College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO To Stage Oklahoma Premiere of 'Sweet Smell of Success'

Nov. 10, 2010sweet smell publication photo

The University of Central Oklahoma Music Theatre Division will present the Oklahoma premiere of "Sweet Smell of Success," featuring a jazz-infused score from Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 18-20 & 2 p.m., Nov. 21 in UCO's Mitchell Hall Theater.
 
Based on the 1957 film noir classic starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, "Sweet Smell of Success," centers on J.J. Hunsecker, the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York. Hunsecker is determined to prevent his sister from marrying jazz musician Steve Dallas so he covertly employs unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco to break up the relationship by any means possible.

"It's loosely based on the reality on the 1930's and '40's gossip columnist, Walter Winchell who wielded a lot of influence over people at the time. It's about the power of the press and the pen and I love that it has this Faustian legend of someone selling their soul to the devil," said Greg White, show director and head of Music Theatre and Opera at Central.

White added that for this production scenic designer Christopher Domanski has "outdone himself."

"Everything at that time was about getting 'into' the column, so we built an enormous newspaper as a backdrop that has 14 different doors that the characters use to get 'into' the column," said Domanski. "As each door opens, we catch a glimpse of their lives at that moment-there is constant momentum."
 
More than 30 Central students make up the voice cast.  White said this year his talent pool is so deep that he decided to double-cast the show.  

"The score is really challenging for the men and it takes some serious vocal chops. Quite honestly, I can't think of another university or professional company that could, right now, double cast this show as we have done because we just have so many talented male seniors and graduate students," enthused White.

"Among them they have Broadway credits, national tour credits and regional credits."  

Male cast members include Jay Krottinger from Broken Arrow, Dallas Lish from Grove, Mat Govich from Norman, Justin Larman from Choctaw, James Michael Avance from Muskogee and Michael Stewart from Sapulpa.
 
Tickets for "Sweet Smell of Success," are $14 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $4 for students and may be purchased by calling the Mitchell Hall box office at (405) 974-3375.  

For more information on the UCO College of Fine Arts and Design events and programs, visit www.uco.edu/cfad/events