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Tony Award-Winner to Give Presentation at OCU

by Rod Jones

Broadway superstar Kelli O’Hara will visit Oklahoma City University for a special presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21. The presentation is free to the public and will be held in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel on N.W. 23rd Street between Blackwelder and Kentucky avenues.

Entrance will be through the upper west doors and doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

The event is made possible by OCU’s Martha Jean Lemon Speaker Series. The series features speakers and programs that promote religious leadership and service, and recognize the importance of historical perspective and social responsibility.

O’Hara will talk about her career and life experiences that include growing up in western Oklahoma and attending college at OCU. She will also perform a few songs with accompaniment from OCU music professor Jan McDaniel on piano.

“Kelli O’Hara is a great ambassador for OCU and for Oklahoma,” said Marty O’Gwynn, OCU vice president of university advancement. “She never misses an opportunity to brag about her Oklahoma roots. We look forward to her remarks. This is a special opportunity for OCU to welcome Kelli through the Martha Jean Lemon Speaker Series.

“The Lemon family seeks to bring inspiring personalities to share with our campus community, and Kelli’s career, family experience and spiritual journey combine to make this a perfect fit.”

O’Hara will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Nov. 17. She won the Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical in 2015 for her performance in one of the most critically acclaimed productions in the country, “The King and I” at the Lincoln Center Theater. She is currently performing solo shows across the country, including a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City later this month.

O’Hara, lauded as “Broadway’s golden girl and luminous star” by The New York Times, has had an additional five Tony Award nominations for her work in “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “The Light in the Piazza,” “The Pajama Game” and “South Pacific.” She has also been nominated for Grammy awards twice and has appeared in film and television shows including “Alexander Hamilton,” “Sex & The City 2,” “Blue Bloods” and “NUMB3RS.”

The Martha Jean Lemon Speakers Series was established through a gift from Lynette Lemon Wert and Larry H. Lemon on behalf of the Lemon family to honor Martha Jean Lemon, who graduated from OCU in 1968 with a degree in history and worked as an independent comparative religion scholar.

While the event is free to the public, there is limited seating and guests are encouraged to arrive early. For more information, visit okcu.edu or call 405-208-7000.

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