5th Avenue’s Oklahoma!: tells an OK story with smart theatrical decisions
Lifestyle
Written by Jocelyn Chui   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 17:38

Oklahoma in 5th Ave.Started off with an approximately 3-minute orchestral solo, Oklahoma! at 5th Avenue Theatre took the audience on a journey with romance, rival tension and multiracial conflicts all happened in a small town in the Territory of Oklahoma.

Although there were not many surprising elements within the storyline, the ups-and-downs in the small town within one day kept the musical upbeat and humorous.

The idea behind the romantic story was simple: love is all or nothing; you either take it or leave it. Between cowboys and farmers, it seem like the first ones always got the girl in the end. However, once a man decided to settle down and start family, he must drop the free spirits of cowboy and become a responsible farmer.

One highlight of the storyline is the use of a black actor to play as Jud (Kyle Scatliffe), a desperate farmer who fall in love and later became obsessed with a white girl named Laurey (Alexandra Zorn). After Jud found out Laurey was in love with Curly (Eric Ankrim), a white charming cowboy, his actions eventually turned into the unspeakable story of the town. Though the subject could be touchy, Scatliffe showed the frustrations of a colored farmer living in the time period when racism roared across the country.

If you like dances, you will enjoy Oklahoma!. The ensemble tap dancing in “Kansas City” definitely heated up the crowd. You will also find that director Peter Rothstein used a great amount of dance elements, sometimes dance solos, to deliver the storyline. Though someone may find the dances overwhelming, it was a bold and modern decision.

Watch for the Persian goodbye and Oklahoma hello toward the end of the musical. To Annie (Kirsten deLohr Helland), a girl who fancied romance yet yearned for stability, the difference between the two is more than just cultural shock.

 

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