For those about to rock

Bryson Petersen, left, and Shaun Calix are prepared to rock out to help Lawton Community Theatre raise funds.

For those about to rock, we salute you.

The Lawton Community Theatre is preparing to rock out to music from the ‘70s and ‘80s for a classic rock benefit concert. “Rock On, LCT!” will take place July 17-19 at McMahon Memorial Auditorium.

The theatre’s summer benefit concert has been directed by Charlotte Oates for the last eight years. Oates, who also directed the popular productions of “High School Musical and “Mama Mia” last year, was worried that this year’s benefit might be canceled due to the coronavirus.

“I was thinking all the way up until the end of May that they would call me at any moment to say, ‘we can’t do this,’” Oates said. “But they didn’t, and we started rehearsals the first full week of June.”

Oates was beyond thankful that the benefit could continue. The annual summer benefit concerts are always a big draw, and last year’s brought in a record amount money. In order to ensure proper social distancing, the theatre partnered with the McMahon Memorial Auditorium, which boasts 1,477 seats across two levels.

“We appreciate the McMahon working with us. I think they gave us a really good deal price-wise, so we appreciate them working to make sure we make as much money as possible,” Oates said.

According to Chance Harmon, LCT’s executive director, the performances are taking place at McMahon Memorial Auditorium to keep performers and patrons safe.

“We’re so happy that the first performance for LCT following the recent pandemic is the classic rock benefit,” Harmon said. “Charlotte and the performers have put together an enthralling set of songs that are sure to rock you. Although we wish this benefit was happening at our theater, we do believe it is in the best interest of everyone’s safety and health to have the performances at McMahon Memorial Auditorium. We will be able to comfortably social distance in the auditorium. We also ask that patrons be respectful of each other and wear masks and practice personal hygiene.”

With the emphasis on classic rock from the ‘70s and ‘80s, Oates believes this year’s benefit could be their most popular yet. The benefit will feature the music of QUEEN, Fleetwood Mac, Pat Benatar, Hart, Bon Jovi and more.

Performers will include LCT notables Amanda Richey Spannagel, Noah Rivera, Shaun Calix and Scott Richard Klein, among others.

“The show will open with ‘We will Rock You,’ and close with ‘We are the Champions,” Oates Said. “It’s going to be a real QUEEN sandwich, and all the filling in between will be some great iconic numbers.”

Among the performances, Oates’ personal favorite is, “Listen to the Music,” by The Doobie Brothers.

“The group does such a fabulous job with The Doobie Brothers, it just really cooks right along,” Oates said.

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