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Now browsing: Hometown News > Entertainment > Indian River County

'Oklahoma!' more than OK
Rating: 3.92 / 5 (13 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Nov 16 - 06:49

 

Country charm wins Vero Beach audience

 

By Jessica Tuggle

jtuggle@hometownnewsol.com

 

VERO BEACH - A brilliant blue sky dominated the scene at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild last week until all of a sudden, strains of a delicate melody rose to the ears and a paradoxically strong and tender male voice began to sing.

The sky, the singer and the song, "O, What A Beautiful Morning," set the bar high for the rest of the show, and the guild's version of "Oklahoma!" was more than just OK, it was excellent.

Romantic cowboy Curly, played by Vero Beach Theatre Guild stage veteran Robin Volsky, captivated the audience with his vocals and acting skills with his leading lady, farm girl Laurey, played by Leigh Seirafi.

"Oklahoma!" opened Nov. 8 and will continue on select dates and times through Nov. 25 at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild.

"Oklahoma!" was the first of several explosive musicals by the now-famous writing team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, said Linda Hoffman, the guild's show director.

The original production of the musical debuted in 1943 and quickly became a classic in American theater. The songs are recognized all over the world.

From the perky "Cain't Say No," to the angst-ridden "Lonely Room," to the rousing "Oklahoma!" audiences at the theater will be humming along to the iconic tunes.

Mr. Volsky's passionate performance was solid, never crossing the line of over dramatization.

Ms. Seirafi's high soprano voice was well suited to her solos in "Many A New Day" and duet in "People Will Say We're in Love."

One of the sub-plots in the story, a love triangle between Dana Rodgers as boy-crazy Ado Annie, Anthony Aruffo as peddler man Ali Hakim and Ben Earman as the earnest cowboy Will Parker, provided the audience with many amused chuckles.

Ms. Rodgers, who has been performing with the guild since 1988, was positively winning in her role. Her bubbly stage presence and her squeaky voice brought her simple-minded character to life.

Mr. Aruffo's delivery was outstanding. He presented comedic lines with colorful facial and body expressions and a youthful exuberance.

The clarity of diction and stage presence of Mr. Earman demanded just the right amount of attention when he was on stage. His pursuit of his sweetheart, while sometimes being made a fool of, was believable and charming.

Another honorable mention goes to Gerry King, who played the role of Aunt Eller. Ms. King was full of energy and enthusiasm, delivering her one-line zingers with a mischievous sparkle in her eye.

Once again, the set and stage design crew, also led by Ms. Hoffman, deserve a standing ovation for their outstanding contribution to the show.

From the windmill to the smokehouse to the ever- changing Oklahoma sky, the artful and creative arrangement of the scenes in such a limited space was magnificent.

Tickets are $20-$22 each. Wheelchair and companion seats, as well as youth tickets, must be purchased through the box office. Tickets for those 18 and younger are half-price.

The rest of the guild's season will include "The Odd Couple," Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Importance of Being Earnest."

 

The Vero Beach Theatre Guild is located at 2020 San Juan Ave., Vero Beach. For tickets or more information about upcoming shows, call (772) 562-8300 or visit www.verobeachtheatreguild.com.




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