Advertisement


Daniel Fish-Directed OKLAHOMA! Lassos its Way to St. Ann's Warehouse

Gizmo6
Broadway Star
joined:6/16/17
Broadway Star
joined:
6/16/17

I wish this was on when I visit in November looks fantastic. 

NoName3 Profile PhotoNoName3 Profile Photo
NoName3
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Broadway Star
joined:
8/12/11
So is this the production with guitars in a barn or the one where everybody is gay?
Updated On: 9/27/18 at 10:51 PM
GeorgeandDot Profile PhotoGeorgeandDot Profile Photo
GeorgeandDot
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/13/16
Anyone at the first preview?
sassylash3s
Understudy
joined:7/5/11
Understudy
joined:
7/5/11

lida rose said: "from the NYT:

"There are limits to artistic freedom, though, and Mr. Fish exceeded them toward the end of his Bard production, when his treatment of a scene of fatal violence took Mr. Chapin by surprise. For St. Ann’s, he has instructed Mr. Fish to find a different way."

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
did any one see the bard production? how was Jud's murder staged?

"

I saw the show in previews at Bard.  As I recall, this is how it was staged: 

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content

Jud brings Curly a gun.  It may have been in a box, as if it were a wedding gift.  Curly takes the gun and shoots Jud in the chest.  There may have been more to it, but I distinctly remember the actor playing the deceased Jud, shirt still covered in blood, standing up for the final reprise of the title song.  

 

lachri5
Stand-by
joined:1/4/11
Stand-by
joined:
1/4/11

NoName3 said: "So is this the production with guitars in a barn or the one where everybody is gay?"

It's the guitars in a barn.

Curious if there's food like in the Bard production?

BroadwayGuy12 Profile PhotoBroadwayGuy12 Profile Photo
BroadwayGuy12
Broadway Star
joined:12/22/07
Broadway Star
joined:
12/22/07

I had a friend there last night and he said chili was served at intermission.

QueenAlice Profile PhotoQueenAlice Profile Photo
QueenAlice
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/3/15
I was at the first preview last night. I suspect we will read a lot about how this is OKLAHOMA as given the Ivo Van Hove treatment, though I must confess, as someone who often loves Van Hove's work, I was a little remiss to understand what director Daniel Fish's overriding vision is here. It's a heavily stripped down production, that has some fun and clever ideas, but it also falls into the trappings of not very good deconstructionist theatre -- most of the dialogue is flat and slow, stripped of any robust humour and delivered in a stable monotone; the singing isn't very good; the dream ballet is from outer space; scenes delivered in either extreme light or complete blackout begin to feel gimmicky after a while.

Still, the production is also completely unforgettable and I'm thrilled that the Rodgers and Hammerstein estate is allowing such a risky take on the show. It definitely won't be a production for everyone (there were a lot of walkouts at intermission last night) but I'd recommend it for someone who is open to an adventurous (and somewhat baffling) reinterpretation of a classic. If anyone has a link to Daniel Fish explaining his vision, I'd love to read it.

The ending, by the way, is exactly as described in the spoilers above. If Ted Chapin recommended something different, the director didn't listen.

And yes, they serve chili and cornbread to everyone at intermission.

Oh, and yes, there are some trims to the text.
“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
Updated On: 9/28/18 at 10:09 AM
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Broadway Star
joined:
12/8/07

I was there last night. This will certainly be a very divisive production. My boyfriend was visibly upset with the show at the end and continued to talk about how he thought they ruined the show long after we got home.

I have some negatives which I will get to at first.

1.      The sound is bad. The space at St. Anne’s sucks most of the sound up into the massive ceiling. This is an understated and soft production and while (apparently they were wearing michs) it sounded most of the time like they were singing without amplification which caused multiple hearing issues.

2.      Seating wise I’d aim for the middle of the space. I was at one end and it was often difficult to see the action happening at the other end of the room. If those partial view seats were indeed behind a pillar I would AVOID. One of them looked to be almost entirely blocked by the pillar.

As for the show I feel like Oklahoma is one that everyone has either seen or been it. It really is the classic school theater production perfect for large cast so everyone can be in it. I found this a daring approach to take a well known classic and turn it on its head.  If you are a purist then this show is your nightmare.

I found that the immersive staging really involved me in the drama and brought an immediacy to the show.  I thought Mary Testa was fantastic and also loved Rebecca Naomi Jones and Damon Daunno. I found Patrick Vaill’’s Judd to be the only weak link who wasn’t threatening enough for me and looked more like a Brooklyn Hipster than hired hand.

