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I saw the show on Broadway and it was really good. It might be a little dark for some people, but it was fine for me. The “diversity” (woke by a reviewer) did not detract from the entertainment in any way. My daughter wants to see it (but couldn’t because she had class project due that week) so now I’m going to have to take her to a tour date. I will be curious how it plays outside New York? If it’s anything like the Broadway show, I’ll be fine seeing it a second time, which speaks for itself.
Edie from Chicago, Illinois
THRILLING, ARTISTIC, CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!!
If you want traditional old styling, you're not going to get it here. That is fine by me!
If you want to see something interesting and bold that will make you grin while giving you chills, come to this show!!!! As a young musical theatre professional from the south I have been waiting to see this revival for years, and it surpassed my hopes for what it could be. It is honest, it is intimate, it is complicated and messy. The singing is amazing, the band is outstanding, and the interpretation breathes new life into Rodgers' & Hammerstein's iconic work. The scenes are impactful and the characters seem real. This isn't a golden age fluff piece anymore!
Christian ward from Huntsville, Alabama
THIS WASN'T YALL'S OKLAHOMA.
I really loved this prodution of Oklahoma!, the set and the characters all of it. this Oklahoma was for the 21st generation and was supposed to be dark and griddy. All the actors were talented in their own ways and i was entertained the whole way through, this is my first piece of theatre (as im only 13) but i will be seeing this tour again in auburn alabama.
Michelle Monsef from Brentwood, CA
5 STARTS SO YOU READ IT
This was BAD. As intermission blessedly happened my friend and I looked at each other and said what in the world did we just watch? What was all that about? The singing was good but thats all I can say in the positive. This is a show I wish I had not wasted my time on. I am the most easily entertained person around and I was not (ENTERTAINED).
Austin from San Francisco, California
This is a very dark, modern day take on the classic musical.
I loved every second, but I'm also very familiar with the story. People who haven't watched the movie or seen the show before will be caught off guard.
Sis, the actress portraying Ado Annie, is a star. Watch this show to see her. I couldn't keep my eyes off her.
Karen from Chicago, Illinois
NOT YOUR GRANDMA'S OKLAHOMA
I've never been a great fan of the original Oklahoma and really enjoyed this different take, especially that it acknowledged how horrifying some aspects of this show (and most Golden Age musicals) are. The cast was spectacular, especially Sasha Hutchings as Laurie.
Micky from Buffalo, New York
I didn’t read anything ahead of time as I wanted to form my own opinion. Agree with other reviewers that you needed to be close to the stage to see the actors up close. I loved the interpretation of this classic but the dream scene did not add anything to the production-sorry. Christopher Bannow stole the show for me. The range of emotions emitting from this actor had me mesmerized. Ending was a surprise and I’m still thinking about it /processing it. What a good production should do.
Rosalie Davis from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The worst show I have ever seen, can not say one good thing about it. Been seeing live show for over 50 years and this is the first time I walked out of a show.
Colin from Tempe, Arizona
FASCINATING AND DARK
It’s certainly different, but it’s not “woke,” as some reviewers are alleging. They’re probably alleging this because Ado Annie is played by a Black trans woman. But she’s played, as always, for comic relief: Hardly “woke,” in my opinion.
What’s good: The song lyrics and dialogue are almost completely unchanged. A slight change at the end of the show is strikingly logical, as if the director is correcting a plot hole that’s always existed. Otherwise, mere changes in acting and lighting turn this show from a happy-go-lucky love story into a story about a man we’d immediately recognize today as an “incel”: Jud Fry, the farmhand. Scenes that are nearly always played as comedy become truly dark, and you’re left wondering how you could ever have thought the scene was funny.
What’s not so good: To make the troubling scenes striking (and they’re downright unforgettable), the non-troubling scenes are fairy boring. And that’s roughly the first hour, with hardly any dancing or lighting changes
from Greenville, South Carolina
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS
Does anybody screen these shows?
Peace Center management really let the city and their clientele down. Would venture to say half the theater emptied at intermission.
Josh from Greenville, South Carolina
NEW TONE IS GOOD, BUT THERE ARE TRANSLATION ISSUES
The new "Oklahoma!" is good and focuses on some compelling issues. Everyone complaining that it's too dark seems to forget that no song or dialogue has been changed from the original; the emphasis has simply shifted. I liked Curly a lot, Jud's first solo is amazing and I loved the manic version of the last song.
That said, there are major translation issues from the Broadway show to the touring show. The Broadway show was in an intimate theater where audience members had a close view of facial expressions and movements. The touring show is playing in large auditoriums. The staging is too static. There's not enough movement or lighting or musical cues to follow the action. Some scant choreography (corn shucking scene) feels wasted and nonsensical narratively. It's hard to hear what many actors are saying because no one has a mic.
People who complain that this is "woke" make no sense. Story is the same; there are simply people of color and a transgender actor. Read between the lines.
Karen from Buffalo, New York
Very dark. Not a feel good play. Talented actors and singers. The second half opened with such loud music that I had my hands over my ears. It lasted too long that loud, started getting a headache and left. Several people left at intermission.
Jack T. from Providence, Rhode Island
SAVED BY THE R&H SONGS!
The original R&H Musical Score was SO good that even THIS 2022 Adaptation couldn’t ruin them. Otherwise, PPAC should be ashamed for their deceit. You really should inform people what they are getting into before taking their money. I have enough challenges in life. I come to the Theatre to feel good. “Oklahoma” is supposed to be a joy, with grand music. Well the music was grand, but where was the joy? Is “My Fair Lady” going to be like this? If so, I’m selling my tickets. Specifically, suicide? Darkness? Startling gunshots? Blood? And, can somebody please tell me the point of the endless modern dance routine at the beginning of Act II?
Beautiful music, disappointing Show!
Brenda from Providence, Rhode Island
3 stars for effort.
