Dorset Players close season with 'Oklahoma!'

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DORSET — The Dorset Players will bring down the curtain on their 91st anniversary season with "Oklahoma!", considered one of the seminal musicals in Broadway history. Performances will be at the Dorset Playhouse on May 17-18 and May 24-25 at 7:30 p.m. and on May 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.

The first collaboration of legendary lyricist Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, the show was a game-changer when it took Broadway by storm when it opened in 1943. Memorable songs such as "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're In Love," and "Oklahoma!, rather than just providing filler, advanced the story of a cowboy, Curly, who falls for a farm girl, Laurey, against the backdrop of prairie life in the Indian Territory, circa 1907.

Over the past four months, director Suzi Dorgeloh, musical director Tom Salmon and choreographer Kelly Gaiotti have marshaled a talented cast of 23 from 17 area towns in Vermont and New York. Newcomer Josh Bond takes the lead as Curly, while Danielle Houston, who last appeared with The Players in the 2014 production of "Miracle on 34th Street," is Laurey. Dana Haley, who wowed audiences in The Players' production "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," sashays in as Ado Annie — the girl "who cain't say no." Two actors fresh from leading roles in The Players' "Witness for the Prosecution" are Joe Mozer, as Will Parker, who does his utmost to romance Ado Annie, and Drew Davidson, who portrays the tortured Jud Fry, who pines for Laurey and cannot have her. Aunt Eller is played by Caren McVicker, who is also new to the Dorset stage.

The balance of the cast is peppered with new and familiar faces to Dorset audiences, including Christy Vogel, Richard Grip, Chris Restino, Billy Jamieson, Dan Silver, Errol Hill, Bill Cruikshank, Michael Gallagher, Lily Gallagher, Zachary Barnett, Bob Fogelgren, Sara Gregory, Maeve Keeton, Laura King, Lily Butler, Ginny Edinger and Annie Nash.

Tickets can be purchased online at dorsetplayers.org, in person, or by calling 802-867-5777. Tickets $25 for members, $30 for the general public and $12 for those 18 years old and younger. "Oklahoma!" is sponsored by Above All Vermont; The Barn Restaurant; Errol L. Hill Painting; La Peche Lingerie; RK Miles; Southwestern Vermont Medical Center; Bob & Martha Schoenemann; Spivey, Lemonik Swenor, PC and The Wilburton Inn.

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