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Oklahoma! Reviews

Broadway ShowsMusicalsTony WinnersDrama Desk WinnersTony Nominees

Average customer review: 1.5 star rating (1.3 Stars)

Number of reviews: 438



1.0 star rating from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


A waste of an evening. Whoever was responsible for this booking should be unemployed

1.0 star rating Susan from Edmond, OK


I knew ahead of time this was a “modern” adaptation of the original, so I went in with an open mind. Could not have been more disappointed. The new version mocks the original and is explained as being thought provoking, but only succeeded in being extremely dark and disturbing, as well as lazy and boring. The suicide sequence in particular could cause a person on the edge to fall right off. The singing was average, the dialogue was delivered flat, and not in a clever or artistic way, just simply lazy. I made up my mind to leave at intermission when the igloo coolers made an appearance, from what I have read I’m very happy I left.

1.0 star rating Peggy from Chicago, Illinois


If the purpose of the Arts is to ignite conversation, showcase originality and introduce new ways of thinking, the Tony Award winning revival of Oklahoma that just ended its Chicago run was a creative success. That may be why NYT called Daniel Fish’s production “astonishing, reborn and thrilling”. Still, I can see why some people walked out at intermission. There wasn’t a sunny ingenue to be found. Instead, the audience witnessed an unsettling and unexpected interpretation of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, which operated on a much deeper and cynical level than the 1943 original staging. Its main characters were driven by an undercurrent of raw sexual desire, revealed in Laurie’s erotic dream and Jud’s dark room plastered with pin-ups. In this version, Laurie was drawn to Jud’s unhinged sexuality. As Curly bid against Jud for Laurie’s picnic basket (in what felt like a slave auction for her body) she dully protested Curly’s attempts to win her. Jud elicited sympathy – after all, how was his sexual desire and pursuit of Laurie any different from Curly’s sexual intentions? Meanwhile, Curly exhibited a cruel darkness as he suggested Jud hang himself and then ultimately shot him – not because Jud was evil or dangerous, but because Curly saw Laurie’s heated attraction to Jud. This sexually charged triangle was designed to put the whole production on edge. Interestingly, while the show was driven by sexuality, its characters didn’t exude a flirtatious sex appeal or chemistry with one another. Ado Annie’s character didn’t squeal with eagerness. Men objectified her regardless of her general lack of excitement. It may be that this was a more self-aware Ado Annie who owned her sexual power over men and “can’t say no” because she didn’t want to relinquish that power. If so, that made her a standout for being the only character to harness sexual potency rather than fall victim to it. The most provocative part of the show was during the use of black and white video in the pitch-black theater. The close ups, breathing, sweat, proximity of characters to one another on a scratchy film noir were suggestive and raw, adding to the edginess and intimacy of the play. No innocence here. Amid all this sexual energy, no one in Oklahoma seemed to be having any fun. The whole production presented more like a table read, kind of lifeless and deadpan at times. Nondescript scenery, as flat and dry as the characters’ line delivery, made song lyrics about a beautiful morning feel more ironic than heartfelt. And I think that was the point. Aunt Eller said you have to be “hearty” to move beyond inevitable hardships to enjoy what’s sweet. But there was very little sweet in today’s Oklahoma. Which makes me wonder about the state of today’s world; what motivates us to stage and laud this darkly sensual version of a show that used to champion love and romance? I keep thinking of Laurie’s bloodied, twisted face as she tried to belt out Oklahoma at the show’s finale. Her distress was palpable. I don’t think Oklahoma is O.K. anymore. Are we?

1.0 star rating Kelly from Buffalo, New York


Positive: the cast members have good singing voices; musicians excellent. Negative: everything else. The modern approach felt like it was trying too hard, using a hammer where one wasn’t needed. Abstract, conceptual elements choppy, inconsistent, and confusing. Wish it were better.

1.0 star rating Kenneth Gartler from Buffalo, New York


I don't know who's responsible for bringing these" modern takes" on these old stage plays/ musicals, but the demographics showing up to Sheas doesn't like it. Half the theater left after the intermission. Sheas Buffalo is going to loose their base season ticket holders if this continues.

1.0 star rating Ann from Buffalo, New York


I LOVE theater. I HATED Oklahoma. No set changes. Confusing message. Odd presentation. Uncomfortable interpretation of a classic Rogers and Hammerstein production. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They broke Oklahoma. Very disappointing.

1.0 star rating Ellen from Buffalo, New York


So much about this version of Oklahoma is boring, from the acting to the scenery, the dancing and the singing. When it isn't boring, it is dark and evil. Nothing about this was entertaining.

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