I love seeing off Broadway Shows at PPAC. I love supporting the talent that comes through the doors at PPAC, but I have to say Oklahoma was the worst most uncomfortable show I have ever seen. I wish I could get my money back. I felt the way the story was portrayed, caliber of costumes, set and talents were not Broadway level. I understand wanting to change and update stories from the past, but sometimes it’s okay to stay old school and actually put money into the production. I have never been to a show at PPAC where so many people walked out, leaving early. Sad. There were whispers of people around us trying to figure out what the heck was going on, as my husband and I were thinking the same thing. It was creepy and weird with the close up videos. It was so odd. My husband asked me if we should leave at intermission and I said, let’s stay hopefully it will get better. It was unfortunately a night I wished I stayed home.
K Ross from Washington, District of Columbia
BELOW PAR IN ALMOST EVERY WAY
Our group was shocked at how poorly this version of Oklahoma was done. The set design (or lack thereof) has been beat several times by my child’s middle school drama group and the costumes were not much better. The interpretive dance/dream scene was ridiculously long and unnecessary—we get it, she’s dreaming. The actors who played Laurie and Curly were great and some of the music was performed at a high level. I would not recommend this production to anyone.
Gerald from Columbia , Missouri
5/13/22 a large part of cast replaced because of illness??? Not going to refer to anyone by name only character because so many changes not sure who was preforming what. Ado Annie made it worth seeing. Jud fry wonderful. Loved the first projection on wall with jud saw no point in act two with lead dancer. Ali Hakim another plus.
I don’t mind dark or edgy or modern but like consistency. Characters dress and use of cans with pop tops and iglo coolers so go traditional or modern but decide which not a mix. Act 2 started like rock opera not dream would have been nice if act 1 had started that way.
ToscasKiss from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
EXPERIMENTAL CONVERSATION WITH THE ORIGINAL
I wish that everyone seeing this OKLAHOMA! had already seen an excellent ‘traditional’ production. This one is somewhat interesting as an odd experiment on the original. Lots of high level talent involved, in the excellent band & the cast. I had read & heard much about this interpretation since before it was on Broadway, so wasn’t shocked, as many audience members seem to be. As others have mentioned, there are sound problems, with a fair bit of unintelligible dialogue. Not sure how presenters could forewarn ticket buyers about what they’re getting into, without scaring most of them away. But I do hate to think of people who have no idea, coming to this with hopes of a mostly joyful, fun show. To be fair, there is more than a bit of darkness inherent in the show, as written & originally interpreted, even midst all the jokes, glorious music, dance & folksiness. This version is just a really odd, dour affair; somehow, much of the humor still lands within that unsmiling frame. Strange….
George Parsons from Pinole, California
TRIED SO HARD TO LOVE THE PRODUCTION
Was looking forward to seeing one of the great Rogers and Hammerstein musicals but left very disappointed...the cast tried very hard to bring it to life but it was so dark and ended with confusion and very little joy...strange and unsatisfying!
Ben Boquist from Los Angeles, California
GREAT CONCEPT, BADLY ADAPTED FOR TOUR
Saw preview night of Oklahoma at the ahmanson, a 3K seat theater in LA. Been wanting to see this production since it opened in NY a few years ago. It was designed for an intimate, immersive space. And I’m sure in that context it works great. But from the balcony it was hard to connect. The lighting design, beige set and awkward staging (like a staged reading more than a full production) were extremely frustrating and fought with the text/ music. There’s not a lot of movement, the stage is dominated by tables in lines that the actors sit at most of the time. It was terribly boring to look at. Great cast, great band, timely interp. Just badly adapted to a big room, which is a shame. It was a sparsely attended tonight so we hustled down to the front row after intermission. From there it was powerful! It’s probably worth a watch if you can sit in the first 8 rows. Not sure it is from anywhere else though.
All the political commentary probably lands differently if you’re able to connect with the performers. Since I wasn’t for the first half, it felt cynical and pretentious. The direction bends the text into a pretzel to make it say what it’s not saying in some places (especially the final scene) as a piece of studio performance art that’s interesting. But it’s not very fun. And feels pretty isolating if you’re already a fan of the show
L. Watkins from Los Angeles, California
WOKE, RE-IMAGINED, DARK, AND FEW SMILES
The unimaginative stage setting was 6 saw-horse tables and about 15 chairs.
When the scene was supposed to change, the lights were turned off and the audience is supposed to imagine what’s going on.
The scenery was upstaged by the glittery party fringe banners that looked like they came from Party City.
The cast was caught between the orchestra at the back of the stage and the speakers in front.
Only when the music got quiet could the cast sound like they had any projection to their voices.
Curly could yell on key while just about everyone else could find the notes.
The tempo of the musical was like inadvertently watching a movie at ¾ speed which turned into a round table reading of the script.
There was a talented solo dancer for the dream scene, but the choreography could have just as well been applicable to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” or “What’s New Pussycat”.
Someone said “dark”.
What they forgot to say was that this is a re-imagined woke musical designed to refute anyone thinking they can make America Great Again.
Yes the cast has talent, but if you loved the movie, you won’t recognize this musical as a good time.
from Los Angeles, California
INTERESTING CONCEPT BOGGED DOWN BY SELF INDULGENT MEANDERING DIRECTION
The cast was talented, and had some good singers and solid character actors. However…. it was at its best when it was closest to the original which only seemed to happen when the director couldn’t think of some way to fuck with it. I get what they were trying to do, but honestly, the original book has enough undertones of darkness, and the original setting in place and time has enough sexism, that an audience member capable of critical thinking doesn’t need a bag of heavy handed art school tricks to get the idea that while the characters are charming, Oklahoma hasn’t always been historically rosy. Give me dancing! Give me a set! Let me see the characters act! I truly believe you can deliver those things AND a complex, thoughtprovoking, and multifaceted musical- Rodgers and Hammerstein did it the first time.
