The two-time Tony-nominated Broadway actress Kelli O'Hara returns to her roots this week to play a role that just makes sense for her: The Oklahoma City University graduate will star in Lyric Theatre's official centennial production of "Oklahoma!," which begins a five-day run on Tuesday at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker.
"There are a lot of people (who) have played Laurey in 'Oklahoma!,'" said O'Hara, an Elk City native. "But very few can say that from the time they were old enough to speak, they were basically living her."
Nick Demos, artistic director for Lyric Theatre, and producer and one of the choreographers for the show, agreed O'Hara is perfect for this part.
"She has such a lovely quality about herself that is relatable to Laurey," Demos said. "She understands Oklahoma. Instinctively, growing up in Oklahoma, she understands Laurey at her core. Certainly, her voice is one of the most remarkable voices on Broadway currently."
O'Hara said she's excited to come back to Oklahoma because of the production's importance to the state. She said New Yorkers know Oklahoma as where the wind comes sweeping down the plains, and that's about all.
"But they do know the musical," she said. "They get these little ideas about (Oklahoma). The reputation we have, although it may be na