Closed 2h 45m
Oklahoma! (St Ann's Warehouse)
Brooklyn
81

Oklahoma! (St Ann's Warehouse) NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(197 Reviews)
Positive
85%
Mixed
11%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great singing, Great staging, Ambitious, Edgy, Absorbing

About the Show

Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical is boldly re-imagined by director Daniel Fish at St Ann's Warehouse.

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Member Reviews (197)

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40
Disappointing, Insulting, Poorly directed, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if You want to see an out of the box interpretation of Oklahoma...if you a very familiar with this work and can appreciate the changes.

Don't see it if You want to see Oklahoma. This aint it. Great talent that I can only assume was directed poorly. Interpretations in ways that made no sense. Read more

90
Riveting, Dark, Brooding, Sexualized, Desperate

See it if Avant garde reconstruction of the musical, turning it into a dark, chilling satire. Rearranges the music to support double meaning. Amazing.

Don't see it if You are looking for a happy upbeat experience. You don’t want to see women trapped in a cultural prison with male aggression & violence. Read more

Critic Reviews (29)

October 7th, 2018

"Brantley: 'What’s so thrilling about this exposure of what lies beneath is that you feel it was always there, waiting to be excavated'...Green: 'This has always been a very American story, of course, but has never felt like so much of one until now...Mostly Mr. Fish is audacious in ways that feel dead-on and delightful'...Brantley: 'The casting is spot-on and often illuminating...Green: ''Oklahoma!' is a rollicking good time: The jokes have never been funnier, the merry songs merrier.'"
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October 12th, 2018

“A powerful revival...Some comedy remains but even that has an edge of danger...While it looks and sounds very different...the production doesn’t fight with the text. Fish’s vision treats Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical with deep respect, shining a hard light on its underlying issues of justice, violence, and the autonomy of women. It ventures into rough territory and leaves the show in a brand-new state.”
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October 8th, 2018

"Without sacrificing the show’s humor or the beauty of its music, Fish and his company have created a charged, scary production, a story about the aggressions and ambiguities entwined deep in the root system of America...One of Fish’s vital interpretive strokes is to emphasize both Curly’s cruel streak and Laurey’s ambivalence, drawing out her emotional struggle as the heart of the play."
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October 7th, 2018

"Screaming with directorial ideas and concepts, some of which work and many others that don't, the production feels more like a doctoral thesis...Purists will be appalled and fans of experimental theater will be thrilled...The book and score are largely unchanged but the musical somehow feels much longer despite its conventional running time...While a lesser musical might benefit from such reinterpretation, Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic work, revolutionary for its time, really doesn't."
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October 8th, 2018

"The world Fish and his designers create is stark but not uninviting...It’s an 'Oklahoma!' that sounds lovely and earns its laughs and heartache honestly, even if tempi slow to a crawl...Fish gives us more. He gets between the lines, finds the gray areas of ambiguity and fear that complicate the aw-shucks rom-com...Sexy, suspenseful and with a fresh, exuberant sound, this is an 'Oklahoma!' to hoot and cheer and stomp your boots at."
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October 7th, 2018

"Fish’s stripped-down, rough-edged revamp...The mood is relaxed and casual. There is little separation between the audience and the actors...Distinguishing Fish’s production is a pervading ominous tone. Although Fish does not appear to have altered the lyrics or dialogue, he has radically remade 'Oklahoma!'...For the most part, this proves to be an intriguing and compelling interpretation...A far from definitive but refreshing 'Oklahoma!'"
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October 7th, 2018

“A radical reworking of Rodgers & Hammerstein...Fish is deconstructing the work down to its bones, bringing out flavor notes in the text that we've, in the past, willfully chosen to ignore...Fish has emphasized the aspects of the piece that speak to 2018...What makes this production so fascinating is the way we recognize those more incendiary elements as if for the first time...Not all the elements here work...Ultimately, though, Fish's excavation of ‘Oklahoma!’ is essential viewing.”
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October 8th, 2018

"If this 'Oklahoma!' roils with disruptive emotions and suggestions of brutality, most of the time everyone involved seems to be taking Rodgers and Hammerstein at their word, highlighting the darkness in the script and score. The production features two moments of possible overreach...In addition, a number of things don't quite work...Still, this is a starkly original exercise that is well worth your attention -- often musically beguiling, rife with tension, and loaded with laughter."
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October 7th, 2018

