On a radiant summer morning in Indian Territory not long after the turn of the century, Aunt Eller sits on her porch churning butter and looking out over her farmstead. Curly, a local ranch hand, comes to call. Curly and Eller’s niece, Laurey, have a lot in common—both are equally smitten with the other, and both are too proud and stubborn to admit it. When Curly grandly offers to take Laurey to the box social that evening, Laurey claims that he can’t escort her in style and refuses to believe that he has rented a classy rig for the occasion. Jud Fry, Laurey’s hired hand, settles the matter by announcing that he will take her to the social and because she is scared of Jud, who has a morose, vindictive temperament, Laurey is too frightened to turn him down. Curly invites Aunt Eller to ride with him.
Laurey’s friend, Ado Annie, is caught between two fellows too. Will Parker has just returned from Kansas City where he earned $50 in a rodeo—the exact sum Ado Annie’s father, Andrew Carnes, told Will he had to come up with if he wanted to marry Ado Annie. However, during Will’s absence Ado Annie has become transfixed by the Persian peddler man, Ali Hakim, whose sales pitches—whether they be for egg beaters or stolen kisses—always leaves her swooning.
Ado Annie may not know which way to turn, but her father is having no such problems: Will, since he already spent the $50 on wedding gifts for Annie and technically doesn’t have the cold cash any longer, has lost his chance at marriage—while Ali Hakim has been so forward with Annie that nothing short of a shotgun wedding will do!
At the box social that night lots of men bid for Laurey’s hamper but, as the biddings rise, so does the tension as Jud and Curly square off. Curly sells his saddle, his horse and then even his gun to raise enough cash to buy the hamper and the right to escort Laurey, which frustrates Jud. When Jud corners Laurey in the barn later on, her frightened calls for help bring Curly to her side. Jud runs off, and finally, Laurey and Curly confess their love for each other.
Ali Hakim, still trying to maneuver his way out of marrying Ado Annie, contrives to bid $50 for all the gifts Will bought in Kansas City. With cash in hand, and a few rules in mind, Will approaches Ado Annie again, and this time they set a date.
Three weeks later, Laurey and Curly are married. Gertie Cummings, an annoying flirt who couldn’t get her hands on Curly, has managed to snare a husband anyhow—Ali Hakim. Will and Ado Annie are hitched as well and everyone is celebrating. The wedding festivities pall, however, when Jud Fry stumbles in, uninvited and unwelcome. He gets into a fight with Curly and ensuing melee, the drunken Jud falls on his own knife and is killed. Curly’s friends don’t want him to have to spend his wedding night in jail and so, a trial is held on the spot and Curly is acquitted. With their friends and loved ones waving them on, Curly and Laurey drive off on their honeymoon, “in a surrey with the fringe on the top.”
Cast Size: Medium (5-21) • Large (14+). Vocal Demands: Easy • Moderate. Dance Requirements: Extensive • Some Dancing Required • Minimal. Good For: Elementary School • High School • College/University • Amateur/Community • Professional Theatre • Religious Organization.
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Merchandise for OKLAHOMA! is now available including official T-shirts, Hats, CD's, Songbook's, Tote bags and more!
