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Los Angeles Premiere of OKLAHOMA! to Open at the Ahmanson Theatre This Week

Los Angeles Premiere of OKLAHOMA! to Open at the Ahmanson Theatre This Week

This is “Oklahoma!” as you’ve never seen or heard it before — reimagined for the 21st century.

The Los Angeles premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" directed by Daniel Fish opens Thursday, September 15 at 8 p.m. at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. The tour will mark the first time a First-Class Equity production of "Oklahoma!" has toured North America in more than 40 years. This bold interpretation will play through October 16.

This is "Oklahoma!" as you've never seen or heard it before - reimagined for the 21st century, and now the Tony Award® winner for Best Revival of a Musical. Funny and sexy, provocative, and probing, this acclaimed production of "Oklahoma!" tells a story of a community banding together against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Upending the sunny romance of a farmer and a cowpoke, this "Oklahoma!" allows the classic musical - and our country - to be seen in a whole new light.

"This production shocked me and moved me," raves Frank Rich of New York Magazine. "This is the 'Oklahoma!' that was there all along." The Daily Beast added, "Forget your traditional idea of 'Oklahoma!' Daniel Fish's daring, utterly absorbing re-interpretation is different - brilliantly so."

"Oklahoma!" features music by Richard Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play "Green Grow the Lilacs" by Lynn Riggs, with original dances by Agnes De Mille.

The cast includes Sasha Hutchings ("Oklahoma!" Broadway, original Broadway cast of "Hamilton") as Laurey Williams and Sean Grandillo (Deaf West's "Spring Awakening") as Curly McLain, joined by Christopher Bannow ("Oklahoma!" Broadway) as Jud Fry, Sis ("Pose") as Ado Annie Carnes, Hennessy Winkler as Will Parker, Benj Mirman ("Oklahoma!" Bard Summerscape) as Ali Hakim, Barbara Walsh ("Falsettos," "Company," "Oklahoma!" National Tour in 1981) as Aunt Eller, Hannah Solow ("The New One") as Gertie Cummings, Mauricio Lozano as Mike, Ugo Chukwu ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") as Cord Elam, and Jordan Wynn as Lead Dancer. Mitch Tebo (Andrew Carnes) reprises his role from the Broadway production. Gillian Hassert, Cameron Anika Hill, Hunter Hoffman, Scott Redmond, Gwynne Wood, and Minga Prather join the cast as understudies.

The revival's creative team includes John Heginbotham (New Choreography), Daniel Kluger (Orchestrations/Arrangements) Nathan Koci (Music Supervision) and Andy Collopy (Music Direction), with casting by Taylor Williams and Borna Barzin. Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design), Terese Wadden (Costume Design), Scott Zielinski (Lighting Design), Drew Levy (Sound Design) and Joshua Thorson (Projection Design) round out the creative team. The production stage manager is Daniel Kells.

"Every element of this production looks, sounds and feels like America today - and we're delighted to announce a cast of remarkable storytellers that represent the rich, diverse community of our country," said producer Eva Price.

Initially announced as a limited engagement, "Oklahoma!" was extended due to popular demand at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre. The musical played to sold out crowds on Broadway, in addition to garnering multiple Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and nominations. "Oklahoma!" officially opened April 7, 2019 after beginning preview performances March 19, and played its final Broadway performance on January 19, 2020.

In Todd S. Purdum's definitive "Some Enchanted Evenings," Purdum quotes Julie Andrews about Rodgers and Hammerstein. "They thought big, and wrote about important, and quite often uncomfortable themes." Quoting Rodgers himself from his memoir, "If a composer is to reach his audience emotionally, and surely that's what theatre music is all about, he must reach the people through sounds they can relate to."

