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Montana Western Fine Arts presents 'Oklahoma!'

UMW News Bureau

Student actors performingThe University of Montana Western Fine Arts Department will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” with performances on Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m.; and Sunday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.

All performances will take place in the newly renovated Beier Auditorium, located on the south end of Main Hall of the Montana Western campus in Dillon, 710 South Atlantic Street.

“Oklahoma!” was the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Montana Western’s performance will be directed by UMW Professor of Fine Arts Judy Ulrich. The story takes place in Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s. The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943 and was a box-office smash, running for a record 2,212 performances. The play later enjoyed award-winning revivals, national tours, and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation.

From its success on Broadway, “Oklahoma!” set the standards for musicals. Ulrich said the play will be a joy to watch and is just as fun to prepare.

“Preparing ‘Oklahoma!’ is a treat,” Ulrich explained. “The story makes you melt and the characters are a hoot. We are also very excited to be producing the performances in the newly renovated Beier Auditorium. Our crews are using the new workshops and renovated spaces to the utmost, designing lights, creating a barn-raising scene, rehearsing square dances, collecting cowmen paraphernalia, building colorful picnic outfits. With university staff members, community adults and children joining in, it feels like a celebration.”

General admission to “Oklahoma!” is $10 and $5 for students of all ages with valid identification. Tickets may be purchased at the Montana Western Business Services office or by calling (406) 683-7101. Tickets are also available at Bert’s CD’s or by calling (406) 683-9202.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door prior to each performance. For more information about the production, please call (406) 683-7422.

OKLAHOMA! is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: www.rnh.com.