Magazine article Dance Spirit

All er Nothin'

Magazine article Dance Spirit

All er Nothin'

Article excerpt

WHAT'S UP BROADWAY

Get ready for a big Oklahoma "Hello!" when you take your seat In the Gershwin Theatre these days. Sure, the smash hit production that emigrated from London to Broadway this spring is all tranquil rising sun and drifting clouds when the curtain goes up, but it's not long before a miniature choo-choo train and landscape disappear into the wings and the first number "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin"' rouses the crowd. And, oh, what a beautiful feeling you'll have if this Rodgers & Hammerstein score is among your favorites. Even if It's not, the dancing is worth enduring a few songs you can probably recite by heart-and many more that contribute to the show's three length.

After Curly (played by Patrick Wilson) acts out his surrey fantasy in an effort to woo Laurey (Josefina Gabrielle), the stage heats up with a lively welcome home for Will (Justin Bohon), who tells of Kansas City and its seven-story skyscrapers. The two-stepping starts here and doesn't seem to let up until you're headed for the exit. Choreographer Susan Stroman's movement-scape whirs right along with Anthony Ward's set and costume symphony. But, in Stroman style, the dancers tell the story with their bodies while the lyrics flesh out the details, neither overshadowing the other.

As fans know, Oklahoma! is about virtues of community and self. Seeing ballet, Western dancing, stage combat, waltzing and gymnastics making nice on the same stage seems to reinforce the hope that the cowboys and farmers will be friends and, more importantly, good neighbors. …

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