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‘Oklahoma!’ Opens Tonight!

The Premiere Playhouse (TPP) in Sioux Falls opens their production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! tonight at the historic Orpheum Theater!

Our production runs through April 21st with 7:00pm performances Thursday through Saturday and 2:00pm performances on Sundays. In the Oklahoma territory during the turn-of-the-century land rush, a boastful cowboy named Curly and a surly ranch hand named Jud are both in love with a beautiful gal named Laurey. This golden age musical is TPP’s penultimate production of their 21st season and provides Sioux Falls audiences with the prized experience of a classic musical theatre performance that is sure to resonate with anyone and everyone!

The intergenerational cast is led by Betty Kay Merkle and Patrick Simonsen as Laurey Williams and Curly McLain, respectively, with Abby Kustak portraying Aunt Eller. Ceil Stoll and Connor Klimek play the dynamic duo of Ado Annie Carnes and Will Parker with Andrew Carnes played by Mike Dinsmore. Casey Kustak takes on the role of Ali Hakim and Adrian Johnson plays Jud Fry while Madison Gerhart appears as Gertie Cummings (and the Tormentor). The ensemble of actor/singer/dancers is rounded out by Kjersti Olson as Sylvie (Laurey understudy), Liyah White as Ellen (Ado Annie understudy), Alexis Kulm as Kate, Ann Henkhaus as Aggie, Madeline Borgmeier as Sam, Mo Plastow as Armina, Caleb Ritchie as Cord Elam (Curly understudy), Samuel Scarson as Fred (Will understudy), Bob Nelson as Ike Skidmore, Charlie Ellingson as Chalmers, Christian Heiberger as Slim, Ian Ward as Joe, and Logan Leavitt as Mike. The youth ensemble consists of talented students from TPP’s Education program: Beckett Kustak, Collin Tebben, Laura Sheppard, Nathan Sheppard, Penny Kustake, and Sophia Fette.

Matthew Nesmith, Coordinator of the BFA Musical Theatre program at the University of South Dakota, serves as stage and music director. Rachel Smith is the choreographer with Patrick Simonsen as assistant choreographer. Corey Shelsta, Designer/Technical Director/Professor of Theatre at South Dakota State University serves as scenic and lighting designer. Brittney Lewis is costume, hair and make-up designer as well as costume shop manager for the production. Malia Lukomski serves as the sound designer and Jake Cox is the properties artisan. Alexondrea Thong Vanh is the charge scenic artist and Pierce Humke is technical director. Erika Waxdahl serves as stage manager with Carlie Terrall as assistant stage manager. Alex Newcomb Weiland is the production manager with Oliver Mayes serving as producer and casting director.

Oklahoma! has a live bluegrass band on stage that consists of actor Ceil Stoll (guitar), Collin Flynn (bass), Gene LeVasseur (drums/percussion), Grace Gasperich (piano/conductor), Hanalei Barrett (violin 2), Jacob Moeller (guitar/mandolin), actor Madison Gerhart (viola), Marian Casey/Elizabeth Gustafson (violin 1), and Mike VanDeWiele (banjo/banjitar).

The build and running crew for this production consists of many individuals from the community, some of which are: Aidan Boone, Anna (Cindy) Crawford, Elizabeth Wintering, Kevin Wintering, Ellie Roskamp, Hope Humphrey, Jamie Bowden, Jim McLain, Audrey Simmons, Jackson Heiberger, Shannon Dancler, Corbin Hansel, and Adam Carpenter.

Tickets for The Premiere Playhouse’s presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! are available online here or can be purchased by calling (605-731-2420) or visiting (301 S. Main Ave.) the box office. Performances are at the Orpheum Theater Center (315 N. Phillips Ave.) with a 7:00pm curtain and one 15-minute intermission halfway through the 2 hour and 40 minute musical. TPP’s Season 22 mainstage subscriptions are now available to the public, which patrons can purchase at performances, online here, or by calling/visiting the box office. See ya’ll soon!

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