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Elizabeth Hurd review: The stars come out 'When You Wish' on one

“When You Wish” is Lyric’s own, a production created from the imagination of director Michael Baron featuring favorite songs and fantasies from Disney dreams. 

The plot is loose; a young girl dreams her way through beloved songs with wonderful music, dancing and delight. Baron and choreographer Ashley Wells  highlight Disney’s most fantastic musical creations with incredible vocals and dance numbers perfectly aligned with Andrew Bryan’s musical direction. Classic delights from "Snow White, "Cinderella and "Mary Poppins gladden the heart alongside "The Little Mermaid," "Pocahontas" and "The Beauty and the Beast." They are a few of the memorable events a little girl dreams about as she interacts with her beloved heroines. Little boys dream, too, and "Peter Pan," "Hercules" and Disney’s "Tarzan" are not forgotten.

The performers are superior, including aerialists Brandon Wood and Amy Smith. Dancers are smooth and inspirational, making it look elegant and easy. Vocals are vibrant, and the music soars throughout the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall with clarity and emotion. The pure tones of Mattie Joyner as Mary Poppins are exciting yet soothing while her Snow White is romantic and yearning. Michael Andreaus, Jeff Jordan, Thomas Cromer, Mateja Govich, Perry Sook and Gordie Beingfessner are gentlemen with authoritative distinctive voices. Some are mellow, and some are tingling, but all are wonderful. Gino Chaviano, Tevyn Hill, Kevin Scheuring, Sheridan McMichael and Sean Watkinson are equally talented and romantic with their voices. Ace Greenwood, featured dancer, and Brando, featured drummer, bring Pocahontas a very real and colorful feel to the beautiful and poignant tones of Sophia Macias, a lovely Pocahontas.

Mandy Jiran is an excellently caring mother putting her daughter to bed. Alongside the talented women in “When You Wish” mentioned above are Tatum Ludlam, Jessica Martens, Hannah Fernandes, Anna Uzele and Julie Welch with beautiful clear voices. Faith Flanders and Madison Levy add movement and emotion.  Ashley Arnold as Belle, Kimberly M. Oliver as Ursula and Anna Uzele as Tiana are excellent vocalists in their roles, but they also shine as the muses of Hercules- real dream girls for a dream boat!

The most important dreamer in this show is the little girl with vibrant images and joy in her heart.  Serena Feng is that little girl and she steals the hearts of all the characters and every one attending “When You Wish” as it is her wish. Feng’s hard work, and the contributions of her understudy, Katrina Gedman, make “When You Wish” not only possible but also brilliant.  The cast can only be described as absolutely super-supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Fantastic kites flying about the auditorium, starry lights and the incredibly amazing costumes from Jeffrey Meek make “When You Wish” a technical masterpiece, with song and dance to match! The entire show is arranged as well as directed by Michael Baron and Ashley Wells, and they create a tribute to Walt Disney that must be seen to be believed. 

“When You Wish” is only being performed through Saturday, July 15, 2017. Three days-four performances. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a Saturday afternoon matinee at 2 p.m. The Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre is the main stage at the Civic Center in downtown Oklahoma City at 201 N Walker Ave. For information and tickets, visit or call 405-524-9312. 

“When You Wish” upon a star, you will see a galaxy of wonderful stars!

Elizabeth Hurd

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