Review Roundup: OKLAHOMA! at Broadway At Music Circus; What Did The Critics Think?
The 2019 Broadway At Music Circus season continues with a brand new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's first collaboration, the groundbreaking masterpiece Oklahoma! The Pulitzer Prize winning musical, which The New York Times said "changed the course of the Broadway musical," runs Tuesday, June 25 through Sunday, June 30 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion.
Making their Broadway At Music Circus debuts in the roles of Laurey and Curly are Emilie Kouatchou and Ryan Vasquez. Kouatchou appeared as Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Connecticut Repertory Theatre and Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors with Timberlake Playhouse; additional regional credits include Carousel, Evita and Mary Poppins. Vasquez is currently on Broadway in Hamilton, and has toured with that show as the Alexander Hamilton alternate and understudy for both Aaron Burr and George Washington; his other Broadway credits include Waitress and Wicked.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Courtney Symes, BroadwayWorld: Broadway at Music Circus continues its tradition of top-notch quality by casting only the best. Ryan Vasquez, who wears the role of Curly like a comfortable cloak, has taken a break from playing Alexander Hamilton (and 4 other roles) on Broadway to join us here in Sacramento. Opening the show with the iconic "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'", Vasquez takes you back to rural 1907 Oklahoma with his faultless vibrato. Close your eyes and you'd swear he was singing you a lullaby. His rival, John Rapsonas the villainous Jud Fry, brings an equally talented take to the antithesis of Curly's chivalry. A show highlight is when they parry, by increasing degrees of hostility, in the adroitly written "Pore Jud is Daid." The object of their desire, Laurey, is played by a sweetly innocent Emilie Kouatchou, who really hits her stride with "People will Think We're in Love."
Bev Sykes, Davis Enterprise: It's best not to think too carefully about the moral of this story, which seems to be that if you kill an unlikeable guy accidentally, you don't need to go to trial because everyone would rather see you head off on your honeymoon. Poor Jud is dead and doesn't get the nice funeral Curly promised him. "Oklahoma!" is a timeless piece of theater and is worth the trip to Music Circus, whether you've ever seen it before or not. Your toes will tap and it's almost a sure bet that you'll leave the theater humming at least one of those old familiar songs.
Michael P Coleman, SAC Cultural Hub: As great as the dancing is in Broadway At Music Circus' new production of Oklahoma!, I really wanted to tell you that the dance sequences were my favorite parts of the show. I really, really wanted to tell you that. And I was close to being able to do that, due in large part to a gorgeous ballet sequence near the end of the show's first half. The transition from singing to dancing was enchanting, encompassing the best of musical theatre. That part of last night's opening performance rivaled any ballet I've ever seen. Similarly, all of the raucous hoofing, most memorably during "The Farmer And The Cowman" which opened the show's second half, just about had me out of my seat.