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Have Yourself Some Enchanted Evening with Your Favorite Rodgers & Hammerstein Tunes

“An enchanted evening. That’s what the audience wants to feel,” says Dee Anne Bryll.

Some Enchanted Evening (the Songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein) will star on the Commonwealth Summer Dinner Theatre stage at Northern Kentucky University July 6 - 24. Bryll co-directs (she also choreographs) with husband Ed Cohen. Together they’re a much-admired regional creative team.    

The revue stars all our favorites: Nellie Forbush falling in love with a wonderful guy on a tropical island during WWII, while on the other side of the world, novice nun Maria straightens out a widower and his brood. Curly and Laurey in a surrey with a fringe on top. Culture clash and something unspoken between a governess and the King of Siam…

Bryll and Cohen are fans of the shows by the great Broadway team -- Carousel, Cinderella, The King and I, Oklahoma, South Pacific, and more – and fans of the cast they’ve brought together, featuring some stand-out voices in local theater.

Justin Glaser, Mary Kate Vanegas, Megan Williams, and Talia Zoll are all NKU grads.

Glaser has performed in national tours of AnnieJesus Christ Superstar, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as The Beast. Local audiences have seen him in the title role of Sweeney Todd at The Carnegie, and starring at The Covedale.

Vanegas is a 2015 musical theatre grad who has toured with The Children’s Theatre and performed at area theaters including The Carnegie and the Commonwealth.

Joshua Steele is a veteran of Commonwealth productions and a voice instructor for the NKU School of the Arts Theatre Department. He has been seen in featured roles with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and Cincinnati Opera.

Zoll recently appeared in The Secret Garden at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Baltimore Center Stage and has traveled across world as a lead singer for Holland America Cruise Lines. She’s one-half of the classical-crossover soprano vocal duo, Sirene, which had its debut performance in April.

Some Enchanted Evening is all music, no dialogue, and Cohen and Bryll have set the action on a terrace. The first act marks a graduation, the second a 10-year reunion.

Glaser and Zoll sing the love duets, which include all the Rodgers and Hammerstein favorites, including “If I Loved You” from Carousel.

“The arrangements are beautiful,” says Cohen.

“Heavenly,” Bryll adds.

They both applaud music director (and NKU faculty member) Damon Stevens.

Bryll believes audiences will enjoy “re-discovering – or newly discovering – shows like Allegro and Flower Drum Song.”

As to their own R&H favorites, Cohen doesn’t pause. “Carousel – 'Soliloquy' – it’s my favorite scene in musical theatre.”

Bryll points to State Fair, the story of the Frakes at the Iowa State Fair in post-WWII America. “It’s just about family – it’s a perfect summer show.”

Another perfect summer show – this revue of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatest hits.

Some Enchanted Evening (the Songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein), July 6 - 24. Commonwealth Summer Dinner Theatre, NKU Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Dinner buffet served 90 minutes before performance. Tickets $35 (dinner and show.) 859-572-5464 and commonwealth.nku.edu. Free valet parking available.

Written by Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts