Closed 2h 45m
Oklahoma! (Broadway)
Midtown W
80

Oklahoma! (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(834 Reviews)
Positive
83%
Mixed
11%
Negative
6%
Members say
Ambitious, Great singing, Edgy, Great staging, Entertaining

About the Show

Over 75 years after Rodgers & Hammerstein reinvented the American musical, this is "Oklahoma!" as you’ve never seen it before – reimagined for the 21st century. Winner of the 2019 Tony for Best Musical Revival.

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Member Reviews (834)

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70
Barebones, Disappointing, Twangy, Quirky, Absorbing

See it if you like ctry-western music. Gr score re-created w blue-grass band. Standout perf by Daunno (Curly). No one else is close. Low prodn values.

Don't see it if you want "improved" play. Voices/acting uneven. Ballet is long/amateurish. More a concert than a play. Emotns/humor flattened. Wasted oppty. Read more

71
Ambitious, Dated, Overrated, Indulgent

See it if If you want to see s modern rendition of Oklahoma. Not as good as the 90s version, casting is questionable here.

Don't see it if You like a classic changed to be modern. Or a classic that delves from past direction and writing.

Critic Reviews (48)

April 7th, 2019

"Fish’s wide-awake, jolting and altogether wonderful production...Such a metamorphosis has been realized with scarcely a changed word of Oscar Hammerstein II’s original book...A cozy old friend starts to seem like a figure of disturbing — and exciting — depth and complexity...It was an exciting work from the get-go, but it just keeps getting better. The performances are looser and bigger; they’re Broadway-size now, with all the infectious exuberance you expect from a great musical."
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April 7th, 2019

"Fish’s fascinating and unsettling reimagination...has moved to Broadway, with its immediacy, strangeness and eerie sense of danger intact...Seeing the production a second time allows one to appreciate not only the striking darkness that Fish and company have teased out of the material, but also the light they shine on small details. It's thrilling to see a Broadway classic rise to the challenge of so modern a conception. ‘Oklahoma!’ it remains, but there's nothing corny about it."
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April 7th, 2019

"On my second visit to its cornfields, I was struck not only by the production’s menace but by its joy. This 'Oklahoma!' is no stuffy academic revisionist exercise — it’s a theatrical blow-out...The production has gotten fuller, freer, and funnier in its Broadway transfer...I respect a musical that gives me extraordinary performances, gorgeously reimagined songs, a piercing allegory of the American experiment in all its vigor and its brutality, and a cast that knows what they’re working with."
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April 7th, 2019

"A bold reimagining of a familiar work can deliver an altogether different and far more startling thrill, bringing out unexpected textures and exposing previously subterranean thematic seams...For audiences open to experiencing 'Oklahoma!' from a fresh perspective, director Daniel Fish's probing revamp will be a revelation...Even more impressive though is the fact that it remains such bracing entertainment, compromising neither the drama nor the comedy."
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April 7th, 2019

"A crazily experimental theatrical experience...But this revival of ‘Oklahoma!’ happens to be terrific fun, too...The ensemble’s interactions are casual, loose, wiry, and scrappy, with an energetic sense of anticipation, and their singing, while full-throated, can also be raw...When director Fish’s inventively eccentric notions and Rodger and Hammerstein’s confident showmanship completely fuse, you stop fretting about incongruities — the effect is magical."
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April 7th, 2019

"The audience is just a pounding heartbeat away...The wonder of this production is that so much of the joy and optimism of the original work still shines bright through the darkness...Fish exposes those sexual passions that are kept firmly repressed in traditional productions...The only failure with this let-it-all-hang-out directorial style is the Dream Ballet, which is supposed to hint delicately of the lovers’ yearnings but is here allowed to go on ad nauseam."
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April 11th, 2019

"Hammerstein’s large-spirited, all-American optimism is dismissed with contemptuous irony as a tool of the patriarchy at its most violently oppressive..Is there anything good about this production? Absolutely. For openers, Ali Stroker...Mr. Fish’s 'Oklahoma!' is a travesty, a sneering burlesque of the most influential and beloved Broadway musical of the 20th century. If the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization had any self-respect, it would shut the whole thing down."
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April 7th, 2019