"There’s much to enjoy about this often-understated presentation—all that sitting and bantering...Turning it into a partial ensemble number has its virtues. And from start to finish the 12 cast members sing their hearts out on a score that reminds us what a superb score sounds like...There’s something to be said for acknowledging the more dangerous contemporary Trumpian climate...It’s indisputably an 'Oklahoma!' of our times, and in this instance that rates as a fair-enough positive."
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October 7th, 2018

"The director’s most severe changes, four of them, neither help nor enhance what R&H wrought. They don’t sink the experiment, fortunately; this 'Oklahoma!' is altogether something to see...But what use are changes that alter the meaning of the show without improving the work? Most puzzling is the handling of the famous dream ballet...For the most part, Daniel Fish’s 'Oklahoma!' is a grand success and well worth visiting."
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October 8th, 2018

"By the musical's highly dramatic end, one realizes director Daniel Fish has put every moment of this show under a newly cleaned, pristine microscope - even if his judgment is occasionally somewhat clouded - and when appropriate, reformulated its DNA."
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October 11th, 2018

"If you strip away the jaw dropping, 'holy cow' moments from the new production of 'Oklahoma!' at St. Ann’s Warehouse, what you’re left with is an utterly delightful, sincere and powerfully contemporary version of the 1943 Rodgers & Hammerstein classic...As it should be in 'Oklahoma!' the acting, singing and dancing are the dominant hallmarks of this production, all of which are mesmerizing."
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October 8th, 2018

“Fish and company bring a bright clarity and an aching desire to this classic American musical...The one-liners crackled with fresh wit and the darkness at the musical’s core was allowed its full expression. Nothing was forced or imposed...The cast and musicians breathe fresh life into the characters and tunes, while the production’s darker notes and sharp barbs do not impose on the romance and joyful comedy, but rather reveal themselves to have been there, under the surface, all along.”
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October 7th, 2018

"Fish sees his version as cutting-edge, and wants us to see it that way too...Fish clearly felt it time to break new ground. What’s sprung from that broken ground is decidedly mixed. Foremost on the plus side is an inclusive 11-member cast of great talent...Not all these touches are annoying; some are engaging, taken in isolation...If you’re going to do an unconventional 'Oklahoma!,' at least do one that keeps the optimism of the original and tries something wildly original."
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October 15th, 2018

“Fish delivers a glorious and terrifying production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s groundbreaking 1943 musical ‘Oklahoma!’...Completely deconstructing this canonical and totemic masterpiece of American musical theatre by stripping it of its corn and highlighting the darker themes of violence and injustice that have always been simmering underneath. Sexually charged and presented with a striking naturalism, this masterful new production is a revelation.”
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T
October 7th, 2018

"That darkness is not just confined to one scene, but is spiritually draped over Daniel Fish’s daring, brilliant, utterly absorbing re-interpretation...This version of 'Oklahoma!' interrogates themes of gender, class, desire, crime, and punishment. It does this seriously and with fun, and with an overall smart snappiness in its tone and characters...The production is played, extremely skillfully, for laughs and the very opposite of laughs."
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M
October 11th, 2018

"In Fish’s reimagining, the show...seethes with darker and visceral currents, currents that deal with sexuality and politics...There are times when director Fish perhaps overdoes his credentials as a conceptualist...For the most part, Fish’s approach while risky, daring and sometimes just showy, doesn’t violate the basic appeal of this wonderful piece, and if it means endowing it with updated relevance for present and future generations, so be it."
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T
October 8th, 2018

"Fish is the star of this version and the musical suffers from his indulgences...For this show to bloom, there has to be more chemistry between Laurie and Curly than was on display...The real core of this 'Oklahoma!' was the love triangle between Ado Annie, Will Parker, and Ali Hakim...In their scenes, the show blossomed into the bright golden haze I was hoping to see...The ending was altered and made little sense...For a show famous for its blending of story, song, and dance, that’s a fatal flaw."
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October 8th, 2018

