Oklahoma! premiered on Broadway in 1943 under the auspices of the Theatre Guild, and today it is performed more frequently than any other Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. In this book Tim Carter offers the first fully documented history of the making of this celebrated American musical.
Drawing on research from rare theater archives, manuscripts, journalism, and other sources, Carter records every step in the development of Oklahoma! The book is filled with rich and fascinating details about how Rodgers and Hammerstein first came together, the casting process, how Agnes de Mille became the show’s choreographer, and the drafts and revisions that ultimately gave the musical its final shape. Carter also shows the lofty aspirations of both the creators and producers and the mythmaking that surrounded Oklahoma! from its very inception, and demonstrates just what made it part of its times.
"Carter's book is full of new and very significant and exciting discoveries, many of which contradict firmly entrenched mythologies, half truths, and even fascinating calculated falsehoods."—Geoffrey Block, General Editor, Yale Broadway Masters, and author of Richard Rodgers
"Carter's book. . . [is a] useful contribution to current scholarship on musical theatre."—Diana Calderazzo, Theatre Journal
(Diana Calderazzo Theatre Journal
"With meticulous archival research, Carter recasts the musical, debunking many of its myths while upholding others. . . . [An] engaging book."—Pamella R. Lach, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
(Pamella R. Lach Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"Intriguing. . . . Carter's virtuosic handling of archival material, forming the basis of an astonishingly detailed narrative account, sets his study apart."—Elizabeth A. Wells, Journal of the American Musicological Society
(Elizabeth A. Wells Journal of the American Musicological Society