Oklahoma is the first ground-breaking musical penned by the legendary duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Breaking multiple Broadway records and influencing a new age in musical theatre, it won widespread critical acclaim with its iconic musical score. Its original production premiered on Broadway in 1943 and went on to receive a special Pulitzer Prize Arts Award in 1944. Since then, it has become one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most-loved Broadway musicals capturing the heart of audiences with its bittersweet love story. Get Oklahoma Tickets to experience its highs-and-lows first-hand, singing along with love-struck Laurey as she embarks on her tangled romance. With its well-known songs and leading cast, it is a much-loved favourite with audiences the world round.
Oklahoma was commissioned by the Theatre Guild in the early 1940’s and was seen as a way of reviving its flagging fortunes. Based on a 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, it was soon to become one of the theatre world’s biggest box office hits. It first opened in 1943 under the tittle Away We Go! and following a handful of revisions it became the Oklahoma known today.
However, its path to success wasn’t without its issues and its unconventional approach was met with criticism. Its tragic tale wasn’t typical in musical theatre at the time and its casting of unknown actors was expected to cause problems. Despite this, it was met with widespread critical acclaim and its first run on Broadway sold-out quickly.
Since its first premiere, it enjoyed numerous stints on Broadway and in the West End and was turned into an award-winning film in 1955. Its musical score includes a number of classic songs, including “Oklahoma!”, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin” and “People Will Say We’re in Love”.
Oklahoma big achievements
Oklahoma broke box office records in the 1940’s, and was the longest running Broadway show with the highest box office receipts. It ran for over five years and enjoyed more than 2,000 performances, grossing approximately $7mn during its first Broadway run. Following that, it set out on a national tour and became one of the world’s first musicals to run for 10 consecutive years. In 1947 it opened in London’s West End, winning rave reviews from critics and lasting for over 1,500 shows.
It enjoyed numerous Broadway and West End revivals in the subsequent years and in 1998 won multiple Olivier Awards. Its 2002 Broadway revival was also met with success and led to seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical.