Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is celebrating its 60th anniversary season this year with seven spectacular performances at the beloved Plaza Theatre and majestic Civic Center Music Hall.
Lyric’s 2023 anniversary season includes five mainstage productions – “The Play That Goes Wrong” (April 5-23), “The Sound of Music” (June 27-July 2), “The Prom “(July 11-16), “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (July 25-30) and “Concerto” (Sept. 13-Oct. 1). Season add-ons include “Big River: Theatre For Young Audiences Version” (Feb. 16-March 11) and Lyric’s 13th annual production of “A Christmas Carol” (Nov. 24–Dec. 24).
“The future is bright for Lyric Theatre, which was recently named the Official State Theatre of Oklahoma, and we are celebrating all year long,” said Michael Baron, Lyric’s producing artistic director. “We are busy creating a dynamic season with fresh looks at classic musicals, world and regional premieres and a new spectacular production of Lyric’s ‘A Christmas Carol.’ We are producing at full capacity and I am excited to welcome returning and new theatre lovers from around the state and country to experience live theatre created right here in Oklahoma! Happy 60th Anniversary to Lyric artists and patrons across the globe who made this celebration possible!”
The Diamond Anniversary Season begins with Lyric’s fifth installment in its Theatre for Young Audiences series, “Big River: Theatre For Young Audiences Version.” Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical is re-envisioned in an all-new, hour-long version of Mark Twain’s popular novel. With adjustments made for period-specific language and updating the roles of Jim and Huck, this tale of friendship-against-all-the-odds is re-imagined for two best friends who show a path to a better world. A co-production with Adventure Theatre MTC, in association with Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals and First Stage Milwaukee, this new version of Big River will be directed by Michael Baron, with Monique Midgette serving as associate director and Lauren Harrison as assistant director. The production is to be staged at Lyric’s Plaza Theatre.
In April, Lyric presents the Oklahoma City professional premiere of “The Play That Goes Wrong” at the Plaza Theatre. Described as what would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had a Broadway baby, this classic murder mystery is chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania. Welcome to opening night of The Murder at Haversham Manor, where things are quickly going from bad to utterly disastrous for this performing arts troupe. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead and actors who trip over everything – including their lines – it is sure to bring the house down, quite literally! “The Play That Goes Wrong” is to be directed by Ashley Wells, assisted by Sydney Sinclair.
Lyric’s family favorite feature, “The Sound of Music,” kicks off the summer season at the Civic Center in June. After a 16-year hiatus, Lyric’s stage is alive again with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved family favorite, in an all-new production featuring a 75-member cast and live orchestra. Your spirits should soar to the Tony, Grammy and Oscar-winning score, including “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title number, “The Sound of Music.” Hailed as one of the world’s most beloved musicals and perfect for audiences of all ages, the production is presented in collaboration with Canterbury Voices. “The Sound of Music” is to be directed by W. Jerome Stevenson.
Then, in July, it is time to dance, as Lyric shares with audiences a brand-new high school musical with the Oklahoma premiere of “The Prom.” Following a hit Broadway run and feature film, this hysterical and joyous new musical follows four big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. Winner of the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, “The Prom” captures all the humor and heart of a classic musical comedy while celebrating LGBTQIA+ diversity with a universal message of love and acceptance. The production is directed by Michael Baron, assisted by Carly Conklin.
Closing out the mainstage season at the Civic Center, Lyric steps back in time to 1920s Harlem with “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” featuring the wit and energy of one of the most dynamic periods in American music history. Lyric’s vibrant, new production of the Tony Award-winning musical celebrates the music of legendary Fats Waller and the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance. It’ll rock your world with hits like “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Your Feet’s Too Big,” “T’aint Nobody’s Business if I Do,” and many more. Join Lyric for this fabulous musical bursting with spectacular jazz-era hits. Ain’t Misbehavin’ is directed by Monique Midgette.
Returning to the Plaza Theatre in September, Lyric presents the world premiere play, “Concerto,” by Alan Olejniczak. Discover the man behind the music and one of the most celebrated composers of all time, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Nadezhda von Meck, the patroness who supported him. Concerto reveals the story behind the creation of the composer’s infamous 1878 violin concerto – a masterpiece that would become one of the most beloved concertos in musical history. The audience can look forward to being transported by a tale so few know with vivid characters from a gilded age, live music and a surprising true-to-life turn of events. Concerto is produced in collaboration with Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and is to be directed by Michael Baron.
The tree-topper to Lyric’s 2023 season, will be the 13th annual production of “A Christmas Carol” making its triumphant return to the Plaza Theatre. The beloved holiday tradition features all-new sets, costumes, lights, sounds and staging, thanks to a generous underwriting of title sponsor, Devon Energy. Join Ebenezer Scrooge, a host of ghosts and Charles Dickens’ characters as they spring to life in Lyric’s spectacular, new production. You’ll go from humbug to happy in one magical night at Lyric’s “A Christmas Carol,” co-directed by Michael Baron and Ashley Wells.