production’s record-breaking run, the Academy’s production of Oklahoma! will run for just three (3) short days in Mahan Hall. There will be two (2) evening performances on Friday, February 21, and Saturday, February 22, both at 7:00 pm, and one final afternoon performance on Sunday, February 23, at 3:00 pm. Seating is reserved.

Tickets cost $19 and $16 and may be purchased online from Navy Performs, by phone at 410-293-TIXS (8497), or at the door on the day of the performance. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. There will not be a courtesy shuttle available for this event.

Topics: Insider

Bill the Goat
Written by Bill the Goat

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