MIAMI, Okla. — Growing up as a child in western Oklahoma, Pamela Catt didn’t know Quapaw was an actual town in the state.
“When I watched the movie, I thought it was a fictitious town,” Catt said. “I knew about Tulsa and Claremore, of course.”
A Miami Little Theatre production of the classic Rogers and Hammerstien musical “Oklahoma!” will have special meaning this weekend, said Catt, co-director of the show alongside Phillip Shamblin. It lines up with the 125 anniversary of Miami’s founding.
The musical, featuring the blossoming love between a cowboy and a farm girl, is set in the state during the year before it became a state, back when it was still considered Indian territory. In addition to romantic relationships and depictions of the day’s entertainment, the play also includes struggles between farmers and cowboys over water rights and property lines, as well as the thrill of reaching statehood.
The musical, which opened in 1943, was the first in a long, era-defining collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, who are credited with further developing the concept of a book musical. An adaptation was made in 1955 and won Academy Awards
Catt said an energetic cast of about 40 is taking on this chapter of musical history.
“They are putting their heart and soul into it,” Catt said. “They started wearing their boots during the first week of rehearsals just to make sure they got their steps.”
The cast includes Dustin Warner, Chrisann Lamb, Whitney Farley, Dillon Rasberry, Ashlyn Ford, Zachary Thomas, Brent Ford, Steve McCurley, Breeanna Warner, Ross Tomlinson Jr., Jerry Venis, James Walkingstick, Kayla Ford, Amanda Cole, Adrian Lewis, Katie Kaufman, Jared McCormick, Colton Vanatta, Rayanna Lamb, Denver Miller, Elias Crow, Taylor Gibson, Ann Grue, Kay Boman-Harvey, Ronan Lamb, Hollynn Lawson, Judy Pitman, Alexis Riggs, Elijah Sanda, Jacob Sanda, Goldie Snow, Kellie Snow, Melissa Vanatta, Wyatt Vanatta, Karen Vanover, Kaitlynn Warner, Mary Susan Whaley and Michael Whaley.
Want to go?
The Miami Little Theatre production of “Oklahoma!” will be shown today through Sunday at the Coleman Theatre. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2:30 Sunday.
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 for senior citizens, students and children.
Details and tickets: 918-540-2425, www.colemantheatre.org/events.