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Yes, you can-can


Every year, people travel thousands of miles to places like Broadway; Branson, Mo.; and Nashville, Tenn.; in search of elaborate holiday productions that capture the whimsy, magic and emotion inherent in the season. Lucky Oklahomans need look no further than Oklahoma City University’s spectacular holiday extravaganza, “Home for the Holidays.”

Featuring everything from classic ballet and kick lines to live reindeer and penguins popping unexpectedly from giant wrapped gifts onstage, audience members can expect a level of glitz, glamour and good-old-fashioned holiday entertainment that rivals the best shows anywhere.

Every year, the student American Spirit Dance Company stages this spectacular, combining Christmas classics with new numbers. This year, the show includes jazzy renditions of classic Christmas carols, mystical ballets and even a Christmas can-can.

“Make sure you are in your seats on time, and fasten your seat belt,” said director Jo Rowan, noting that once the show starts, the cast will use the entire theater.

Preparation began a year ago, with a team of people working to choose the best songs, choreography and sets, featuring input from Broadway veteran Brian Markham. A lot of work is put into making the show technically savvy as well and boasts more i-beams (that’s “intelligent lighting beams” for all you theater-tech neophytes) than any other university production in the state.

Beyond the entertainment of the audience, every aspect of the show is designed to help theater students learn their trade. American Spirit is run like a professional equity union theater company, setting standards of professionalism for the industry.

The big thing to watch, according to Rowan, is the huge kick line, which features a seemingly endless line of dancers holding swags of holly.

“There’s never been a kick line like this,” she said.

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