Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Moves Full Season Outdoors
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s 2021 season kicks off next month under the stars in downtown Oklahoma City with the first of five, fully-staged, outdoor productions planned over the coming months.
The season features three productions at the Myriad Botanical Gardens Water Stage — Denise Lee: Pressure Makes Diamonds, Nunsense and Master Class — and Grease at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School’s Pribil Football Stadium. In its 11th year, Lyric’s A Christmas Carol will close the season, with a return to the historic Harn Homestead just in time for the holiday season.
After having to postpone much of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Lyric was among just a handful of professional theatres in the nation to resume shows last fall. With safety protocols in place, Lyric moved its productions outdoors and will maintain that stance this year. Subscribers’ tickets from last year will be honored for the new productions, and the single-ticket on-sale date soon will be announced.
Opening Lyric’s 2021 season is Denise Lee: Pressure Makes Diamonds (March 24-April 3). They say diamonds are forever. A girl’s best friend. And, the process to unearth their true beauty takes a tremendous amount of pressure. The quality of a diamond is determined by the Four C’s: Color, Cut, Carat, and Clarity, and Lee will shine bright the light on its similarities to life in this original production. Lee and her band will regale audiences and touch souls with a collection of songs from such artists as Kirk Franklin, Carrie Underwood, Bonnie Raitt, Martina McBride and spoken word from poets Maya Angelou and Amanda Gorman. Lyric patrons may remember Lee from her role in the 2019 banner-raising production of Disney’s Newsies or from the gospel celebration Crowns during the preceding season. This new production is a collaboration with Monique Midgette, who also will direct.
Passing along that spiritual torch, Lyric will present the ever-popular musical Nunsense at the Myriad Gardens (April 21-May 9). This hilarious spoof follows the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a fundraiser. Sadly, after the deaths of the rest of the sisterhood from botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia (Child of God), the remaining nuns stage a talent show to raise money to bury their dearly departed. Participating in the project are Mother Superior Sister Regina, a former circus performer who can not resist the spotlight; her competitive but dignified rival, second-in-command Sister Mary Hubert; Sister Robert Anne, a streetwise nun from Brooklyn; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is determined to be the world's first ballerina nun; and wacky, childlike Sister Mary Amnesia, who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head. This sinfully funny musical hit will have you shouting Ha-Ha-lleluia! Written by Dan Goggin, the production will feature direction from Lyric’s Associate Artistic Director Ashley Wells.
In June, Lyric invites audience members to hand-jive the summer night away with the hit musical Grease in an all-new production at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School’s Pribil Football Stadium (June 15-27). A secret summer romance between the new girl in town and the school’s coolest cat finds its way into Rydell High’s school year. These were “the good times” where hula-hoops, bouffants and hot rods were all the rage and rock ‘n’ roll was king. Grease will feature all of the unforgettable songs from both the stage production and the movie, including “You’re the One that I Want,” “Grease is the Word,” “Summer Nights” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” You’ll be fans in the stands when Lyric’s production hits the field in a spectacular, new '50s musical experience! With book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, the production will be directed by Lyric’s Producing Artistic Director Michael Baron.
The season returns to the Myriad Botanical Gardens Water Stage in the fall for Master Class (September 15 - October 3), a Tony Award-winning play by American playwright Terrence McNally. It is presented as a fictional master class by larger-than-life opera singer Maria Callas near the end of her life, in the 1970s. Alternately dismayed and impressed by the students who parade before her, Callas retreats into recollections about the glories of her own life and career. Featuring excerpts from famous operas sung live by her students, Callas shares with us the rewards and sacrifices taken in the name of art. Master Class will be directed by Baron.
Closing the year, Oklahoma’s favorite holiday tradition, Lyric’s A Christmas Carol, returns for its 11th year – November 17 to December 23. In Charles Dickens’ timeless tale, three magical ghosts whisk the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge away on an unforgettable adventure of transformation and redemption. Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, The Fezziwigs and a host of unforgettable characters spring to life in Lyric’s spectacular production sparking the holiday spirit in audiences of all ages. You’ll go from humbug to happy in one magical night under the stars. As featured in The New York Times and BBC News. Co-directed by Baron and Wells, the immersive production returns for its second year at the historic Harn Homestead.
Due to social distancing restrictions, tickets to all performances are limited. While performances are outdoors, a number of safety precautions will be in place, including temperature checks and face mask requirements for all patrons. Hand sanitizer and other safety equipment will be available throughout. For more information, visit www.LyricTheatreOKC.org or call the Box Office at (405) 524-9312.