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. More…
Stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths at its core, Daniel Fish’s production tells a story of a community circling its wagons against an outsider, and the violence of the frontier that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this "Oklahoma!" allows the classic musical – and our country – to be seen in a whole new light.
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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?" Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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 dyn... Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
See it if GO! This is one of the best experiences of my theater-going life. It’s Oklahoma! as you have never imagined it before.
Don't see it if you do not want earlier memories to be upended by a radical re-interpretation of this classic musical.
See it if you like reinterpretations of classics, or like Oklahoma!; you're interested in relevant, smart theatre that is deeply moving and well-done
Don't see it if you want a traditional, proscenium-style, 4th wall experience; you don't like being a little uncomfortable or surprised with staging or set
See it if You want to see this venerable classic reinterpreted (yet with original script completely intact) in a darker yet completely relevant way.
Don't see it if You don’t want to see a more spare, modern and dark production of this American classic that seems completely fresh and relevant.
See it if You want to see a classic musical reinvented. Daniel Fish dug deep and the results are amazing. Perfect cast, perfect staging.
Don't see it if You are a purist with classics. Or hate chili and cornbread.
See it if You love imaginative experiential theater which transports you into another world with incredible music, singing & acting. A must see!
Don't see it if You prefer the traditional productions of this Rodgers & Hammerstein Classic. You don't like free homemade chili & cornbread at intermission
See it if you want renditions of classic songs you’ll be dying to hear over and over, and a production that’s a fascinating examination of the text.
Don't see it if you’re expecting what you know.
See it if ...you love R&H music and love new orchestrations...you want to be moved and be left thinking about the show for weeks.
Don't see it if ...you prefer going to see your grandfather's Oklahoma! or are a traditionalist and hate new interpretations of classic works.
See it if You are tired of tired revivals of old shows, you want to unpack the musical theatre canon, you’re a fan of the original, you like new work
Don't see it if You want a comfy revival of an old show, you don’t want to be challenged,
See it if you understand the darkness that lives inside the original story and you can appreciate the original music with a modern arrangement.
Don't see it if you cannot handle seeing the truth on stage and you want a happy ending.
See it if You want to witness an amazing production of a classic!!! I was mesmerized by the performances and the stages and want to see it again!!!
Don't see it if You would mind a darker version of this show. It was nuanced and deep and very moving. It is not light and fluffy.
See it if You enjoy a strong artistic statement, and are interested in an out-of-the-box interpretation of a classic.
Don't see it if You're an Oklahoma (or R&H) purist and would be bothered by a total departure. You're expecting classic musical theatre singing.
See it if You want to see a brilliant unique take on a R&H classic. Beautiful staging, lighting, acting/singing, orchestrations.
Don't see it if You are an absolute lover of the original big broadway Oklahoma. Cannot sit through long shows.
See it if you're open to seeing a 76-year old musical revived with a bold, refreshing perspective. Each scene's treated like an intimate conversation.
Don't see it if you expect the conventional, feel-good treatment of familiar works.
See it if You’re a fan of the story and the music. This new take will have you on your feet. Very raw and makes you think.
Don't see it if You don’t like a thrust stage or if you’re expecting huge ensemble dance number like the original production.
See it if You’ve never seen Oklahoma or you’re open to this brilliant new version that lets darkness fall on previously brightly illuminated corners.
Don't see it if You’re an Oklahoma purist who isn’t open to a new interpretation.
See it if you want to discover an atypical breakthrough in musical theatre.
Don't see it if you expect a traditional 1943 R & H revival. Nor, if you aren't open to receiving a somber side of a wonderful show in simple staging,
See it if you love the music of R&H but have been bored and disappointed by recent revivals that don't do enough to subvert misogynistic tropes
Don't see it if you're afraid of the dark, afraid of sexual tension, don't like to be an audience member who's complicit in the action
See it if you love theatre. Simple as that. I don't have enough positive adjectives for this one. I loved it. Revelatory! Refreshing and unbelievable
Don't see it if you insist on Oklahoma being traditional . Though I'd argue that you should. It's an eye opener. So I guess if you don't want them opened...
See it if This is an exquisite revolutionary interpretation of a classic musical. The staging is truly inspired with several brilliant, sexy singers.
Don't see it if If you don’t like your classics upended. The second act opens with a loud dissonance that may rattle your brain.
See it if You are intrigued by modern retellings, have enjoyed other performances at Circle in the Square, love immersive or experimental theatre
Don't see it if You are a purist of the source material, are uncomfortable with breaking of the 4th wall, are easily startled/anxious
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