Cast Confirmed for West End Oklahoma!Date: 8 December 1998
Casting has been confirmed for the West End production of the Royal National Theatre's Oklahoma!. All of the prinicipals who made the three-month run at the National's Olivier a sell-out will return for the 23-week season at the Lyceum, presented by Cameron Mackintosh, which opens 21 January 1999 and continues until 26 June.
This includes Maureen Lipman as 'Aunt Eller', Hugh Jackman as 'Curly', Josefina Gabrielle as 'Laurey', Shuler Hensley as 'Jud Fry', Vicki Simon as 'Ado Annie', Peter Polycarpou as 'Ali Hakim' and Jimmy Johnston as 'Will Parker'.
They are joined by Helen Anker, Julie Barnes, Luke Baxter, Sarah Bayliss, Leigh Constantine, Marilyn Cutts, Amanda C Davies, Zoe Dawson, Susie Drumbreck, Tom Dwyer, Howard Ellis, Elizabeth Gee, Sam Henson, Sarah Ingram, Nicola Keen, Sidney Livingstone, Fergus Logan, David Lucan, Helen Missing, David Shelmerdine, Rebecca Thornhill and Kevin Wainwright.
Trevor Nunn's re-interpretation of the musical, which finished its run there 3 October 199, has the National's biggest hit to date, having continually broken box-office records in its opening week and selling out for the entirety of its run. Last week, Nunn was presented with the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical.
Bert Fink, vice president of public relations at the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organisation, in an interview with What's On Stage, described the RNT's Oklahoma! as 'a radiant and exhilarating production'. In addition to Nunn's 'fresh minting', it features new choreography from Susan Stroman, a departure from the signature Agnes De Mille original. The rest of the RNT creative team includes Anthony Ward (set and costume design), David Hersey (lighting), Paul Groothuis (sound) and John Owen Edwards (musical direction). Original orchestrations are by Robert Russell Bennett with additional orchestrations by William David Brohn and new dance music arranged by David Krane.
Set in the American West at the turn of the century, Oklahoma! tells the story of young Laurey and the two rivals for her affections: Curly, a cowboy, and Jud, the hired farmhand. The classic score includes 'Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', 'Surrey with the Fringe on Top', and 'People Will Say We're in Love' as well as the rousing title song.
Oklahoma!, first seen in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1947, features music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and is based on the play Green Grown the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs. The last major London revival was at the Palace Theatre in 1979, also produced by Cameron Mackintosh.