Lewis Wilkenfeld Explains Oklahoma!'s Timelessness

16 July 2015

 Ovation Award-winning Cabrillo Music Theatre is Thousand Oaks' non-profit resident musical theatre production company known for their Broadway-quality productions of some of America's best loved musicals. Past performances include The King and I (starring Debbie Gibson), Carousel (starring Kevin Earley), Kiss Me Kate (starring Davis Gaines) and Mary Poppins (starring Juliana Hansen). Tomorrow, 17 July 2015, they are bringing back the classic Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Oklahoma! starring baritone Damon Kirsche as peddler Ali Hakim, local favorite Dan Callaway as Curly and newcomer Callandra Olivia as Laurey.

Prior to opening night (17 July 2015), I had a chance to chat with Artistic Director/Director, Lewis Wilkenfeld, about his experience and passion for their summer show, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Oklahoma!

According to Lewis Wilkenfeld, Oklahoma! is not passé but is still a popular show Cabrillo Music Theatre audiences want to see. Rodgers and Hammerstein shows have held up very well and hold a great appeal to the Cabrillo Music Theatre audiences. It (Oklahoma!) doesn't feel dated but rather there is a timelessness and the show's theme of "The American Dream" is not much different from what most people coming into this country experience.

Having directed two previous productions of Oklahoma!, including one in 1997 for Cabrillo Music Theatre, Lewis likes to find new things each time to focus on. This time he is focusing on the American Dream and the community that is portrayed in Oklahoma! Their approach to the world was very honest and pure. They lived in a time that was untainted by social media, mass media, pop culture.

And what better way to support community theatre? Did you know that a visit to a regional theatre will increase the community's property value and bring actors and audiences into town who are going to be contributing to local restaurants, hotels, and amenities. Cabrillo Music Theatre specifically brings guests into town 26-28 weeks a year, significantly enhancing lives and property values in Thousand Oaks. So whether you are or are not going to see a local show, we all are lucky enough to benefit from those enhancements.
If you are a fan of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and the classic American musical, you are going to want to check out this lively and family-friendly musical playing at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 40 miles North of Los Angeles.
Performances: July 17-26, 2015
Location: Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (Parking: $8 cash)
Tickets: Box Office and Ticketmaster (Group Sales Available)
Rating: PG (Appropriate for Children)

Stay tuned for a review of tomorrow's opening night!
 xx

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Thanks so much for sharing with me! Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated!
x Joy

 

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