"In his startling, minimalist reimagining of 'Oklahoma!,' director Daniel Fish foregrounds the carnality and violence that has always formed part of this classic musical. It’s a thrilling jolt. Fish’s production examines the ugliness of an American community, a timely indictment of American 'justice' and a bracing reminder of the power of art to reflect society...New musical arrangements complement these fresh angles on familiar material."
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October 8th, 2018

"Fearless, provocative and totally unconventional...Rodgers’ score is full of folk music influences, but in these new, crisp orchestrations by Daniel Kluger, favorite Broadway melodies sound as if composed anew, strummed by bluegrass legends...But it’s in the romantic ballads where the steely musical adaptations reveal a rawness and sexuality unexplored before...The cast is uniformly excellent."
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October 7th, 2018

"Fish has stripped down Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 classic 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...As with many a reimagining of a classic, not all of Fish’s gambits entirely work. His most radical departure from Oscar Hammerstein’s script comes in the finale...The scene is a transfixing coup de theatre, but it doesn’t feel earned."
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October 30th, 2018

"The production is all the more remarkable considering the fact that it's a revival of the alpha and omega of the musical stage, for crying out loud...This revival still gives credit where credit is due, while simultaneously zeroing in on aspects of the American experiment that have dimmed of their bright golden haze and begun to curl around the edges...It helps that the cast is so stunningly good."
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October 11th, 2018

"Fish’s integrated, intimate, immersive staging of one of the landmark pieces of American musical theater transforms Rodgers and Hammerstein’s sunbeams-and-cornpone vision of America into art as dark as the oil-soaked soil of the state itself. Though not much has been changed from the original script, the show feels absolutely new, completely modern...Definitely not your mother’s 'Oklahoma!' No; it’s better. Open your mind and go with the richly rewarding experience."
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July 5th, 2015
For a previous production

"The exceptional ensemble thrives in this revision, which grants traditionally one-note characters with souls all their own...In this production, the women of 'Oklahoma!' are given an agency that they’ve lacked in previous interpretations, none of them were ever really just damsels waiting to be rescued, but here they are provided with sexual freedom removed of any stigma...Daniel Fish’s 'Oklahoma!' works as a chilling dissection of the barbaric foundations upon which America was built."
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T
July 8th, 2015
For a previous production

"At first Daniel Fish’s sunny, stripped-down staging offers few glimmers of disquiet...But then, close to the end, Fish throws in a startlingly violent twist not in Hammerstein’s book or Lynn Riggs’ original play that seems to come out of nowhere and this warmhearted favorite becomes an anti-NRA commercial...It’s too much of the director inserting himself into the event...Aside from the bizarre finale, this is an enjoyable, ingenious, and fresh interpretation of a beloved classic."
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M
July 31st, 2015
For a previous production

"Fish injects this production with a sizzling undercurrent of sensuality which is a goal well-served by his cast...Though the on-stage sizzle may be dialed up in this 'Oklahoma,' it is the music that will be for some the most radical choice here...Fish chooses to stage the final confrontation between Curly and Judd with this same lens of sympathy. Without saying too much, the approach to this event shifts the entire meaning of what follows."
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July 6th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Oklahoma!' has many pleasures, notably a willingness to shed light on the play’s inherent darkness...Intimacy, which allows every sterling word of Hammerstein’s to be heard as if for the first time, is the real star of this production, and it makes good dramatic sense...I’m all for chamber musicals, but this 'Oklahoma!' made me wonder if it’s better when they’re born that way. In reducing 'Oklahoma!' to its dramatic essence, Fish may have given us more and less at the same time."
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July 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"We were not prepared for the sheer volume of invention packed into this tiny house in the backwoods. This production thrusts you into the action from the moment you walk into the theater...With all the talk of eminent statehood framing the proceedings, we’re asked to ponder the bloodiness of our country’s history and our complacency in the face of cruelty...If there is any justice in the American theater, we should see this stunning production moved somewhere closer."
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R
July 7th, 2015
For a previous production

"You will be awed by how the familiar feels as fresh as the just-shucked corn piled on the set...The accomplished actors and new musical arrangements give the production a thoroughly contemporary attitude...Without irony or cynicism, director Fish has breathtakingly updated 'Oklahoma!' and maintained its all-American spirit while making it a musical of our time."
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