OKLAHOMA! Revival (in Chicago) -- Tuesday Night: A Pleasant Surprise (Probable Spoilers)
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 11:35 am EST 01/20/22
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 11:26 am EST 01/20/22

My partner and I were seated in the 8th row, orchestra right, a little off the center (per winning the lottery) -- great seats. Set works fine in this proscenium theater (at least when sitting this close on the main floor). Evocative backdrop.

Roles are well cast. Everyone gives a highly charged, sexual performance, especially the leads (Laurey, Curly, Jud, Will, Ado Annie, Ali). Sasha Hutchings as Laurey is amazing. She's hot (and knows it). She wants Curly really bad and aims to get him, but she wants him to work a lot harder at getting her than he has been willing to do thus far. She claims that Jud scares her, yet she seems sexually drawn to him (and demonstrates that feeling in the smokehouse scene). IMO her performance is much stronger than that of Rebecca Naomi Jones, who on Broadway was too dark and too low key for my taste.

The revelation in this production for me is Jordan Wynn, who is officially listed as DANCE CAPTAIN. She performed the Dream Ballet on Tues. evening, and it was a stunning achievement. On Broadway the Dream Ballet left me cold. It seemed odd, uninvolving, and hard to understand. I didn't know what it was saying. However, Wynn's interpretation, dancing, and acting were outstanding and (although still credited to John Heginbotham) very much told me the same powerful story that De Mille's original always did, but yet it was in keeping with Fish's new vision. Wynn's performance made the production a single, cohesive piece.

I still am not a fan of Fish's revision. This Oklahoma! owes more to William Wellman and John Huston than it does to R & H. Nevertheless, I am very happy my partner won Tuesday's lottery, and we were able to catch this performance.

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