September 20 — November 6
On the Main Stage
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs
Original dances by Agnes de Mille
Directed by Chris Coleman
“Things are changing. The country is changing. Gotta change with it.” —Curly
Those words express familiar sentiments often heard these days, but are spoken in this case not by a politician of 2011, but by Curly, the cowboy who takes the notion of change and wrestles it to the ground in Oklahoma! Part charming love story, part stirring retelling of American history, and many parts beloved songs and stunning dance, Oklahoma! was the first collaboration by the legendary team of Rodgers and Hammerstein, and was a milestone in the development of American musical theater for its fusion of song, story and dance. We are giving this boisterous favorite a new spin: in the 19th century Oklahoma Territory, there were over 50 all African-American towns; in that same period, one in three American cowboys was black. Chris Coleman’s production will feature an all African-American cast, generating fresh insights into a classic American tale.
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
Thursday matinees at noon
A full list of performances and dates will appear when you enter the Buy Tickets section of the website.
Oklahoma! runs approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
View the Cast and Creative Team Bios
Playbill for Oklahoma!
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Reviews and Comment
Marty Hughley | The Oregonian [Review 28 Sep 2011]
According to the book “The Hammersteins: a Musical Theatre Family,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II included an exclamation point in the title of their 1943 musical “Oklahoma!” as a subtle way to distance it from the grim associations the word had taken on a few years earlier because of “The Grapes of Wrath.”
The Portland Center Stage production that opened Friday night confirmed it yet again: Spelling “Oklahoma!” without that suggestion of exultation just wouldn’t be right.read more
Barry Johnson | Oregon Arts Watch [Review 28 Sep 2011]
I do a strange little dance around revivals. I’m usually quite certain that I’m not interested in the revivals of major stage musicals when they are announced. But then I see them, and I realize that I was wrong. I don’t remember them very well it turns out, and I have the “wrong” idea about them, because when I saw the first time, everything was different: I was different, the times were different, the production was different.
So let it be with Portland Center Stage’s “Oklahoma!”. When I first heard about it, I stifled a mental yawn. Really? “Oklahoma!”? Why? Jolly artificial cowboys courtin’ and sparkin’? Surely, I would have better things to do.
But then I learned that Center Stage artistic director Chris Coleman was setting it in an African-American town in the Oklahoma Territory, and that piqued my interest a little bit. The history of the West rarely acknowledges the contributions, the lives, of African Americans, and Oklahoma had lots of all-Black towns. That was more interesting to me than Trevor Nunn’s beautiful technicolor 1999 revival, even with the excellent Hugh Jackman as Curly.read more
18 January 2012 & Posted by Kinsley Suer
In a totally non-creepy way, we love to keep tabs on our PCS actors after they’ve left Portland. Where are they now? What are they doing? Have they been cast in any awesome productions? As it turns out, some of our very recent alumni have just scored some very blog-worthy theater gigs. We couldn’t be prouder!More
26 October 2011 & Posted by cynthia fuhrman
Passin’ Art presents Bourbon at the Border by Pearl Cleage, at the IFCC. Come take this heartfelt journey with May and Charles Thompson, two unremarkable people trapped in the aftermath of a remarkable time, as they try to make sense of how their dreams of changing the world turned into a nightmare that changed their lives forever.More
18 October 2011 & Posted by Kinsley Suer
I recently had an interesting conversation with my grandfather about PCS’ current production of Oklahoma!. In addition to finding out that he saw the original cast of Oklahoma! in 1943, I discovered that my great-great-uncle, Tom Drake, starred as Richard Rodgers in 1948’s Words and Music, a biographical film based on the creative partnership between Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart! A bit of exploring was warranted.More
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