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OKCU to Present Bernstein's "On the Town

Oklahoma City University will close the season with the production of the acclaimed musical “On the Town” April 20-22.

“This is the perfect show for OCU to present as part of the worldwide celebration of the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth,” said Mark Parker, dean of the Bass School of Music.

The romantic comedy, featuring a cast of 37 and a 32-piece orchestra, follows three starry-eyed sailors on their first trip to New York City as they look for adventure and romance on their 24-hour shore leave. Bernstein’s iconic score includes one of Broadway’s best-known showtunes, “New York, New York.”

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent at OCU to do justice to this piece,” said Director Karen Coe Miller. “Our students have the singing, acting, dancing and orchestral chops and the production resources to make this an extraordinary season finale.”

“On the Town” has had three Broadway revivals since its 1944 debut, most recently in 2015. The show also inspired the Oscar-winning film starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

“This show was Broadway’s introduction to America’s greatest musician. Bernstein was a world-renowned conductor, the first American to conduct a major U.S. orchestra, who led more than 300 recordings of the world’s greatest orchestras. He was a composer of opera, symphonies and hugely successful Broadway shows,” said Parker.

The show is the finale of the 66th season for Oklahoma City University’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theatre Company, the nation’s oldest campus-based opera and musical troupe. The Company has won five national production awards in the past six years from the National Opera House. Miller will present a talk 45 minutes before curtain.

“Bernstein was also a pioneering music educator, leading more than 50 nationwide broadcasts of young people’s concerts with the New York Philharmonic. This show is our salute to his lasting influence on American music,” said Parker.

OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theatre Company will present three performances at 8 p.m. April 20 and 21, with a 3 p.m. matinee April 22, in the historic Kirkpatrick Auditorium, 2501 N. Blackwelder, at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music. An opening-night dinner themed to the show and hosted by Dean Mark Parker will be held April 20 in the Bass Music Center beginning at 6:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 405-208-5227 or online at www.okcu.edu/tickets.

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