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Students bring 'Oklahoma!' to NHS stage

Left to right, Northwestern High School students Amanda Lumberg as Laurey, Olivia Kalin as Aunt Eller, Grant Goodlet as Ali Hakim and Lita Lind as Ado Annie perform a scene from the musical "Oklahoma!" Friday in the school's Patricia Luostari Theatre for the Performing Arts. The musical will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Maria Lockwood 1 / 2
Submitted photo Left to right, back row, Northwestern High School students Maura Lubbers, Lucie Landwehr, Heidi Paulson and Amy Bates look on as Emily Weiss presents Pat Luostari with a donation for the high school musical, "Oklahoma!" The NHS students pictured are members of the Oulu Community Theatre and are preparing a show of their own, "The Sound of Music", which is set to open in April.2 / 2

Saddle up for love, comedy and toe-tapping melodies when Northwestern High School presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" this weekend.

The musical features 40 high school students and a supporting cast of about 30 elementary school students.

"It's one of my favorites," said senior Marie Tenney, who plays Virginia.

The 1943 classic appeals to all generations, said fellow senior Crystal Taylor, who plays Kate.

"I feel a lot of parents will enjoy it," said junior Tiana Hursh, a chorus member.

The show includes both drama and comedy, and students agreed the songs are memorable, from the title tune to "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're in Love."

"My favorite would probably be 'Out of Your Dreams,'" Tenney said.

Sophomore Adam Thom, who plays Will Parker, said he enjoys spending time with the cast and crew.

"They're fun to be with," Thom said.

In addition to singing, dancing and acting, students flexed their technical skills. They pitched in to create multiple revolving sets for the musical, from a chicken coop and the exterior of Aunt Eller's home to the inside of Jud's hut. The set was designed by student stage managers Hursh and senior Maddy Gross. Senior Kevin Garland, who plays Jud Fry, was in charge of set construction.

"It's stressful," Hursh said of the designing process, but she'd do it again.

This is the second time Tenney has acted in the school musical, after years of watching from the audience. It's been fun to spend time with friends on the cast, she said, and the students bring a lot of talent to the stage.

They aim to share that talent with the community this weekend.

"Oklahoma!" is performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Patricia Luostari Theatre for the Performing Arts at Northwestern High School in Maple.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors age 60 and older. They can be purchased at the door or at the high school office during school hours.