"Cheapened and vulgarized...Designed to appeal to kids who have never heard of ‘Oklahoma!’ and ignorant ticket buyers who hate musicals in general and avoid anything categorized as ‘old-fashioned’ in particular...Everything that can go wrong in a lunkheaded misguided musical actually manages to do so...There is evidence that the cast can sing, but everything has been done by director Daniel Fish to disguise the fact."
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April 7th, 2019

"Fish’s astonishing reimagining...This immersive 'Oklahoma!' is at once minimalist and explosive...The usual show tune gloss is gone, replaced with the twang and punch of roots rock alt-country...Loglines and character summaries fail here, as each character is upended from tradition and brought to vivid new life…’Oklahoma!’ rings out with a nod to the sublime, violent beauty Hendrix found in our national anthem. Is it so surprising Fish finds it on the plains?"
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April 7th, 2019

"A vibrantly, cerebrally remastered golden-age musical that is held back a bit by some weak-tea singing and dancing...Some actors add twangy flourishes to their numbers, or caterwaul the high notes, which only put you in mind of better renditions you’ve heard, or that the voices aren’t quite up to the demands...What’s best in this ‘Oklahoma!’ is the morally ambiguous cue Fish develops so smartly from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s own narrative impulses."
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April 7th, 2019

"Everything you cherish about this classic has been taken out behind the barn and shot, replaced by an auteur’s bag of tricks and a thesis on gun control and westward expansion...No scene seems any different from the next, and the whole thing is a mostly joyless chore...Agnes De Mille’s famous Dream Ballet has been ditched for an overlong, gymnastics floor exercise...Fish clearly is saying he’s not a great fan of the culture of the Great Plains — of yesteryear or yesterday."
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April 7th, 2019

"At once a shockingly brilliant and unstinting metaphoric exploration of our current collective condition and, for anyone still so invested, a deeply depressing dissection of all-American romantic ideals...I found it fascinating and filled with metaphoric precision, isolationist creativity and the surety of its own conviction; but I felt profoundly saddened by its fear of vulnerability, its disavowal of the power of love, and its cynical degradation of all-American optimism."
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April 7th, 2019

"Marked by bold directorial choices that are invigorating one moment and jarring the next...New actions and characterizations are presented that are out of sync with the existing dialogue...This production succeeds thanks to revealing and vulnerable performances all around, immersive intimacy, cute touches, a streamlined flow, and new bluegrass-style orchestrations that work surprisingly well...Fish’s production is, for the most part, an intriguing and refreshing alternative."
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April 7th, 2019

"The great Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is sturdy enough to withstand any interpretation as long as it’s thought well enough through. And this one’s quite a humdinger. You will just need to check your folksy feel-good memories at the door and then allow director Daniel Fish to take you for a ride on his audacious, sexy, upending take on the great American classic...And if the performers lack the vocal quality you’ve come to expect, they are still sublime."
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April 7th, 2019

"Fish pares the show down to its barest essentials: words and music...Fish envisions the text through a distinctly contemporary American lens, focusing on the way we treat both the outsiders we like and the outsiders we don't...On Broadway, Daniel Fish's 'Oklahoma!' has reached its full potential. Sitting with rapt attention for three hours, I felt as though I was watching a brand-new musical, not one that just turned 76. It's one of the best revivals I've ever seen."
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April 7th, 2019

"Illuminates ideas that have been in Hammerstein's script for 75 years, yet are more in the forefront of public thought these days... Daniel Fish's mounting of 'Oklahoma!,' may seem like an extreme departure on the surface, it displays the same respect for the authors' work while drawing out what will connect with modern audiences. This is a sensational Broadway debut for an artist we'll hopefully be seeing more from in years to come."
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April 11th, 2019

"Ali Stroker is the best Ado Annie I've ever seen...Daniel Kluger's bluegrass orchestrations and arrangements attractively relocate Rodgers and Hammerstein to the Grand Ole Opry stage...Many of Fish's ideas give certain scenes a fresh attack...But, as is usually the case with such so-called reimaginings, there are all the leftover bits that don't quite fit...If this isn't the 'Oklahoma!' of one's dreams, it offers a strong vision that speaks to this moment."
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April 7th, 2019

