BWW TV: Jimmy Buffett and the Cast of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of OKLAHOMA! Onstage

By: Apr. 02, 2018
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The Broadway cast of Jimmy Buffett's "Escape to Margaritaville" added their own flavor to Rodgers & Hammerstein, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of "Oklahoma!" with a very Buffett version of "Surrey with the Fringe on Top," complete with an appearance by Jimmy Buffett himself. Check out the video, featuring Buffett himself, below!
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®.

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!