A well-crafted ‘Oklahoma!’ at the Woodlawn Theater

Since its debut in 1943, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! has grown to be one of the most recognized and frequently staged musicals in theater history. It’s even making its way back to Broadway this month.

In its most recent incarnation at the Woodlawn Theater, the old warhorse  gets a boost of energy thanks to a slick production and enthusiastic performances.

Oklahoma! Woodlawn Theatre
The dream sequence in Oklahoma!, now playing at San Antonio’s Woodlawn Theatre.

Like the 1927 Show Boat, Oklahoma! represented a departure in the Broadway style, moving away from musical comedy revues and toward “book musicals”  — productions with dramatic elements whose songs are integrated into the plot.

The legendary Agnes De Mille’s choreography for Oklahoma! was groundbreaking, too — especially the famous lengthy dream sequence, which the Woodlawn impressively recreates thanks to the efforts of choreographer Kahlee Moore and fight choreographer Morgan Clyde. By way of a special arrangement with partner Alamo Arts Ballet Theatre, guest dancers Jeremy Rohm and Emily Rohm appear as the “dream” versions of Curly and Laurey.

The familiar characters are portrayed by a standout cast, including Amanda Golden as Laurey, Chris Fuglestad as Curly, Rebecca Trinidad as Aunt Eller, Kevin Cox as Will, Brian Hodges as Jud, Jimmi Nelson-Reid as Ado Annie, Ivan Ortega as Ali and Kate Ragan as Gertie. They’re supported by a terrific additional ensemble of 20.

Conductor Darrin Newhardt’s six-piece orchestra brings the score to vivid life, including such familiar standards as “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “The Farmer and the Cowman” and, of course, Ado Annie’s mischievous “I Cain’t Say No.”

The production is helmed by Christopher Rodriguez, the Woodlawn’s executive artistic director, who said, “Oklahoma! is one of my all-time favorite shows and this marks the sixth time I’ve worked on this iconic classic.” His affection for the piece shines through.

His efforts are enhanced by the fine work of assistant director Katie Benson set designer Benjamin Grabill, scenic artist Chris Rutz, lighting designer Gabbi Griffith, costumer Rose Kennedy, make-up/wig designer Denise Ebarra and sound designer Benjamin Farrar.

Oklahoma! plays Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. through Mar. 17 at the Woodlawn Theatre, 1920 Fredericksburg Road. Note: on Saturday, Mar. 9, it plays at 2:00 p.m. Additionally, Pride Night will be held on Friday, Mar. 8 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and ASL Night takes place on Saturday, Mar. 16. Reservations can be made online or by calling (210) 267-8388.

Photos by Siggi Ragnar.

It's OKLAHOMA! at Woodlawn Theatre

Woodlawn Theatre presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical live on the Woodlawn stage. Experience the boot-stompin', heartwarming, and exciting musical now thru March 17th. Get your tickets to OKLAHOMA! at https://www.woodlawntheatre.org/oklahoma

Posted by Woodlawn Theatre on Monday, February 25, 2019

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