Musical Premiere At Cherokee National Holiday In Tahlequah
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - The Cherokee National Holiday began Friday and among the events on tap for weekend are two performances of a musical created to celebrate the life of one of the great characters in Cherokee history.
The creator of this musical production is an Oklahoma singer, songwriter Becky Hobbs.
The musical is the story of Nanyehi or Nancy Ward as she was also known, a giant figure in Cherokee Nation history in the time before the Trail of Tears.
"The beginning drumbeat is gonna be different, than the boom, boom, boom,' said Becky Hobbs.
Hobbs grew up in Bartlesville with a special connection to Nancy Ward.
"My mom always told me I was a direct descendant of Nancy Ward. She's my 5th Great Grandmother. I've been aware of her story my whole life," said Becky Hobbs.
Hobbs co-wrote the story, composed all the music and serves as musical director for the production.
Nancy Ward was a warrior, but more than that a peacemaker and Becky believes the message of Nancy Ward's life is relevant today.
"We want to make a difference. We want to inspire people to live a better life and to live in harmony," said Becky Hobbs.
The title role is played by Michelle Honaker, a New Yorker who portrayed Nanyehi in the world premiere in Georgia last spring and is thrilled to be here to do it again.
"Just to let Nancy Ward's voice to be heard through me and through this awesome cast we have here," said Michelle Honaker.
"This is a dream come true for me to have the Oklahoma premiere right here in the heart of the Cherokee Nation is beautiful," said Becky Hobbs.
This is the infancy for this production, but Becky has big dreams.
"My goal is Broadway and beyond baby. If you're gonna dream, dream big," said Becky Hobbs.
As that old theater saying goes, "break a leg."
The performances of 'Nanyehi-Beloved Woman of the Cherokee' on the campus Northeastern State University are Friday and Saturday evening.