Oklahoma!

Musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Set in the Indian territory of the American West at the turn of the century, against a background of conflict between farmers and cattlemen, Oklahoma! tells the story of cowboy Curly, and a farm-hand called Jud, who have both fallen for Laurey.

Musical with music by Richard Rodgers, and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play Green Grow the Lilies by Lynn Riggs.

1947: West End London Premiere

1980: 1st West End London Revival

1998: 2nd West End London Revival

Rodgers and Hammerstein's other London musicals include The Sound of Music; South Pacific; Carousel; and The King and I.

Richard Rodgers' other London musicals include, with Lorenz Hart, The Boys From Syracuse.

Oscar Hammerstein II's other London musical include, with Georges Bizet, Carmen Jones; and, with Jerome Kern, Show Boat.


1947: West End London Premiere

Opened 30 April 1947, Closed 27 May 1950 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Transferred 29 May 1950, Closed 21 October 1950 at the Stoll Theatre (rebuilt as the Peacock Theatre)

The original cast included Howard Keel as 'Curly', Betty Jane Watson as 'Laurey', Henry Clarke as 'Jud Fry', Mary Marlo as 'Aunt Eller', Dorothea Macfarland as 'Ado Annie Carnes', Walter Donahue as 'Will Parker', William J McCarthy as 'Andrew Carnes', Marek Windheim as 'Ali Hakim', Jacqueline Daniels as 'Gertie Cummings', and Leonard Mence as 'Cord Elam'.

Directed by Jerome Whyte from the original by Rouben Mamoulian, with choreography by Agnes de Mille, sets by Lemuel Ayers, and costumes by Miles White.


1980: 1st West End London Revival

Previewed 16 September 1980, Opened 17 September 1980, Closed 19 September 1981 at the Palace Theatre

The original cast included John Diedrich as 'Curly', Rosamund Shelley as 'Laurey', Alfred Molina as 'Jud Fry', Madge Ryan as 'Aunt Eller', Jillian Mack as 'Ado Annie Carnes', Mark White as 'Will Parker', Robert Bridges as 'Andrew Carnes', Linal Haft as 'Ali Hakim', Norma Atallah as 'Gertie Cummings', and Brent Verdon as 'Cord Elam'. The cast also included Maria Friedman in the ensemble.

Directed by James Hammerstein, with choreography by Agnes de Mille, re-staged and adapted by Gemze de Lappe, designs by Tim Goodchild, and lighting by Richard Pilbrow.


1998: 2nd West End London Revival

Previewed 6 July 1998, Opened 15 July 1998, Closed 3 October 1998 at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre
Transferred 20 January 1999, Closed 26 June 1999 at the Lyceum Theatre

The original cast at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre and the West End's Lyceum Theatre featured Hugh Jackman as 'Curly', Josefina Gabrielle as 'Laurey', Shuler Hensley as 'Jud Fry', Maureen Lipman as 'Aunt Eller', Vicki Simon as 'Ado Annie', Jimmy Johnston as 'Will Parker', Sidney Livingstone as 'Andrew Carnes', Peter Polycarpou as 'Ali Hakim', Rebecca Thornhill as 'Gertie Cummings, Stuart Milligan as 'Cord Elam' (at Olivier), and Mark Heenahan as 'Cord Elam' (as Lyceum), with Helen Anker, Julie Barnes, Warren Carlyle, Leigh Constantine, Amanda Courtney-Davies, Philip Cox, Marilyn Cutts, Zoe Dawson, Susie Dumbreck, Tom Dwyer, Howard Ellis, Shaun Henson, Sarah Ingram, Neil Johnson, Nicola Keen, Gavin Lee, Fergus Logan, Helen Missing, Craig Purnell, David Shelmerdine, Kevin Wainwright, Sarah Bayliss, Chris Coleman, Elizabeth Cooper Gee, and Jason Gardiner.

Directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by Susan Stroman, designs by Anthony Ward, lighting by David Hersey, and sound by Paul Groothuis.

Josefina Gabrielle's London theatre credits include the roles of 'The Stage Manager' in Rob Bettinson's production of the Marvin Hamlisch and David Zippell musical The Goodbye Girl at the Albery Theatre in 1997; and 'Iris Kelly' in the original cast of Runar Borge's production of Steve Margoshes and Jacques Levy musical Fame at the Cambridge Theatre in 1995.

Maureen Lipman's London theatre credits include performing the solo show Re:Joyce, adapted from the works of Joyce Grenfell by Maureen Lipman and James Roose-Evans, at the Fortune Theatre in 1988, and Vaudeville Theatre in 1989 and 1991.

Rebecca Thornhill's London theatre credits include the role of 'Babette' in the original cast of Robert Jess Roth's production of the Alan Menken and Howard Ashman musical Disney's Beauty and The Beast at the Dominion Theatre in 1997; and the the ensemble of Roger Haines's production of the Duke Ellington musical Sophisticated Ladies at the Globe Theatre in 1991.

"This is not so much a re-creation as a full blown rediscovery... Josefina Gabrielle is genuinely young and uncertain, filled with conflicting emotions she can neither quite recognise nor handle... Hugh Jackman's effortless shift between acting and singing is seamless. It sounds and looks like the most natural thing in the world. Hammerstein's tightly constructed book knows exactly when to use which form but Nunn's direction is so detailed and secure that both become fused in the hands of his almost ridiculously strong cast It is the same with Susan Stroman's thrilling choreography... Dance is this show's most radical and expressive element but Stroman never stops the dramatic flow to show off fancy footwork... Shuler Hensley not only sings up a storm and dances the role [of Jud] with finesse, he finds acres of sadness beneath his disfiguring anger and stupidity." The Independent

"In Trevor Nunn's production, Rodgers and Hammerstein's famous barn dance musical looks almost new-minted. It's brimming with unexpected joys and exquisite craftmanship. And, of course, songs only real men can sing. This version has skewered the naive outdoorsy romance of the show beautifully. Hugh Jackman makes the once-in-a-lifetime stage debut as a hugh-hearted thigh-slapping cowman Curly. Josefina Gabrielle is meltingly good too, as Laurey, the girl he will marry. There's high-grade comic support from Maureen Lipman as a gun-toting Aunt Eller and from Peter Polycarpou as the womanising peddler Ali Hakim, saddled with girls who can't say no... Go. You'll love it." The Daily Express

"Trevor Nunn's sanitised production is so heavily soaked in period nostalgia for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! that the musical's two sexual triangles of young lovers come to seem annoyingly square, verging upon the chaste, rather than the sexual chase... Ado Annie is not so much torn as happily stretched between Jimmy Johnston's laconic Willy Parker... and the ingratiating Persian huckster, Ali Hakim. Yet though Annie happily admits she can't say no to any or either man, Vicki Simon's performance in words and song is about as sexually inviting or lubricious as a tea-room in Woodstock (England). When it comes to Hugh Jackman's Curly, the cowboy who aims for Laurey the farmer's daughter, and misses the first time round there's a similar, lack of sexual ardour... There is just one magnificent singing and acting performance from Shuler Hensley as Curly's rival, the murderous farm hand. The thickset Hensley bristles with menace. He exudes aggression, erotic pain and despair in the sweep and surges of his fraught bass voice." The London Evening Standard

Oklahoma! in London at the Lyceum Theatre opened on 20 January 1999, and closed on 26 June 1999