As the wind comes sweeping down the plain, the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma opens on Regent University’s Main Stage Theatre in the Communication & Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 21.
Performances continue April 22-23 and the following weekend, April 28-30. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Purchase tickets at the University Box Office.
The beloved musical features familiar songs like “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin,’” “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top,” and, of course, the roaring anthem of the show, “Oklahoma.”
“You’d be surprised at how many of our students had never done this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic,” said director and School of Communication & the Arts professional-in-residence, Mark Paladini. “When one of my colleagues pitched the idea of doing Oklahoma!, I knew that it was time to introduce our students to the musical that ushered in the Gold Age of Musical Theatre.”
Paladini explained when the show first premiered on Broadway in the early 1940s, the country was in the midst of WWII. Before soldiers were deployed overseas, many had the opportunity to witness the show.
“The story helped them see the good at the core of our country and the reason why they were shipping out,” said Paladini. “Bands of brothers deployed oversees for reasons far more important than everyone’s personal political agendas.”
And though the beloved story showcases the nation on the brink of a new, fresh start and the dissonance between “The Farmer and the Cowman,” Paladini believes its lessons are relevant for today’s audience.
“The most important value I see is the hope that love will win out,” said Paladini. “Most everyone in our turn-of-the-century community is rooting for love to win out…So sit back, relax and enjoy this classic musical from the Golden Age of Entertainment.”