New Broadway revival of 'Oklahoma!' to launch national tour in OKC
Producer Eva Price announced today that the acclaimed reimagined revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” will launch its North American tour in Oklahoma City at the Civic Center Music Hall in fall 2020.
The 2020 tour will mark the first time a first-class Actors Equity production of “Oklahoma!” has toured North America in 40 years, according to a news release.
“Since day one of planning for our tour, I knew we had to start in the heart of our country. We were delighted to welcome the board of Oklahoma City Civic Center Foundation (partners of Nederlander in OKC Broadway) to see Oklahoma! in New York this spring and their enthusiasm for the revival has been overwhelming,” Price said in a statement.
“The evolution of this production from Bard SummerScape to St. Ann’s Warehouse and to Broadway and now a national tour has been nothing short of remarkable. We are thrilled to share this production with audiences all across North America, from the heartland to the coasts.”
Directed by Daniel Fish, the production has been hailed as the Best of the Year and a Critic’s Pick by The New York Times and the No. 1 Theatrical Event of the Year by Time Magazine.
“‘Oklahoma! is a beloved story in our communities and part of the fabric of the arts in our state. When members from our board saw the revival on Broadway, we each saw—and heard—the show in a new context and it inspired hours of lively conversations. We knew then that Oklahoma City audiences had to be the first to see it,” said Elizabeth Gray, Executive Director of the Civic Center Foundation and General Manager of OKC Broadway, in a statement.
Seventy-five years after Rodgers & Hammerstein reinvented the American musical, the new version of “Oklahoma!” is billed as one audiences have never seen or heard before, re-orchestrated and reimagined for the 21st century. As previously reported, the musical's fifth Broadway run has been described as a darker, deconstructed version of "Oklahoma!" that exposes more of the darkness and danger inherent in the story, swaps the original score's brassy sound for a seven-piece country band, and offers an immersive experience that includes chili and cornbread served to the audience at intermission.
One of the most influential musicals ever staged, “Oklahoma!” features music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play “Green Grow” the Lilacs by Claremore writer Lynn Riggs, with original dances by Agnes de Mille.
This production of “Oklahoma!” was first presented at Bard SummerScape followed by an engagement at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn where it had a sold out run in 2018.
As previously reported, the reimagined “Oklahoma!” is nominated for Best Revival of a Musical at the upcoming Tony Awards, which will air June 9 on CBS. It received seven other Tony nominations, including two nods in Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, for Ali Stroker and Mary Testa; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Damon Daunno; Best Scenic Design of a Musical; Best Sound Design of a Musical; Best Direction of a Musical; and Best Orchestrations.
The creative team includes for the show includes Daniel Kluger (orchestrations, arrangements and music supervision), John Heginbotham (new choreography), Nathan Koci (music direction), Laura Jelinek (scenic design), Terese Wadden (costume design), Scott Zielinski (lighting design), Drew Levy (sound design), and Joshua Thorson (projection design). Casting is by Will Cantler and Adam Caldwell, Telsey Co.
The Broadway cast features Rebecca Naomi Jones as Laurey, Daunno as Curly, Testa as Aunt Eller, Patrick Vaill as Jud Fry, Stroker as Ado Annie, James Davis as Will Parker, Will Brill as Ali Hakim, Mitch Tebo as Andrew Carnes, Mallory Portnoy as Gertie Cummings, Anthony Cason as Cord and Will Mann as Mike. Gabrielle Hamilton performs the “Dream Ballet.”
“Oklahoma!” is produced on Broadway by Price, Level Forward, Abigail E. Disney, Barbara Manocherian and Carl Moellenberg, James L. Nederlander, David Mirvish, Mickey Liddell & Robert Ahrens, BSL Enterprises and MagicSpace Entertainment, Berlind Productions, The John Gore Organization, Cornice Productions, Bard Fisher/R. Gold, LAMF/J. Geller, T Narang/ZKM Media, The Routh/Frankel/Baruch/Viertel Group, Araca/IPN, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Tamar Climan.
This production was originally developed, produced, and premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Chair; Leon Botstein, President; Gideon Lester, Artistic Director; Bob Bursey, Executive Director; Caleb Hammons, Senior Producer) in July 2015.