Who: Daniel Fish, Ted Chapin, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Patrick Vaill, Gabrielle Hamilton, Foster Hirsch
What: Discussion of reworking of classic Broadway musical
Where: The National Arts Club Zoom
When: Monday, March 15, free with RSVP, 7:30
Why: In 2018, Daniel Fish presented his seventy-fifth-anniversary adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved Oklahoma! The longtime downtowner reimagined the show with diverse casting, an intimate setting that included chili during intermission, significant tweaking of the score, and a controversial solo dance to replace Agnes de Mille’s dream ballet. In my review, I called the show, which started at St. Ann’s Warehouse before moving to Circle in the Square, an “extraordinary adaptation . . . Fish has created a masterful retelling of the 1943 original, immersing the audience in the optimism that came with the southern territory becoming a state in 1906 — but uncovering a deep layer of darkness in the rich farmland soil.”
On March 15 at 7:30, the National Arts Club is hosting the live Zoom panel discussion and Q&A “Oklahoma! Re-imagining a Classic Broadway Musical,” featuring the Tony-nominated Fish; Rodgers & Hammerstein president Ted Chapin (about halfway through the show, the woman next to me muttered, “How could Ted Chapin let this happen?”); Rebecca Naomi Jones, who played Laurey; Patrick Vaill, who portrayed Jud; Bessie winner Gabrielle Hamilton, who performed the dance that opens the second act; and moderator Foster Hirsch. (The show was nominated for eight Tonys, winning for Best Orchestrations [Daniel Kluger] and Best Revival of a Musical.) Registration is free, but donations will be accepted for the NAC Artist Fellows program.