Oklahoma City University News
Kelli O'Hara, OCU Broadway Honor Choir to Sing
OCU alumna Kelli O'Hara will star in the 2008 season opening concert of Canterbury Choral Society with Oklahoma City University’s inaugural Broadway Honor Choir. The 8 p.m. Oct. 4 concert at the historic Civic Center Music Hall will also feature the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. For tickets, contact 405.232.7464. Student discounts are available.
Earlier this year, O’Hara landed her third nomination for Broadway's top honor, the Tony Award. She was recognized for her portrayal of Nellie Forbush in the Broadway revival of “South Pacific” the week after the release of her first solo CD.
O’Hara has won universal raves for her role as Nellie Forbush. “Possibly the most accomplished young actress in American musical theater today, Kelli O'Hara's creamy vocals are perfection,” critic David Rooney wrote in Variety. USA Today described O'Hara as “increasingly wondrous," while The New York Times praised her performance as “a superbly shaded portrait…subtly layered and popping with energy." The Washington Post said O'Hara “manages to convey something in the character like sexy self-awareness."
She earned her vocal performance degree from OCU in 1998, studying with Professor Florence Birdwell. She was nominated for Tony Awards for her starring role in "The Pajama Game," opposite Harry Connick Jr., and for Lincoln Center Theater's production of "The Light in the Piazza."
On May 6, Ghostlight Records released O'Hara's debut solo CD, "Wonder In The World." The 14-track recording, celebrating the American songbook, was arranged and orchestrated by Connick. “Wonder in the World” combines pop music, original songs, and covers of Billy Joel and James Taylor classics. The CD aims to bridge the gap between contemporary music and beloved standards.
In 2007, O'Hara was featured guest star at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 11 for the annual Holiday Spectacular, the season-opening concert of the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. Earlier that year, she was Eliza Doolittle in the New York Philharmonic's concert production of "My Fair Lady."?Other Broadway credits include "Dracula," "Sweet Smell of Success," "Follies" and "Jekyll and Hyde."