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If you want to curl up in your easy chair and revisit the lyrics and dialogue to a classic musical like OKLAHOMA or THE SOUND OF MUSIC... read more
License CAROUSEL or OKLAHOMA! and youll receive a choreography DVD with your materials featuring the legendary Agnes de Mille... read more
RHO President Ted Chapin talks about his job and the presence of Rodgers, Hammerstein and Berlin around the world. read more
This new book features more than 850 lyrics, from "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" to "Some Enchanted Evening." Edited by Amy Asch, with an Introduction by Ted Chapin, and an essay, "Random Reflections," by Alice Hammerstein Mathias... read more
Proud to represent its founders, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert Library is also home to orchestral works of Berlin, Kern, Weill, Porter, Lloyd Webber and others. read more
Since the songs from OKLAHOMA! provided more hits than any previous musical, the capturing of so many three minute gems in one set of four discs was exciting indeed... read more
The book for the stage version of STATE FAIR was written by Louis Mattioli and our own Tom Briggs, Director of the R&H Theatre Library, who also had the idea to adapt STATE FAIR to the stage in the first place. read more
Life upon the wicked stage, as captured in hundreds of show posters, photographs, design sketches, caricatures, set models and costumes, will be the subject of RED, HOT & BLUE! A SALUTE TO THE AMERICAN MUSICAL... read more
Casting is complete for The Theatre Guild's new stage production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's only musical written originally for the big screen: STATE FAIR... read more
Back on Broadway for the third time since its 1927 premiere, SHOW BOAT (see cover story) began making history all over again as soon as good word on its return built long lines at the box office... read more
The new Broadway production of CAROUSEL triumphed at the 1994 Tony Awards in June, winning every award it was nominated for. read more
The R&H Theatre Library is home to the major works of co-founder Oscar Hammerstein II, and his musicals continue to thrive with a record number of productions scheduled throughout the centennial year... read more
While CD remasters of great Broadway albums continue to be released in record numbers, the great art of making new cast recordings still flourishes. read more
On July 12, 1895, Oscar Greely Clendenning Hammerstein was born in New York City. On July 12, 1995, his centennial was celebrated on the stage of the highest grossing show on Broadway - his own SHOW BOAT. read more
OKLAHOMA! was shot in the rare format Todd-AO. On April 10th, for the first time ever, a fully restored version of the historic film will premiere at the TCM Film Festival. President Ted Chapin gives his take on this beautiful restoration. Read more →
July 09, 1955
July 14, 1954
July 15, 1922
July 23, 1942
January 16, 1954
January 26, 1931
August 15, 1906
August 21, 1955
February 18, 1976
August 31, 1953
September 02, 1967
February 26, 1945
September 12, 1951
September 18, 1905
October 07, 1914
January 01, 1970
March 11, 1943
March 12, 1921
October 11, 1955
October 15, 1943
March 21, 2002
October 21, 1950
March 26, 1968
March 28, 1954
March 31, 1934
March 31, 1943
March 31, 1943
March 31, 1943
November 16, 1907
April 14, 1925
November 25, 1946
April 24, 1919
April 29, 1947
December 02, 1943
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May 01, 1954
May 02, 1944
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December 13, 1979
December 23, 1950
May 29, 1948
May 29, 1951
May 31, 1948
June 06, 1993
Table of Contents
OKLAHOMA! launched a new era in the American musical. It also began the most successful songwriting partnership in Broadway history.
In 1942, Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart were at the top of their field, writing musical comedies universally praised for their wit, sophistication and innovation. A decade earlier Oscar Hammerstein II had been at the top of his field, writing operettas that consistently challenged and reshaped the art form; his SHOW BOAT, written with Jerome Kern in 1927, is considered a landmark of the American stage.
Independent of each other, both Rodgers and Hammerstein were attracted to Lynn Riggs’ folk play of life in his native Oklahoma entitled GREEN GROW THE LILACS. When Jerome Kern declined Hammerstein’s invitation to write the musical adaptation with him, and when Hart bowed out of his commitment to musicalize the work with Rodgers, it was only inevitable that the ensuing musical play would become the first work by the team of Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, choreographed by a then unknown ballet choreographer named Agnes de Mille, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical version of LILACS, entitled AWAY WE GO, was given its world premiere engagement at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut in March of 1943. Only a few changes were made on the road, but they were significant. On number “Boys and Girls Like You and Me,” was cut, and a number about the land originally planned as a duet for Laurey and Curly became instead a showstopping chorale called “Oklahoma.” So successful was this number during the musical’s pre-Broadway engagement in Boston that the decision was made to add an exclamation point to the title, and make it the name of the show.
