TV: FROZEN Cast Surprises Audience with Tribute to OKLAHOMA! on its 75th Anniversary

By: Mar. 31, 2018
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Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans) and the entire cast of the new Broadway hit Frozen surprised the sold-out house at the St. James Theatre this afternoon with a tribute to Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic musical Oklahoma!, which opened at the St. James Theatre 75 years ago today, on March 31, 1943.

Riddle began with an a cappella version of Oklahoma!'s sweeping opening number, 'Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin,' joined by Alladin and Hildreth and, finally by the entire Frozen cast, including stars Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna).

The St. James Theatre was also the birthplace of such Broadway musical classics as The King and I; Hello, Dolly! and The Producers.

This weekend marks the 75th Anniversary of one of Broadway's most beloved musicals, Oklahoma! The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on March 31, 1943 and transformed the future of theater. The first collaboration of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, the musical marked the birth of a new genre, the musical play, which for the first time seamlessly integrated story, song and dance.

Oklahoma! ran for a total of 2, 212 performances (before Oklahoma!, no Broadway show had run longer than 500 performances) and closed on Broadway on May 29, 1948. There have been four Broadway revivals since the original production in 1951, 1953, 1979 and 2002. The first National tour began in October, 1943 at the Shubert Theater in New Haven (where the show had premiered) and ran for nearly 11 years, ending the run at the Shubert Theater in Philadelphia in May, 1954.

The original Broadway cast album of Oklahoma! was the first comprehensive original Broadway cast recording of a musical and sold over a million copies, setting a precedent for the production of original cast recordings of Broadway musicals. There have also been more than 20 studio cast recordings of the musical, featuring such stars as Nelson Eddy, John Raitt and Florence Henderson in the leading roles.

Rodgers & Hammerstein went on to have the most successful partnership in musical
theater history. Following Oklahoma! was Carousel, State Fair, Allegro, South
Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Cinderella, Flower Drum Song
and The Sound of Music, collectively earning the team 42 Tony Awards®, 15
Academy Awards®, 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 2 Grammy Awards®, and 2 Emmy Awards®.

Carousel is currently on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre, starring Joshua Henry, Lindsay Mendez, Jessie Mueller, and more. Set in a small New England factory town, Rodgers & Hammerstein's timeless musical Carousel describes the tragic romance between a troubled carnival barker and the young woman who gives up everything for him. Elevated to an epic scale with a sweeping musical score that features some of the most beloved numbers in the American songbook, and incandescent ballet sequences, this story of passion, loss, and redemption introduced Broadway to a new manner of musical drama that would captivate theatergoers for generations to come

Launching a yearlong Anniversary celebration, Broadway will be celebrating the
Anniversary this weekend. Next week, the current Rodgers & Hammerstein tours of
The King and I, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella and The Sound of Music (which
will be performing in the state of Oklahoma) will all be celebrating the 75th Anniversary
of Oklahoma!