Oklahoma - Finian’s Rainbow – Aladdin
This is definitely a different type of production. While having a hero and heroine, it lacks principals in the ordinary sense – there are no “stars”; all are characters in their own particular way. It introduces new aspects of stage groupings - the traditional chorus has disappeared. The characters appear and act just as ordinary people would deport themselves under the circumstances. The Ballet is an integral part of the show with the choreography original and unusual. Scene settings strike out into new paths, making the whole offering unique. “OKLAHOMA” – the plot very slight, and based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs” written by Lynne Riggs. It is a period piece, the characters wearing the early garb of early American settlement. The Ballet sequence, known as “Laurey’s Dream” furnishes the general motif of the play’s action, and is described below. “OKLAHOMA” – the name is intriguing and euphonious, and in the language of the Choctaw Indians signifies “red people.” It was admitted as a State in 1907, being previously known as “Indian Territory.” Indians still remain a considerable percentage of it’s population, which is probably in the vicinity of 2.1/2 million. “THE DREAM SEQUENCE” – The Dream Sequence. Which concludes Act I, depicts Laurey’s dreams and her per medium of ballet, members of which made up as Laurey, Curley and Jud, dance the roles. The ballet commences with the “Dream figures” of Laurey and Curly dancing together in the forgetful happiness of young love. Presently a young girl enters, soon followed by others. Them come some of Curly’s cowboys. Curly kisses Laurey and walks away. A little girl presents Laurey with a nosegay, then more girls dance and embrace her. Suddenly a bridal veil floats down and they place it on Laurey’s head. Curly and the boys enter, their actions suggesting cowboys astride their horses. The next dance motif is “The Wedding.” Curly awaits his bride walking down the aisle formed by the girls, but Jud moves slowly forward and removes Laurey’s Veil. Laurey is left alone with Jud. Three brazen girls enter (they typify the kind of “women” with which Jud mainly associates). They dance with Jud and the boys, and the girls perform the can-can for them. Then Laurey and Jud are left alone again. Curly comes upon the scene and fires at Jud with an imaginary pistol. Jud chokes Curly, killing him and then carries Laurey off. Finally the real Jud awakens Laurey from her dreaming and she moves off with him mechanically, feeling that her dream must have come true. The real Curley enters expectantly, but seeing Laurey leave with Jud, stands alone, puzzled, dejected and defeated as the curtain falls.
The Production Team
Director – Annette Emerton
Choreographer – Annette Emerton
Musical Director – Kate Palethorpe
Assistant Director – Peter Burgess
Rehearsal Pianist – Helen Short
Lorraine Grant (Aunt Eller), David Lewis (Curly), Jan Mahoney (Laurey), Don Donaldson (Ike Skidmore), Bruce Holden (Slim), Craig Curran (Will Parker), Mark Daniels (Jud Fry), Lisa Balaschow (Ado Annie), Lance Smith (Ali Hakim), Michelle Croudace (Gertie Cummings), Neville Davies (Andrew Carnes), John Hooker (Cord Elam), Melita Roots (Dream Laurey), Paul Wright (Dream Curley), Lynne Chester, Nola Verrills, Margaret Emerton, Jennifer Rixon, Carole Barry, Gillian Lord, Cilla Norris, Andrew Austin, Brendan Fitzgerald, Robert Lashmore, Julie Aubert, Shelley Crandell, Sandra Harrison, Roslyn Jones, Helen Kennedy, Judy Kennedy, Jeanette Kerr, Janelle McNair, Helen Smith, Betty Tougher, Anne Wilson, Michael Abrahams, Gary Clayton, Ross Clarke, Peter Marshall, Fred Waski.
Finian McLonergan, an Irish immigrant, arrives in Rainbow Valley, Missitucky with his daughter Sharon and a pot of gold he has “borrowed” from a Leprecaun named Og. He believes that by burying the gold near Fort Knox it will grow and make him rich. Og, worried that he will lose his magical powers follows Finian across the Atlantic in an attempt to regain the crock. They arrive in time to meet the local population of Negro and white tobacco sharecroppers, Woody Mahoney, their leader, and his beautiful sister, Susan (the silent) and save the valley from being auctioned off to the bigoted Senator Billboard Hawkins who is aiming to buy up the whole valley and build a school exclusively for white children. The situation becomes riotous when Sharon, unwittingly standing over the crock, wishes the Senator black. She, now betrothed to Woody, faces a charge of witchcraft. Things are indeed hopeless, but they’re not serious, Og being aware that there are still two more wishes left in the crock. All ends well as everyone comes to understand that riches are found, not in gold, but in people trusting one another.
