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'Oklahoma' slides into Three Stages in Folsom

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Prepare to be entertained with El Dorado Musical Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma.” It runs April 20-May 6 on the main stage at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway, Folsom. Debbie Wilson, choreographer and director of the show, said it’s always a scramble to put on the spring show because it comes so close on the heels of their last show, “42nd Street,” which just wrapped March 4. “We don’t have a lot of time to put this show together,” Wilson said. “Between our Encore show and this spring show, it’s always tight, but it’s OK. We make it work.” Wilson is very familiar with “Oklahoma,” the first play penned by the collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein that premiered on Broadway March 31, 1943. “I’ve done ‘Oklahoma’ many times,” she said. “The fist time I choreographed this show was in 1975. Rick (Wilson), my brother, was my Dream Curly. In this go around, his son (Andrew) is my Dream Curly. This is the first time I’ve directed and choreographed it. I just love it.” If people aren’t familiar with the show, or have never seen an EDMT production, sit back and have fun. “They should expect a great story and a lot of hoopin’ and hollerin’ and great fun numbers in it,” Wilson said. “They should expect some great dancing and a beautiful love story.” She said “Oklahoma” is a great “date” play. “I think it appeals to both sexes,” she said. “It’s such a classic and we don’t do a ton of those. It’s part of our cultural literacy in America. The show changed the face of American musical theater because it was the fist time that dance and song also propelled the plot. Before, they had been more separate from each other. This time it drives it forward. There is also a dream ballet … they had not used dance in this way before when it’s used as a psychological examination of the character. That’s why so many shows had dream ballets after ‘Oklahoma.’” Heather Clark, one of the leads playing Ado Annie Carnes, said rehearsals are going pretty well, but there is still a long way to go. “I’m enjoying them,” she said. “I was never a big fan of the show before I auditioned for it. After doing call-backs and stuff, I’m going to enjoy (‘Oklahoma’) and appreciate it.” The 20-year-old Folsom Lake College student said she is focusing on her education for now and isn’t planning to do any acting or theater after school. For more on the musical, visit edmt.info or threestages.net. * * * KNOW & GO What: “Oklahoma” When: 7 p.m. April 20-21, 26-28, May 4-5; 6 p.m. April 29; 2 p.m. April 21-22, 28-29, May 5-6 Where: Three Stages, 10 College Parkway, Folsom Tickets: Varies, $15-$29; $14.50 all seats on April 26 and April 29