by SHANE GOLDSTEIN
This April eighth and ninth, Oceanside High School’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts will be putting on the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical State Fair. State Fair was initially a novel of the same name written by Phil Stong in 1932. The novel was first adapted as a movie musical in 1945 and then again in 1962. The play made its Broadway debut in 1996 and was nominated for two Tony Awards for best score and for best performance by a featured actor for Scott Wise in the role of Pat Gilbert.
The musical provides a glimpse of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines in 1946, the most exciting event of the year for many rural Iowans such as the Frake family, who each travel to the fair with their independent aspirations, seeking three days of excitement in the midst of their idyllic Iowan lives. While father, Abel (portrayed by senior Ben Murasso), hopes to win the blue ribbon for his Boar, Blue Boy, and his wife Mellissa (portrayed by senior Joanna Podias) hopes to win the same for her pickles and mincemeat, their children Margie (portrayed by senior Rachel Milberg) and Wayne (portrayed by junior Dean Klebonas) are more interested in finding romance on the midway, developing relationships with Pat Gilbert, an ambitious reporter (portrayed by senior Shane Goldstein) and with Emily Arden, an actress and singer (portrayed by junior Sarah Romanelli). While Pat and Emily expose the Frake children to lives of a faster pace beyond Iowa, both Mellissa and Abel cling to the many memories they have of their children at the fair and to the many things that they love so dearly about rural Iowa.
“State Fair” provides a classic and romantic commentary on the differences between generational viewpoints and examines the very nature of young love as the relationships developed are destined to end after the conclusion of the fair. Paired with a classic and timeless score, the romantic endeavors and comic antics of the three day adventure represent everything the fair is to the citizens of Iowa: exhilarating yet fleeting.
To receive updates regarding the rehearsal process of State Fair, check the Thespian Cabinet by the Art Classrooms or like the “OHS Thespian Troupe #132” Facebook Page