Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 9th, 2012 - Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!''

OOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweepen' down the plain!

If that song isn't stuck in your head after seeing this musical, then you have no soul.  Rodgers and Hammerstein basically created their own musical brand of crack with this show. You only have to hear five notes and half their songs are stuck with you forever.

Even though this show is being performed somewhere every second of the day, I can see a lot of ways for it to go wrong.

I mean it's a day in the life of a bunch of young hicks who are running amok over girls. The villain, Judd, is not at all dashing, so it's hard to see  why Laurey would ever consent to be alone with him in the first place. The other main couple, Ado Annie and Will, are probably the most annoying couple ever, yet their song "All er Nuthin'" is also stuck in my head for good. And then the hero, Curly, is so damn arrogant and adorable that ....well....nevermind, I can see why she likes him.

Anyway, my point is that there are lots of ways this show should lead me to rolling my eyes and making "Are you serious?" faces, but I really enjoyed the 5th Avenue's performance!

They cast young people for the young roles, which a) yay! new faces! and b) lets the behavior and reactions on stage make a lot more sense. Not to me since I was born 30, but it matches to how I've seen 17/18 year old's interact (you know. stupidly).

They also cast Jud as black. Traditionally, Jud is played by an older, creepy, dirty, white man,  whereas here, he's young and strong, still creepy and dirty, and black... which makes Curly's lines in one of the songs "Pore Judd is Daid" take on all of these racist layers. I may have laughed from the nervous tension, and I wasn't the only one.

I was also really impressed by how they opened the space up to give you an idea of the endless skies of an Oklahoma plain. It was pretty beautiful.

I'm going to see this one again since it makes me smile :)

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