J from Los Angeles, California
The acting was stilted and incongruous. The singing uninspired. The dramatic devices of projection and darkness weren’t interesting. I didn’t understand the use of the microphone at all. The dream sequence was interminable and made no contribution to the story. I am glad that a trans actor was included, but abhor that they are used as the butt of a joke. Why not have a trans woman play the part without making them a token comic device?
Kathy from Minneapolis, Minnesota
LEAVE GRANDMA AND THE KIDS AT HOME
The musicians are great. Laurey and Ado Annie are amazing. The production is confusing in it's messages. I am a season ticket holder and wanted to like it but was very disappointed.
Bam Wilder from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Usually I don't write reviews, this was something else. The town slut (Ado Annie) was the only one that seemed like she wanted to be there, everyone else... I don't know. They tired and it didn't make sense, it seemed like there was two directors and they both wanted to do different things. The dark camera wasn't it. I like the dances but it didn't fit... This didn't need to be done, just make a new play and stop using the name Oklahoma! for marketing purposes.
from Greenville, South Carolina
BORING, HARD TO FOLLOW
Singers were good but difficult to hear their words at times. No scene changes. Storyline hard to follow. Music way too loud after intermission. Had to plug my ears. I’ve been to some Broadway plays in NY and this was just so disappointing. Went for our anniversary and we both agreed, it was a sleeper.
Virginia from Greenville, South Carolina
NOT TYPICAL BROADWAY
Very disappointing.....no orchestra, no set changes, no sparks to set the magic of theater.....a high school in Greenville could have performed a better production.....sorry but not in league of big time arts. Money wasted. Sound is poor and voices didn't project. Peace Center may have been at fault in this regard. Yes, I have seen plays in New York, London, Germany, Atlanta....this is by far the worse I have seen on stage.
from Huntsville, Alabama
SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME!
I stay for the entire musical but many other people did not. This musical did not play well in this setting. Save your money.
Thomas from Huntsville, Alabama
OAKLAHOMA THE MUSICAL?
My wife and I as well as our friends are long time season ticket holders and have not been disappointed in the past.
We “all” were disappointed in this rendition of the Oaklahoma musical. The “darkness” and “wokeness” caused many in the audience to leave at the intermission. We stayed till the end thinking it would get better but it didn’t!
BYL had better improve their researching for entertaining upcoming musicals or their supporters will unfortunately be forced to find other venues for entertainment.
I definitely would not recommend this Oaklahoma musical to a friend.
Cindy Pittsburgh PA from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
BIG WASTE OF TIME
What a big waste of time! I spent my hard earned money and drove in a snow storm to see this low budget play. I go to the theater to be entertained not to be shocked, bewildered or depressed. Bizarre does not equal creativity. Example: the long dramatic pauses, scenes in the dark but yet portions on video and the dream scene that felt like a bad drug trip from the 70’s. I can’t blame the actors for the writing/directing of this play made it impossible for them to shine.
Josephe from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TALENTED PERFORMERS. LAZY SET DESIGN. POORLY EXECUTED CONCEPT.
We did our due diligence & knew not to expect a traditional show. The performers were very good and Christopher Bannow was a particular dramatic standout as Jud. I wish that I could have seen this cast in a better show. The on-stage band was flawless. Minimalist sets that smartly use space & light are interesting. This set design was neither smart nor interesting. The staging of characters on picnic tables at full light watching the action (to represent apathy?) until their 'official' entrances stole focus and contributed to the low energy of Act 1. Surprisingly, the blackout scene for "Pore Jud is Daid" was a hauntingly dramatic standout. However, that same blackout concept for Curly/Laurey in Act 2 was annoying and gimmicky. Although performed by a talented dancer, the ballet sequence was misguided in its overly repetitious sexual content which seemed performed for shock value instead of content value. I cannot recommend this show but it did elicit much conversation afterward.
Laura from Chicago, Illinois
AWKWARD AND DISAPPOINTING
Had I read reviews ahead of time I would have skipped this show. If you’re looking for the original Roger’s & Hammerstein classic this isn’t it. I’m not opposed to new interpretations but most of the changes fell
flat or were so disjointed they were jarring. I suspect making people feel uncomfortable was part of this Director’s goal - in which case, mission accomplished! The Jud character reminded me of Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luther in Batman. The dance dream sequence at the beginning of the 2nd act was outstanding, made me think of Alvin Ailey performances, but still felt out of place. The dark scenes were drawn out and disturbing but not the thoughtful kind that makes you think - the kind that makes you want to leave early, which many did at intermission. The cast was talented enough but even they didn’t seem thrilled to be there. Unless edgy experimental theatre is your thing & you’ve never seen the original- take a hard pass.
Lori from Carol Stream, Illinois
I have never, ever in 43 years of going to shows left early. Really bad. Promoters us "Rogers & Hammerstein" to sell tickets. It was NOT there version. Production was completely changed. If they wanted ti change the show, market it as such. Total waste of money.
Not the performers fault though. Pretty voices.
Will from Buffalo, New York
I really wanted to like it. The musicians in the band were awesome and the singing was excellent but the dialogue was choppy with odd pauses that seemed out of place, the dream sequence at the beginning of Act II was like a parody of horrible performance art - I was laughing because it was so silly and unintelligible. The motifs and themes of the original musical were skewed. The wedding scene and the thoughtless use of violence that didn’t leave a moral message but just left a mess. I left wondering why had I wasted my time and money on such a horrific mess. I felt bad for the cast, musicians and crew. I do not think Oklahoma! can be updated. An effort was made to do so. It failed miserably. Finally much of the theater cleared out after the first Act, which was admittedly the better of the two Acts.
Marilyn from Buffalo, New York
We left during intermission It was a big disappointment. I knew there would be differences compared to the original version but i thought it was awful. The set reminded me of a school cafeteria. There sure was no chemistry between the leading couples. The producers took a beautiful musical and ruined it. Sone of the songs were out of tune. Enough said!
