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Marion High School to perform 'Oklahoma!'

Staff writer

Between other scholarly responsibilities and extracurricular activities, about 60 Marion High School students have dedicated themselves to a fall performance of “Oklahoma!” — a time-honored musical written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

With students performing classics like “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’,” “People Will Say We’re In Love,” and “The Farmer and the Cowman,” director Janet Killough said audience members will probably recognize just about every song in the musical.

The last time Marion students performed “Oklahoma!” was 16 years ago, Killough said. Many students weren’t familiar with it so there has been a bit more of a learning curve than there was with “Footloose” last year.

“We have such wonderful kids,” Killough said. “Our upperclassmen are pretty good leaders — they help the rest of the cast stay focused.”

The story centers upon a dispute of the heart that takes place around the turn of the century before Oklahoma became a state.

Cowboy Curly McLain (played by Jacob Baldwin) and dangerous loner Jud Fry (Braden Fahey) quarrel over the affection of independent young woman Laurey Williams (Katie Nordquist) throughout the play.

“It’s a love story with a dark place,” Killough said. “One character actually dies during a disagreement.”

Killough said Baldwin was perfect for the role of Curly because of his ability to charm the audience.

Though Fahey has been regularly involved with musicals as a “behind the scenes light guy,” for several years, this is his first leading role.

Nordquist and Elizabeth Meyer, who plays Aunt Eller, will have two songs together, but Killough said the musical really highlights male characters.

Killough said vocal music instructor Julia Miller contributed many good ideas to the production and is doing an excellent job with cast and chorus.

Student crewmembers have painted two outdoor scenes on two huge canvases for backdrops and constructed several houses, a large windmill, and cardboard cornstalks to immerse the audience in the musical’s world.

Though she has no lines to memorize, Tulip, the miniature horse that appeared in Marion’s performance of “Cinderella” will also appear on stage.

Students will take the stage at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 and 2 p.m. Nov. 16 at USD 408 Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are available at County Seat Decorating Center for $3, or can be purchased for $5 at the door.

Last modified Nov. 13, 2014

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