Okalahoma critical analysis
The original production of Oklahoma opened at the St.
James Theatre, New York, on Wednesday March 31, 1943. The top ticket
price was $4.80.
It ran on Broadway for over five years, besting the previous record
holder Hellzapoppin by more than two years. For fifteen years, from
1946 until 1961, Oklahoma held the record as the longest running show
in Broadway history.
When Okalahoma closed on Broadway May 29, 1948 after 2,212
performances, more than four and a half million people had seen it
In our expressive arts lesson we watched a section of Okalahoma. As
our topic is dreams and nightmares, we watched the section where
Laurey has her dream. In a swirl of dream images, Laurey sees herself
marrying Curly when Jud invades the wedding; he carries her off,
thwarts Curly's attempts to rescue her, and, after a horrific
struggle, kills Curly. Laurey awakes from her nightmare with a
start...and finds Jud ready to escort her to the Dance.
In the beginning of this section we can see Laurey falling to sleep.
Then the lights suddenly dim, this shows the audience that we have
travelled from reality to her dream.
The lighting plays an important part in this musical, as it
communicates to the audience Laurey’s mood and feelings. When Laurey
is dreaming the light dims to a blue. Then hands appear from the
cornfields; they are being lighted up with gold spotlights. She then
follows them to a large stage, which is filled up with blur light. In
her dream they lighting is calm and cool, and the mood is happy but
when it changes into a nightmare the lights suddenly switch red, and
makes the atmosphere alarming and unsettling. A spot light is also
used on Curley when he enters to dance with Laurey. This can symbolise
that he is the one for her, and that he stands out from everyone else.
By using a white spotlight shows the audience that he is pure and
good. But the spotlights also build a feeling of confusion and
distress. This is in her nightmare where the lighting is red and the
white spotlights are darting around the stage. This shows the audience
Laurey’s feelings towards her nightmare.
Music is crucial in her dream as there is no speaking involved, so
they music is the only thing that can be heard. In her dream they are
playing the song “oh, what a beautiful morning”. This is played in
major key, to show the audience that it is a happy and positive dream.
The song seems a bit distraught; this may be to show that she is in a
dream, as everything is different and bizarre. A lot of string
instruments are used in this section to create a calm atmosphere. When
other characters enter (cowboys and farm workers). The melody changes,
to beaty and relaxed. Then as Curley enters and they begin to dance
the music become twinkley, and magical. Then as the scene skips to her
wedding the music changes. They use bells to show the audience that
she is getting married. The music is still...