Jackson Hole High School News

Spring Musical Press Release
Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Jackson Hole High School Tackles Classic Musical Oklahoma!

By Katherine Civian

April 21, 2017 Jackson, WY

 Starting May 4th, Jackson Hole High School will proudly present Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic musical Oklahoma! The musical, which opened in 1943, captures the spirit of life on the Oklahoma prairie at the turn of the twentieth century. Through song, dance, and comedy, it tells a story of a unique time in American history. In the late nineteenth century, when Oklahoma was still Indian Territory, settlers began to cross the border during so-called "land runs" to claim land at a designated hour. Those who illegally crossed the border earlier were nicknamed "Sooners," giving rise to Oklahoma being known as the "Sooner State." Oklahoma entered the union in 1907 as the 46th state. Oklahoma! takes place just a year before statehood, telling the story of settlers in the last days of Indian Territory. Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs, Oklahoma! was the first collaboration between the famous musical theatre team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It was the first to integrate song, dance, and story in the format known as the "book musical." In this format, songs no longer acted as mere entertainment: They were completely integrated into the dramatic structure of the play. Oklahoma! was the first time that music and story had been so closely connected on the stage, and it was a critical and commercial success unlike any other before. It won the Pulitzer Prize for playwriting in 1944, and the original Broadway show ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, finally closing in 1948. Jackson Hole High School's revival of Oklahoma! is directed by Gina Feliccia McDermott, a Broadway veteran who has performed in national tours of musicals such as The Wizard of Oz and Les Miserables. Pam Drews Phillips, musical director, also brings Broadway experience to the production; she worked as conductor and played keyboard for Broadway shows in New York, and she also performed with the American Symphony and the New York City Ballet Orchestra. The JHHS students and production team are happy to have Heather Best returning as choreographer. This production team has raised the bar, and the cast of thirty-one students has risen to the occasion. Oklahoma! will star Freedom Lennon as Aunt Eller, Lucas Hakoshima as Curly MacLaine, Shaeli Funk as Laurey Williams, Georgia Eidemiller as Ado Annie, Seth Palmquist as Will Parker, Andreas Olvera as Jud Fry, Adam Meadows as Ali Hakim, and Brayden Gaston as Judge Carnes. It will be performed on stage at the Jackson Hole High School Auditorium at 7pm on May 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, with a matinee on May 13th at 2pm. Tickets will be sold at the door; prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. (Cash or check only.) Don't miss a revival of one of America's most storied musicals!

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