Variety is POSITIVE - only issue is the dream ballet:"This isn’t a case of redefining a character but of acknowledging a character’s secret self. It’s no gimmick, then, but a stroke of directorial invention to play some scenes in complete darkness — the better to allow that private self to step out from the shadows and declare itself. In that spirit, Fish exposes those sexual passions that are kept firmly repressed in traditional productions. (In this version, Curly and Laurey are free to enjoy some candid make-out sessions.) The only failure with this let-it-all-hang-out directorial style is the Dream Ballet, which is supposed to hint delicately of the lovers’ yearnings but is here allowed to go on ad nauseam."
Time Out is POSITIVE - 4 out of 5 stars."Seeing the production a second time allows one to appreciate not only the striking darkness that Fish and company have teased out of the material, but also the light they shine on small details. (Mallory Portnoy and Mitch Tebo are marvelous in small roles.) It's thrilling to see a Broadway classic rise to the challenge of so modern a conception. Oklahoma! it remains, but there's nothing corny about it."
The Wrap is MIXED but mostly POSITIVE- loves the performances but not a fan of the ballet or the final scene."As with many a reimagining of a classic, not all of Fish’s gambits entirely work. That Act 2 dream ballet, reworked since the show’s run last fall at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse, is overlong and dramatically muddy. And his most radical departure from Oscar Hammerstein’s script comes in the finale with the decidedly understated return of Jud at the wedding of Curly and Laurey.The scene carries a jolt — one anticipated by the starkness of Laura Jellinek’s set design, with a wall full of rifle racks looming around the auditorium — but the altered motivations for the climactic confrontation do not entirely track. The scene is a transfixing coup de theatre, but it doesn’t feel entirely earned."
Deadline is a RAVE -"Presented Off Broadway at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse last fall, Fish’s stunning revival, with its country & western musical stylings, rockabilly cats, chili at intermission and blood on the tracks, has found its perfect Broadway home at the in-the-round Circle. With the house lights turned up through most of the running time – when darkness occasionally enters, it’s total – Oklahoma! has us all at the barn dance. Everyone is complicit."
BroadwayWorld produced one of the clearest, best written reviews I’ve seen in a while. Color me impressed (and dare I say surprised).
Rex Reed is a SCATHING panhttps://observer.com/2019/04/oklahoma-broadway-2019-review-rex-reed/
ljay889 said: "Rex Reed is a SCATHING panhttps://observer.com/2019/04/oklahoma-broadway-2019-review-rex-reed/"He sounds unhinged: he goes after Testa's entire career of performances. Sheesh.
ljay889 said: "Rex Reed is a SCATHING panhttps://observer.com/2019/04/oklahoma-broadway-2019-review-rex-reed/"Wow. I completely understand not liking it but this reads like a hit piece.
Rex Reed is useless. I discount his reviews entirely. Only John Simon is worse.
The Hollywood Reporter is a RAVE -"If you didn't know the material's pedigree you might almost mistake this for a new work, so organically does it tap into contemporary issues from sexual politics to gun violence and class discrimination. By traveling back to the prairies of what was then known as Indian Territory in 1906, on the eve of Oklahoma obtaining statehood, this audacious revival has a lot to say about where we are now as a nation. That it does so without any need to hammer its topical relevance is miracle enough. Even more impressive though is the fact that it remains such bracing entertainment, compromising neither the drama nor the comedy. And what orchestrator Daniel Kluger has done with the score is simply gorgeous."
New York Post is a panhttps://nypost.com/2019/04/07/oklahoma-review-anti-gun-revival-of-classic-shot-to-hell/
The NY Post is a PAN - he HATES it. He also clearly didn't go in with an open mind..."In director Daniel Fish’s pretentious production — which opened Sunday on Broadway, fresh from Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse — everything you cherish about this classic has been taken out behind the barn and shot, replaced by an auteur’s bag of tricks and a thesis on gun control and westward expansion. Here, the West was won by a culture of violence and toxic masculinity — what fun!"
