1999 Broadway production of Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman as Curly
|My life has been so chaotically back and forth that I've not been taking the time to write like I want to. So, I am trying a new schedule to make sure I do. Today is Thursday, August 20, 2015 and it is my first Theatrical Thursday blog post.
Yesterday, I caught a 1999 Broadway production of "Oklahoma" online. This particular run starred Hugh Jackman as Curly, Josephina Gabrielle as Laurie, Shuler Hensley as Jud Fry, Peter Polycarpou as Ali Hakim, Jimmy Johhston as Will Parker, Vicki Simon as Ado Annie, Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller. It appeared to have been really just a London production shown on film in a Broadway theatre. This was my first time seeing the show. I swear. I never even saw the movie with Shirley Jones in it. So, here are my thoughts.
For anyone who has never seen the musical or even know what it's about it is a basic love story where two people play coy with each other while a third party gets hurt by the whole thing. Other characters add levity to the show with their antics. The first musical written by Rogers and Hammerstein, it is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play "Green Grows the Lilacs."
I enjoyed this production. The music was lively, the performers energetic. It helped a lot that the scenes changed by way of a turntable instead of having stage hands in black move scenery. The drama between Curly and Jud (in the smokehouse and during the late hours of the wedding reception) increased in intensity at the right moments. The interchange between Annie, Will, and Ali make a hilarious menage a trois (when Ali shows Annie how Persians say good-bye and Will shows her a "proper" hello). Of course, as with many comic reliefs, Ali's plans to bed a woman out of wedlock backfires.
This show, which is currently available on YouTube, is worth watching. And, if a local production is showing in your area, go see it. It might not be Broadway or West End but professional theatre companies do not hire just anyone for the shows. Take care and blessed be.