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All dressed up...


Want to know the worst thing about Oklahoma! rehearsals? Those songs get stuck in your head for days. Seriously. I’ve had a weeklong loop of “People Will Say We’re In Love.” Not torture but my goodness, it just won’t go away.
But on to other business.
The dress rehearsals have started. And we all look like a Mid-Western rainbow of gingham and flowers.
But everybody all dolled up really does have a profound effect on the feel of rehearsal. The boys amble along like honest-to-goodness cowboys. The girls are mindful of their full skirts and dainty bonnets. Everyone sings a little bit louder and gusto abounds.

Not only have costumes been added – the orchestra pit is starting to fill up as well. (And not with the bodies of actors who have fallen off stage.) The student musicians have been practicing and it shows.
No longer are performers drowned out by pre-recorded music blaring out of monitors on stage. No, it’s far more genteel now. Conductor John Champney and those populating the pit have their work cut out for them during these recent rehearsals.
While so much progress has already been made, there are still plenty of kinks to iron out in the production. Who goes where, what to do when you say this or that, which piece of set needs to be hauled upstage.
Steve Padgett makes no apologies.
Wait, I take that back.
He does apologize to the pit.
It seems the orchestra often has to sit there, instruments in hand, waiting for their next cue while Padgett labors over blocking.
However, he doesn’t apologize for those of us standing around for what seems like vast stretches of time. Not that he has to. As I’ve been told, sore feet are just part of the process. And the drama veterans of Shelby High know it well. It’s the newbies like me who green enough not to see it coming.
It’s bittersweet to think that rehearsals a nearing their end – and becoming more stringent as a consequence. Once the performances start (the 14th, 15th, and 16th for those of you keeping score at home) that’s it.

Hope to see you there!
And be sure to checkout the Oklahoma! interactive feature on shelbystar.com.

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