Ticket Stubs: OKC’s Lyric’s “Hairspray” and Trattoria Il Centro
Summer has always meant Lyric Theatre, and it’s no different this year. But now all year long seems to be Lyric Time as they have added the Plaza Theatre venue to their year long schedule. Check out their schedule of shows at: http://www.lyrictheatreokc.com/
Lyric has also meant quality entertainment. One thing Lyric does extremely well is presenting the exuberance and talent of dance. Their current show, running for 2 shows on Saturday July 9th is “Hairspray,” which has redeemed my enjoyment of theatre. The ensemble and mass dance numbers is something you have to be at the live theatre experience to absorb and appreciate. This may be the most enthusiastic “dancing” of this season of Lyric summer shows, with “Ragtime” and “Chorus Line” to follow.
The cast is extraordinary, with not a weak actor/singer in the show. It’s always fun to see your friends on stage either for the first time or as favorites. Senior OCU student James Shackelford nailed the heart throb character of Link, and long time acquaintance, Erick Devine had fun walking the tight rope of campy drag and honest farce with the role of Edna. While I would have liked to have seen a more on stage comfort level with James and more camp from Erick – the light hearted and talent packed “Hairspray” at Lyric is what summer theatre should always be.
Another summer favorite before an Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall performance is a dinner or cocktail at Trattoria Il Centro, (http://trattoriailcentro.com) only a couple of walking blocks away. This season the reconstruction of downtown streets and sidewalks and traffic amenities, makes it a challenge to navigate. This is particularity true of Il Centro – where traipsing through closed sidewalks and a torn up Main Street is an adventurous challenge. Approaching the near deserted restaurant I feared they might have closed until construction was completed but to their credit they were open, ready and welcoming. Usually on a theatre night they are packed, and it was refreshing in a way, to have a table and not have to eat at the friendly bar, and this time to have the efficient attention of server, Jeremy.
To my surprise a new offering are $5 martini specials of either an earthy Lemon Basil (I coerced its secret recipe), a refreshing Blood Orange or a Raspberry. I have had the previous two before and repeated my enjoyment with both once more. The pizza’s are usually extra ordinary and while the smoked chicken was not my favorite this time, the margarita tomato and basil one, is always a treat. Of course Il Centro has an extensive menu if fuller fare is your desire.
Having a casual dinner before the show made for a perfect dinner and entertainment experience, to sublimate the run of 100 degree temps – which follow into the evening. And it’s with mixed feelings one wanders through the downtown renovations again, after having lived through the destruction of the 1970’s Urban Renewal days. None the less, an evening with fine food and beverages and up beat musical theatre is the best cure for the summer time blues.
(Terry Zinn has a Master’s Degree in Theatre is a past Lyric performer and is a past President of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association.)