Not all of the staging worked for me (still processing that dream ballet) but I found it a fascinating take on a classic.  And yes there was tasty chili at intermission with some delicious cornbread!

QueenAlice Profile PhotoQueenAlice Profile Photo
QueenAlice
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/3/15

I thought the casting over all was bizarre and since nobody is really a conventional choice for the role they are playing, it’s hard for me to say anyone is overtly “miscast”. Oddly, the exception to this was Ali Stroker, who despite her disability actually makes a pretty traditionall Ado Annie.

I was disappointed that Rebecca Naomi Jones seemed to really be struggling with the score.

“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
Updated On: 9/28/18 at 11:50 AM
DeepVSexyWitch2
Chorus Member
joined:7/31/15
Chorus Member
joined:
7/31/15

I was at the first preview last night. I rather enjoyed myself. I much prefer a monumental overhaul of a classic than sitting through what we already know just for kicks. The direction is simple and it peels back the show to be something else I haven't really thought Oklahoma as. It's sexy and slow, though sometimes I felt the energy dipped because of it. Rebecca Naomi Jones is a weak link. Ali Stroker is giving a solid performance. Mary Testa is a gift. May we continue to see excentric restagings of classics in these times of shellack and lifeless Dolly wannabees. 

#1Elphie Profile Photo#1Elphie Profile Photo
#1Elphie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/24/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/24/04

Has anyone sat in the partial view seats who can speak to what the view is like due to the pillar(s)? 

VotePeron Profile PhotoVotePeron Profile Photo
VotePeron
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/13
At a complete loss for words. One of the best things I’ve ever seen on stage. A must-see for anyone who loves theater.
teatime2
Stand-by
joined:3/25/18
Stand-by
joined:
3/25/18

VotePeron said: "At a complete loss for words. One of the best things I’ve ever seen on stage. A must-see for anyone who loves theater."

I saw the show tonight and I completely agree. 

GlindatheGood22  Profile PhotoGlindatheGood22  Profile Photo
GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/17/07

For anyone who's been, what's the choreography like? I'm thinking specifically of The Farmer and The Cowman.

I'm usually all for revitalizing classics, but it just seems to me that Oklahoma! is so hopelessly old-timey that a reinterpretation wouldn't work very well.

I know you. I know you. I know you.
mariel9 Profile Photomariel9 Profile Photo
mariel9
Featured Actor
joined:4/1/15
Featured Actor
joined:
4/1/15

I saw it last night. Loved some of it, liked most of it, hated the dream ballet. It didn't illuminate Laurey's inner life at all and went on forever. The change at the end is growing on me.

The sound was bad. The cast needs to be mic'd or mic'd a lot higher. I couldn't hear some actors when they were facing away from me. It's probably better in seats in the center and away from the band. And if you sit at a table, you might have an actor sitting directly in front of you blocking an entire scene. 

Trigger warning for survivors of sexual violence and people who are feeling particularly raw about that sort of thing right now:

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content

I don't remember how the scene where Jud confronts Laurey about his feelings usually is done. In this production, it's done in complete darkness, onstage and off. Jud is quite menacing. There are wet sounds (kissing?). And if it is too much, there is no way to leave the theater in the blackness. You could aim for the exit signs, but you can't see the seats around you or the stairs.

 

VotePeron Profile PhotoVotePeron Profile Photo
VotePeron
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/13

GlindatheGood22 said: "For anyone who's been, what's the choreography like? I'm thinking specifically of The Farmer and The Cowman.

I'm usually all for revitalizing classics, but it just seems to me that Oklahoma! is so hopelessly old-timey that a reinterpretation wouldn't work very well.
"

Not to be dramatic - but anyone who sees this expecting it to be anything like any production of Oklahoma you've seen, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It is essentially a wholly new interpretation.

To answer your question, there is "dancing," but it's more like a casual hoedown then anything severely choreographed. There is only one moment of true dancing, which is a dream ballet at the top of Act 2. I hope no one on this board will write anything about it - it must be seen to be believed. All I'll say is with a year of extremely dated revivals with bad stances on women (OOTI, Carousel, MFL), to do what they did in Oklahoma! is f***ing genius.

Regarding the sound, I'm mixed in my thoughts. On one hand, I think the actors not being mic'd is extremely authentic and added a lot to the experience. And then the moments they do use microphones were very impactful. I do wonder if they'll mic them as previews go on. I sat by the band, which was a perfect vantage point, but it does definitely get loud. Overall, I'd say my experience was not negatively impacted by the sound.

