It's 80 years since Oklahoma first opened on Broadway!

Posted on 31 March 2023

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! celebrates 80 years of success! Today marks the 80th anniversary of the seminal musical opening on Broadway at the St James’ Theatre. The show played its first performance on 31 March 1943 and has since enjoyed over 12 productions in 4 countries. The latest innovative incarnation, directed by Daniel Fish, has been nominated for seven Olivier awards and is thrilling audiences at Wyndham’s Theatre.

Oklahoma! History

Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs written by Lynn Riggs, the show ran on Broadway in 1931. However, got further developed by Rodgers and Hammerstein and renamed Oklahoma. On its opening, the show starred Alfred Drake as Curly, Howard Da Silva as Jud Fry and Joan Roberts as Laurey. The show went on to run for 5 years and finished with a total of 2,212 performances. It is considered one of the most ground-breaking musicals from Rodgers and Hammerstein, as it was the first musical to weave together character, song and dance and thus has been revived four times on Broadway.

Oklahoma! Synopsis

The plot of Oklahoma follows cocky cowboy Curly McLain and brooding farmhand Jud Fry, as they set their sights upon alluring farm girl Laurey Williams. The pair compete to see who will accompany Laurey to a party. Daniel Fish’s adaptation is a fresh new outlook, darker and pared down but without changing a word. 

Oklahoma! Cast and Creatives

The cast of Oklahoma! is currently comprised of Raphael Bushay (The Crucible, Red Riding Hood) as Mike, Arthur Darvill (Rare Earth Mettle, The Antipodes) as Curly McLain, James Patrick Davis (The House of Blue Leaves) as Will Parker, Anoushka Lucas (Elephant, Henry V) as Laurey Williams and many more!

The Bard Summerscape production features original choreography by Agnes de Mille, orchestrations and arrangements and music supervision by Daniel Kluger, choreography by John Heginbotham, scenic design by Laura Jellinek, costume design by Terese Wadden, lighting design by Scott Zielinski, sound design by Drew Levy, projection design by Joshua Thorson, and music direction and additional vocal arrangements by Nathan Koci. It is directed by Daniel Fish.

Oklahoma! Tickets are Available Now!

Don't wait another 80 years, book tickets for the smash hit new production of Oklahoma! today!