Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Lyric Theatre announces outdoor performances for families and adults at Myriad Gardens
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma will return to the live stage this month with programming for adults and children planned at downtown Oklahoma City's Myriad Botanical Gardens Water Stage.
As previously reported, the venerable nonprofit theater announced in April that it was postponing all remaining shows on its 2020 subscription season to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After nearly a six-month absence due to the pandemic, Lyric will be among the first professional theaters in the nation to resume live performances, according to a news release.
Audiences will get a live introduction to the theater's colorful new characters Professor Matt and Gerti when the "Lyric Kids’ Clubhouse Cabaret" hits the stage, featuring daytime cabaret performances for families Sept. 17-Oct. 4.
The family-friendly shows will be followed by a newly crafted showcase of superb singers and familiar faces in "Lyric’s Moonlight Cabaret," slated for evening performances during the same three-week run.
"It has been a tough time for all of us, and everyone at Lyric could not be more excited to bring back live musical performances to Oklahoma audiences once again," said Michael Baron, Lyric's producing artistic director, in a statement. "We have been planning for this moment all summer long and promise to bring you the safest experience possible full of the magic, joy and hope that only live theatre can bring to your heart. From the afternoon musical antics of Lyric's newest original stars at the 'Lyric Kids' Clubhouse Cabaret' to your favorite Lyric performers singing each evening, this is a moment our artists, staff, board members and audiences won't soon forget."
"Lyric Kids’ Clubhouse Cabaret" performances are set for 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. "Lyric’s Moonlight Cabaret" will feature a new line-up of talent each week, with performances at 7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.
A number of required safety measures will be in place as patrons arrive to the Myriad Gardens Water Stage, 301 W. Reno Ave., according to the news release.
All patrons, staff and volunteers will be wearing masks on their faces at all times. Patrons, including children, must wear a face mask to enter the venue, and they may be removed only when seated in assigned seats at the performance. Temperature checks will occur upon entry to the venue. Lyric staff will assist patrons with socially distanced seating from other parties, and hand sanitizer and other safety equipment will be available.
As previously reported, Lyric launched its weekly online segment "Lyric Kids Clubhouse" in April during the pandemic. While Lyric’s stage has been dark in recent weeks, Baron turned to local actors Matthew Alvin Brown and Emily J. Pace to create the video series to educate preschool and elementary-aged children. Through their collaboration, "Lyric Kids’ Clubhouse" was created, and more than a dozen episodes are available on the organization’s social media pages. The series features Professor Matt and his friend Gerti, who each week provide encouragement to young children during these uncertain times. Each episode also features special guest appearances from students, adults and even puppets.
"Lyric Kids’ Clubhouse Cabaret" is a live musical event based on Lyric’s virtual series and features songs, comedy and fun, perfect for the whole family.
“The 'Clubhouse' affords us the opportunity to talk about our feelings in a positive, creative and helpful way. We’ve had so many of our friends tell us how the 'Clubhouse' has helped them through this difficult period,” Brown said in a statement. “By remaining active and producing content on a regular basis, we are able to connect with kids, during a time when connection has been disrupted. For us, it’s been a respite from the noise and bad news of the world, and hopefully, it does a little of that for the kids, too.”
Adult patrons can enjoy music in the fresh evening air with "Lyric’s Moonlight Cabaret" series. Each week will feature a unique line-up of talent, including Lyric favorites, special guests, and new, rising talent.
Cabaret headliners will include many of Oklahoma’s favorite musical theater artists, including Mandy Jiran, Vince Leseney, Michael Andreaus, Stephen Hilton and Lexi Windsor.
Featured singers currently scheduled to perform include:
- Sept. 17 to 20: Mandy Jiran, Vince Leseney, Justin Larman, Olivia Yokers, Kat Metcalfe. Directed by Lyric’s Associate Artistic Director Ashley Wells with music direction by Eric Grigg from University of Central Oklahoma, with student performances from Erica Burkett and Skylar Hemenway.
- Sept. 24 to 27: Michael Andreaus, Stephen Hilton, Lexi Windsor, Helen Han, Cristela Carrizales. Directed by Lyric’s Company Manager Matthew Sipress with music direction by Brian Hamilton from University of Oklahoma, with a student performance from Devi Peot.
- Oct. 1 to 4: Jennifer Teel, Courtney Crouse, Antonio Rodriguez, Charlie Monnot, Renee Anderson and Campbell Walker Fields. Directed by Lyric’s Producing Artistic Director Michael Baron with music direction by Corie Melaugh from Oklahoma City University, with a student performance from Cheyanne Osoria.
Additional performers will be added to the lineup, and patrons are encouraged to visit the Lyric website for the most up-to-date list of talent featured.
Single tickets to the "Lyric Kids’ Clubhouse Cabaret" are priced at $20, and group discounts are available.
"Lyric’s Moonlight Cabaret," tickets are $35. Seating for both presentations will be socially distanced and, therefore limited, so early reservations are encouraged.
Tickets and information are available now online at www.LyricTheatreOKC.org or by phone at 524-9312.
Look for more information and my interview with Michael Baron about Lyric's upcoming outdoor shows coming soon.