The Daily Beast is a RAVE"To be clear: You won’t leave the show feeling miserable, but neither will you be slapping your knees. But this production of Oklahoma! feels less “dark” than sensibly and successfully inquisitive. Fish and his cast ask reasoned questions of a musical that has contained all these questions in plain sight for many years—and in this Oklahoma! those questions are answered with vivid, pugnacious confidence."
Not sure I've read all of them, but Rex Reed and NYPost aside, these look like out and out raves. Stoker v. Amber Gray is going to be quite the showdown. A NYT rave, as expected, should cement the Tony, I would think. And I find it interesting that many of these reviews go out of their way to praise Jones' singing (Vulture devoted a whole paragraph to it) when so many here were so dismissive. Can't wait to see this.
Look, Rex Reed's review is overly b!tchy and I personally don't agree with it, but he's 80, he's been oldschool since he was 30, and his opinion will probably be shared by a lot of other people in that age demographic.Some light reading about Rex Reed for anyone who needs a chuckle.
NYT (Brantley) is a RAVE - below he mentions the few things he didn't love last time which have improved:"At the same time, though, this production reminds us that such raw energy can be harnessed to different ends, for ill as well as for good. In the earlier versions, I had problems with its truly shocking conclusion — the scene that takes the most liberties with the original. In its carefully retooled rendering, it’s disturbing for all the right reasons.The other significant change here involves the dream ballet, which in this version begins the second act and has been newly varied and paced. It is performed by one dancer (the exquisite Gabrielle Hamilton) with a shaved head and a glittering T-shirt that reads “Dream Baby Dream.What she does is a far cry from the same sequence as immortalized by Agnes de Mille, the show’s legendary original choreographer. But on its own, radically reconceptualized terms, it achieves the same effect.As she gallops, slithers and crawls the length of the stage, casting wondering and seductive glances at the front row, Ms. Hamilton comes to seem like undiluted id incarnate, a force that has always been rippling beneath the surface here.She’s as stimulating and frightening — and as fresh — as last night’s fever dream. So is this astonishing show."
IdinaBellFoster said: "The NY Post: Here, the West was won by a culture of violence and toxic masculinity —what fun!""But, like...wasn’t it?
TheQuibbler said: "IdinaBellFoster said: "The NY Post:Here, the West was won by a culture of violence and toxic masculinity —what fun!""But, like...wasn’t it?"Exactly.
A Smashing Oklahoma! Is Reborn in the Land of Id ~ ASTONISHING per Brantley!
Regarding the Post review... I find a lot of gay theater folk are quite defensive or dismissive of any implication of "liberal" politics in their beloved musicals because it smashes the denial that their lifestyle is diametrically opposed to who they vote for... "HOW DARE YOU NOT CHANGE THE SCRIPT OF A CLASSIC, APOLITICAL MUSICAL AND STILL MAKE ME UNCOMFORTABLE!" It's just not possible to accept that those politics have always been present, just easier to ignore.
TheQuibbler said: "IdinaBellFoster said: "The NY Post:Here, the West was won by a culture of violence and toxic masculinity —what fun!""But, like...wasn’t it?"The Post is a right-wing tabloid and Johnny Oleksinski is not a legitimate reviewer (to get an idea of what kind of writer he is and who he's writing for, his biggest claim to fame is a piece for the Post about how much he hates his generation - he's in his late twenties). He's essentially just a Riedel aspirant.
KJisgroovy said: "Regarding the Post review... I find a lot of gaytheater folk are quite defensive or dismissive of any implication of "liberal" politics in their beloved musicals because it smashes the denial that their lifestyle is diametrically opposed to who they vote for... "HOW DARE YOU NOT CHANGE THE SCRIPT OF A CLASSIC, APOLITICAL MUSICAL AND STILL MAKE ME UNCOMFORTABLE!"It's just not possible to accept that those politics have always been present, just easier to ignore."Possibly one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever read in my life. Wow, thanks for lumping all the gays in a one big boat.
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