Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lyric Theatre of OKC celebrates 50 years of creating theater and community

Great video celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City, OK.

The video features several shots of my production of SWEET CHARITY I choreographed there last summer. Makes me smile just to see that again.

But my connection to Lyric goes back even further, as Lyric Theatre was my first professional job at the age of 17, back in 1981. I was in the dance ensemble for the summer in SHOWBOAT, MACK & MABEL, SOUTH PACIFIC and PLAIN AND FANCY.

Lyric was the first place I was paid to be a responsible, professional working in the theater. I actually went to work, traveling from Fort Worth, Texas, before I had even graduated from high school. I had to request a day off from Lyric to go back home and attend my graduation ceremony.

I worked with great artists there, like Joel Levine, who had a long career with Lyric as their music director and went on to become music director of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. I've been in touch with Joel a few times over the years and it's amazing how those long days of summer forge life-time friendships.

I've worked at several similar theaters over the years; from Casa Manana in Fort Worth, Texas, to most recently San Diego Music Theater in San Diego. These theaters bring a lot more than a bit of "showbiz" to their communities. From self-confidence to appreciation for the arts to learning responsibility that serves us well in life - these theaters bring a lot to the table.

Wherever you are, I hope you find the local theaters in your area. Get off the couch, so see live theater.

As Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! says "It's an adventure, Barnaby!"

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