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The Morning Brew: Oregon theater puts new spin on "Oklahoma!"

Oklahoma! as seen through a different lens


The New York Times brings news of an Oregon production of "Oklahoma!" the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that is pretty much the first thing anyone outside of Oklahoma thinks of when the subject of Oklahoma comes up. 

I know this because I recently had a super friendly lady at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland sing the entire title song to me when I bought tickets to enter the church. Here's a look at what's shaking in Oregon: 

ASHLAND, ORE. — The idea came to Bill Rauch in the early 1990s: What if he directed a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” where the lovers were same-sex couples?

A gay man in a committed relationship at a time when marriage equality seemed like an impossible dream, he was sure that it would be revelatory. He was equally certain that he would never get the rights to stage the musical that way. For more than 20 years, he did not dare to ask.

But on an August afternoon two summers ago at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he is the artistic director, Mr. Rauch watched a version of his vision unfold. Onstage, in costume behind music stands, actors gave a public reading of the show — an “Oklahoma!” where Curly and Laurey, the central couple, were women, and the secondary romance was between two men, Will Parker and Ado Andy (changed from the original Ado Annie).

More here.


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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›