As nationally touring musicals begin to make a comeback, Colin Anderson is excited to be returning to his hometown.
“It’s been quite a while since I’ve made professional waves in Oklahoma City, and I’m so excited… especially considering how beautiful the Civic Center is. I have friends who are also professional touring professionals, and they’re not even from Oklahoma and they say, “Oh, wait till you get to the Civic Center.” It’s just one of the nicest grand homes in the country, “he said.
The University of Oklahoma City graduate returns to his hometown with the touring nationwide production of the classic “My Fair Lady” from New York’s Lincoln Center Theater. Directed by Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”), the lavish production of the musical Lerner & Loewe will open the rescheduled season at OKC Broadway Civic Center from September 28 to October 28. 3, finally finishing a extended intermission caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe we have an incredibly safe environment for our customers to come back to live entertainment,” said Elizabeth Gray, General Manager of OKC Broadway.
In July, the 41 Broadway theaters in New York City announced that they would require vaccinations for their spectators, and OKC Broadway – the local presenter of nationally touring Broadway shows – is following their lead by bringing musicals back to the Civic Center Music Hall.
OKC Broadway – a partnership between the Civic Center Foundation and the New York-based Nederlander Organization – announced last month that it require all customers this season to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Fully vaccinated” means the performance must take place at least 14 days after the ticket holder’s last dose of vaccine. To enter the theater, they must bring photo ID and proof of vaccination in the form of a physical vaccination record or a photo of their card.
Guests who are under 12 or who require accommodation for medical reasons or religious beliefs must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test taken within 72 hours before entering the site.
“These security measures were implemented after careful consideration of local conditions. We must do so to ensure the continued existence of top-notch live entertainment for years to come,” Gray said in a letter to subscribers. announcing COVID-19 rules.
In addition, masks continue to be mandatory at all times inside the Civic Center, regardless of a person’s immunization status.
“It’s really, really amazing to be back.… It was a depressing and anxious COVID situation. I didn’t sing a lot; I was resting and trying to heal. And I’m really happy, because that now I sing again every day, my voice is better than ever, ”said Anderson, adding that the“ My Fair Lady ”tour resumed this month in Houston in front of crowded crowds.
“It’s invigorating… just to be on stage and to have audience commentary – a living, breathing thing. More Zoom performances; it’s amazing.”
The last time Anderson, 31, took the stage at the Civic Center, he impressed on the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s “Christmas Show” in 2012 by singing the Andrea Bocelli-Celine Dion duo “The Prayer” opposite to Broadway veteran Michele Ragusa.
The former Putnam City North High School student last performed at OKC in the fall of 2013, when he played Riff Raff in the Lyric Theater Plaza District production of “The Rocky Horror Show.”
“I could talk about my training at OCU for literal hours and all of those who have prepared me for success,” he said.
He said he felt particularly lucky to have learned from legendary OCU voice teacher Florence Birdwell, who died in February at the age of 96.
“She is literally everything to me, and she gave me this gift… of love and courage,” he said.
The talented tenor continued to perform with “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Sweeney Todd” in New York City as well as the second nationwide tour of “The Book of Mormon”. He made his Broadway debut as a swing performer playing several roles in the revival of another classic musical: “Carousel” by Rodgers & Hammerstein.
“It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had to do. To be ready with a moment’s notice just doesn’t make sense. If you don’t live it, you’ll never really understand,” Anderson said. , which has just made its national television. Debut in the cross-event of three CBS series on “FBI”, “FBI: Most Wanted” and “FBI: International”.
Set in Edwardian London, “My Fair Lady” tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young flower seller from Cockney, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who sets out to transform her into his notion of “good lady. “.
“Where Bart’s genius came in was he just created such a strong Eliza,” Anderson said. “I think, originally wrote, there could have been potentially… some submission to Eliza and the women on the show. And I think we’ve created something quite different than that.”
Based on the 1913 play “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw, the musical – with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe – debuted on Broadway in 1956 with Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison in Les main roles. It won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and set a record for longest-running show at the time.
The 1964 film adaptation, starring Audrey Hepburn opposite Harrison, won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
The show features tunes as precious as “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “The Rain in Spain” and “Wouldn’t He Be in Love”. In addition to playing Higgins’ butler in the tour’s production, Anderson is part of the “Loverly Quartet”, which performs the latter with Eliza (Shereen Ahmed). He said it was an honor to sing this iconic number.
“Classical musical theater has kind of been my bag… with the frenzied vocals and awesome notes,” he said. “You never tire of singing the tunes.… People don’t write like that anymore: Lerner and Loewe – just like Rodgers and Hammerstein – they really created an unbeatable job. It’s really nice to sing every night. ”
‘My beautiful lady’
When: 28 Sep-Oct 3.
Or: Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
Tickets and information: https://www.okcbroadway.com.