I felt the cast was perfect, not a weak link. RNJ is definitely getting accustomed to the score and having to project, but I feel her voice will grow the more she does it. How she's doing it now isn't bad, it's just not how you would traditionally hear it (again - don't go in expecting anything like you've seen before.) I thought the staging was excellent. Of course there will be people with their backs to you, but that's what's bound to happen in this seating arrangement. That being said, I would not recommend sitting at the tables, as actors will be the most in front of you. I was extremely pleased to find there was no direct audience interaction, and felt safe in the space.

Also, to respond to mariel9's comment, the moments of complete darkness are advertised (along with further triggers) in an email sent by St. Ann's the day before show. In the moments of darkness, they are incorrect, as the aisles are indeed lit softly by overhead light (New York State law). I was sitting on an aisle if you noticed this. There are also 4 ushers sitting in the house at all times for the very purpose of assisting you if you needed to leave during a blackout - you would be safe.

I beg you to go in with fresh eyes, expecting to see a new musical. If you want to see a classic production of Oklahoma!, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. 

 

mariel9 Profile Photomariel9 Profile Photo
mariel9
Featured Actor
joined:4/1/15
Featured Actor
joined:
4/1/15
I didn't see any light at all from where I was sitting. I'm glad you did, but please don't say that what I saw with my own eyes was incorrect. As for the email from St. Ann's, I wasn't warning about the darkness per se, but the content of one of the dark scenes. It would be difficult to impossible to leave during that scene without being disruptive. I want people who are concerned about feeling trapped to be aware of that.
James2 Profile PhotoJames2 Profile Photo
James2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/30/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/30/05

What size are the programs? Are they Playbill size, or are they magazine size, like the one I got when St. Ann's housed A Streetcar Named Desire?

My avatar = A screencap from Avatar, arguably the greatest animated show of all
bwayphreak234 Profile Photobwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/4/10

VotePeron said: "I hope no one on this board will write anything about it - it must be seen to be believed.All I'll say is with a year of extremely dated revivals with bad stances on women (OOTI, Carousel, MFL),"

I strongly disagree with your inclusion of My Fair Lady in the list of "dated revivals" from last season.

 

"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Solipsist234
Featured Actor
joined:5/25/18
Featured Actor
joined:
5/25/18

bwayphreak234 said: "VotePeron said: "I hope no one on this board will write anything about it - it must be seen to be believed.All I'll say is with a year of extremely dated revivals with bad stances on women (OOTI, Carousel, MFL),"

I strongly disagree with your inclusion of My Fair Lady in the list of "dated revivals" from last season.


"

Whether anyone really enjoyed Sher's interpretation of the show or not, and believed in the changes that were made to the ending, My Fair Lady before the Lincoln Center production was extremely dated (and the supposed "adaptation" for 2018 audiences "payed off" in the way that this new Oklahoma production is currently doing.)

Updated On: 9/30/18 at 05:25 PM
Sondheimite Profile PhotoSondheimite Profile Photo
Sondheimite
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/5/14

the My Fair Lady revival is extremely dated and, dare I say, pointless.

it's a really good production of My Fair Lady, don't get me wrong...

but it doesn't say anything that hasn't been said, doesn't push boundaries, and isn't exactly thrilling/new/exciting. 

Broadway World's Fireman.
BroadwayConcierge Profile PhotoBroadwayConcierge Profile Photo
BroadwayConcierge
Broadway Legend
joined:7/24/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/24/15
Leaving tonight's show now. One of the worst productions of theatre I have ever seen. Could not stomach another minute.
greenifyme2
Broadway Star
joined:5/19/17
Broadway Star
joined:
5/19/17

Man I really don’t know what to think. I’m going in 2 weeks with my mom who is traveling down here to see it.... I’m all for experimental theater but I’m worried she’s going to hate it.

 

can you elaborate on why you thought it was so bad?

Updated On: 9/30/18 at 06:31 PM
Bwayfan292 Profile PhotoBwayfan292 Profile Photo
Bwayfan292
Broadway Legend
joined:6/19/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/19/17

BroadwayConcierge said: "Leaving tonight's show now. One of the worst productions of theatre I have ever seen. Could not stomach another minute."

yikes... Was Ali stroker at least good?

 

"Why was my post about my post being deleted, deleted, causing my account to be banned from posting" - The Lion Roars 2k18
BroadwayConcierge Profile PhotoBroadwayConcierge Profile Photo
BroadwayConcierge
Broadway Legend
joined:7/24/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/24/15

greenifyme2 said: "can you elaborate on why you thought it was so bad?"

Should I start with the completely inaudible sound, the contrived angst of the cast, or the gratuitous, self-indulgent production design which does absolutely nothing to serve or elevate the text of the show?