When it Raines 

Musical pairings aren’t always successful, occasionally causing more discord than harmony.

That’s not the case for Broadway star Ron Raines, who collaborates with Canterbury Choral Society in their season opener, Broadway to Bricktown.

Known for his warm, golden baritone, Raines will perform scenes from Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Carnival and Man of La Mancha. The Canterbury singers will perform choruses from shows such as The Music Man, State Fair and Jekyll & Hyde.

Most recently appearing on Broadway as newspaper mogul Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, Raines earned his music degree from Oklahoma City University. In addition to meeting with some of the college’s music students this week, he is excited to belt out some tunes back in the Sooner State.

“Broadway to Bricktown will be musical bliss,” said Randi Von Ellefson, Canterbury artistic director. “The Oklahoma City community will be clapping along as we bring Broadway to life here.”

Raines will be right at home.

During the past four decades, he has performed on stages and screens worldwide. In the 1980s, the Texas native starred in several Broadway musicals. He also had a stint as devious Alan Spaulding on the soap opera Guiding Light, for which he was nominated for three Emmys.

When the show was canceled in 2009, he was able to turn his attention full-time to the theater.

“I like TV for money. I like a concert, because there is nothing like a live audience and it’s of-the-moment,” he said. “With theater, things can go to another level of excitement, because things can go wrong. Nothing is ever the same, even though we say the same lines every time. So many things can throw you.”

In September 2011, he landed the lead opposite Bernadette Peters in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. His performance won him a 2012 Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

For Raines, returning to OKC after a 30-year absence is exciting.

“I haven’t performed [here] since I graduated,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing the new renovated Civic Center and getting back to see some friends.”

Visit okgazette.com for searchable listings of performing arts events in the metro area.

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