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Oklahoma is playing at Circle in the Square located at 235 West 50th Street. It runs two hours forty five minutes with one intermission. The musical closes on January 19, 2020.
Based on Lynn Riggs 1931 play Green Grow the Lilacs. The first production opened March 31, 1943 and ran 2, 212 performances at the St. James Theatre. It closed May 28, 1948.
Music is by Richards Rogers and Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein III.
Curly McLain (Damon Daunno) is flirting with Laurey Williams (Rebecca Naomi Jones). Her aunt Eller (Mary Testa) looks on. Curly wants to take her to the dance. She is reluctant to go with him. Afraid people will think there in love. She accepts Jud Fry (Patrick Vaill) invitation to go with him despite the fact she is afraid of him. He works for her aunt and is a drifter.
Meanwhile Will Parker loves Ado Annie (Ali Stoker). Ado firts with everyone. I’m just a girl who can’t say no. Her father Andrew Carnes (Mitch Tebo) tells Will if he has $50 he will let him marry Ado. Will goes to Kansas and wins $50 at the fair. While he’s away Ado has eyes for Ali Hakim (Will Brill) a traveling salesman. He has money; her dad pushes for him to marry her. He wants to have fun with her not marry her. Will comes back with the fifty dollars but he spent it on gifts for her. Ali buys the things from him so Will can marry Ado.
Curly is upset with Jud going out with Laurey. The lights go out and Will is trying to convince Jud to kill himself. No one will miss him.
Ali Harkin marries Gertie Cummings (Mallory Portnoy). She’s always laughing loudly. Ali said yes to marryih when her father put a gun to his back.
Laurey is confused about her feelings for Curly. She purchases a magic potion from Ali to help her reveal who her true love is.
When act two starts Lead dancer (Gabrielle Hamilton) is dancing all over the stage. Her t shirt says Dream Baby Dream. We wonder if Laurey is having nightmares.
Things get intense between the couples.
At the dance an auction goes on for two boxes of lunch made by made by Laurey and Ado. It’s to raise money for the school. The winner gets to have lunch with each lady. When Ado father realizes will has the $50 he says Will can marry Ado. Curly is being out bid by Jud. He sells his horse and gun so he can outbid him and he does.
This is an intriguing play well worth seeing.
The set is unusual. The back wall has a painting of farm houses with fields of grass. The theatre is in a u. The bottom of the u is the musicians. The cast walks between and around them. On the side is railing and the audience is behind that. In front of the railing are rows of tables on either side. By the railing side is the audience in front of the table is the cast. A red crock pot is on each table.
The musical concentrate on the story you’re not distracted by the set.
Will Brill, Damon Daunno, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Ali Stoker and Patrick Vaill are outstanding.
Gabrielle Hamilton dancing was breathing.
More happens then I told you but why spoil it for you. Go see this wonderful musical.
During intermission they announce there is vegan chili and corn bread on stage if you want it (free).
The down side is the playbill did not list the songs sung or who sang them.
The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards. They are Best Revival, Best Direction of a Musical (Daniel Fish), Best Lead Actor in a Musical (Damon Duanno), Best Orchestrations of a Musical (Daniel Kluger), Best Featured Actress of a Musical (Ali Stoker), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Mary Testa) Best Set Design in a Musical (Laura Jellinek) and Best Sign in a Musical (Drew Levy).
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.