Golfer Sue from Buffalo, New York
SORRY FOR THE ACTORS
This was not the show I was hoping for. No scene changes, costumes a true bore. So dark, not fun. Why is the female lead so ANGRY? What was Sheas Buffalo thinking bringing this here? Don’t they have a clue who their audience is ? What a waste of time and money. Please do better Sheas for what we pay to be season ticket holder’s.
from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DIDN'T LIKE IT
I was in the front row last night...luckily did Not get drenched in Bud light like the people on other end of front row, I got a few drops on my clothing and bag. My biggest point here - Why warn me about "loud gunshots" (which ushers DO, at seating, for each guest) but say Nothing about getting sprayed with beer. Unacceptable. It's not a rough music concert, it's a broadway show! I can't get pass that, it's so offensive, gross, and unwanted! I'm into shows that make you think etc, I was very open to a new interpretation....but I just think this was Bad. I strongly advise Not taking young children to show. Lead actor (Laurey) had the most beautiful singing voice though
Jen from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I had never seen Oklahoma and was very excited to see it at the Forrest theater in Philadelphia. I was incredibly disappointed. Although the actors were very very good and had wonderful voices the set was awful the choreography was awful. Extremely boring. The attempt to make it more modern made it awkward and hard to follow. They need to get a real choreographer for the show. The modern dance the of the second act added nothing to the show. Although she was a fabulous dancer. It just prolong the agony. Also the prop man was out on stage in the middle of two different scenes bringing out or taking back props. So weird. If you’re going to do that at least put them in a flannel shirt and have them takeoff his mask and headset. Please don’t waste your money going to the show .
Lynda from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Eight hours later and I am still stunned by how bad it was. There was no change in scenery, and the characters were just... odd. I understand the "woke" philosophy but was still difficult to get past some of the poor casting. The finale with Laurey and Curly singing with bloodied wedding clothes and Laurey jumping around crying and singing at the same time was laughable. This version of Oklahoma was not for me.
Ben from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
SO BAD THAT IT WAS ALMOST GOOD
Despite how terrible I thought this show was, it will certainly be a memorable one.
-Sis as Ado Annie and Christopher Bannow as Jud were the absolute standouts. Perhaps with larger roles they could have saved the show.
-Blackout scenes/light changes added so much tension and intensity. I really enjoyed these. Jud was captivating here.
-The physical humor was pretty good. Ado Annie's side story had me cracking up
The Bad: (Not sure I can fit this in the full review)
-Other people have mentioned it, but the dance "dream" at the start of the 2nd act is laugh out loud bad. Absurdly long and pointless.
-Lack of a dynamic set/scene changes made it difficult to get immersed into the show. Orchestra was great, but they were on the stage the entire time.
-Some of the cast (and even leads) seemingly did not want to be there
-Tried to be "dark" in an artistic way but failed (miserably imo)
-Beer got poured on the audience
-Story seemed to lose direction
Jack T from Providence, Rhode Island
2022 OKLAHOMA ANTIDOTE
Repeatedly watch the Gordon MacRae and Hugh Jackman versions! That is the only way to get the bad taste of this one out of your mouth and restore this Classic to its rightful place! JT
from Providence, Rhode Island
I CAN’T BLAME THE ACTORS…
As background, my fiancé and I thought that that we were seeing the original Oklahoma, not a revival. We had heard great things about the original and were excited to see this show. This… was… something. The stage was terrible. The stage was a room? With picnic tables the ENTIRE time. They used a back drop of corn fields as doors to for the actors to come in an out of (why not just make them doors?). They had a stage manager in normal clothing & a headset come in and out to grab props, which wasn’t even necessary and it legitimately shocked me. The singing was good and I loved the band. But I had no idea why I should’ve cared about Laurey, Jud, & Curly. The story line that was more interesting was the one with Ado Annie. Kissing scenes were too long. We should’ve gotten warned about gun shots because I jumped out of my seat every time and they made the people next to us leave. The way Jud died in the end made me and my fiancé actually bust out in laughter because he got shot and calmly just sat down afterwards. It was just one of the most mind blowing things I had ever seen. Many people left after intermission.
from Providence, Rhode Island
SHOCKINGLY BAD DIRECTION & PRODUCTION
There was not much dancing. Some of the costumes like Ado Annie’s looked very cheap. I was OK with casting if people of different races as the characters, but the context of the story was not set up well at all. I did not feel like I was in Oklahoma in this time period especially with the dream dance sequence. As a dancer I love seeing dancers but the dance was so out of place & she wore clothes you’d wear today and not 80 years ago. And it did nothing for the story. Overall it was just bad and very amateurish.
Olive Finan from Durham, North Carolina
LEFT AT INTERMISSION
If it is not broken do not try to fix it. This change of the original was a flop. Half of the audience exited at intermission. It was slow, lacking enthusiasm. I was so looking forward to this show and was sorely disappointed. Some of the characters wore 2022 clothing styles not the style of the setting.
Rod Visser from Chapel Hill, NC
YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!
As I write this, 248 reviews have been posted with an average rating of 1.2 stars. Yes, 1.2! I'm wondering what show the 3 reviewers who gave it 5 stars were watching.....
I agree with the overwhelming sentiment expressed by patrons here. This is not classic Oklahoma! and would likely be unrecognizable to R&H.
Some good things....art is supposed to make you reflect and talk - check!...impossible to ruin the wonderful songs....Christopher Bannow as Jud Fry was spectacular, with a lovely voice....the bluegrass band was quite proficient, although not up to the majesty of a full orchestra.
Sadly, the rest was disappointing, to be kind. The production claimed the setting was still 1906 Oklahoma territory, but the anachronisms were widespread and pointless (electric crockpots, Bud Light, gable top quart sized cartons of milk). The dream ballet that opened the second act was laughable, cacophonous, unrelated to the story. People leaving at intermission missed that horror show.
Patty from Durham, North Carolina
WHAT WAS THAT?
