Theatre with an R-E, meet Oklahoma! with an O...
The hottest show in town, already selling out for months in advance, is Justin Tanner's new play OKLAHOMO! at the Third Stage in North Hollywood. OKLAHOMO! is the story of a small, stalwart theatre troupe and one very self-centered writer trying to put on, without any kind of approval, a performance of OKLAHOMA! rewritten as a gay-themed musical. Hilarity ensues, much of it at the expense of Los Angeles theatre and its stubborn, threadbare realities.
At a recent showing of a performance added due to demand, we saw a very mixed crowd of people - gay, straight, young and old - all laughing their heads off at Tanner's send-up of theatre insiders. OKLAHOMO! skewers 99-seat theatre, artists, writers, Actors' Equity, and the entire convoluted process of getting a show produced in Los Angeles.
There is some gratuitous re-writing of lyrics, and some sexually explicit material, but nothing that the seasoned watcher of VH1 should be shocked at. And the show becomes downright touching under Lisa James's expert direction, especially when the maniacal director
shows his weaker side.
If you love melodrama (melodromo?) do your best to try to get your hands on these tickets. Theatremania says it's closing August 21, but trust us - it'll be running till the cows come home, and we happen to know that New York is calling. You should make a few calls
of your own, to (818) 842-4755, and see if you can get tickets. Good luck.