College of Fine Arts and Design

Summerstock to Produce 'The Music Man' and 'Anything Goes' for 2012 Season

April 11, 2011

Summerstock Productions, in partnership with the University of Central Oklahoma, will stage the musical theatre classics, "The Music Man" and "Anything Goes" this summer at Mitchell Hall Theater on Central's campus in Edmond.  

"The Music Man" will run June 15-17 and 22-24 and "Anything Goes" will be staged July 20-22 and 27-29.     

"The Music Man," by Meredith Willson, follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys' band he vows to organize.  His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for the town librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain's fall.

 The iconic musical won five Tony awards including best musical when it opened on Broadway and features such recognizable favorites as "76 Trombones," "Till there Was You" and "Trouble."

Veteran director, actor and choreographer Billie Thrash will direct the show.

"Willson based ‘The Music Man' on his own childhood in Iowa and it's those loving memories of small town life that fill the stage and that have made it a popular choice for theatres large and small across the country," said Thrash.

Lane Fields, well known to local audiences for his roles at Pollard Theatre, City Rep, Lyric Theater and Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, will play the leading role of Harold Hill.

 "I would never turn down the opportunity to work with Billie Thrash. She has such amazing vision and drive," he said.

"In addition, the chance to work with so many talented young actors is the best part of shows like ‘The Music Man.' Many times, the main characters have limited stage time with the rest of the cast, but in this show, there's so much interaction with all the townsfolk 'right here in River City.' "

An actor well-known to local audiences will also take on the lead role in "Anything Goes," a romantic adventure that follows an eclectic group of ocean liner passengers on their journey from New York to London. Oklahoma City-based singer Renee Anderson will star as Reno Sweeney. Anderson has been seen in venues such as Dallas Summer Musicals, Kansas City Starlight Theater, Atlanta Theater of the Stars, the St. Louis Muny, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Repertory Theater and The Pollard Theatre. She played Annie Oakley in the 2011 production of Summerstock's "Annie Get Your Gun."

 "This is a fantastic role," said Anderson. "I've always loved the music of Cole Porter and the show ‘Anything Goes.' It's such a classic musical."

 "Anything Goes" features musical theatre standards "I Get a Kick Out Of You," "It's De-lovely," and "Anything Goes."

Performances for both shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays.           

Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $15 for children for evening shows. Matinees will be $15 for adults and $10 dollars for children.  Discounted season tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased in advance by credit card by calling the Mitchell Hall Theater box office at (405) 974-3375.  Patrons can pay by credit card, cash or check from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Hall box office located at the northeast corner of University Drive and Main Street in Edmond.   Tickets will also be available at the door. All seating is general admission.    

Summerstock season sponsors include the UCO College of Fine Arts and Design, Edmond Life and Leisure, The Edmond Sun, OU Medical Center Edmond, T & S Web Design and Parkway Cleaners. For more information, visit www.summerstockok.com.