News > Review: Oklahoma! at Footlight Players

On Friday night, I attended the opening of the final show in the Footlight Players’ current season. Oklahoma! Is an old favorite of mine, so I’m pretty spoiled to the visual and vocal perfection that is the Gordon Macrae and Shirley Jones film version of the musical. That being said, I appreciated that Footlight created a simple and beautiful set for a musical that demands a lot of different spaces. Before the show began, I sipped champagne, listened to the overture, and surveyed quaint farmhouse porch complete with a laundry line set against bright blue sky. “Yep,” I thought to myself. Looked like the set of Oklahoma! To me.

Footlight Players "Oklahoma!"

When the show started with “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin,” I was excited to see that Footlight was using the aisle as Curly’s entry, almost as excited as I was to hear the song beautifully delivered.
Unfortunately, that was my favorite part of the show… Listening to a familiar and lovely song as an adorable cowboy wandered toward the stage, I was filled with hope! This hope was complicated by the fact that Curly was poorly or barely lit throughout the song, often missing or lingering just outside his limited spotlights. It visually distracted from a vocally enchanting moment, and that discomfort stuck around for me as an audience member throughout the evening.

Don’t get me wrong–all of the moments in Oklahoma that make you laugh and cry are totally there! Sometimes the costume design, blocking, and choreography even made direct references to popular past performances, which was certainly fun for those familiar with the show.
If you’re a fan of the musical itself, a fan of The Footlight Players, or just a fan of supporting the arts, try together over there and see the show before it closes! It may not be the film version you grew up with, but nothing compares with the live interaction between actor and Audience.

Congrats on closing another season, Footlight. Here’s to future successes!

words: Cara Beth Heath

Posted on May 7, 2013 by admin.

Categories: Performing Arts, Review

Tags: Charleston, Footlight Players, Musical, Oklahoma!, Performing Arts, Review, Theatre

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