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The original Broadway production opened on March 31, at the St. James Theatre in New York City. It was directed by Rouben Mamoulian and choreographed by Agnes de Mille. George Church danced the part of "Dream Jud" but was replaced by Vladimir Kostenko only two months after the premiere. A article in The New York Times reported that the show was "believed to be the only musical to have enjoyed a consecutive run of ten years. The tenth anniversary of the Broadway opening of Oklahoma! Mamoulian and de Mille returned to direct and choreograph, and the production was restaged by Jerome Whyte. It ran for a limited engagement of 40 performances before going on tour. Mamoulian and De Mille directed and choreographed. This production started as a cross-country national tour, beginning at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles on May 1, The De Mille choreography was again adapted by de Lappe. The production was Maria Friedman 's debut in the West End, initially in the chorus role of Doris, but she was eventually promoted to the leading role. He would later reprise his work for Mackintosh's London revival. The overture was also altered, at the request of Nunn. The production received numerous Olivier Award nominations, winning for Outstanding Musical Production, supporting actor Hensley , set design Anthony Ward and choreography Stroman. Public Television in November The production closed on February 23, after performances. At other times, especially in lighting designer David Hersey's lustrous palette, they convey the bleakness of the frontier. The production was dark in concept and featured new orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. On a spare stage, decorated only with blue sheets, "Confetti of rose petals stains the floor like drops of blood, and a nightmarish dream-dance sequence has Freudian overtones as Laurey's bridal gown becomes her shroud. The Times reviewer wrote: There are enough sunny spots — no more so than in Act 2's rousing title song — to keep the tone evenly textured. Some see a clear reference to lynching. One critic noted the historical "license taken when an African-American farmhand is allowed to escort a white woman to the box dance. And isn't that part of what theater is supposed to do? It was the only musical film directed by Fred Zinnemann ,  and Agnes de Mille choreographed. It was the first feature film photographed in the Todd-AO 70 mm widescreen process. The film followed the stage version more closely than any other Rodgers and Hammerstein stage-to-film adaptation, although it divided the long first scene into several shorter scenes, changing the locations of several of the songs. For example, "Kansas City" is performed at the train station, where Aunt Eller and other cowboys meet Will Parker just after he returns from Kansas City. Lyrics in the song about a burlesque stripteaser were slightly changed to pass film censorship. It was the first U. It sold over a million copies, prompting the label to call the cast back into the studio to record three additional selections that had been left out of the first set. These were issued as Oklahoma! In , Decca re-released the first set on LP but not the second set, which soon became a very rare collectors' item. All subsequent LP releases were similarly incomplete. Finally in , Decca Broadway went back to the original glass masters to generate a new high fidelity transfer of the complete song program and released it on CD, utilizing the original 78 album artwork. There have also been more than 20 studio cast recordings of the show, featuring stars such as Nelson Eddy , John Raitt and Florence Henderson in the leading roles. John Anderson of the New York Journal American pronounced the musical "a beautiful and delightful show, fresh and imaginative, as enchanting to the eye as Richard Rodgers's music is to the ear. It has, at a rough estimate, practically everything". The Richard Rodgers score is one of his best, and that is saying plenty. Oscar Hammerstein 2nd has written a dramatically imaginative libretto and a string of catchy lyrics; Agnes de Mille has worked small miracles in devising original dances to fit the story and the tunes, while Rouben Mamoulian has directed an excellent company with great taste and craftsmanship. Hammerstein's lyrics have less crispness and wit than Lorenz Hart's at their best, but the songs in Oklahoma! Hammerstein has found very likeable ones. With the songs that Richard Rodgers has fitted to a collection of unusually atmospheric and intelligible lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, Oklahoma! Rodgers, however, must stand the amazing Agnes de Mille, whose choreography, carried out to perfection by her ballet [corps], is actually the biggest hit of the show. They are spinetingling, out of this world. And certainly not topical," as other shows had been in the early years of World War II. Rodgers, shorn only for the moment of Larry Hart, in good form indeed. And nobody in last night's audience seemed to have a better time than Mr. Hart himself, who applauded the proceedings from a seat in Row B. He told Rodgers he had never had a better evening at the theater in his life. The critic wrote that "it all seemed just a trifle too cute", stating that the score consisted of "a flock of Mr. Rodgers's songs that are pleasant enough, but still manage to sound quite a bit alike It is the first fully integrated musical play and its blending of song, character, plot and even dance would serve as the model for Broadway shows for decades. The examples they set in creating vital plays, often rich with social thought, provided the necessary encouragement for other gifted writers to create musical plays of their own". The characters and situations were, within the limitations of musical comedy license, believable and the humor came from the situations or the nature of the characters. Kern's exquisitely flowing melodies were employed to further the action or develop characterization.
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