I must confess that I thought "Oklahoma!" would be a little dry. It's old, and there have been more than a few things done to it over the years in a bid to inject new life. There was the Portland Center Stage production with an all-black cast that caused a little controversy in the press, and just before attending Broadway Rose's resolutely traditional production, I read that New York was going some strange "hipster" route with theirs. So imagine my surprise when I laughed as much as I did.
Joey Cote steals the show as the conniving peddler Ali Hakim. That is not to say that the uniformly spectacular cast didn't make its own impression, only that Hakim was hilarious.
"Oklahoma" was also a "so that's where that song is from!" show for me. As I watched it, I had the thought, "why would anyone mess with this?" So, put my vote in the "traditionalist" column. This comes as a bit of a shock, because I would have expected the opposite.
Broadway Rose's choreography is always fantastic, and "Oklahoma'" is no exception. In fact, my favorite part of writing a Broadway Rose review is picking out the press photo I will use at the end.