There weren’t many empty seats left in the UA’s Marroney Theatre for the final performance of the award-winning “Oklahoma!” on Sunday.
Simply put, it’s because the Arizona Repertory Theatre’s version of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical was fantastic.
The applause from the crowd throughout the performance made it clear that the show pleased all in attendance.
The show was believable and the overall production quality was very professional. The settings, costumes and props gave the audience an authentic feel of what Oklahoma was like in the early 1940s.
The lighting and stage crew also did a wonderful job, as every set transition and spotlight change was seamless.
Each performer had a strong stage presence and voice that was fitting for their part.
Musical theater senior Michael Calvoni stole the show in his role as Curly, a local rancher after the heart of Laurey, played by music major Silvia Vannoy. Calvoni didn’t miss a single note, and the crowd gave his songs the most enthusiastic ovations.
As Laurey, Vannoy was excellent in her portrayal of a innocent farm girl reluctant to fall for the charming Curly. Her voice was sweet and there was strong chemistry between her and Calvoni.
While Calvoni and Vannoy pulled the audience members’ heartstrings, there was also plenty of comic relief in “Oklahoma!”
Aunt Eller, played by musical theater major Kylie Arnold, had the crowd giggling through the entire show with her sarcastic humor. As Ali Hakim, musical theater major Hunter V. Hnat at times had everyone laughing out of their seats with his quirkiness and dramatic Persian accent.
The best female voice was musical theater major Lindsey Mony, who played Ado Annie, a free spirit who has trouble turning down men trying to woo her. When she sang “I Cain’t Say No,” the audience seemed captivated by her performance. Mony’s singing was powerful and consistently on key.
Honorable mentions for strong performance by a lead character go to musical theater major Ryan Kleinman, who played a phenomenal Will Parker, and musical theater major Micah Bond, who played an intimidating Jud.
If you missed this performance, you missed out.