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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Published: Friday, 7/26/2013

THEATER

Show intends to entertain, inspire

Taylor Moyer has an ulterior motive for directing

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
From left, Matt Richardson as Curly, Wally Snyder as Cord Elam, and Jared Murray as Jud rehearse a scene in the Maumee Valley Civic Theatre production of 'Oklahoma!' From left, Matt Richardson as Curly, Wally Snyder as Cord Elam, and Jared Murray as Jud rehearse a scene in the Maumee Valley Civic Theatre production of 'Oklahoma!'
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NAPOLEON — Taylor Moyer has an ulterior motive for directing Maumee Valley Civic Theatre's production of Oklahoma! this weekend at the John L. Johnson Auditorium.

“This is very personal. The biggest reason I agreed to direct and give away my summer is the John L. Johnson is slated to be torn down in two years; it's not going to be rebuilt,” Moyer said.

Moyer, who's performed in the auditorium for 10 years, hopes bringing this classic musical western to the stage will inspire the community to invest in the efforts of the Napoleon Civic Center group to raise about $3.5 million to save and restore the 77-year-old theater.

The director is an avid history buff who welcomed the opportunity to direct a piece set in the past. “I really pride myself on authenticity and trying to be true to the time period. This is a show that is realistic. This is a western and that's kind of an American tradition. The old-time western is ingrained in our culture.”

Oklahoma! first opened on Broadway in 1943 and closed after more than a five-year run and 2,212 performances. It’s had several revivals on Broadway and long been a favorite of school and community theaters. This is the first musical collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein and its rich score includes “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “Oklahoma!,” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.”

This production welcomes actors from across Ohio including Matt Richardson of Hamler, Ohio, as Curly, a cowboy who has set his sight on Megan Falter of Maumee as Laurey; Shellee Murcko of Napoleon as Laurey's Aunt Eller; Alex Sonnenberg of Napoleon as Will Parker, a cowboy in love with Laurey's friend; and Jared Murray of Columbus as Jud Fry, a disturbed farm hand who pines for Laurey.

The 58-member cast is quite diverse, Moyer said. “I love the talent pool we've been able to pull from. We have actors who are 15 years old and some who are 65 years old.”

“Oklahoma!” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday at the John L. Johnson Auditorium, 303 W. Main St., Napoleon. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students 18 and younger. Tickets can be purchased through the Henry County Chamber of Commerce: 419-592-1786.

Candy Wizard

Crazy kids and an even crazier candy maker meet when the Children’s Theatre Workshop presents Willy Wonka: The Musical this weekend at the Collingwood Arts Center.

This musical mixes elements of the Roald Dahl book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, where young Charlie Bucket finds a golden ticket that will forever change his life.

“Willy Wonka: The Musical” will be performed at 8 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Lois M. Nelson Theatre at the Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Information: 419-244-5061 or ctwtoledo.org

Beastly Beauty

A young maiden brings out the best in a beast as 3B Productions presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast this weekend at the Maumee Indoor Theater.

A young cast from more than 20 area schools tells the tale of Belle, who gives herself to a beast in exchange for her father's freedom and unfolds the princely beauty of her captor in this magical musical directed by Joe Barton.

This magnificent theatrical production opened on Broadway in 1994 and closed in 2007 after 5,461 performances. 

Beauty and the Beast was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won the 1994 Tony for Best Costume Design. This was the first Disney animated film to be adapted for the stage.

“Disney's Beauty and the Beast” will be performed at 8 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday with performances at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St., Maumee. Tickets are $15 for priority seating, $13 for adults, and $11 for seniors and students. Information: 419-865-5533 or 3bproductions.org.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.



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