"It's creative, imaginative, and, yes, more than a little perplexing at times. But it is also an electrifying interpretation that illuminates the familiar score while venturing into the heart of darkness of the farmers, cowboys, hired hands, and traveling peddlers who live in Oklahoma Territory at the turn of the twentieth century...The production succeeds at breathing exciting new life into the show...This makes it the most engrossing musical currently on Broadway and a must-see."
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April 7th, 2019

"It’s acceptable for liberties to be taken for any new treatment, which Daniel Fish, directing this one, has done. Much of it is fine and dandy...The irritatingly gratuitous 21st-century updating has to do with the fight in which Curly and Jud engage after the wedding...If the genuinely shocking incident is meant to resonate with our jarring culture, let’s all hope that most of us won’t have to see whatever the 22nd-century update turns out to be."
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April 7th, 2019

"While I’m relieved to report that Broadway’s new ‘Oklahoma!’ is not as joyless as its last was, this is, in truth, faint praise...Superb comedic actors, but if they have an affinity for the sense of heightened reality crucial to a form in which characters regularly burst into song and dance, Fish gives them no real showcase for it...I found myself missing the sense of magic and transcendence that comes from seeing life, with all its pleasure and pain, elevated by this particular art form."
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April 7th, 2019

"No one who has followed theatrical trends of recent years will find anything particularly surprising in the staging...For the most part, they neither distort the material nor illuminate it afresh...The most welcome, and most stimulating, innovation is the fresh orchestrations...It is in delineating the contours of this central romantic trio that Fish’s ‘Oklahoma!’ disappoints...Too often I found myself weighing the moments of inspiration against the moments of bewildering distraction."
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April 17th, 2019

"Along comes avant-garde director Daniel Fish and shows us how to make it modern once again with a contemporary feel...This is not only a fascinating deconstruction of the original musical but also a brilliant reinvention. And if you think it is not for you, just try fighting its charms while you are in the theater. The raw, emotional performances and the clever production are visceral and earthy - like the original storyline."
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April 13th, 2019

"The epitome of non-traditional reimagining of a grand old musical...It gets to the underlying heart of thinking, the meanings and changes that have taken hold in society...The production is sexy, raw, dark and bloody towards the end, and unmistakably highlights the tragedy of our times. Don’t expect sunny smiles or anything that resembles optimism...I applaud the creative, far reaching thinking but wish it was 1955 when the movie was released...and love was in the air."
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April 12th, 2019

“Even purists are likely to end up leaning as much towards vive la difference than muttering about how they don't make them like that any more...Heginbotham's own balletic take...While it's riveting to watch, I found it the one new fangled element that I couldn't quite buy into...Whether you're mostly on board with this production or not, it's thrilling to see that the theater still has enough people who are not afraid...in more risky than sure-fire hit enterprises.”
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April 10th, 2019

"Fish has dusted off the original musical to reveal the skeleton of danger and the wind of tenacity...Everyone wears their hearts on their sleeves and serenades us in a countrified way...Each is in beautiful sync with the modest string orchestra...In the end, this will not be what you expected, but you may find yourself connected to these folks in a way you did not foresee. It is a bit of a theatrical ambush.”
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April 19th, 2019

“Without considerable changes...Fish has totally reimagined the musical, infusing a whole new vision into the landmark show...For some, his pared-down version will be exhilarating; for those who love the original, the show will be disappointing and slow...Fish is baring the real emotions of his characters...Astonishingly, Fish achieves this by changing very little of the original musical...It’s a masterful reimagining of the musical, but it’s not your father’s ‘Oklahoma.’”
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April 17th, 2019

“Inventive and daring...This ‘Oklahoma!’ knows how to show its dark and dangerous side...The revival soars as high as a bird in the sky, that is until it catches its wings on the electrical wires of lighting designer Scott Zielinski’s. Together with director Fish, the two get tangled up in their troublesome eccentricities, trying to be too clever and different for the sake of being just that...The cast, though, rises this iconic tale back up, finding the honesty and play within the dynamo dynamics."
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T
April 12th, 2019

