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Re-imagined staging of Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! is now playing at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

Oklahoma! was the first musical that the celebrated team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote together. Now a new, experimental production at the Bard SummerScape Festival in upstate New York is taking a new look at the classic.

This re-imagined production of Oklahoma! features an intimate cast of nine and a six-member on-stage band with a country western inspired orchestration. The setting is designed to feel like a small town civic center with a spread of jamboree-style food which the audience partakes in at intermission.

“In 'Kansas City,' Will sings wonderingly about a stripper in a burlesque show. At first, he could have sworn that she was “padded from her head unto her heel.” But once she started taking off her clothes, “she proved that ev’rthin’ she had was absolutely real.” In stripping down a costume classic to a state of emotional nakedness, Mr. Fish allows us to experience a similar, equally gratified revelation about “Oklahoma!” –The New York Times

Some of Fish's staging ideas are also very different, says Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers and Hammerstein. "If somebody said to me, 'We're thinking of doing this, what do you think of that?' I'm not sure I would've said, 'That's a good idea,' " Chapin says. "[Fish has] made a bold choice of what is really the scariest scene in the show — the confrontation between Jud and Curly."

Learn more about the new exploratory esthetic being presented at the Bard SummerScape Festival from The New York Times and NPR.

THE NEW YORK TIMES - Review, July 5, 2015

NPR - Feature, July 6, 2015

Damon Daunno (Curly) and Amber Gray (Laurey) in “Oklahoma!” Photo Credit: Cory Weaver

 

 
Patrick Vaill (Jud) and Amber Gray (Laurey) in “Oklahoma!”     Photo Credit: Cory Weaver

 

 

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