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.
“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.’” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
See it if You are ready for a new take on a classic that mines all the awkward and uncomfortable in gender roles and toxic masculinity.
Don't see it if You don't like musicals and want to stay comfortable.
See it if you are inspired by, and open to, new interpretations on older works. From the first note I was hooked.
Don't see it if you think you'll be seeing anything close to how you've seen before, or if complete darkness or loud gunshots freak you out.
See it if You like edgy musicals or are looking to try something new! I thought I wouldn't like this production (I am a purist).. but I was surprised!
Don't see it if You are scared of the dark. You are unopen to new takes on old shows. You don't like reorchestrations. You don't like alternative staging.
See it if You love traditional and moderm theatre. An exceptional example of what a revival can be that respects the texts and brings it to life again
Don't see it if You don't want to be challenged in a sensory way or with your familiarity with the show.
See it if you have never seen Oklahoma! or are familiar but want the same exact story told in a completely different way.
Don't see it if you are expecting the same Oklahoma! you may have seen 1,000 times already.
See it if You like a fresh version of an old story. You like musicals and being entertained.
Don't see it if If you don't like long shows. You don't like modern twists on old stories. You don't like open format productions.
See it if you want to explore haunting dark themes within the original show and songs, like interesting orchestrations, and like intimate theaters.
Don't see it if you want a carbon copy of the traditional productions or movie, grand sets and big chorus choreography. This is not your mother’s Oklahoma.
See it if You value a vivid re-interpretation of a dated, sexist, misogynistic classic musical. Brilliant performances and the clearest vision possibl
Don't see it if you are stuck in the past and can't open your mind to the possibilities of what OKLAHOMA means to the US today
See it if You want to see a classic reimagined with unique staging, diverse casting and an addictive score.
Don't see it if You are looking for a short (it runs three hours) or traditional show (it is in the round and the lights are on nearly the whole time.).
See it if you want to see a complex, experimental staging that delves deeply into the knottiness of this story with creativity and flair.
Don't see it if you want to see a traditional musical staging. This is not the staging for you.
See it if You have an appreciation for new interpretations of old warhorses and if you love great voices doing great things.
Don't see it if You can’t tolerate the classics being produced in any way different than how they’re always produced.
See it if Barely changes the script, but thru lighting and acting (along with some surprises) creates a darker, morally ambiguous, and splendid show.
Don't see it if If you’re looking for something more upbeat and faithful to earlier productions, this show will irk you. Also, don’t bring small children.
See it if Even if you seen Oklahoma before and/or a R&H purist - you must see this unique production. Extremely original.
Don't see it if Only want to see tried and try musicals with no imagination and originality.
See it if You are looking for a production that truly gets to the core of what Oklahoma is about. A groundbreaking show with incredible performances.
Don't see it if You are looking for a typical revival. The music, staging and character development are reimagined and might disappoint a R&H purist.
See it if you are up for an experimental take on a classic. It's jarring, unconventional approach to storytelling. Makes you rethink the messages.
Don't see it if you want beautiful singing, a big orchestra, a clear setting, fancy costumes, etc. It's not the usual staging, but it's very intriguing.
See it if you like the story and the music and open to seeing it in a fresh new way that is lively, sad and moving. Great band, spectacular young cast
Don't see it if you want the original with all the farm scenes - this unique set allows for a fresh interpretation that has great lights and sound + a treat
See it if whether you know the traditional Oklahoma well or not, this is a must see! Very exciting, authentic, cool updating in tone -book is the same
Don't see it if you don't like musicals, don't like any updating of the great musicals or are very afraid of led sounds
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