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NDSU Division of Performing Arts Box Office, Dept. 2330
107 Music Education
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
U. S. 701-231-7969
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LCT's Oklahoma!

The first collaboration between composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II remains their most innovative. They set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today. Rodgers wanted to adapt the rural folk drama "Green Grow the Lilacs," into a work for the musical stage. Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II agreed to collaborate.

A Musical Theatre staple of the period was a huge opening number with lots of girls, the purpose being to hook the audience from the top. And no one writing at the time would think of including a murder in a story that was supposed to be a comedy. Rodgers and Hammerstein were determined that the telling of the story and the development of character were served before giving in to the current musical comedy conventions.

What Rodgers and Hammerstein along with the choreography of Agnes de mille and the direction of Rouben Mamolian came up with was groundbreaking for the period. Most early critics and audience members did not give Oklahoma! a chance to succeed. The story was simple yet enticing as Laurey, a winsome farm girl is pulled in as the unwilling third of a love triangle with two very different men. Curley a brash and handsome cowhand, and Jud the pathological farmhand, both want to woo Laurie for very different reasons. Laurie's search for the man of her dreams underscores the journey of the Oklahoma territory toward community and finally statehood.

Song List:

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
Surrey With the Fringe on Top
Kansas City
I Can't Say No
Many A New Day
People WIll Say We're in Love
Pore Jud Is Daid
Lonely Room
Out of My Dreams
Farmer and the Cowman
All Er Nothin'
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