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CityRep stages 'Our Town' with top-notch cast



Encompassing 12 years at Grover's Corners, N.H., Thornton Wilder's Pultizer Prize-winning "Our Town" "? put on by Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre with Oklahoma City University Department of Theatre "? focuses on the effects of industrialization on America, love, marriage and death.

Most productions of "Our Town" are done on big, bare stages, so director Michael Jones' decision to stage this one in a tiny theater is uniquely vertical. The audience is dropped into the intimacy of Grover's Corners, only a few feet away from the characters.

There is not a weak link in the enormous cast. OCU students Stephen Ochsner and Hayley Hoffmeister are youthful and vibrant as George and Emily. John S. Davies is particularly outstanding as the philosophical, down-home stage manager.

Familiar CityRep players like Donald Jordan, Pam Dougherty, Linda Leonard, Bill Jenkins and James Tyra all give depth and care to their portrayals.

Ironically, the charm and the challenge of playing "Our Town" lies in its easygoing pace. To allow everyone his or her moment onstage made for an unvaried playing rhythm, when changeups also were needed, just like a piece of music. This was not helped by an introduction that ran more than 10 minutes.

The acting is first-class, however, and this is a great opportunity to see a unique staging of a classic that has become a living museum piece of Americana. "?Linda McDonald


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