I thought the acting/speaking parts sounded like someone trying out to be in a high school musical. I kept wondering-is this supposed to sound like this? Totally lost on this one-singing as great-not sure why it was necessary to grab the microphone in the middle of a song to sing? The darkness scenes on the stage were boring and long and although the “dream” dance was not boring -it too was too long l, too loud and confusing. 6th year Season ticket holder and for the first time since I’ve seen many seats left empty after intermission.
Carol from Great Falls, VA
SAD AND DISAPPOINTED
The talented cast was very poorly served by this productions direction and staging. As a result, the show came across as an amateur effort that should have closed in early tryouts. Other reviews have suggested that this production was supposed to bring more modern understanding to the material. This viewer didn’t see anything to draw the audience into any new emotional connection with the story or the characters.
Marco Ross from Washington, District of Columbia
NOT JFK CENTER WORTHY
I like the new interpretation of the original show. It makes me wish I had seen the original Broadway production. But this was just amateurish. Acting, staging, set--all were, I hate to say it, no better than a not great high school production. And some parts were plain embarrassing.
Disappointed in Virginia from Washington, District of Columbia
Disappointing! I expected a lovely evening watching an iconic show. Why did they do this to a great play? Also, totally misrepresented. It was nothing like the original Oklahoma. Had I known I would not have spent money and time watching it.
Sonya from Washington, District of Columbia
DOESN’T WORK ON LARGE STAGE
I saw this originally at St Ann’s warehouse in Brooklyn. A small in the round theater where it premiered. It worked there. It did not at all on a large stage. The casting was off and I did not like the Jud, aunt Eller, or ado Annie at all! Aunt eller sounded like she was off singing. Jud at St Ann’s was charismatic enough t to evoke sympathy, this guy not. Really this ado Annie was in no way fitting to the role. While a good voice, there is no way she would have every man chasing her. The gunshots scared me to death. The dark was ridiculous. We sat there not knowing what was going on.
from Nashville, Tennessee
I have seen and loved Oklahoma in the past. This is an extremely disappointing rendition. While the performers voices are above average, I would say that the choreography, the sets, and overall effect were lackluster at best. My mother kept falling asleep during the production. The audio was not optimal. It was a very boring version of Oklahoma overall. Don’t waste your money.
from Nashville, Tennessee
DISAPPOINTED BY FAR
I love Oklahoma. Have seen the movie countless times. I also consider myself a big Broadway fan and someone who is very open minded. However, this production will go down as one of my least favorite shows I have ever seen. The production choices made zero sense. For the first half of the show, all the characters just sat around in various chairs and randomly would sing. But there was minimal movement and I found myself bored. None of the vocals were impressive. It has 0% to do with diversity which doesn't bother me in the least. It has to do with the acting choices made while they were singing the songs. Where was the dancing? Where was the emotion? Half of the time they were on stage I was convinced this was no broadway touring company but instead a regional high school putting on a musical for the first time. The ending was a complete let down. The proposal fell flat and sounded like a business transaction while the death scene literally made me laugh with how ridiculous it was.
ABLES from Kansas City, Missouri
AN OK FEVER DREAM
The diverse casting and ladies who's vocals carried the music. That said, let's begin. WHAT in the Methamphetamine did I just watch? Reminiscent of a bad trip; this Oklahoma takes place in a stationary set of Ikea tables, gun racks, and sparkle streamers? While all of the cast were clearly talented, it seems like the Director told the women to lean into their strengths while the male actors were told to sprint in the opposite direction. An almost Elvis meets Zack Effron approach to Curley landed flat, the himbo approach to Will was a nice touch though the casting for the 2 male leads would have been better suited reversed. Jud was portrayed as your standard modern INCEL but his oddly whispery voice was offputting in a distracting way. Random black outs that cover any intense conversation, a very ASMR sounding sexual assault, and a TWENTY MINUTE interpretive dance dream sequence after intermission had me wondering if someone roofied my beer. If you dosed a table read of OK, same result.
from Kansas City, Missouri
THIS OKLAHOMA! IS NOT OK!
Don’t mess with a classic. From the sloppy style of dress and cheap looking set, if you love Oklahoma! I seriously doubt you will enjoy this production. If you want to clear dishes from the set & replace beer cans while the show is going on you don’t send out a miked up set guy in shorts & tshirt to do that!! There are too many long awkward silences, completely dark scenes (lighting completely out) and what’s with the electric guitar? That may have been good had t not been blasted so loud everyone in a 50 mile radius could hear it I would not recommend for children under 12. Several sexual references and dark nature of the show may be upsetting to younger viewers. The cast is talented and the singing is lovely, unfortunately I don’t see this being a big hit. Starlight Theater is beautiful, our seats in plaza 3 section were perfect, and the staff was very welcoming & kind.
Greg from North Charleston, South Carolina
Season ticket holder and extremely pleased with other productions. A charming performance by Sasha Hutchings wasn’t enough to offset the overall poor casting and direction. Weak vocals, unfit dancers, and terrible lighting delivered a 2 star performance Exited with others at intermission.
Leigh from Dallas, Texas
WHAT DID I WATCH?
I gave it two stars because of the music and several strong performances. But as for the entirety of the production... I hated it and asked myself on numerous occasions... what am I watching??
Now, I admit, I was expecting the classic Oklahoma, so this new version was an unexpected and unpleasant surprise.
Very disappointed Broadway Dallas season ticket holder.
N. Smith from Dallas, Texas
My husband I have been season tickets with Dallas Summer Musicals for over 13 years and we left at intermission for the first time ever. Didn't buy the characters, the singing was ok but not what it should have been. The wooden set with gun racks everywhere is the only nod to Oklahoma. Very disappointing !
A. K. from Dallas, Texas
WORST PLAY OF SEASON
My wife and I are season pass holders. Had high expectations on this play and got very disappointed. The dream dance to begin act two was long and confusing. The play in general was dark and hard to follow. Many parts with video, conversations in the dark, etc. Were long and hard to follow. Didnt really like it.
