I have watched every play Newton has put on for almost 20 years and they keep getting better every year. And this is no exception. From the opening number, “Oklahoma!” brings you into the lives of the characters and takes you along for the ride.
You become invested with their highs and lows. The sets are minimal but effective. I was really impressed with the smoke house. The costumes help bring you into the era, especially the chaps worn by the cattlemen. You will see a lot of familiar faces along with some new ones but they all blend into a perfect whole.
The interaction between Lonnie Appleby’s Curley and Kelly Peavey’s Jud will give you goose bumps especially their duet in the smoke house. Talk about perfect harmony. Kelly’s Jud exhibits just the right amount of menace to give you the creeps whenever he’s around. The chemistry is obvious between Lonnie’s Curley and Meredith McKay’s Laurey as it is between Kristine Perkins’ Ado Annie and Steve Barnett’s Will Parker. Sandy Olsthoorn’s Aunt Eller keeps everyone in line. Jamie Grout is perfectly cast as the peddler Ali Hakin. The cowboys, farm boys, cowgirls, farmers, farm girls and farm women all add up to a well-blended cast. And I must add kudos to the backstage crew and orchestra, without whom you wouldn’t see and hear this wonderful production.
You can tell a lot of work went into this from all of the hours of rehearsals learning the lines, songs, and dances along with the crews coordinating to bring this production to you. We are blessed to have award winning talent on and behind our stage here in Newton. My hat goes off to Sue Beukema and Rachel Faidley as the directors, without whom the Newton stage would be dimmer.
I would suggest you reserve your tickets early for this one by calling (641) 792-1230. Show times are 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday and March 21-23 and 2 p.m. Sunday.