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ADVERTISE WITH OLO
30th Aniversary Season - 2008
Musical Play in 2 acts by Oscar Hammerstein II. Music by Richard Rodgers.
Premiere: St. James Theater, New York, 31 March 1943
Cowhand Curly arrives at Aunt Eller's farmhouse to invite her niece, Laurey, to the box-social. After confessing that his promise of a fringed surrey is but a figment of his imagination, Laurey's stubborn pride gets the better of her fondness for Curly; she decides to go instead with the surly hired hand, Jud. Meanwhile, Will Parker has returned from Kansas City with a roping prize of $50, just what Ado Annie's father requires of Will before he can marry his daughter, who, in Will's absence, has succumbed to the "charms" of the quick-talking peddler, Ali Hakim. Deciding, after all, to attend the social with Curly, Laurey has another change of heart after a dream in which Jud beats up her lover. After Curly outbids Jud for Laurey's picnic hamper, she becomes frightened and fires Jud. Three weeks later, as citizens celebrate the approaching statehood of Oklahoma, Curly and Laurey are married, but the ceremony is interrupted by a drunken, knife-wielding Jud. In the ensuing fight, Jud is killed and Curly faces arrest and trial….
Groundbreaking in its integration of music, drama, and dance, Oklahoma! marked a turning point in the evolution of musical theatre. The sincerity and freshness of Rodgers' tunes and the unabashed poetry of Hammerstein's lyrics made this show the longest-running musical in Broadway history. From the opening "Oh, what a beautiful morning" to the closing title song, one can only marvel at this most popular of all American musicals.