“Pretentious and overwrought...A ‘dream ballet’...leaving the audience nonplussed; and singing that challenges the very definition of vocal craft...This reimagining...adds very little...Fish’s revival fails to deliver authentic characters with believable conflicts. Despite the admirable and important diverse casting choices, the characters are not interesting – they come across more as stock characters...This ‘Oklahoma!’...leaves far too much to be desired.”
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April 10th, 2019

“I’m grateful for having first seen Fish’s dark, hip and homey production at St. Ann’s Warehouse last year, because I can see how much improved it is now...I could enjoy this ‘Oklahoma’ without much reservation...What makes it stand out now for me are its beloved songs...It doesn’t much bother me that the new ending feels borrowed from a dark Japanese movie, and it’s hard for me to find fault with performers who focus less on their character’s motivation than on their own diaphragm.”
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April 17th, 2019

“The nipped and tucked ‘Oklahoma!’ reboot deserves a page among The Best Plastic (Theater) Surgeons in America...Kluger, through new orchestrations and arrangements, has unearthed psychologically complex relationships among this band of settlers...Fish’s adaptation is jarringly atmospheric...’Oklahoma!’ still delivers plenty of humor thanks to a secondary storyline featuring Ado Annie...If there’s one misstep in this ‘Oklahoma!’ for a new generation, it is the dream ballet.”
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C
April 7th, 2019

"But there is darkness too, not just literally - during one very pivotal scene -- but in Fish's subtle examination of the class system on which much of this seemingly plotless musical revolves. In fact, Fish has put almost every second of this show under a newly cleaned microscope and reformulated much of its DNA."
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April 10th, 2019

"By the time the show is over, you'll either be frustrated to the point of anger or expounding…'This is the most exciting thing I've seen this year.'…Sometimes feels like Brecht directed it to explore its darker, subterranean themes by exposing them for us to closely observe and contemplate with the aid of experimental techniques, even at the expense of vigorous pacing, crowd-pleasing dancing, and glorious music…Daniel Fish's 'Oklahoma!' isn't doing fine at all, and it's certainly not OK."
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April 20th, 2019

“Controversial revival...Without changing the dialogue or the classic score...Fish has given the show a grittier makeover...But the most important change in this telling of the story is that all the show’s underlying class, gender and sexual tensions are made explicit...The direction struck me as too self-conscious and, in places, even gimmicky. Some of the singing fails to do justice to Rodger's glorious melodies.”
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April 9th, 2019

"A revival as bold, fresh, and revelatory as any I’ve ever been privileged to see...The key revelation of this production is not just its deft deconstruction of a canonical and totemic masterpiece of American musical theatre, but its adroit unearthing of the subtext that has always lurked beneath the surface of Hammerstein II’s brilliant book...Fish dares to interrogate deeper than perhaps any director before him...Fish could not have assembled a finer ensemble with which to reinterpret."
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April 7th, 2019

"Fish’s daring, brilliant, utterly absorbing re-interpretation...It does this seriously and with fun, and with an overall smart snappiness in its tone and characters...They look inquiring, pained, split about what and who they want in their futures. The production is played, extremely skillfully, for laughs and the very opposite of laughs...Fish and his cast ask reasoned questions...those questions are answered with vivid, pugnacious confidence."
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C
April 12th, 2019

"A multi-talented, vibrant cast, some of whom shine with resplendence...Thought-provoking, intriguing but also convoluted...All involved did a superb job in effecting Fish’s vision. That the incongruities and convolutions in this version were startling to me is of little consequence...This version should be seen because of Fish’s conceptualizations and the creative designers’ and ensemble’s live performance spectacle which audience members will, at the last, appreciate."
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April 16th, 2019

“The current ‘Oklahoma!’...is not all golden and not at all hazy. Violence and smoldering sexual desires are layered under the sunny lyrics of ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ unveiling a darkness...Fish’s audacious directing has not changed Hammerstein’s book or his vernacular lyrics...De Mille’s choreography...was re-imagined...from ballet to...an overlong portrayal of subconscious longings...The stunning shock of violence seems completely out of synch with the last song.”
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M
April 14th, 2019

"Fish has found and brought to the fore the dark, dark colours underlying R&H’s buoyant tale...The orchestrations and arrangements...have a country-western twang or pop flavouring, but they still delight...Along with the festivities, though, there’s a hint of violence...Splendid cast...The move to Broadway has maintained the show’s intimacy, while somehow enriching the musicality, and added even a bit more ingrained depth to its characters...Dynamic theatre.”
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O
April 14th, 2019