OKLAHOMA! opened at the St. James Theatre on Broadway on March 31, 1943. At that time, the longest running show in Broadway history had run for three years. OKLAHOMA! surpassed that record by two more years, running for a marathon 2,212 performances. The national tour cris-crossed the United States of America for an unprecedented 10 and a half years, visiting every single state, and playing before a combined audience of more than 10 million people. In 1947, OKLAHOMA! opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, where it ran for 1,548 performances, the longest run of any show up to that time in the 267-year history of the theatre. In 1953, the Oklahoma State Legislature named “Oklahoma” the official state song. In 1955, the motion picture version of OKLAHOMA!, starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones and produced by Rodgers and Hammerstein, was released to great success. Major revivals were seen on Broadway, in London’s West End and across Australia in the early ‘80s.
To date, more than 600 production of OKLAHOMA! are licensed a year in the U.S.A and Canada alone. Productions of OKLAHOMA! have been seen throughout Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and in Berlin, Johannesburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Rekjavik, Tel Aviv, Budapest, Belgrade, Paris and beyond.
Stamp of Approval
Two landmark musicals of the century, OKLAHOMA! (1943) and SHOW BOAT (1927), were both written by Oscar Hammerstein II. They share an honor as well: both musicals were among the first to be commemorated by the United States Postal Service.
In March 1993, the U.S.P.S. made history when it designated OKLAHOMA! as the very first Broadway musical to be the subject of a U.S. postage stamp. Designed by Wilson McLean, the stamp was released in special ceremonies in New York and Oklahoma to coincide with the musical's March 31 50th Anniversary. (At the New York ceremony, Mary Rodgers and William Hammerstein joined Postmaster General Marvin Runyon and dozens of OKLAHOMA! cast veterans at the first-day-issue event.) Throughout 1993 the OKLAHOMA! stamp ranked among the most popular of that year's postal issues and in Oklahoma itself the stamp actually outsold the other "hot" entry that year—Elvis Presley.
In July '93 the OKLAHOMA! stamp was reissued as part of a four-stamp set honoring the Broadway musical, this time joined by SHOW BOAT, PORGY AND BESS and MY FAIR LADY (all of which were also designed by Mr. McLean). Postmaster General Runyon presided over these first-day ceremonies too, held during the 2nd annual BROADWAY ON BROADWAY concert, a spectacular event held in Times Square. Over 45,000 people attended, and special mobile postal trucks were on hand to make the first-day issues available. While BROADWAY ON BROADWAY salutes currently-running hits, that summer the stamp quartet lent historical credence to the event; opening with the OKLAHOMA! overture, the concert also included Bruce Adler (of the '79 revival of OKLAHOMA!) joining Maureen Moore to sing "All Er Nuthin,'" and Michel Bell, who the next season would earn a Tony nomination for his stirring portrayal of Joe in SHOW BOAT, here giving the New York audience a showstopping, hair-raising preview with "Ol' Man River."
January 26, 1931—The Theatre Guild presents Lynn Riggs' play GREEN GROW THE LILACS on Broadway, where it runs for 64 performances...A native of Oklahoma, Riggs drew from his childhood memories of the Indian Territory's transformation into statehood for the historical context within his play.
July 23, 1942—THE NEW YORK TIMES reports: "The Theatre Guild announced yesterday that Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II will soon begin work on a musical version of Lynn Riggs' folk-play GREEN GROW THE LILACS." Shortly thereafter lyricist Hart drops out of the project and Hammerstein takes over his duties. The resulting musical is the first in the Rodgers & Hammerstein collaboration, which goes on to yield such classics as CAROUSEL, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I and THE SOUND OF MUSIC.