David Ledford from Fort Worth, Texas
SLOW AND CONFUSING
We saw the show at Bass Hall last night June 24th, and we left at intermission like hundreds of others. I'd rarther watch Cats three more times than sit through another play like this. Just horrible. No real flow or plot. Confusing stage set. Things went really bad when the lights went out and it just kept getting worse. Praise for inclusion, but you want to detail how to committ sucide?? Really?
Pamela Foster from Fort Worth, Texas
NOT WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT.
My family was looking for a fun evening at the Bass Hall. Instead we left depressed. This was a classic that someone turned into a horror show. Unfortunately, some things you just can’t unsee once you’ve seen them. Only if I could.
Carole Adams from Dallas, Texas
This version of the musical Oklahoma was a real disappointment. The Set was high school; the costumes were lackluster; the songs seemed out of place in this "modernized" presentation. Wanted to leave at intermission but stayed to the bitter end.
CB from San Francisco, California
I love Oklahoma and was willing to see a contemporary version. However this was not what I was hoping to see. The characters were miscast. Ado Annie should be funny and cute and have a high voice and an cute drawl. The Ado Annie I saw today was the opposite. I'm sure she's a good actor, but she was so very wrong in this role. As for Jud he looked like a cute hippy from the sixties. He's supposed to be dark, evil, and brooding. I didn't get the ballet and really missed the fun dancing from the older plays. There was no orchestra. The scenery was minimal to say the least. A few of the solos were good, but overall the cast seemed tired and not engaged. I didn't see much chemistry between Ado and her boyfriends or Laurey and Curley.
Michelle Epstein from San Francisco, California
STAY HOME AND WATCH BETTER CALL SAUL
It’s hard to write a bad review knowing how much time and effort go in to a production but, here goes. this is an ill-conceived, rambling almost incomprehensible show. Yes, I’ve read all about how this is Oklahoma for the 2020s but for me it was bizarre. A few good performances but so lackluster, no scenery to mention, awful costumes and an ending that was right out of Carrie. I actually had to stop myself from laughing out loud. The four of us agreed that the only good news was we only paid $40 for rush tickets.
from San Francisco, California
THE WORST L LIVE SHOW IN FOREVER
I had hoped the new rendition would be fun & interesting - couldn’t hear the dialogue in?the center balcony - the same set for 95% of the performance - I was bored for the 1st 1/2 & then left?!
Erin Stone from San Francisco, California
This performance and cast was just OK. Brought my theater kid teen to see one of the classics and felt like the cast was adequate and the some scenes felt just disconnected. We go to a lot of shows and unfortunately this one didn't hold up for me. I was expecting quality like the show we saw in Sacramento last week of The Color Purple which had an outstanding cast and performance.
Milt from San Francisco, California
GREAT PERFORMANCES WITH AN AWFUL REMAKE
I went to the theatre to see a happy, historical musical. Shouldn't have wasted the gas. While the performers were very good, I have to wonder what is the motivation to make the original uplifiting work into a dark, overly melodramatic and contrived musical with awful costumes and character presentation.
Theater Lover from Los Angeles, California
OKLAHOMA IS CERTAINLY NOT OK.
Saw opening night at The Ahmanson in LA. Multiple walkouts in the mezzanine. I powered through. I actually like the re-interpretation of classic Broadway - but this was a debacle. The only reason I'm giving it two stars is because it was such a wild creative swing - that I appreciated the "attempt." I kid you not - there was twerking and grinding during "I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No." At the start of the second act there was an insane interpretive dance with a girl wearing a T-shirt that said "Dream Baby Dream." I wish I were kidding. And the ending had a blood splattered bride and groom - an homage to Sam Peckinpah? I really felt sorry for the cast. Oh, one more thing - in the program it said the production was "gun-neutral" - even though there was fatal gun violence (a plot point that wasn't in the original BTW). What the....?
Stefan from Phoenix AZPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
AMATEUR VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Pretty disappointing to see a high school play on Broadway I have seen musicals on Broadway and plenty of films made from musicals on Broadway and this seriously disappoints. I like the idea of doing something new and different with a previously interpreted play but this one fails wish I could love it but I can't Saw the original watch the movie and I'm not talking about the content or the interpretation I'm talking about the execution.
Elizabeth de Sosa from Los Angeles, California
NOT LOVIN IT…
So disappointed. I wanted to like this revised “Oklahoma” and I just could not.
I did like the two leads who portrayed Laurry and Curly: They each have a lovely voice, and Curly’s musicianship was artful. The Jud character reminded me of a teenage shooter and this was unsettling. When the lights went out and there was spoken dialogue it did not feel intimate and revelatory but uncomfortable and awkward.
This story is full of misogyny and easy violence and Daniel Fish was right to draw this out.
I like new things, I love to learn and my thinking to be challenged but this production did not hold together for me.
Again, so sad.
Stephanie from Tempe, Arizona
LEFT AT INTERMISSION
I am not sure I knew what to expect but that was definitely not it. I was bored within the first 5 minutes. The set was very basic and not what I would expect from a Broadway musical. The sound was barely audible and muddled throughout the show. It was just underwhelming. I was actually counting down the songs until intermission so we could leave. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones with the same idea. There was a stream of cars trying to leave the parking lot along with us. I am guessing they lost quite a bit of the audience at intermission.
Karmen Shmultz from Tempe, Arizona
CONFUSING. QUIET. EVERYONE LEFT.
This is my first experience with Oklahoma, and I have never struggled so much to follow a storyline. With no background knowledge about the story itself, but expectations for a bright, simple, fun musical filled with dancing and dresses and singing, I was extremely disappointed. Not only were the actors difficult to hear, it was hard to understand what was happening since almost everyone was on stage at all times. I loved that people from different cultures, backgrounds, religions, and gender identities were chosen for this show, but that was the only statement that it made. It would have been more powerful to see all of those people succeeding in a story that actually made sense, Hamilton is a great example of casting this way. We left at intermission after some very confusing scenes, and an entire story line that had absolutely no flow, no chemistry, and no spark of the original Oklahoma I’ve heard so much of. very disappointing, and I believe that it was to no fault of the actors.
