COURTESY PALIKU THEATRE
Michael Bright stars as Curly, under his father's (Ron Bright) direction in Paliku Theatre's production of "Oklahoma!"
Paliku production compares to island’s best
It isn't quite "a tale as old as time," but "Oklahoma!" is old enough that care must be taken to present the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical as living theater rather than as a museum piece. It's all too easy to treat the naive farm folk of turn-of-the-20th-century Oklahoma Territory as country bumpkins rather than as honest representatives of a simpler and more innocent America.
On stage: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Nov. 18, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 19
Place: Paliku Theatre, Windward Community College
Call: 235-7310 or online at www.e.TicketHawaii.com
Ron Bright deftly sidesteps the potential pitfalls as director of Paliku Theatre's revival. Add a good cast and excellent overall support from the tech crew, and Paliku's "Oklahoma!" is a delightful show that compares well with the top-end musical productions of Diamond Head Theatre.
Michael Bright (son of the director, and one of several family members involved with the production), stars as Curly, and establishes the quality of the show with his first big number, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'." Bright has a fine leading lady in Ashley Nalani Warling; she plays Laurey with an appealing blend of innocence and sass.
Tony Young (Will Parker), Dani Yamamoto (Ado Annie) and Scott Wallace (Ali Hakim) quickly prove themselves as comic sparkplugs. Young makes "Kansas City" an entertaining introduction to his character's strengths and weaknesses, Yamamoto succeeds somehow in portraying Annie as sweet rather than promiscuous, and Wallace's work as the quick-witted peddler makes him an asset whenever he appears.