Richard Marsh/Dearborn Press and Guide/May 5, 1988
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” is one of those plays which have been done over and over again. Henry Ford Community College is taking its turn this weekend at offering the popular musical as part of the school’s Fine Arts Festival. At the dress rehearsal Monday, the production showed a lot of promise for opening night audiences tonight. Creative stagework, special effects and choreography will make for an interesting evening.
A runway was added along the second row of seats in front of the orchestra to give the cast more room to maneuver. The special effects, particularly during the “Dream Ballet” sequence and “Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” also add significantly to the production. Use is made of shadows on a large drop. During the “Dream Ballet” sequence, Jud appears to grow 20 feet tall as he becomes a gigantic demon tormenting Laurey.
Choreographer Diane Mancinelli outdoes herself in this show with some wonderful dance routines.
The most memorable performance in the show is Jim Shmina’s Ali Hakim, the gypsy trader. The colorfulness of the role combined with Shmina’s strong talent really made the character fun to watch. Others in the cast, who have varying degrees of success are Robert Corzine as Curly, Cheri Cernan as Aunt Eller, Jennifer L. Parlette as Laurey, Robert Wilkin as Will Parker, David Atkins as Jud Fry and Heather Ann Capote as Ado Annie Carnes.
The music is spiffy. The orchestrations and choral arrangements do the show justice and the instrumental music helps propel the dance numbers to perfection.
“Oklahoma!” is running today through Sunday in the Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the HFCC campus. Curtain is 8 p.m. today through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 general admission, $4 for students and staff and $2 for senior citizens.
1988 Page Award Winners
Best Choreography: Diane Mancinelli
- Curly: Robert Corzine
- Aunt Eller: Cheri Cernan
- Laurey: Jennifer L. Parlette
- Ike Skidmore: Bill Williams**
- Fred: Victor G. Bidini**
- Slim: Mark Powell**
- Will Parker: Robert Wilkin**
- Jud Fry: David Atkins
- Ado Annie Carnes: Heather Ann Capote**
- Ali Hakim: Jim Shmina
- Gertie Cummings: Valerie Petkovich**
- Ellen: Julie V. Ward**
- Kate: Catherine Sweeny**
- Sylvie: Cynthia Grusendorf**
- Armina: Ann Cullen**
- Andrew Carnes: Thomas P. Korte
- Cord Elam: Devon C. Cox
**also in chorus
Anne Kerwin, Wendy Allers, Andrea White, Michelle Davidson, Elaine Puruluski, Pat White, Donna Montgomery, Leslie rains, Michelle Gorman, Jeana Schotthoeffer, Carissa Soranno, Simona Parker, Kristin Wolter, Jennifer Gentry, Melissa Looney, Tammy Macnicol, Ann Cullen, Angelina Hill
Kansas City Dancers
Jennifer Gentry, Jeannette Oryciak, Julie K. Ward
Many a New Day Dancers
Jennifer Gentry, Tammie Macnichol, Jennifer Parlette, Jeannette Pryciak, Leslie Rains, Andrea White
Dream Ballet Dancers
Leslie Rains, Steve Nicolicj, David Atkins, Victor Bidini, Devon C. Cox, Tammie Macnichol, Jeannette Pryciak, Elaine Puruleski, Andrea White, Jeniifer Gentry. Heathers Ann Capote
All Er Nuthin’ Dancers
Andrea White, Elaine Puruleski
Andrew Loy, Angela Flaim, Rosemary Montgomery, Brianne Hall, Grace Montgomery, Valerie May Bundt