Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Jul 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Growing Pains

ae OklahomaA young man and a state come of age in ‘Oklahoma!’

La Cage Aux Folles”—the first of three Cabrillo Stage musicals to grace Crocker Theater this summer—transported audiences to the south of France. But beginning this weekend, audiences will journey to the prairies of the American South for Richard Rodgers’ and Oscar Hammerstein’s 1943 landmark musical, “Oklahoma!” The play tells a story of young love and growth that mirrors the historical marriage of Oklahoma with the United States in 1907.

Actor Matthew Taylor, who spent much of his youth in Oklahoma and currently lives there, plays Curly, a handsome young cowboy—though sometimes fumbling—who pines after local farm girl Laurey Williams.

“His whole story is focused around becoming a man, defending what is his, and proving all of that to this woman,” says Taylor, whose slight “Okie” twang resonates even while out of character.

The story is set near the turn of the century, just after the Oklahoma territory “Land Run,” when settlers competed in a footrace across the prairie to claim land. “It was a time when there was a lot of drama in the United States,” Taylor says. “You're dealing with the birth of Oklahoma.” And, as Curly states in Act II: “This country is changing, you gotta change with it,” says Taylor.

“They're going through the growing pains of becoming a state,” he goes on. “And it's a bit of chaos, but it's chaos that they know will inevitably lead to something uniting and very exciting.”

Curly’s search for identity and journey to manhood parallel that of Oklahoma’s own coming of age and place in the United States.

“I like to bill [Curly] in a way that really mirrors that growth of the state,” Taylor explains. “He's such a boyish, sort of man-child at the beginning. He can't say what he means and he can't get what he wants, and I think that's really reflective in the journey of the state at this period in history.”

“Oklahoma!” director and choreographer Kikau Alvaro, who is based in New York City, describes the play as a beautiful fusion between musical theater and steadily driven, literary-based narrative. “Every single moment is a storytelling moment,” Alvaro says.

The production, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, is a staple in Oklahoma tradition—the title song, “Oklahoma,” is the state's anthem—and has served as a beacon of hope and solidarity for the state during recent natural disasters.

Since May, tornadoes and floods have killed more than 20 people in Oklahoma. In honor of the lives lost, Cabrillo Stage will dedicate its production to those affected.

Sometimes, Taylor says, people will ask, “Why would someone choose to live in a place that has weather that can kill and destroy so quickly?” His response is fairly simple:

“I think that [danger] yields a more heightened sense of love for family and the things that are really important. This show really gets into that—what is really important. Not necessarily the clothes that you're wearing or, at that time, the buggy that you're driving, but what you feel when you wake up in the morning. And we're really proud of that.”


‘Oklahoma!' runs July 26-Aug. 18 at Crocker Theater, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Tickets are $16-44. For tickets, call 479-6154 or visit cabrillostage.com.  Photo: Jana Marcus

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Jailbreak with Reality

‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ revisits one of the most notorious studies of all time
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover