Director Chris Coleman taps into an overlooked piece of American history when there were 50 all-black towns in the state.
DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Chris Coleman has announced an eclectic mix of Broadway performers and familiar favorites for his Denver directorial debut, a special 75th anniversary staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! on the Stage Theatre.
Coleman taps into an overlooked piece of American history: In 1906, there were 50 all-black towns in Oklahoma, and 137,000 African-Americans living there.
“This musical is such a quintessential expression of what it means to be American,” Coleman said. “Oklahoma! is centered around a group of people on the verge of grabbing their part of the American dream and incorporating themselves into the fabric of the whole nation. Experiencing that drive and sense of possibility expressed by a community we haven’t traditionally seen tell this story, opens up new windows on what it means to be a Westerner, what it means to be an American, what it means to ‘stake your claim’ in the land.”
The production will be choreographed by Dominique Kelley (pictured right), a dancer in the film La La Land and Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk.
Tickets will go on sale starting Wednesday, July 18 (details below.) Tickets for the majority of other Denver Center productions will go on sale on Aug. 3.
- Iman Barnes (Third Rail Projects’ The Grand Paradise) as Gertie Cummings/Ensemble)
- Neville Braithwaite (Fireside Theater’s Footloose) as Dream Jud/Ensemble
- Taylor Colleton (Midtown Arts Center’s Memphis) as Virginia/Ensemble
- Christian Mark Gibbs (BDT Stage’s Motones vs. Jerseys) as Fred/Ensemble
- Ta’Nika Gibson (Theatre Under the Stars’ Dreamgirls) as Laurey
- David Ginlet (The Babies Off-Broadway) as Ensemble
- Shabazz Green (Lake Dillon Theater Company’s current Top Dog/Underdog) as Cord Elam
- Cooper Grodin (The Phantom of the Opera national tour) as Ali Hakim
- Maurio Hines (Clay and Wattles’ Zorba) as Ensemble
- Bre Jackson (Broadway’s The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon) as Ado Annie Carnes
- Rashaan James II (South Pacific national tour) as Ike Skidmore/Ensemble
- Sheila Jones (Theatre Under The Stars’ Dreamgirls) as Ellen/Ensemble
- Barrington Lee (Harlem Opera Theater’s Voodoo) as Jud Fry
- Sheryl McCallum (DCPA’s The Wild Party) as Aunt Eller
- Rennie Anthony Magee (The Muny’s Tarzan) as Will Parker
- Raven McRae Traoré (Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway) as Dream Laurey/Ensemble)
- Alia Munsch (Motown the Musical national tour) as Ensemble
- Milton Craig Nealy (Broadway’s Motown the Musical, Caroline or Change) as Andrew Carnes
- Brandon O’Neal (Broadway’s The Lion King) as Dream Curly/Ensemble
- Jason Daniel Rath (Maltz Jupiter’s Gypsy) as Slim/Ensemble
- Antoine L. Smith (Broadway’s Carousel) as Curly
- Melissa Victor (Ford’s Theatre’s The Wiz) as Kate/Ensemble
- Erin Willis (DCPA’s The Who’s Tommy) as Vivian/Ensemble
- Director: DCPA Artistic Director Chris Coleman
- Music Director: Darius Frowner
- Choreographer: Dominique Kelley
- Scenic Designer: Wilson Chin (DCPA’s The Great Leap)
- Costume Designer: Jeff Cone
- Lighting Designer: Diane Ferry Williams
- Sound Designer: Philip G. Allen
- Voice and Dialect: Dawn-Ellin Fraser
- Fight Director: Geoffrey Kent
- Dramaturg: Heidi Schmidt
- Casting: Harriet Bass, CSA
- Stage Manager: Rachel Ducat
- Assistant Stage Managers: D. Lynn Reiland and Kurt Van Raden
Oklahoma! was the first collaboration by Rodgers and Hammerstein and became a landmark musical for its rollicking music and stunning dance numbers, and this joyful presentation should make plain why it has stood the test of time.
“I am honored to be making my Denver directorial debut with Oklahoma!” said Coleman.
Oklahoma! Ticket information
- Written by: Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics). Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs. Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
- Dates: Sept. 7-Oct. 14 (Opens Sept. 14)
- Where: Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
- Information: Tickets will go on sale starting Wednesday, July 18. Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
- Groups: Call 800-641-1222
More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter