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'OKLAHOMA!' Opens This Week To Kick Off Algonquin Arts Theatre Summer Season

July 14, 2014

Blockbuster Production of R & H Classic Anchors Summer Schedule That Includes 'Lend Me A Tenor,' AYE Production of 'Godspell' and More!

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Box Office: 12-6 p.m. weekdays, 12-4 p.m. Saturdays
By Phone at 732-528-9211 - In Person at 173 Main Street in Manasquan.

MANASQUAN, N.J. (July 14, 2014) � When the curtain raises on "OKLAHOMA!" this Thursday night at Algonquin Arts Theatre, it launches a spectacular summer of entertainment in Manasquan.

"OKLAHOMA!" stars the best young talent ages 15-25 from across New Jersey and runs for nine performances between July 17 and 27. This production marks the return of NJYT to Manasquan after hiatus and brings back the high production quality seen across the state for almost two decades in venues that have included NJPAC in Newark.

"We're extremely fortunate to have NJYT back at the Algonquin to kick off fantastic summer," Algonquin Arts Theatre Executive Director William Whitefield said. "Director Cynthia Meryl and her production team have won awards for good reason � their productions always deliver. If you are going to see one classic musical this summer at the Jersey Shore, make sure 'OKLAHOMA!' is that show."

While "OKLAHOMA!" features top talent from around the state, top local college and high school-aged talent make up the cast of the Algonquin Youth Ensemble production of "Godspell" for three performances from August 1-3.

August continues with the madcap, farcical comedy "Lend Me A Tenor" will be the Algonquin's other main stage production. This Ken Ludwig play opens on Friday, August 15 and runs for six performances across two weekends.

The summer schedule closes with a pair of top-quality musical acts takes the stage for one performance each. On Saturday, August 23 at 8 p.m., Glory Crampton, who starred as Eliza Doolittle in the critically acclaimed production of "My Fair Lady" at the Algonquin in March, returns with her solo concert 'From Broadway to Abbey Road' that includes many of the best Broadway show tunes of all time. The following day, on Sunday, August 24, 'Clarinet A La King' is THE tribute to Benny Goodman, featuring in-demand reedman Dan Levinson backed by the James Langton New York All-Star Big Band.

Tickets for all events are available online at, via phone at 732-528-9211 or in person at the Algonquin Box Office at 173 Main Street in Manasquan. The Box Office is open from 12-6 p.m. weekdays and 12-4 on Saturdays. Please note that in addition to the listed ticket prices, all tickets are subject to a $2 per ticket processing fee.

Following the summer schedule, the Algonquin will go dark from September 8 through October 23 to replace the theatre's 75-year old seats, reopening with the first title of the 2014-2015 Broadway Series.

About "OKLAHOMA!" � July 17-20 & 23-27
The first collaboration for Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's, "OKLAHOMA!" opened on Broadway in 1943 and ran for more than 2,000 performances, setting standards of musical theatre still being followed today. Set in Oklahoma territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, Will Parker, a fun-loving steer roper and Ado Annie, a love-hungry flirt play out their love stories.

That they will succeed in making new lives together we have no doubt, and that these new lives will begin in a brand-new state provides the ultimate climax to the triumphant OKLAHOMA! Songs include "People Will Say We're in Love," "I Can't Say No," "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top," and "Out of My Dreams." The show was based on the play "Green Grow the Lilacs" by Lynn Riggs and included original dances by Agnes de Mille.

"OKLAHOMA!" is being produced by NJYT in conjunction with Algonquin Arts Theatre and the Morristown Museum's Bickford Theatre. Director Cynthia Meryl's team includes musical director Matthew Webb and choreographer Sherry Alban.

About "Godspell"
The Algonquin Youth Ensemble stars in its 2014 summer production of Godspell, a rock musical based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John-Michael Tebelak.

The production directed by Julie Nagy and Ian Moore uses improvisation and contemporary themes to illustrate the parables, bringing these lessons to life through the grand tradition of story theater. Overflowing with energy, this classic comes with a message of tolerance, kindness and hope through popular songs such as "Day By Day," "Light of The World," "Turn Back, O Man" and "By My Side."

About "Lend Me A Tenor"
The three-time Tony Award winning farce Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig was a sensation on Broadway (twice!), in London's West End and this summer hits the Jersey Shore in this Algonquin production.

This screwball comedy leaves audiences teary-eyed with laughter. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he's dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli's Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he's Il Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo.

About Glory Crampton's "From Broadway to Abbey Road"
Glory Crampton, who starred as Eliza Doolittle in Algonquin Arts Theatre's critically-acclaimed production of My Fair Lady returns in concert for one night only! From Broadway to Abbey Road takes you on a journey through the numerous musical theatre roles Crampton has played as well as recording her album "Unusual Way" at Abbey Road backed by the London National Symphony.

The accomplished soprano sings two full sets of some of the best Broadway music off all-time from titles such as "Porgy & Bess," "West Side Story," "Guys & Dolls" and, of course, "My Fair Lady." Crampton adds her personal touch, engaging the audience in stories from the productions sprinkled in throughout an evening that you won't soon forget.

About "Clarinet A La King: THE Benny Goodman Tribute"
The music of the Benny Goodman orchestra is truly timeless. These are the sounds that captivated an entire planet during the Swing Era, and it's as fresh today as it was decades ago. In-demand reed man and Goodman devotee Dan Levinson plays Goodman's parts backed by James Langton's New York All-Star Big Band and featuring vocalist Molly Ryan. This late-summer concert promises to be absolutely spectacular. An opportunity to hear musicians of this caliber play these great arrangements doesn't happen often! The concert features classic arrangements of Fletcher Henderson, Jimmy Mundy, Edgar Sampson, Mel Powell, and Eddie Sauter, which helped bring the Benny Goodman Orchestra to the forefront of the Swing Era with such hits as "Don't Be That Way," "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Bugle Call Rag," "And the Angels Sing," "Why Don't You Do Right," "King Porter Stomp," and of course "Sing, Sing, Sing."

About Algonquin Arts Theatre
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; by funds from the Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation and from Simon Kaufman, Esq. & Maria Zito-Kaufman.