March 11-13, 1943—The new musical has its world premiere engagement at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven. Entitled AWAY WE GO!, the work is termed "a musical play" with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play GREEN GROW THE LILACS by Lynn Riggs, with music by Richard Rodgers. Presented by The Theatre Guild, it is directed by Rouben Mamoulian, choreographed by Agnes de Mille, settings designed by Lemuel Ayers and costumes by Miles White. The company includes Alfred Drake (Curly), Joan Roberts (Laurey), Betty Garde (Aunt Eller), Lee Dixon (Will Parker) and Celeste Holm (Ado Annie).
March 15-27, 1943—AWAY WE GO! plays the Colonial Theatre, Boston, where changes are made prior to the show's Broadway premiere. One song is cut, "Boys and Girls Like You and Me." A second act choral number, originally slated as a duet for Curly and Laurey, is introduced during the wedding scene late in Act II. Entitled "Oklahoma," it stops the show.
March 31, 1943—With an exclamation point tacked on for extra flourish, the Act II showstopper becomes the musical's title song when OKLAHOMA! opens at the St. James Theatre on Broadway to rave reviews...On December 2, 1943 Decca Records releases the original Broadway cast recording of OKLAHOMA!, marking the first time a musical is recorded complete with all members of the original cast, chorus and orchestra; the album eventually earns a Gold Record and in 1976 is inducted into the NARAS (Grammy Award) Hall of Fame...On May 2, 1944 OKLAHOMA! receives a special Pulitzer Prize for Drama...On July 1, 1946, it surpasses HELLZAPOPPIN's run of 1404 performances to become the longest running musical in Broadway history...On December 4, 1947, with Richard Rodgers conducting the second act, it gives its 2000th performance on Broadway...On May 29, 1948 it closes on Broadway after a marathon 2,212 performances—a Broadway record unsurpassed until MY FAIR LADY in 1961—having been seen by more than 4 1/2 million people during the course of its five year engagement...On May 31, 1948, the Broadway company of OKLAHOMA! embarks upon a year long tour throughout the United States, visiting 67 cities.
October 15, 1943—The national tour of OKLAHOMA! opens at the Shubert Theatre, New Haven. It closes ten and a half years later at the Shubert Theatre, Philadelphia...During its decade-plus run, the touring company visits more than 250 cities encompassing every state in the Union before a total audience of 10 million...On November 26, 1946 the tour plays Oklahoma for the first time, and Governor Robert S. Kerr turns the event into a statewide celebration. Rodgers, Hammerstein, their wives and members of the musical's creative and production team attend the festivities, which include balls, parades, and culminate in eight sold-out performances of OKLAHOMA! in the Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium...On August 31, 1953, less than five years after the musical has closed on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! returns to New York for a one week run at the New York City Center. With its arrival, OKLAHOMA! joins three other Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals already running on Broadway—SOUTH PACIFIC, THE KING AND I and ME AND JULIET—prompting Mayor Vincent R. Impelliteri to declare "Rodgers &a Hammerstein Week."
February 26, 1945—USO Camp Shows, Inc., under the supervision of Reginald and Ted Hammerstein (brother and cousin respectively to the librettist), launches a nine-month tour of OKLAHOMA! playing to the U.S. armed force stationed in the Pacific.
April 29, 1947—OKLAHOMA! opens at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, with Harold (later Howard) Keel and Betty Jane Watson in the leading roles...Before it closes on October 21, 1950, OKLAHOMA! gives 1,548 performances in London, the longest run of any show in the 267 year history of the Drury Lane
April 28, 1953—The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passes House Bill No. 1094, declaring the song "Oklahoma" by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to be "the official song and anthem of the State of Oklahoma." The Senate ratifies the bill on May 6, 1953.
June 20, 1955—ANTA "Salute to France" presents OKLAHOMA! at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. Jack Cassidy (Curly), Shirley Jones (Laurey) and Pamela Britton (Ado Annie) star in the production, which follows its Paris engagement with performances in Rome, Naples, Milan and Venice.
August 21, 1955—Shirley Jones, Ed Sullivan, Eddie Fisher, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and the governors of New York and Oklahoma lead an "OKLAHOMA! Song-Fest" at the Central Park Mall in New York before a crowd of 15,000.
