On Broadway, there’s a venerable tradition that “the show must go on.”
At Staples — where Players productions have long been compared to Broadway shows — the same tradition holds true.
Which is why — almost miraculously — “Oklahoma!” opens this Friday night.
Right on schedule.
The decision to open as planned came after co-directors David Roth and Kerry Long decided the musical was in good enough shape to really push things this week — the home stretch.
Rescheduling was not an option. The weekend after the show closes is Thanksgiving. The weekend after that, the auditorium is occupied by “The Nutcracker.”
With dire warnings about Sandy in the air, the directors talked to the cast about preparedness. Actors were told to bring their scripts home, and spend free time going over lines, staging and choreography.
Yet no one anticipated an entire week off from school.
The teenagers rose to the occasion. They organized their own, completely student-run rehearsals — including a full run-through at the Conservative Synagogue (which, perhaps by divine intervention, had power) — under the leadership of Players president Adam Mirkine.
As soon as power returned to Staples, administrators let Players back in to set light cues and start returning to normal.
As a result, cast and crew has made up lost time. Yesterday they were right about where they usually are, entering the final stretch: “Hell Week.”
Players shows are great community events. Audience members span all ages. Many have come for years. The scene in the lobby before the curtain rises is almost party-like.
After the craziness of Hurricane Sandy, Roth and Long wanted Westporters to get back to some semblance of normalcy, with a dynamic, entertaining production. The directors were glad for the hard-working cast, too, that the show could go on.
Thanks to Staples Players, it will.
And, because it’s Staples Players, “Oklahoma!” will be doing fine. Far more than “okay.”
(Of course, ticket sales were hurt by the extended power outage — it’s hard to buy them online without power. But if you’re reading this, you can click here for tickets. They’re also on sale at the box office before the show.)