The curtain goes up Thursday on “Oklahoma!”, this summer’s production from the Lyric Performing Arts Company.

One of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best loved and most sung musicals, “Oklahoma!” was the inaugural work in the Golden Age of the American Musical, said Nancy Jo Humfeld, the director of the play and co-founder of the LPAC. “It has absolutely gorgeous music and some fun choreography, as well as a story line that is totally engaging.”

With its litany of perennially popular tunes, including “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” its title song, “Oklahoma!”, and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” the musical has endeared stage and movie audiences since it was first produced in 1943, Humfeld said.

“The beautiful and inspiring songs combined with a story of romance, desire and fun make it a delight for audience members of all ages.”

More than 30 local and former residents and Howard Payne students and alumni are cast in the play, which has been extended for two weekends and a total of 10 performances. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Howard Payne University Theatre. Performances are also scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Matinees, both at 2:30 p.m., will be performed Saturday and Sunday. The schedule repeats the next week with 7:30 p.m. performances June 7, 8 and 9 and 2:30 p.m. matinees June 9 and 10.

Humfeld said the cast for this year’s production is “just outstanding, some new and some familiar to Brownwood audiences.”

Christopher Rosborough, plays Curly; Laurey is being played by Joy Renee Blackstock; playing the role of Will Parker is Luke Austin; the part of Ado Annie is played by Caitlyn Ervin Tidwell; Lance Kilpatrick returns to the Lyric’s stage, this time as Jud Frye; Ben Sword is back as Ali Hakim; Arielle Sword is playing Gertie. Humfeld plays the role of Aunt Eller.

The choreography in the show has been created and taught by Humfeld and Austin.

Tickets for “Oklahoma!” are $10 and may be purchased online at brownwoodlyric or at the Brownwood Area Chamber. Reservations may also be made by calling the Box Office at (325) 649-8516.

Major sponsor for the production is The Arts Council of Brownwood. Corporate sponsors include Brownwood Regional Medical Center, Randolph Chrysler, Moore Printing, Mears Ford Lincoln Mercury and Citizens National Bank. The LPAC is dedicated to fund-raising and restoring the Lyric to its original grandeur and establishing it as a performing arts center in downtown Brownwood.