Oklahoma! was the first musical written by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie.
The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943 and ran for a then-unprecedented 2,212 performances. In 1955 a film adaptation was released and the show has enjoyed revivals, national tours, and many, many school and community productions.
In this clip (which is actually from the 1998 London production), Australian Hugh Jackman stars as Curly and Londoner Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey.
In 1988 I was sent to a training conference in Oklahoma City. I’d only just recently started work as a Securities Regulator (I know, right? I couldn’t have been less suited to it) and this was a week-long training conference. One of the first people I met there was Kathy Kolger from Indiana, and anyone would have thought we’d been pals since childhood. We laughed our way through the tedium and took full advantage of any free time.
We visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and were stuck inside as a tornado rolled in. Talk about a green sky! I was too excited to be scared, and the folks in OKC are used to it, but they exercise caution, too, and wouldn’t let us leave until it was safe.