Published June 15, 2019 | By Adrienne Proctor
It’s here again!! The Summer at the Civic Series is the most exciting theatre event of the year. Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma presents a series of three fabulous, fully produced musicals in six weeks on the Civic Center Thelma Gaylord Stage. It’s a spectacular, blink-and-you-miss-it thrill ride and it’s starting soon!! This year, Summer at the Civic opens with the American classic Singin’ In the Rain. The Lyric’s Producing Artistic Director Michael Baron says “Singin’ In the Rain is one of my favorite movie musicals, and I can’t wait to bring it to life in full technicolor – live on stage. With (set designer) Uldarico Sarmiento recreating the classic film, including a replica of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and Jeffrey Meek’s costumes dripping with Hollywood glamour, this is going to be one of the most sumptuous productions Lyric has ever done. And, of course, it will rain on stage! I can’t wait to work with this all-singing, all-dancing cast!”
Tatum Grace Ludlam stars in all three summer series productions this season! Understandably, she’s busy with rehearsals, but she took some time out of her schedule to tell me a bit about Singin’ In the Rain and the upcoming summer season.
Ludlam says, “In Singin’, I play Kathy Selden, a budding actress with great passion, spunk, and wit. She’s an extremely independent woman with strong opinions and a big heart. I’m excited to play such an intelligent lady and perform with all these individuals who inspire me. Also, I get to tap dance and that makes my heart happy!”
About the Summer at the Civic series, Ludlam adds, “I’m so excited to perform in all three shows this summer! Lyric Theatre is such a welcoming place to work. I’m excited to get to dive into three very different shows in style and subject matter and to meet new people through each production. For Singin’ In the Rain, I’m excited to play with such a classic character and find myself and new fun within Kathy Selden. For Newsies, I’m excited to tell such an important story about justice! And obviously I’m so excited and ready to be inspired by all the crazy dancers. I’m super excited to work on Titanic because I don’t think I’ve ever done something so musically challenging and demanding. The whole season stretches all of my skills as a performer and I can’t wait to see what adventures come.”
Lyric Theatre never fails to bring their own special style and creativity to each production. In true Lyric fashion, Singin’ In the Rain features a few reimagined casting choices, and I asked Ludlam to tell me about it. She says, “I love the reimagined casting of this production! We’re creating an inclusive Classic-Hollywood that showcases all genders, ethnicities, and sexuality to mirror society. The Hollywood we want!! And now we have women in roles of authority and dance partners of the same gender. I think what we’re doing is really special.”
Singin’ In the Rain stars Jeremy Benton as Don Lockwood, Richard Riaz Yoder as Cosmo Brown, Tatum Grace Ludlam as Kathy Selden, and Lexi Windsor as Lina Lamont. Lyn Cramer is R.F. Simpson, Andi Dema is Roscoe Dexter, and Phoebe Butts is Dora Bailey/Miss Dinsmore.
Written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Singin’ in the Rain features music by Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Arthur Freed. This production’s choreography is by Cramer and musical direction is by Brian Hamilton. Sound design is by Anthony Risi, lighting design by Helena Kuukka, properties design by Courtney Strong and stage management from Julie Meyer. Baron serves as production director.