Joy Smith from Tempe, Arizona
After loving the movie, I had hoped this performance would be better. It was boring at times. I didn't understand why they turned off the lights several times, or why they had the dancer that was totally unrelated, after the intermission. It was also hard to hear what they were saying. Several of us felt that way. Talented actors, singers, and dancers, but poorly put together.
Ashish Thomas from Los Angeles, California
A "WOKE" REINTERPRETATION OF A CLASSIC MUSICAL
The Wall Street Journal's theater critic Terry Teachout had a scathing review of this "woke re-interpretation" of such a classic musical. I think it's worth quoting him:
Not only do Curly and Laurie have no romantic chemistry ... but the show now ends not with an explosion of joy but in a pool of spilled blood. The rest of the staging is static, the casting is maximally nontraditional, and the book has been politically corrected (Ali Hakim, the Persian peddler, is deracinated). The men are thick-headed, loutish clods save for Jud, the psychopathic farmhand. Indeed, Jud is the only one who is portrayed as sympathetic, which tells you all you need to know about this “Oklahoma!” As for the “dream ballet,” newly choreographed by John Heginbotham, it’s a medley of modern-dance clichés so moldy that I briefly wondered whether it might possibly have been meant as a parody.
Kathleen Jones from Minneapolis, Minnesota
The actors seemed completely uninterested in being there. Both the singing and acting lacked any enthusiasm & the story was dark and depressing. We walked out after about an hour. Definitely wouldn’t waste my time or money.
Fran from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Very blah....no scene changes, couldnt hear them speaking...bizzare...no fun costume and orchestra is truly missed which adds magic to any show! I thought we went to the wrong theatre...this isnt Okalahoma! They need to reimagine again to the way it was written and add the flash, bells and whistles...alot of the audience left early and by intermission! I felt like we were at the screen reading on an empty stage with picnic tables!
Patricia from Minneapolis, Minnesota
IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO SEE THE ORIGINAL OKLAHOMA DO NOT ATTEND THIS PERFORMANCE.
The music and on-stage pit band was amazing and it was fun to see them dressed as characters.
I struggled to follow the play due to the disconnect between the characters and the delivery of the lines was off. I was not a fan of the dark camera scenes or the interpretive dance at the beginning of the second act.
I noticed many the theater guests did not return after intermission and many left after before offering an applause at the end. If you're looking to see the original performance this is not for you.
The "Classics" are amazing for a reason - don't try to change them.
Cheryl Beacom from Zumbrota, MN
I attended last night’s performance of Oklahoma at the Orpheum in Minneapolis and am writing to express my dissatisfaction with this dark “woke” version of a wonderful musical. The choreography was poor, there was no connection between Curly and Laurie and no orchestra. The theatre itself was uncomfortably cold, we left at intermission.
from Minneapolis, Minnesota
I DIDN’T KNOW WHETHER TO CRY OR PUKE!
I’ve seen this classical musical at least half a dozen times, including at outdoor venues with live livestock. This was a gross bastardization of the original story. It was so dark that I literally heard children behind me whimper. This is in no way a family friendly production of a light hearted love story. Literally the worst theater production I have ever seen. Don’t waste your time or money!
Mike S from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Save your money. First BAD show I have seen at this venue. Tries so hard to be different it is hardly recognizable.
Anthony Pesola from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Don’t go to this play. The dream scene was painful I had to plug my ears. The end was totally inappropriate with the killing of a character in cold blood. A kangaroo Court exonerated him. The High Point was Ado Annies singing voice.The Director needs a new vocation.
Cindy S from Minneapolis, Minnesota
OKLAHOMA - OH MY
Despite the dated content, we were looking forward to a night out at a musical. As we walked out of the show 40 min into showtime we saw others leaving as well. As we expressed our extreme disappointment in the show and we were told over 200 people walked out the night before. I think that says it all.
DianeK from St. Paul, Minnesota
DEFINATELY NOT THE SAME SHOW I SAW IN 7TH GRADE!
I was lost and confused! When intermission came we met us with our group sitting in different seats and they looked as lost as us. We covered age group 29-63 and our consensus was that we did not like it at all. It was dark. Also there were children in the audience and I'll bet if this was their first show, they will never want to go back. There should have been an age warning. My guest told me that they would need to have a therapy session deprogramming after that performance.
from Minneapolis, Minnesota
WISH I COULD GIVE IT 0 STARS
Don’t go!! The previous reviews are spot on. Bad acting, bad sound, bad singing, bad chemistry, horrible dream/dance scene. The ruined a classic.
Sarah D. from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Awful production, awful interpretation. It’s unfortunate as there were some talented actors but the production and “new” take are a big miss.
Tom Lutz from Minneapolis, Minnesota
HIGH SCHOOL THEATER
Very poorly directed, a lot of dead space, can't hear the dialogue, poorly acted, no spark. Not worth seeing. The Tribune reviewer must have been paid under the table.
Steve James from Minneapolis, Minnesota
BAD SINIGING, LOUSY ACTING, WOULDN'T GO IF IT WERE FREE
Dark story aside, none of the cast could sing and casting was terrible. Only one very cheap set. As far as the story goes, Rodgers and Hammerstein are rolling over in their graves. Writers and producers who leverage a famous musical to draw a crowd to a terrible piece of work should be banished from theater.
Liz Flynn from St. Paul, Minnesota
Dark, no chemistry between actors, difficult hearing the actors speak, dull costumes and set, needless reinterpretation of the story. The only positive was the music. This is a very sad production.
from Minneapolis, Minnesota
To put things into perspective probably one third of the audience left at intermission. Very difficult to hear the disinterested actors was a major problem. The opening dance interpretation at the start of the second act was terrible and the close up camera scenes were worse. Save your money.
