Monday, July 28, 2014

Oklahoma! Broadway Revival Cast Recording [1979]

Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! I've got a wonderful feeling, everything's going my way.
-Curly, Act I [Oh What a Beautiful Morning]

Yay! I can't wait for the Dust Bowl!!
When I picked this up at the library (My buddy Ice Cream likes Oklahoma, so I wanted to check it out) I thought I was picking up a chipper, light-hearted musical about some cowboy and the lady he's trying to woo. Heh heh. Close, but wrong.
Oklahoma is actually kind of dark and a little wrong sometimes. For starters, one of the characters mentions a strip show he went to while visiting Kansas City, Curly (the hero!) tries to talk Jud into killing himself so that people will feel sorry for him, Jud has a very unhealthy obsession with Laurey, there's an easy girl who 'can't say no', and some rather suggestive lyrics.
So yeah. Not exactly G rated.
Despite the aforementioned ickiness, I've actually grown quite fond of this musical. Though I hear that there's a fifteen minute ballet sequence at the end of act one. That... that sounds not great. But this review is mostly for the music, since I haven't actually seen Oklahoma in its entirety. Just read the little plot synopsis that came with the CD. :P
The music is very nice, and there's a lot of good, hummable songs. Oh What A Beautiful Morning is so pretty, and even though I've never seen it, the mental picture it paints is vivid and pleasant. The guy who plays Curly has a good voice, and his acting is pretty good, so far as I can tell. I do think that Curly is kind of an impetuous clown though. From what I understand, he goes to talk Jud into killing himself just because he heard that Jud was interested in Laurey. Hello, what kind of man are you, Curly? I understand that Jud is a real creep, but talking a guy into killing himself is kind of odd behavior for a guy we're supposed to find fun and likeable. My favorite character is Aunt Eller, don't ask me why, I just thought she was a fun character.
Ahem, back to the music. As disturbing as it is, Lonely Room is pretty neat sounding. It's a good obsession song, in that it's got a slightly eerie melody, creepy lyrics, and leaves you feeling a little unsettled. (Obsessions songs shouldn't feel romantic, they should be unsettling, so that the audience gets how wrong the situation is.) Anyhoo, I don't usually go nuts over the slow, orchestra swell-y love duet, but People Will Say We're In Love isn't a typical love song, and the tune is lovely.

The Verdict: B
Some of the songs are a little on the over-long side (Many a New Day), but the score is splendid to listen to. Listening to the CD has me interested in the story, and I feel quite tempted to put the movie on our Netflix queue so that me and Libby can watch it!
Favorite Song: Oh What a Beautiful Morning!
Runners Up: Lonely Room, People Will Say We're In Love,and All 'Er Nothin'


  1. I grew up watching the Gordon MacRae/Shirley Jones movie version, and like a lot of things I'd seen over and over since I was very young, I thought of Oklahoma! as kind of pleasant and benign.

    And then I saw the stage version with Hugh Jackman as Curly, and I realized that wow! This was dark! Jackman's Curly is crafty, with a flicker of danger in his eyes, and I'm not convinced what happened at the end was entirely accidental.

    Totally recommend seeing either version!

    1. Oh, and I mean I saw the Hugh Jackman stage version on DVD. Not live on stage. If that had happened, I probably would have died of bliss and not be here to type this.

    2. XD Well, I'm glad you're still here!
      Me and my sister actually watched the first ten or so minutes of the Hugh Jackman one on YouTube. We never got around to finishing it, though now I think we will. :)


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