October 11, 1955—The motion picture version of OKLAHOMA! is released. Presented by Rodgers & Hammerstein and directed by Fred Zinneman, it stars Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. The film receives two Academy Awards including Best Scoring of a Musical Film and Best Sound Recording. It lives on in numerous theatrical re-releases, as well as repeated television broadcasts. A huge success on both home video and DVD, the film is given a special 50th Anniversary DVD release in 2005 when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases a 2-disc edition featuring OKLAHOMA! in both its Todd-AO and CinemaScope formats.
January 10, 1968—To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the musical play OKLAHOMA! as well as the 60th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma, Governor Dewey F. Bartlett announces the formation of an honorary commission of nationally-recognized leaders in the public arts, the academic world and the business community to oversee events and commemorations pertaining to both anniversaries. Among those serving on the commission are: Ed Sullivan, Leonard Bernstein, Darryl Zanuck, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, Fred Astaire, Mary Martin, Jack Benny, William Paley, Jackie Robinson, Perle Mesta, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Harry Belafonte, Art Buchwald, Maria Tallchief, Will Rogers, Jr., and Celeste Holm.
March 26, 1968—At Philharmonic (now Avery Fisher) Hall, Lincoln Center, in New York City, Skitch Henderson and Richard Rodgers conduct the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and an all-star cast in a Silver Anniversary concert version of OKLAHOMA! Staged by William Hammerstein, the evening features John Davidson (Curly), Constance Towers (Laurey), Anita Gillette (Ado Annie), Joseph Bova (Will Parker) and Margaret Hamilton (Aunt Eller).
May 1, 1979—A full-scale revival of OKLAHOMA! under the direction of William Hammerstein, begins a cross-country national tour at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Tour sites include Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center and Oklahoma City where, at the invitation of Governor George Nigh, OKLAHOMA! is presented in honor of the state's 72nd anniversary of statehood...On December 13, 1979, with Governor Nigh in attendance, this production opens at the Palace Theatre on Broadway, where it plays until August 24, 1980 for a total of 293 performances, before going out on a post-Broadway national tour… The Broadway cast includes Laurence Guittard (Curly), Christine Andreas (Laurey), Mary Wickes (Aunt Eller), Harry Groener (Will Parker) and Christine Ebersole (Ado Annie).
September 17, 1980—While the William Hammerstein production of OKLAHOMA! continues at the Palace Theater on Broadway, a production directed by his brother James Hammerstein opens at the Palace Theatre, London, co-produced by Emile Littler and Cameron Mackintosh, starring John Diedrich as Curly, with Alfred Molina as Jud Fry. Following its London season, this OKLAHOMA! tours Australia in 1982.
October 3, 1990—Williamson Music Company, the music publishing subsidiary of Rodgers & Hammerstein, enters into an agreement with the state of Oklahoma, granting the state the right to use the song "Oklahoma" in the promotion of tourism. Waiving standard fees, Williamson Music charges the state of Oklahoma $1 (one dollar). The agreement is announced in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma. Joining him for the announcement are Mary Rodgers, daughter of the composer, and William Hammerstein, son of the lyricist.
March 30, 1993—The United States Postal Service issues a stamp commemorating OKLAHOMA!—the first Broadway musical to be so honored. The first day issue ceremony is held in Oklahoma City and the stamp goes on sale that day statewide.
March 31, 1993—Fifty years to the day of its Broadway premiere, OKLAHOMA! and its cast alumnae are saluted at a luncheon in New York City's Rainbow Room attended by more than three hundred guests. Eighteen members of the original company, including choreographer Agnes de Mille, conductor Jay Blackton and leads Celeste Holm and Joan Roberts, are honored, along with representatives of the Broadway company (1943-48), the National Tour (1943-54), the original London cast (1947-50), the movie (1955), the Lincoln Center revival (1967) and the Broadway revival (1979). At the luncheon United States Postmaster General Marvin T. Runyon issues the OKLAHOMA! stamp for national release. New York City Mayor David Dinkins declares the day "Rodgers & Hammerstein Day," and renames the theatre district block of 44th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue "Rodgers & Hammerstein Row."
