Life on America's western frontier in the early 1900s was difficult, to say the least, but the hardy people who settled there also found ways to add enjoyment and excitement to their lives. Such is the setting for the musical "Oklahoma!" at Mohawk High School.
Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Director Kate Niederkohr has chosen strong voices for leading characters. They are: Michaela Cook as the feisty and likeable Aunt Eller; Ari Lowery and Hunter Jordan as lovers Laurey and Curley; McKenzie Binau as Ado Annie; Tyler Krupp and Jarred Shellhouse as Annie's suitors Ali Hakim and Will Parker, respectively; and Brandon Allomong as Jud, the troubled farm hand.
The action focuses on two love triangles as Curley and Jud vie for Laurey's affections and Ado Annie wavers between the traveling salesman, Ali Hakim, and her longtime lover, Will. Another conflict that emerges is between the farmers and the cowboys, whose cattle drives are hampered by homesteaders' fences. With the lack of local law enforcement, residents usually must carry firearms to enforce their own rules and protect their lifestyles.
The set includes a painted backdrop accented with straw bales and fence posts hung with lanterns. A rustic board fence encloses the pit band in front of the stage. The costumes include plenty of denim, leather, calico, flannel, boots and a few chaps to recreate pioneer attire of the period, just before Oklahoma achieved statehood in 1907.
The play is loaded with humor and many familiar tunes such as the song, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," "People Will Say We're in Love," "I Cain't Say No," "Out of My Dreams" and "Surrey with the Fringe on the Top." The audience is treated to a dream ballet, a barn dance and a basket auction.
Minor characters are portrayed by Erin Conner, Collin Fox, Luke Gillig, Joe Godinez, Andrew Loose, Chelsy Mattox, Mitch Parker, Sarah Parker and Brianna Risner.
The chorus includes Jessica Babcock, Zach Binau, Caleb Bollinger, Hanna Burks, Brad Chaffee, Meghan Chaffee, Emily Daniel, Julia Daniel, Kayla Draper, Kayla Dunlap, Morgan Edgington, Somer Freeman, Alex Hoerig, Alina Kiel, Haley Leeth, Joanie Lininger, Ciara Long, Deon Morter, Bryce O'Flaherty, Andrew Parker, Wyatt Price, Cade Ratliff, Ellie Scott, Kaitlyn Seifert, Kelly Strausbaugh, Marshall Stull, Vanessa Stull, Tiffany Tompkins, Shantel Weaver and Brooke Weininger.
Making up the production crew are Pattie Concepcion, Aaron Cook, Audrey Flood, Matthew Kimmet, Brady Kohlenberg, Tracy Hyer, Marissa Leeth, Maddie Lersch, Robert Parker (head sound technician), Cecilin Pauley, Dominic Smith and Aaron Vasquez-Miller.