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Oklahoma! at the Proms

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I saw it on TV tonight  and was surprised how much dancing was retained, even the 17 minute ballet at the end of Act 1. Naturally,  I never saw the original stage show (my parents saw it on their honeymoon, so a bit before my time), only the film version, so much of tonight's production was new to me.  Several new songs and much more dancing than the MGM film; I particularly enjoyed the demonstration of the newly fashionable  dance styles (c 1900) by Will Parker in 'Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City' and the original lyrics before they were cleaned up for a U certificate.


Lovely to see Robbie Fairchild after I missed him in AAIP but nearly everyone in the cast was excellent (I'll draw a veil over the horribly miscast Aunt Ella) in both song and dance.  Amazing what they accomplished in such a small performance area in front of the splendid John Wilson orchestra.  I've recorded it and look forward to seeing it again but I'm sure it will be on iPlayer for quite a while.  Don't miss it - it's really worth watching.


One question though: there was a credit to Agnes de Mille's original choreography but in the interval we saw a new choreographer rehearsing the dancers in his version (sorry I can't remember his name & I didn't recognise him).  I wonder how much of the original remains?  According to the BBC, John Wilson worked very hard on re-creating the original musical arrangements.  Were they lost and is that what happened to the choreography too?


I must do some more research...



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The BBC mention every year that all the original MGM film orchestrations were dumped  when the new wave of young executives/accountants took over the studio.  They were used as ground fill for a golf course.  John Wilson has made it his life's work to reconstruct them and a Very fine job he has done too.


I was really enjoying it but the Sky signal kept breaking up in Act 2.  I gave up and went back to the terrestrial relay.  I was sorry they didn't have one last rousing chorus of the theme song at the end but it ran perilously close to 10.30 so I'm expect someone had their stopwatch out.  

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What a wonderful show, and the stamina. Did anyone see both performances. Robbie Fairchild was naturally smooth and would have been a great example to the other men. Marcus Brigstock was a revelation and well done to him. May try and see it again if I can get 3 and a half hours free.

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I watched on BBC 4 - terrific performance. Thought the dance sequences were great. Interesting to note that Agnes de Mille choreographed Rodeo before Oklahoma.

Robbie Fairchild was very impressive. Bravo to all and especially John Wilson.

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