The extent of my knowledge of Oklahoma! was the song “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” but that was due to my mom singing it to my siblings and I as our final alarm clock versus an awareness of the musical. As I got into theater in high school, I finally understood the significance it had on Broadway as well as the importance it had in the evolution of musicals. But I still chalked it up as one of those classical musicals I would not enjoy — thankfully I was wrong. Underneath the Rodgers and Hammerstein show tunes and beautiful voices, is a message about empowerment, love, and transformation.
Laurey Williams (Emilie Kouatchou) works on her Aunt Eller’s (Jennifer Allen) farm in Oklahoma Territory during the early 1900s. She is courted by two men, Curly McLain (Ryan Vasquez), whom she falls in love with, and the sinister Jud Fry (John Rapson). Laurey is scared if she refuses Jud he will come after her and Curly, so she draws out her decision to avoid a horrific fate. Meanwhile, Laurey’s friend Ado Annie Carnes (Brit West) cannot decide who she loves more, Will Parker (Pierce Cassedy) or Ali Hakim (Jeff Skowron). Both of Laurey and Ado Annie’s dilemmas are tested later that night at the box social.
The musical is filled with excellent dancing, which is highlighted in the “Dream Ballet” sequence, as well as the tales of the changing modern world, and new dance crazes, in up-to-date “Kansas City.” What is most shocking about the show is the ominous mystery that surrounds Jud and his past, which are highlighted in the songs “Poor Jud Is Daid” and “Lonely Room.”
Broadway at Music Circus does it once again with their own unique style and flair! Do not miss out on this wonderful story of change and self-discovery. For showtimes and tickets, visit Sacramento365.
Review by Visit Sacramento’s Information Specialist Madeline Atlee.