Nominated for seven Academy Awards and the winner of an Oscar for Best Score, the 1954 screen classic “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” reigns as one of the most popular musicals in the history of Hollywood. And now, this beloved production will be performed live on stage right here in Hernando at the Live Oak Theatre.
Live Oak Theatre Company (LOT) is a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) repertory company of local artists located at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts. The Live Oak Theatre Company enriches families, individuals, and the community by providing positive artistic experiences in the performing arts – including excellent, affordable, and edifying family-friendly entertainment, performances, and educational opportunities for theater patrons and participants of all ages.
“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” staged in collaboration with the Luke 1248 Foundation, opens on March 8th for ten performances over three weekends. All performances are at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville. The Friday and Saturday evening shows are at 7:30 p.m.; the Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before showtime.
Advanced adult seats are $25; children 13 and under are $10 (with the purchase of an adult reservation.) Advanced prices are available up to approximately 24 hours before each performance. Twenty-four hours before showtime, ticket prices increase by $5 for adults and children.
A family of lumberjacks is desperately looking for brides in the stage production “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” based on the 1954 CinemaScope film of the same name (which was itself inspired by a short story). The filmed version of Seven Brides featured performances by screen luminaries such as Jane Powell, Howard Keel, and Russ Tamblyn and was a launching pad for the career of “Catwoman” Julie Newmar, credited in the film as Julie Newmeyer.
“Based on the classic film, ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ is an authentic piece of Americana, a time-tested romantic comedy with a special, contemporary relevance. Bringing the raucous Oregon frontier from the screen to the stage is a crowd-pleasing hit, with audiences cheering from the opening scene to the curtain call. Saddle up for a joyride in this tale of stubborn men and cunning women,” read an event description. “The men in question are Adam and his six unruly brothers, who think they know a woman’s place and how to keep her there. It takes Milly, Adam’s spirited new wife, and six other savvy women to show them who the boss is.
As a film, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” delighted audiences with its whirlwind romances, memorable songs, and iconic choreography, and this energetic and adventurous staged version does the same. The critics’ consensus states: “Buoyed by crowd-pleasing tunes and charming performances, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers makes a successful transition from Broadway to the screen that’s sure to please the whole family,” even though the movie was originally produced for film and debuted on Broadway over two decades later.”
Vince Vanni, Live Oak Theatre spokesman, is excited to bring one of his favorite productions to the stage. “Why are we doing this show? First of all, BECAUSE WE CAN!” he enthused. “After thirteen seasons and five years of a conservatory (we’re in our 14th season and 6th season with the conservatory), we are confident that our company members have developed the talent and skills to do this. This show requires a minimum of 13 men who can sing, dance, and act. Who can do all three in character and sing in the accents of the various characters? This is the first show that we have ever done where the men outnumber the women. And 90% of the cast must be young adults—of marrying age.”
“‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,’” said Vanni, “is a true and pure Live Oak production in its essence, with many of its creators and performers drawing from the rich body of experience they have accrued as members of the theatre’s company.”
“In addition, this is a “young adults” project from the top down. The directors have all grown through our system. It’s all theirs,” he said. “Yes, Randi (Olsen, founder and artistic director of Live Oak Theatre), and I look in from time to time—but this is their total effort: set, sound, music, choreography, acting, etc.”
On a personal level, this theatrical veteran counts Seven Brides among his most beloved productions. “FYI, I have been a fan of this show since I was 11 years old,” he said. “Each year, I would ask Randi to look at our company members and determine when to do it. This is the year.”
And, as theatre lovers are shopping for the ideal Valentine’s Day gift in the form of some primo show tickets, Vanni has a special message for the ladies. “Also, a message to the ladies,” he said. “This is the kind of show that your partners will definitely enjoy. I have always felt it is the kind of show men will enjoy with the ladies.”
Vanni urges anyone interested in seeing the Live Oak production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” to get their tickets early. “In addition, I am not the only one waiting for the opportunity to do the show,” he said. “So many of our company, especially the guys, have repeatedly seen the movie. We are sure that seats will be filled early.”
Caitlyn George, music director for Seven Brides, considers her involvement in this esteemed production to be a real dream come true.
“I remember ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ as one of the first musicals I ever saw,” she said. “I fell in love with Milly and the story of her finding her life and place among the Pontipee Brothers – I wore out the tape that my family owned by watching it so much! It’s definitely the perfect blend of heart, comedy, dancing, and music. Being part of the production team for this show has been a real dream come true, and I’m so proud of how this cast performs this perfectly fun show.”
To reserve seating, visit https://liveoaktheatre.square.site/, email [email protected], or call 352-593-0027.
Follow Live Oak on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LiveOakTheatre.
Kaiden Rossiter, co-director of the Live Oak production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” invites everyone to come and enjoy the show!
“We are so excited to bring ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ to Brooksville,” said Rossiter. “It is truly a privilege to work with such a great cast. The story is riveting, the songs are thrilling, and the cast is incredible. Look out, Brooksville! Here we come!”