June 6, 1993—In recognition of its 50th Anniversary, OKLAHOMA! is presented with a special Tony Award at the annual Broadway awards ceremony.
July 15, 1998—A new production of OKLAHOMA! is premiered at the Royal National Theatre, London. Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, it is an instant success with critics and the public alike; box office records are broken for four consecutive days following the opening, and less than a month into the three-month limited run, the entire engagement is sold out...During the RNT engagement, the Queen Mother Elizabeth attends OKLAHOMA! on her 98th birthday, joined by Princess Margaret and members of the Court, and is serenaded by the cast at the Finale...In January, 1999, Sir Cameron Mackintosh transfers OKLAHOMA! to the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End for a 23-week limited season...It goes on to win a host of London theatre awards, including the Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and four Olivier Awards including Best Musical Production...In April, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attend a performance, joined by Mary Rodgers and Henry Guettel...In September, a film version of this production, directed by Trevor Nunn and Christopher Hunt, premieres on SKY-TV; it later wins an International Emmy Award…November 2003—The NT film version of OKLAHOMA! is broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances, and released on DVD by Image Entertainiment.
February 23, 2002—Previews begin at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway for the Cameron Mackintosh production of the NT staging of OKLAHOMA!, directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, with a cast headed by Patrick Wilson (Curly), Andrea Martin (Aunt Eller) and, repeating their London roles, Josefina Gabrielle (Laurey) and Shuler Hensley (Jud Fry)…March 21, 2002—This production premieres with a star-studded opening night with members of the audience including original Broadway cast (including Joan Roberts and Celeste Holm), Shirley Jones from the film version, and a delegation of Oklahomans lead by their Governor, Frank Keating…February 23, 2003—After a full year on Broadway, OKLAHOMA! closes to prepare for a US National Tour…December 16, 2003—The US National Tour begins in Denver, Colorado, and plays in more than two dozen American cities over the next two years.
2006-7—To commemorate the Centennial of the State of Oklahoma (which joined the Union in November of 1907), The R&H Organization joins forces with the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, for more than a year of celebrations beginning in November, 2006. For more, visit www.oklahomacentennial.com.
To Date—R&H Theatricals consistently licenses more than 600 productions of OKLAHOMA! annually in the United States and Canada alone. Worldwide, OKLAHOMA! has been translated into over a dozen languages, including French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Norwegian, Hungarian, Estonian, Dutch and Polish. English language productions have been seen in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa.
Block, Geoffrey. The Richard Rodgers Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Ewen, David. Richard Rodgers. New York: Holt, 1957.
Ewen, David. With a Song in His Heart (Richard Rodgers). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963.
Fordin, Hugh. Getting To Know Him: The Biography of Oscar Hammerstein II. New York: Random House, 1977; DaCapo Press, 1995.
Green, Stanley. The Rodgers and Hammerstein Story. New York: John Day, 1963; DeCapo Press (Paperback), 1980.
Green, Stanley. The Rodgers & Hammerstein Fact Book. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1980.
Hammerstein II, Oscar. Lyrics. Introduction by the author and a Preface by Stephen Sondheim. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1985.
Hammerstein II, Oscar. The Surrey with The Fringe on Top. Illustrated by James Warhola. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
Mordden, Ethan. Rodgers & Hammerstein. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York 1992.
Nolan, Frederick. The Sound of Their Music. New York: Walker, 1978; New York: Applause Books, 2002.
Rodgers, Richard. Musical Stages: An Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1975; New York: Jove (Paperback), 1978; New York: DaCapo, 1995; Revised Edition, DaCapo, 2002.
Taylor, Deems. Some Enchanted Evenings. New York: Harper, 1953.