The Production Team
Director – Moria Hooker
Choreographer – Annette Emerton / Jenny Rixon
Musical Director – Dominic Hearn
Rehearsal Pianist – Bruce Rixon
Graeme Kendrick (Buzz Collins), Andrew Austin (Sheriff), Anne Wilson (Maude), Ashley Grant (Henry), Kate Klusman (Susan (The Silent) Mahoney), David Ivins (Finian McLonergan), Lisa Wilkinson (Sharon McLonergan), Geoff Keir (Woody Mahoney), James Llewelyn (Og), John Hooker (Senator Billboard Hawkins), Warwick Georgeson (White Geologist), Michelle Croudace (Black Geologist), Russel McNair (Mr Hire), Janelle McNair (Miss Purchase), Jonathan Johns (1st Gospeller), Keith Gorman (2nd Gospeller) Robert Lashmore (3rd Gospeller), Greg Hansford (Deputy), Shane Caddaye (Preacher), Caryn Hansford, Anne Kay, Judy Kennedy, Michelle Millgate, Cilla Norris, Danielle Norton, Julie Aubert, Lorraine Baines, Lynne Chester, Melinda Durie, Kerry Edwards, Sandra Harrison, Beverley Ivins, Shelley Kennedy, Susie Kennedy, Jeanette Kerr, Peter Marshall, Adrian Mumberson, Kris Parker, Jenny Rixon, Joanne Georgeson, Natalie Georgeson, Michelle Gorman, Kirili Ivins, Angela Kennedy.
We acknowledge that the use of blackface is offensive in the modern time, and we apologise for any discomfort caused. Please know that this musical was produced at a time when Australian understanding of the offence caused by blackface was in it's infancy. This show is represented here for historical record.
Aladdin, a laundry boy, is being pursued by Bamboo & Typhoo, two policemen, because he was found kissing the beautiful Princess Say Wen, the only daughter of the Emperor & Empress of China. It had been declared, “Any man that looks at the Princess’s face shall be executed in the market place”. Despite pleas from Widow Twankey, Aladdin’s mother, and his brother, Wishee Washee, the head of the secret police, The Grand Vizer, orders Strong Pong to begin the execution. Aladdin is miraculously saved by an Egyptian magician, The Great Abanazar, who knows that only Aladdin can open the secret cave where the magic lamp is hidden. Abanazar hires Rick Shaw to take Aladdin and himself up into the mountains but Aladdin has “better things to do” and goes off to his Princess once more. Widow Twankey and Wishee Washee return to their “Limehouse Laundry Blues” with hilarious results. As Aladdin and the Princess embrace once again, fate takes a turn for the worse and Aladdin finds his head on the chopping block for a second time. Abanazar comes to the rescue again by allowing chaos and confusion to reign whilst he and Aladdin escape to the secret cave. After several attempts, the cave door is finally opened and Aladdin is ordered into the spooky cave. Believing there are jewels hidden in the cave, Aladdin withholds the lamp from Abanazar, who, in a fit of temper, slams the door shut, leaving Aladdin to die a horrible death. In his effort to keep warm Aladdin inadvertently rubs the lamp and is taken aback when a Genie appears declaring;” Your wish is my command”. Hesitant at first, Aladdin orders the Genie to help him marry the Princess. To his amazement he is instantly transformed and the cave becomes an alcove of dazzling splendour. Abanazar, having found his way back from the mountains convinces Widow Twankey that Aladdin is dead. To his dismay Aladdin and the Genie return to share his new found wealth with his family. The Emperor and Empress, impressed with the style in which Aladdin clothes his mother and brother, consent to the marriage. A grand palace is built in order to house the newly espoused couple. Prince Pekoe, the pompous son of the Grand Vizer, who was once betrothed to the Princess, now declares to be good as he laments his loss. Whilst packing her wedding trousseau, Princess Say Wen, is tricked into swapping “New lamps for old” by an old peddler, Abanazar in disguise, who orders the Genie to whisk them off to Egypt. Aladdin, penniless once more, calls upon the Fairy of the Ring to take him to his Princess. In moments they arrive in the room of My Mummy in the Great Pyramid of Egypt where “bravery and courage must combine if his fair Princess he is to find.
The Production Team
Director – Madeleine Witzlsperger
Choreographer – Annette Emerton / Jenny Rixon
Musical Director – Mark Pigot
Assistant Director – Moira Hooker
Rehearsal Pianist – Mark Pigot
Lisa Balaschow (Magic Plant). Bruce Holden (Strong Pong), Greg Hansford (Wishee Washee Twankey), Michelle Croudace (Police), Caryn Hansford (Police), Shane Caddaye (Aladdin Twankey), Bryan Dalton (Widow Twankey), Peter Holmes (Grand Vizer), Allan Ingles (Emperor), Betty Tougher (Empress), Helen Kennedy (Princess Say Wen), Angela Kennedy (So Shi), Suzanne May (Sing Hi), Jan Mahoney (Prince Pekoe), Ron Smith (The Great Abanazar), Anne Kay & Caryn Hansford (Horse), Jonathan Johns (Genie), Helen Kennedy (Madam Flash Bang), Gillian Lewis (Fairy), Ruthann Brown (Slave Girl), John Hooker (Mummy), Jodie Muir (Marionette Doll), Andrew Austin, Lynne Chester, Melinda Durie, Brendan Fitzgerald, Shelley Kennedy, Cilla Norris, Danielle Norton, Kris Parker, Ashley Smith, Melinda Smith, Susan Standen, Ellen Witzlsperger, Karl Witlzsperger.