Rogers and Hammerstein classics to be performed at Valentine Cabaret

imageFans of Broadway musical composers Rogers and Hammerstein will have a unique opportunity to celebrate the Valentine week with a loved one. The Music Department at Oklahoma Christian University will host its 21st Valentine Cabaret dinner theatre Feb. 11-13. The catered, candle-lit dinner and musical revue, titled An Enchanted Evening With Rogers and Hammerstein, features 30 classic songs from 11 famous musicals.

According to Ken Adams, professor of music, the performance presents a multifaceted look at songs composed over the decades by the legendary team.

“We have knit together a unique group of songs,” Adams said. “This is a great advantage for the audience because no where else will you have so many Rogers and Hammerstein classics in one production. Plus, we’ve included a few of their songs that are not as well known.”

Selections will be sung from musicals such as “Oklahoma!,” “Carousel,” “South Pacific,” “The King & I” and “The Sound of Music.” Some of the songs to be performed include “Something Wonderful,” “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” “Younger than Springtime,” “I Have Dreamed,” “All ‘Er Nothin’” and “Some Enchanted Evening.”

Chad Anderson is directing the cabaret. He is active in the Oklahoma City musical scene, having performed in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Yuletide Magic production. He holds a master of performing arts degree from Oklahoma City University, and he is also working on his master of fine arts degree in theater from OU.

“Chad is as much a singer as he is a director,” Adams said. “His focus in graduate school was opera performance.”

According to Anderson, the students have really responded to his direction because they know he has been in their shoes before.

“While the students in this show are some of our best performers, they keep growing and continually impress me with their talent,” Anderson said. “I’m certain that energy will translate to the audience as well.”

The piano accompanist for the Valentine Cabaret is also an accomplished Oklahoma City musician. Eric Grigg has performed for Lyric Theatre productions and many recent Oklahoma Christian homecoming musicals. Like Anderson, Grigg has also performed in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Yuletide Magic production.

The Valentine Cabaret is choreographed by Barbara Berard.

“She has done an excellent job with this production,” Anderson said.

According to Adams, tickets to the Cabaret sell quickly.

“Our performance hall is a beautiful, intricate setting that seats less than 200 people,” he said. “So, it often sells out.”

Much of that can be attributed to the annual event’s reputation as an entertaining and affordable Valentine week option.

“We always have a great response simply because Where else can you get a fully served dinner and performance for $17 a person,” Adams said. “You’ll pay more at a sit down restaurant, and yet more if you go to a movie afterward. We feel the cabaret is a great value.”

Cast members include students Laura Bowles, Hannah Foster, Spencer Goad, Ryan Gonzales, Vanessa Martus, Sarah Risley, Brian Wilcox, Moriah Willing, Tommy Winberry and Brett Vanderzee.

The Cabaret runs Feb. 11-13. Those who do not want to purchase the dinner can attend the show alone for $7. The cost for dinner and the show is $17 per person, but tickets must be purchased at least a day before the performance. The dinner will be served in the Macintosh Conservatory at Oklahoma Christian, which is adjacent to the Recital Hall.

The menu for the event will be a tossed green salad with dressing, London broil steak, whole new potatoes with parsley butter, grilled fresh vegetables, chocolate and raspberry swirl cheesecake, tea, coffee and water.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 425-5530 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling 425-5540 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.