Wilk, Max. O.K.!—The Story of OKLAHOMA!. New York: Grove Press, 1993; New York: Applause Books, 2002.
Emmy AwardsJanuary 01, 1999 — International Emmy Award
London Evening Standard AwardsJanuary 01, 1944 — Best Musical, London Evening Standard Award
January 01, 1998 — Best Musical, London Evening Standard Award
New York Drama League— "Best Musical of the Century"
Laurence Olivier Awards (London)January 01, 1999 — 4 Awards including Best Musical Production
Tony AwardsJanuary 01, 2002 — 1 Award for Best Actor (Featured Role—Musical), Shuler Hensley7 Nominations including Best Revival (Musical), Best Actor (Musical)
January 01, 1993 — Special Tony Award for the OKLAHOMA! 50th Anniversary
Academy AwardsJanuary 01, 1955 — 2 Awards for the Motion Picture of OKLAHOMA!Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture),Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton, Adolph DeutschSound Recording, Todd-AO Sound Department, Fred Hynes, Sound Director
Vocal Range of Characters:
Written By: Richard Rodgers
Our first meeting on the project that eventually became known as OKLAHOMA! took place at my home in Connecticut. We sat under the huge oak tree and tossed ideas around. What kind of songs were we going to write? Where would they go? Who would sing them? What special texture and mood should the show have?
We had many such sessions until we became thoroughly familiar not only with every aspect of the play but with each other's outlook and approach as well. Fortunately we were in agreement on all major issues, so that when we finally did begin putting words and notes on paper—which didn't occur until we'd gone through weeks of discussions—we each were able to move ahead at a steady pace.
The first problem was, appropriately, how to open the show. We didn't want to begin with anything obvious, such as a barn dance with everyone a-whoopin and a-hollerin'. After much thought and talk we simply went to the way Lynn Riggs had opened his play, with a woman seated alone on the stage churning butter. For the lyric of the first song, Oscar developed his theme from the description that Riggs had written as an introduction to the scene:
It is a radiant summer morning several years ago, the kind of morning which, enveloping the shape of earth—men, cattle in a meadow, blades of young corn, streams—makes them seem to exist now for the first time, their images giving off a visible golden emanation that is partly true and partly a trick of imagination focusing to keep alive a loveliness that may pass away...
This was all Oscar's poetic imagination needed to produce his lines about cattle standing like statues, the corn as high as an elephant's eye, and the bright golden haze on the meadow. When I read them for the first time I could see those cattle and that corn and bright golden haze vividly. How prophetic were Oscar's words I've got a beautiful feelin'/Everything's goin' my way.
By opening the show with the woman alone onstage and the cowboy beginning his song offstage, we did more than set a mood; we were, in fact, warning the audience, 'Watch out! This is a different kind of musical.'
ARTWORK: This show now has new iconic artwork, bringing the professional look of Broadway straight to your theater. Show posters, print ads, Facebook graphics, and marketing materials are all available in customizable formats.
