Web version: Oh 'Oklahoma!' 


3.5 stars
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
directed and choreographed by Marc Robin
Through Nov. 18

The well-loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” is receiving a solid performance at Beef & Boards. A remarkably popular musical since it opened on Broadway in 1943, the show will be seen by about 25,000 people while it is at B&B. That is an amazing number.

And while there is nothing experimental or edgy about the B&B production, it is an homage to musical theater of the show’s time, with actors whole-heartedly singing and dancing their way throughout, ending with a wedding and happy ending.

Curt Dale Clark as Curly, the show’s main man, has a fine voice and turns in a pleasant performance. His is the well-known song “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’,” which opens the show. His gal, Laurey, played by Amalie Larsen, is a spunky match. Donna M. Ryan as Aunt Eller is the quintessential lovable matron, while Andrew Kindig as the peddler Ali Hackim nails his forgivably smarmy character.

“Oklahoma!” is pivotal for Doug King, who plays Will Parker: It marks 20 years at B&B for him. King debuted in this show, playing the same role. He creates a Will that is part naïve, part goofball, but sweet and fun throughout.

But the best musical numbers come from Jayson Elliott, as Jud Fry. Elliott was last seen in July at B&B in “Smoke on the Mountain.” Here, he gets his own spotlight, exhibiting a rich voice that is so beautiful, so elegant it doesn’t need the reverb the soundboard added.

Costuming (Brian Horton) and set (Michael Layton) are apropos, and Marc Robin’s choreography is complementary without taking over.

Shows continue through Nov. 18 (no shows Mondays). Tickets are $32.50-$52.50 for dinner and show. Go to www.beefandboards.com for dates and times.


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