“Fish and his cast have supplied...a contemporaneously valid set of characters, which is remarkable, because he hasn’t changed a note of Rodgers’ beautiful score, nor has he changed any of Hammerstein’s poetically loving, wise and witty lyrics. What he’s done is order new orchestrations and arrangements...The first act is a joy from start to finish...The second act, opens with a bizarre solo dance...I found it unclear, astringent, and musically atonal...The rest of the second act played well.”
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April 17th, 2019

"This 'Oklahoma!'...is predicated on intimacy: intimacy between audience and actors but also between characters. Absent the vivid color of the 1955 film adaptation, this muted, bare-bones revival keeps reminding us that on the eve of statehood, Oklahoma was sparse. Every boy is the boy next door, beau and predator alike."
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April 8th, 2019

"Retains the old songs and characters, but it’s all been tweaked and subverted and underlined in mostly thrilling ways...Though the blood-soaked finale might seem out of character for Curly, it’s one of the production’s boldest moves, and leaves you fascinated rather than just humming the score...But out of synch with the show, the Dream Ballet is an overwrought misfire that truly drags on, though the forgiving might give it an O-K for effort."
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April 7th, 2019

"The gritty, hard-hitting Bard Summerscape production presents a darker, more violent vision of life in a territory on its way to statehood...Twelve terrific actors carry a show that normally has twice the cast...This is not a piece of theater that allows you to sit back and be entertained. Fish demands almost as much from the people in the audience as he does from his cast."
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April 10th, 2019

“Fish has managed to obliterate and underwhelm the legendary ‘Oklahoma!’ with pretentious minimalization. What was once a glorious, melodic milestone in musical history has become a barren dustbowl...Fish has stripped ‘Oklahoma!’ of any breath, color, insight, delicacy, intimacy, choreography, costumes, subtle acting, and beautiful singing...DeMille’s beautiful ballet has been totally eliminated and substituted with a vulgar, modern dance...All of which last for what seems an eternity.”
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T
April 13th, 2019

“Fish, directs the musical with an eye toward deconstruction...The problem arises in Fish’s interpretation of the characters...Rodgers’ glorious score is now...more appropriate for a hootenanny. The bluegrass interpretation is interesting...but after a while sounds weak, boring, or inappropriate...As for...the dream dance, the less said the better...A bleak vision...It is not a good enough reason for destroying such an historically and artistically magnificent work.”
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April 7th, 2019

"Fish has stripped down this chestnut of the American musical theater to its barest, rawest elements...Fish’s biggest innovation is to pull back the set pieces and put the turn-of-the-20th-century characters — and their many contradictions — center stage...Not all of Fish’s gambits entirely work...His most radical departure from Hammerstein’s script comes in the finale...The scene is a transfixing coup de theatre, but it doesn’t feel entirely earned."
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May 6th, 2019

"A complex masterpiece that far surpasses the already-beloved original. Here the musical has a newfound relevance that speaks to our moment more than could ever seem possible...Jones is giving one of the best performances of the season, completely reinterpreting a canonical role into something nuanced and psychological...Put plainly, this 'Oklahoma!' is a masterpiece in every element: direction, design, choreography, and acting; it has set the new gold standard on how to do a revival."
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April 20th, 2019

“Dark and innovative...Brilliant, pared down theatrical experience...A deceptively complex show with characters that have simple lives, but deeply woven emotional struggles...The tragedy of Jud...What could have been a major folly was a naturalistic capturing of the characters and music. The one change that feels most unnatural is Laurey’s dream ballet...This interpretive dance number is a bit too modern for the text and music.”
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April 17th, 2019

“It is electrifying. This retelling is full of unexpected delights...The text has not changed...and this stripped-down music allows for the dialogue to really shine and be noticed...While almost the entire fresh production feels spot-on, there was one moment that felt like a small misstep. The ballet interlude is now a modern dance...This will be the one moment that audience members will most likely dislike...’Oklahoma!'s’ eerie timeliness is proof of the universality of the show.”
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