When cowboy Curly McLain strolled across the stage singing about a “bright golden haze on the meadow” to open Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 debut of “Oklahoma!” it signaled a hallmark moment in American musical theater. The Pulitzer-winning work was far more than just a vehicle for glitzy review. It was a synthesis of music, libretto, lyrics, dance and staging that delivered a real story.

Join director Nedra Bloom and a cast of nearly 35 as they perform this classic of the American stage at Chickasaw Civic Theater (801 Iroquois St.) April 22-24, April 29 through May 1 and May 6-8.

Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday curtain is at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15.75 and are available online or by calling 251-457-8887.
For more information, go to cctshows.com.

Science Café looks at Chernobyl in late April
It was the spring of 1986 when the warnings of nuclear-power Cassandras came to pass at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear reactor. An explosion killed 31 people and the release of radioactivity terrified the USSR and much of western Europe as one of only two Level 7 events in history unfolded.

What better time to revisit the tragedy and examine its long-standing effects than on the exact 30-year anniversary, April 26. That’s when Associate Professor of History Dr. Mara Kozelsky and Assistant Professor of Russian Language, History and Culture Dr. Nicholas Gossett will be the featured guests of the latest edition of a Science Café at OK Bicycle Shop (661 Dauphin  St.) at 6 p.m.

The informal discussion is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the University of South Alabama Archaeology Museum.

Web of childish delight at Playhouse in the Park
For generations, E.B. White’s beloved tale of friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte has brought laughter and tears to children everywhere. Now Mobilians can enjoy a live rendition of “Charlotte’s Web” thanks to the talents of the folks at Playhouse in the Park (4851 Museum Drive).

Running April 22 through May 8, handcrafted puppets will fill the barnyard roles alongside actors. They will bring Charles Strouse’s musical compositions to life as well when they take attendees on a hilarious but touching journey showing the possibilities of true friendship.

Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors.

Call 251-602-0630 for reservations. You can find more information at playhouseinthepark.org.

Harlem Quartet teams with youth orchestra
The renowned Harlem Quartet is beginning an 18-month residency with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, during which they will perform in schools and work with students in Mobile, Washington, Clarke, Monroe and Baldwin counties. The residency — sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Community Foundation of South Alabama — is a unique chance for area youth.

Music lovers will get to see this acclaimed ensemble in concert with the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra on Thursday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.). The program is set to include Julian Orbón’s Concerto Grosso, Jean Sibelius’ tone poem “Finlandia” and selections from Maurice Ravel’s orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Since its 2006 debut at Carnegie Hall, the Harlem Quartet has performed throughout North and Central America, Europe and Africa. In South Africa, they spent two weeks performing concerts and participating in outreach activities under the auspices of the U.S. State Department.

The ensemble has worked with such classical legends as Itzhak Perlman and Paquito D’Rivera as well as such jazz stars as Chick Corea and Gary Burton. Their recording with the latter pair, entitled “Mozart Goes Dancing,” won a 2013 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition.

Admission is $20, $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased from any MSYO musician or by calling the Mobile Symphony Box office at 251-432-2010.
More details about the concert and MSYO can be found at mobilesymphony.org.

Combined chorale shows in Midtown and Spring Hill
The Greater Mobile Bay Area Choral Society along with The Spring Hill College Chorale will present their annual “Sounds of Spring from the Valley to the Hill.” The program features a survey of Broadway numbers through time.

The first concert will take place Sunday, April 24, 4 p.m. at Government Street Presbyterian Church (300 Government St.) in downtown. The second is Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Chapel on the Spring Hill College campus.

Both shows are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Artistic Director Terry D. Maddox at 251-432-1749 or email tmaddox@gspcmobile.org.