By Mike Craver, Debra Monk, Mark Hardwick, Mary Murfitt
(creators of Pump Boys & Dinettes)
Directed by Joy Hawkins, Musical Direction by Charles Lindberg
Four graduates of Oil City High return to their alma mater to honor their music teacher in this knee-slapping show. Be prepared to do the Hokey-Pokey! Remember… it’s hip to be square.
“OCS lets the good times roll!” — Time Magazine
“An endearing slice of Americana that few will resist.” — Variety
An engaging reunion nostalgia musical with knee-slapping nuttiness and joyful, playful lyrics, as the opening of their 33rd season of professional theatre in Key West. Written by Mike Craver, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, & Mary Murfitt , it won Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desks Awards.
Clive Barnes of the New York Post said Oil City Symphony’s “a gusher! Better than John Philip Sousa played on massed kazoos with free ice-cream and bubble gum.” Variety called it “an endearing slice of nostalgic Americana that few will resist.” And the New York Times wrote “more than a tinge of moon madness, Oil City Symphony is its own refreshment. A musical with charm and a sure sense of its own identity.”
Red Barn Theatre Artistic Director Joy Hawkins directs this romp through favorite oldies and new lyrics in the paean/parody mode. Hawkins has directed for Red Barn since Day One, 33 years ago. She has also directed productions at Tennessee Williams Theatre and in theatres in every quadrant of the nation. Her performance credits include television’s The Dean Martin Show, Broadway, Las Vegas and regional theatres from Michigan to Florida to Scotland.
Charles Lindberg, Laurie Breakwell, Gayla Morgan and Trey Forsyth star as alumni from the 70s returning for a tribute to their music teacher. Lindberg is also the musical director of this production.
“Oil City Symphony is very funny indeed! Whether grimly trying to keep up with the quickening abandon of a mock Hungarian czardas, or haplessly segueing from Verdi’s Anvil Chorus to Iron Butterfly’s In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida or just getting down and funky with a little tune of their own called Beaver Ball at the Bug Club, Oil City Symphony lets the good times roll and in the process skewers every high school music program in the country… but fondly.”
The actors are an impressive set of professional musicians. Lindberg has an extensive Broadway and off-Broadway background and tackles the keyboard sometimes with a Victor Borga flair. He has been Musical Director for over 1,000 cabaret/night club shows, winning Bistro and Nightlife awards. He has also published over 50 books of piano arrangements.
Breakwell is an incredibly gifted vocalist well known to all the major Key West stages. She notes she is “fabulously fortunate” for having been involved in a musical a year the Red Barn since 2007—a list that includes Bat Boy the Musical; Bark, Christmas Survival Guide and Wild Women of Planet Wongo; and more. She released her hither-to unknown inner drummer for this role.
Gayla Morgan is a professional violinist, composer, actress and soprano with a long list of credits at Red Barn (including last year’s Forbidden Broadway), Waterfront Playhouse and Tennessee Williams Theatre. Her New York City acting credits include Dream House and Senior Moment. She has also played other regional theatres. She has many violin and vocalist credits in NYC, including participation in a six-member a cappella group nominated for a Grammy.
Trey Forsyth studied opera performance at North Carolina School of the Arts and performed various roles in Die Fledermaus, Madame Butterfly and Tales of Hoffman. After college he explored the roots of his craft by backpacking throughout Europe and is now warmly welcomed in the Key West theatre community.
This clever cornball jamboree opens Thursday, December 13 and gaily runs Tuesday to Saturday through January 12, with a special 2 pm matinee on Jan 12 as well as the evening show. Reserve your seats now — and be prepared to the do the “Hokey-Pokey.”
Bar opens at 7:30 and show starts at 8. The show is sponsored by Preferred Properties. Opening night features a party where you get to meet the cast. Tickets to this show make a perfect holiday gift! Call the box office to make arrangements.
Tickets are available at www.redbarntheatre.com, by phone at 296-9911 and from the Box Office, 319 Duval Street. Save with season subscription tickets for four to seven shows! Talk to the box office about group prices and the very special “Dinner and a Show” with the Pier House HarborView Café.