Monday, October 24, 2011


Live theater isn't an obsession of mine. I know some people who live for live theater. I grew up in a musical household, and on classics like The Sound of Music. I was taken to see the Nutcracker and Porgy and Bess as a child. I enjoyed the plays produced at my tiny college.

It's really not until I'm in the theater that I remember how much I love it. It's not until the dance sequences start that I get goosebumps. I haven't spent much time going to theaters because, well, they cost money. However, I had a great treat from my mom this last weekend when she took me to see Portland Center Stage's "Oklahoma!"
The music was wonderful, the singing was great, the actors top-notch. It was fun to revisit a classic that I had seen many times before, because in seeing it again after many years away I was able to laugh anew at some wonderful comedy. This was all presented with a fantastic new twist: an all-black cast. Most people are surprised to hear that, but it was both intriguing and fun to read the director's note, which stated that he could not find anything in the script that would exclude African Americans from that possibility. Further in his research he found that there were numerous all-black towns in the Oklahoma territory, making it completely plausible for the story.

OKLAHOMA! TRAILER from Portland Center Stage on Vimeo.
It was a spectacular take on an old classic that even presented many of the songs in a new light, sung by characters who were most likely freed slaves, not only bent on personal freedom, but also the optimism of  a new land.

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