In the liner notes for the cast recording of this new "Oklahoma!," Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization while this "Oklahoma!" was developed, wrote "The new musical arrangements both honored the production and the composer ... that should be the role of those of us tasked with being custodians of copyrights as extraordinary as those left by Rodgers and Hammerstein: to help creative artists both achieve what they are after and yet provide whatever wisdom we have acquired to looking after these properties for years ... in the hands of Daniel Fish here is 'Oklahoma!' for the new century."

"Oklahoma!" is produced by Eva Price, Level Forward, Abigail Disney, Barbara Manocherian & Carl Moellenberg, James L. Nederlander, David Mirvish, Mickey Liddell & Robert Ahrens, BSL Enterprises, MagicSpace Entertainment, Berlind Productions, John Gore Organization, Cornice Productions, Bard Fisher/R. Gold, LAMF/J. Geller, T Narang/ZKM Media, R/F/B/V Group, Araca/IPN, St. Ann's Warehouse and Tamar Climan.

This production of "Oklahoma!" was first presented at Bard Summerscape followed by an engagement at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn where it had a sold out run in 2018. This production was originally developed, produced, and premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Chair; Leon Botstein, President; Gideon Lester, Artistic Director; Bob Bursey, Executive Director; Caleb Hammons, Senior Producer) in July 2015.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation's preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles' leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, and in collaboration with the five Associate Artistic Directors, Luis Alfaro, Lindsay Allbaugh, Tyrone Davis, Neel Keller, and Kelley Kirkpatrick, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1,600 to 2,100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation's leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

For the time being, we will continue to require masks at of our venues. This is consistent with the commitments we have made with our artists, staff and audiences to ensure their safety. While full vaccination and booster shots are no longer required, they are strongly recommended.

Please note that these health and safety measures are subject to change, at Center Theatre Group's sole discretion and based on evolving health and safety guidance and conditions. We will continue working closely with The Music Center and L.A. County officials to ensure they are following all applicable health and safety protocols. For more details, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Safety.

Bank of America is Center Theatre Group's 2021 - 2022 Season Sponsor. Bank of America believes in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, to educate and enrich societies, and to create greater cultural understanding. For more than 20 years, the company has supported Center Theatre Group's innovative Education and Community Partnerships programs as well as world-class productions. Bank of America is also an instrumental supporter in accelerating Center Theatre Group's commitment to becoming an anti-racist, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization.

American Express is the official credit card for Center Theatre Group and the presenting sponsor of the Digital Stage.

Tickets for "OKLAHOMA!" are currently on sale and start at $35. They are available through CenterTheatreGroup.org, Audience Services at (213) 972-4400 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Offices (at the Ahmanson Theatre) at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012. Performances run Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.


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VIDEO: OKLAHOMA! National Tour Performs on CORDEN Photo
James Corden's dressing room check-in with the cast of the Oklahoma! National Tour took a turn when they revealed to him that they were actually the cast of 'Mila Kunis! the Musical,' leading them into a parody of the musical's title song. Sasha Hutchings and Sean Grandillo performed 'People Will Say We're In Love.' Watch videos now!

OKLAHOMA! Tour Cast to Perform on JAMES CORDEN Tonight Photo
The national tour cast of Oklahoma! will perform on The Late Late Show with James Corden tonight. The production stars Sasha Hutchings and Sean Grandillo, joined by Christopher Bannow, Sis, Hennessy Winkler, Benj Mirman, Barbara Walsh, Hannah Solow, Mauricio Lozano, Ugo Chukwu, Jordan Wynn, and more.

Photos: On the Red Carpet at Opening Night of OKLAHOMA! in Los Angeles Photo
The National Tour of Oklahoma! celebrated its opening night at the Ahmanson Theatre on September 15. The production plays at the Center Theatre Group venue in Los Angeles through October 16. Check out the photos from the opening night red carpet here!

OKLAHOMA! National Tour is Coming to the Ahmanson Theatre in September Photo
Center Theatre Group will present the Los Angeles premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “OKLAHOMA!” directed by Daniel Fish at the Ahmanson Theatre from September 13 through October 16, 2022.

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