As I walked through the parking lot of the Howard Theater at Heritage Hall, 1800 NW 122nd Street, Oklahoma City, I knew TITANIC THE MUSICAL was a fitting sight to see as I climbed over the literal icebergs to get to the door. Just before the show dates of February 24-27, an ice storm hit the southern United States and closed schools, making it difficult to rehearse and even cancel the first performance due to bad weather. time. However, the ice did not sink the show, and the cast was able to perform the final three shows.
The original TITANIC THE MUSICAL (story and book by Peter Stone and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston) was released the same year as the James Cameron film but unfortunately was unrelated so there is no Jack and Rose in the musical. And while I’m slightly put off by that fact, the cast and crew of Heritage Hall (directed by Jay Ferguson ’96) did not disappoint and delivered the essence of the people of the massive ship and its demise on stage .
First, I want to talk about the set. Steven Gillmore and his team did an amazing job layering the scene and then tilting the set during the various stages of the sinking. I don’t know the technical aspects that went into this creation, but it was nice to see the two additional layers outlining the different levels of the ship and giving the ability to scale to large distribution.
Even if you enter the series knowing what the ending will be, the actors have done a wonderful job of conjuring up hope for a brighter future for their characters. The show opens with a beautiful solo from Ethan Wells, who plays designer and builder Thomas Andrews, who sings of the glory and mass of the Titanic. The actors walk the stage in their period pieces and join in the excitement of being able to take a ride on the ship. While there were many memorable numbers, I wanted to highlight some of the ones that really stood out.
Campbell Lieterman was entertaining with her role as second-class passenger Alice Beane. Her role in the song “First Class Roster” was delightful, and her desire to mingle with first class was contagious in wit and charm; “Lady’s Maid” with the various Kates played by Jessica Leite, Molly Norton and Madi Williams, was a wonderful girl power number; The “The Proposal/The Night Was Alive” duet with Barrett (Romello Nicholson) and radioman Harold Bride (Evan Hulse) was beautiful and exciting to watch as they fed each other’s energy; and my daughter wanted to mention that Zac Krablin as J. Bruce Ismay had the most character growth, going from being an excited owner to freaking out about the sinking of the ship, and noting that the chemistry of the Ismay/Andrews trio /Captain EJ Smith (Krablin/Wells/Jackson Murphy) during “The Blame” was believable and intense.
As always, I give extra points for a live orchestra, conducted by John Champney, which had a mix of students and adults in the pit. Although I know it’s cheaper and maybe even more convenient to have digital music, I deeply believe that all musicals should have musicians.
For more information on how your budding artist can join this impressive private college preparatory school, visit their website at www.heritagehall.com.