Celeste from Minneapolis, Minnesota
My first thoughts were this is the strangest musical I ever seen and the "story" doesn't make any sense. I totally got the original story and purpose of the details after reading wikipedia. Near the end of the first half another patron was on his cell phone which I found to be rude of course, but after the start of the second half, it dawned in my that the guy was probably just board and done with this musical. Him and his guest were one of the ones that did not come back after intermission. I feel like lots of others are sharing specific details of why this musical didn't work. I was gifted the tickets and honestly was happy that I did not actually pay to see this show. The ending was terrible and really made no sense. None of the characters had any chemistry and I really didn't get the purpose of this version at all.
HoneyB from Minneapolis, Minnesota
DO NO BRING THE KIDS OR GRANDMA
This is the first time I have ever wanted to walk out during a theatrical performance. This reimagined Oklahoma lacks a set, choreography, proper casting, costuming, and common sense. It is depressing and dark. A young girl sitting behind me began to cry at one point. There are times you will want to cover your ears snd cover eyes. Please leave your kids at home for this disappointment, There is no Rodgers and Hammerstein joy left in this one.
Paul Christopher from Minneapolis, Minnesota
A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE
This was Broadway quality? No way. There was very little spark between actors. Singing voices were at best average. After enduring an uninspired first half we had to leave during the opening of the second act with a screaming electric guitar trying to make
music but only succeeding in hurting our eardrums. Just plain bad!!
Deb K. from Minneapolis, Minnesota
WORST SHOW I’VE EVER EVER SEEN
What can be said? Horrid. A deep slide into disconnected/disjointed mental illness. Really a combo plate of mental Illness meets small town hell. From the look of the actors on stage they didn’t want to be there any more than I did. The scripting stays the same yet it’s “modernized” by putting Bud Light on a picnic table, then all of a sudden someone tries to hand whip half and half. Lights stay on, lights go off and occasionally lights change colors. Was like watching a “play “ that’s been loosely put together by a group of deeply disturbed children.
If this review seems all over the place, you should see the show. Oh wait no please don’t waist your money.
Bethany Nelson from Minneapolis, Minnesota
INSULT TO BROADWAY
Poor actors, sound, costumes, stage/design and writing! The producers of this play tried to incorporate 21st century topics like gun violence, women as possessions, and obsessive love into a classic play where it failed miserably!! This is what I’d expect to see in a high school gym.
T from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Worst show I’ve seen at the Orpheum. No chemistry between any of the love stories. No emotion in any of the characters. They took a great musical and tried to make it a dark political statement. The ballet starting the 2nd set was painful to watch and gave me a headache. Huge waste of time and money. The orpheum should be ashamed to show it. They will loose customers if this continues.
John Cameron from Minneapolis, Minnesota
WORST PLAY I HAVE EVER SEEN
I spent $340 for 4th row seats. I couldn't hear most of the entire play or songs. No microphones on the performers. The woke interpretation didn't apply to any of the script. Many people left at intermission. I wish I did. The whole play was like a student rehearsal. I love plays but this was truly awful. I wish I had never gone.
Matt from Minneapolis, Minnesota
I've seen many oklahoma plays and this by far was the worst. They had folding tables for props. The actors looked disinterested. The music was on without the band playing. There was part of a live show on a movie screen. They need to recast. Im so dissatisfied with the show. I brought my children and they got frightened by the dark movie on the screen.
Beth in Minnesota from Minneapolis,Mn
WORST SHOW I’VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME
Saw this show as it opened in Minneapolis last weekend.Had high hopes for this show but they were dashed as every song had a slow tempo, choreography was lackluster, performances seemed middle schoolish and many scenes were played in the dark. The dream ballet was one person. The ending made no sense as main characters sang Oklahoma covered in blood (ala “Carrie”) with anger and angst. Feels irresponsible to take a beautiful show and make it so boring and just bad. I’m all for reimagining stories but this one left me cold. Save your money.
from Minneapolis, Minnesota
INSULT TO BROADWAY
Poor in every aspect. Actors have poor chemistry, stage and design set are high school level at best, no effort in costumes, and Rendition Misses the mark!! Save your money!
Kathleen Corkle from Minneapolis, Minnesota
AWFUL, TOTALLY SELF INDULGENT
Just terrible. It felt like a bunch of scenes that were in no way connected. It jumped from mood to mood. It almost felt like a Saturday Night Live Sketch about an over the top theatre troupe. The biggest problem, was on top of all of that, the performances were so blah! Curly and Will had so so voices at best. The characters had zero chemistry with one another. Sis was amazing as Ado Annie, but it just served to highlight how uninspiring the rest of the cast was. Such a disappointment!
Diane from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Totally disappointed with this production of Oklahoma. The set was extremely basic and lacked any creativity. The story line was very confusing and a couple times we were literally left in dark just listening to dialogue. The interpretive dance sequence was bizarre and borderline grotesque! This was a total mess!!
Katy from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Typically, these Broadway shows are fantastic - I’ve seen numerous at the Orpheum and was really excited to see this production. It was off putting from the start, but I tried to keep an open mind until the incredibly unfortunate scene with Curly and Jud. This wasn’t a modern take, it was a travesty. The sound mixing was terrible - so difficult to hear dialogue. The one bright spot was Ado Annie - she was enjoyable to watch and had great energy. Everything else was meh at best. The actors all had impressive bios, so I have to believe in another interpretation they wouldn’t have been so lackluster. I feel sorry for them - I asked my husband if he thought they knew what they were signing up for. I’m guessing not, because none of them seemed happy to be there.
We left at intermission and after hearing how far down the rabbit hole the second half goes, I’m even more happy with that decision. I’ve never left a production early before, but I just couldn’t stomach the direction and choice this production made.
Save your money and do not go to this show.
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