‘The Musical’ Tour Features Oklahoma Actor Living His Dream

Michael Dalke not only plays a part in a modern take on a Cinderella story, but he also experiences his own version of it as a member of the nationwide touring company for “Pretty Woman: The Musical.”

“This is my first national Broadway tour, and I’m 39. There’s a song on the show called ‘Never Give Up on a Dream’…and it really gets to me, because I couldn’t just don’t see me doing anything else,” Dalke said by phone from the road in San Diego, Calif., where he was enjoying a day off at a beach.

Now the Oklahoma native is returning to where he performed at his first professional show: Civic Center Music Hall, where “Pretty Woman: The Musical” will play Aug. 16-21 to wrap up the 2021-2022 season. of OKC Broadway.

“I remember being in college and being on that stage…and thinking, ‘One day I’m going to be on Broadway,'” Dalke said. “It’s all going to go back. … It’s going to be emotional to be behind the scenes and think about how full circle is.”

Originally from Oklahoma, he developed a love for musicals at a young age

Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Norman, Dalke developed his passion for musicals as a child.

“I loved watching musicals with my parents and playing them. Whenever it rained when I was a kid, I would grab an umbrella and go out and do ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ like Gene Kelly in the puddles of water,” he recalled.

“I loved to act and sing and dance, and my mother gave me piano lessons. … I was lucky to have parents who put me in all this because there are a few people in the family who sing and do things, but I’m the only performer. … I was kind of an anomaly to them. They were like, ‘OK, what is this? I guess we’ll just encourage him.’ ”

The national tour of

He was still young when he made his debut at the Lyric Theater of Oklahoma playing a crippled boy who is healed by “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and he excelled in acting and choir at Norman North High School. He performed with a number of local community theaters and performed in shows as a student at the University of Central Oklahoma.

While studying at UCO, Dalke played his first shows at the Civic Center as a cast member of several Lyric Theater summer productions in 2003 and 2004.

The actor follows his dream to New York and Los Angeles

After graduating from UCO in 2004, Dalke moved to New York to pursue a career in musical theater.

“I was there for about three years, auditioning…and I had a national tour of a Disney Playhouse show called ‘The Doodlebops,'” Dalke said. “I did that for about eight months, then…decided to try LA for a little while. And ended up living there for nine years. I hadn’t planned on living there for nine years, but I did and I got really caught up in TV and commercial work, which is a lot of fun.”

In Los Angeles, Dalke became a regular extra on the hit CBS series “How I Met Your Mother”, appeared in an international tourism campaign for Los Cabos, Mexico, and graduated from the iO West School of Improv. .

In 2013, he and longtime friend and fellow Oklahoma native Dana Weddle decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to mount a production of the musical “The Last Five Years.” Dalke had starred in UCO’s 2004 production of Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown’s innovative romantic tale.

“We dreamed of putting this on ourselves, and so we found a theater on Hollywood Boulevard, rented the space, hired a small orchestra…and found the costumes ourselves,” he recalls.

The show received great reviews, was included in a Hollywood theater festival, and sold out nightly.

“That’s really what reignited my love for musical theatre. I said, ‘Why don’t I do that anymore? That’s the thing I love doing the most.’ So that’s what inspired me to go back to New York and try my luck again and try Broadway,” Dalke said.

The national tour of

Oklahoma native gives New York dream another shot

About five years ago, Dalke made another cross-country move to the Big Apple.

“Basically I had to start over because no one knew who I was. I was in my 30s, and if you’re that age people usually see a lot of credits on your resume that help you find other jobs. … No one in New York knew who I was because I had been in LA for nine years,” he said.

“So it was hard to start over…and then the pandemic happened.”

With 2020’s COVID-19 outbreak, not only did Broadway and its tours shut down, but the restaurant work that artists like Dalke rely on between acting gigs was also out of order.

“I had put all my eggs in one basket when I came back to New York and I tried again. Then to see him get thrown out the window and not know when he was coming back, yeah, that was a bit scary,” he said.

“Coming out of the pandemic in 2021, I got this notice for ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’. I got a call back, and I watched it and couldn’t believe it.”

‘Pretty Woman: The Musical’ adapts the hit Hollywood movie

Adapted from the hit 1990 film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, “Pretty Woman: The Musical” features a book by the film’s original screenwriter, JF Lawton, and director, the late Hollywood legend Garry Marshall, who died in 2016.

Grammy-winning pop star Bryan Adams and his partner Jim Vallance created the score for the show.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots”), the musical played on Broadway for a year between 2018 and 2019. Several members of the Broadway cast reprized their roles on the national tour.

A member of the tour’s ensemble, Dalke is also the understudy for the role of Happy Man, a small role from the film that was changed for the stage adaptation.

“At the beginning and at the very end, he says, ‘Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream?’ And they just expanded on that. … He’s really like the narrator and a fairy godfather,” Dalke said.

“I’m so happy to be coming back to Oklahoma to do this. It’s been something that’s been on the tour since we started, and once I saw we were going to play in Oklahoma City…I couldn’t just can’t wait. And I can’t believe…it’s really going to happen.”

He said he looks forward to walking around Bricktown again, as well as having his parents, friends and UCO voice teacher Marilyn Govich in the Civic Center audience when he performs.

“It’s overwhelming to come back to this point in my life, having almost given up on a number of occasions because it’s such a tough business,” he said.

“But if there’s anything I’ve learned from this, the message is never give up on the thing you love. Never give up on that dream, because if you love it, it’s worth living for. wanted.”

‘PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSIC’

When: August 16-21.

Where: Civic Center Music Room, 201 N Walker.

Tickets and information: www.okcbroadway.com.

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