by Dennis Dalman
Chris Hornung, a senior at Cathedral High School, hadn’t performed in a school play since he was in sixth grade. He thought it would be fun to do again and so he tried out for the school musical Oklahoma! And, much to his surprise, he landed the plum lead male role as Curly McLain.
Oklahoma, which opened April 24, will be performed for two more nights in the Holy Angels Performing Arts Center at Cathedral High School at 7 p.m. Friday, April 25 and again at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 26. Tickets can be purchased at the Cathedral main office or at the door before the show.
Hornung, the son of Michael and Joy Hornung, is one of several Cathedral students from Sartell who has roles in the play. Becky Windschitl, another Sartell student, is a featured dancer in the “dream” sequence of the play.
“Curly is a confident, humorous and relatively ignorant character,” Hornung said. “He’s a fool in love and doesn’t think things through very well. He’s kind of foolish and a bit of a bumbler.”
As Curly, Hornung will sing two solo songs, including the opening number Oh, What a Beautiful Morning; one duet and two songs with the entire cast, including the rousing showstopper Oklahoma!
Since he’s sung in choir since seventh grade, Hornung is confident of his singing abilities. He also dances in one number, but plenty of rehearsals has him feeling confident about his dancing, too.
“I don’t think I’ll be too nervous,” he said.
The female lead in the play is Stephanie Otremba as Laurey.
The play, with a cast of about two dozen, is directed by Cathedral theater instructor Adam Sahli.
Oklahoma!, created by the famed Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened on Broadway in 1943 and ran for a record-setting 2,212 performances. It has long been considered as the most innovative of Broadway-style musicals and is performed to this day throughout the world. The love story, with plenty of complications and some dark moments, occurs in the Oklahoma territory of the 19th Century.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.