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MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more: www.playbillvip.com
- Bandstration Books (21 Books)
- 1 – Piano Conductor Score, Bandstration
- 1 – FLUTE I-II (Both Doubling Piccolo with Opt Flute III)
- 1 – OBOE
- 1 – CLARINET I
- 1 – CLARINET II
- 1 – CLARINET III
- 1 – ALTO CLARINET
- 1 – BASS CLARINET
- 1 – BASSOON
- 1 – ALTO SAX I-II
- 1 – TENOR SAX
- 1 – BARITONE SAX
- 1 – TRUMPET I
- 1 – TRUMPET II-III
- 1 – HORN I-II
- 1 – TROMBONE I-II
- 1 – TROMBONE III
- 1 – BARITONE HORN
- 1 – TUBA (Optional Divisi for two players)
- 2 – PERCUSSION
- Rehearsal Set Bandstration (22 Books, 1 Logo CD, 1 Dance DVD)
- 20 – Libretto-Vocal Books
- 1 – Logo CD
- 1 – Dance DVD
- 2 – Piano Conductor Score, Bandstration
- Orchestration Package (16 Books)
- 1 – PIANO CONDUCTOR SCORE
- 1 – FLUTE (Doubling Piccolo)
- 1 – OBOE (Optional English Horn)
- 1 – CLARINET I-II (Clarinet I doubles Bass Clarinet)
- 1 – BASSOON
- 1 – HORN I-II
- 1 – TRUMPET I-II
- 1 – TROMBONE
- 1 – PERCUSSION
- 2 – VIOLIN A-B (Divisi)
- 1 – VIOLA (Divisi)
- 1 – CELLO
- 1 – BASS
- 1 – GUITAR (Doubling Banjo)
- 1 – HARP
- Rehearsal Set (22 Books, 1 Dance DVD)
- 20 – Libretto-Vocal Books
- 1 – Dance DVD
- 1 – Logo CD
- 2 – PIANO VOCAL SCORE
- OKLAHOMA! -Two Piano Arrangement (2 Act I, 2 Act II)
- 2 – TWO PIANO ARRANGMENT - Act I
- 2 – TWO PIANO ARRANGMENT - Act II
- Bandstration Libretto-Vocal Book 10-Pack
- 10 – Bandstration Libretto-Vocal Book
- OKLAHOMA! Bandstration - Pre-Production Pack
- 1 – Piano Conductor Score, Bandstration
- 1 – Libretto-Vocal Books
- Libretto/Vocal Books 10 pack
- 10 – Libretto-Vocal Books
- OKLAHOMA! - PRE-PRODUCTION PACKAGE
- 1 – Libretto-Vocal Books
- 1 – PIANO VOCAL SCORE
- Oklahoma Flat Bundle
- 1 – Flat Facebook Tabs
- 1 – Flat Poster
- 1 – Flat Print
- 1 – Flat Headers
- 1 – Flat Banners
- Oklahoma Layered Bundle
- 1 – Layered Headers
- 1 – Layered Facebook Tabs
- 1 – Layered Poster
- 1 – Layered Print
- 1 – Layered Facebook Tabs
- 1 – Layered Banners
Large singing-dancing ensemble with numerous small roles
Ado Annie Carnes
OKLAHOMA! takes place in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) just after the turn of the century.
The Front of Laurey's Farmhouse
The Smoke House
A Grove on Laurey's Farm
The Skidmore Ranch
Skidmore's Kitchen Porch
The Back of Laurey's Farmhouse
DIVISI NOTE: In the original Broadway pit of OKLAHOMA!, there were 6 players on Violin A, 4 players on Violin B, 2 Violists, 2 Cellists, and 2 Bass players.
BASSOON NOTE: The Bassoon was not used in the original Broadway pit, but was added later for the Lincoln Center Revival.
Arena Stage's acclaimed and record-breaking production of OKLAHOMA!took home top prizes at the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington DC on Monday night.Read More
If you want to curl up in your easy chair and revisit the lyrics and dialogue to a classic musical like OKLAHOMA or THE SOUND OF MUSIC...Read More
- Vector Title
Display customized, eye-catching banner ads to promote your production.
Don't worry about reshaping banners to fit different websites: This package already includes 4 standard banner sizes - vertical, horizontal, and rectangular.
Don’t worry about optimizing the color format, size and resolution. These files are already optimized for online viewing.
Don't worry about needing a designer to convert static banners into rotating, animated ads. We’ve taken care of this for you! Text and video instructions are provided to help you animate your ads with ease – using free programs and apps.
Don't worry about needing fancy design programs – these flat .JPG files are ready to use with any free paint or photo editing program. Demos show you how to customize graphics with your theater's text.
- 160x600 - Wide Skyscraper
- 300x250 - Medium Rectangle
- 468x60 - Full Banner
- 728x90 – Leaderboard