Attendees are raving about Sapulpa Community Theatre’s new production of “Flowers For Algernon”

If you had the chance to see the opening weekend of “Flowers For Algernon,” this will be old news for you, but Sapulpa Community Theatre’s new drama production at 124 S. Water Street is bringing in great reviews from those who saw it.

A newly-painted Sapulpa Community Theatre shows the sign for “Flowers For Algernon.” The show is getting rave reviews from those who have seen it. Micah Choquette photo.

“Flowers For Algernon” is based on a short story by Daniel Keyes written in 1958 about Charlie Gordon, a mentally-disabled man who undergoes experimental brain surgery to increase his intelligence. The story deals heavily with the treatment of the mentally challenged and the impact on a person’s happiness intellect and emotion come into conflict.

Mike Girton has seen it at least twice, already. “The cast is top-notch, much better than one would expect from such a small theater,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday evening. “The story is full of emotion and at the same time thought-provoking. This show deserves to be seen.”

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Sapulpa Community Theatre only performs four shows a year, so each one has to be chosen with intention and consideration for the audience. “Flowers For Algernon” was chosen for the 2021 season, but had to be canceled due to COVID.

There were some concerns that choosing a longer, more dramatic piece like Keyes’ “Algernon” might not have the same reception as the Theatre’s usual fair of funny and heart-warming stories. Thankfully, the first reviews from the audience are putting those concerns to rest.

Lane Langley, one of the board members for the Sapulpa Community Theatre, called the performances of Levi Smiley, who plays Charlie Gordon, and Kerry Kavanaugh, who plays Alice Kinnian, “exceptional.”

“I’ve been involved in theatre in some fashion on and off for over 60 years,” Langley said. “In all my years, of being involved and attending theatre, I have never seen a performance that I can recall was this exceptional. The entire cast was very good.”

“Flowers For Algernon” is playing one more weekend, from June 10th through the 12th, at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2:00 pm on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased online at sapulpatheatre.org or by calling or texting 918-227-2169.

SCT’s next show, Neil Simon’s “Rumors,” will be conducting auditions at the theatre on June 11th at 2:00 pm and again on June 13 at 6:30 pm. That show is set to begin in September.