Celebrating 80 years of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

R&H-Oklahoma!-Hugh-JackmanTrafalgar Releasing, in partnership with Concord Originals and The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, have announced the international cinema release of the National Theatre’s acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! Starring then-newcomer Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables, The Greatest Showman) as Curly, this riveting stage revival was filmed following its record-breaking 1998 run in London.

The film will be screened in more than 800 cinemas around the globe for two days only, on Sunday 16 July and Wednesday 19 July – including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Norway and Australia.

Directed by theatre legend and three-time Tony Award winner Trevor Nunn (CATS, Les Misérables) with new choreography by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Crazy for You), the film also stars Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller, Josefina Gabrielle as Laurie, Tony and Olivier Award winner Shuler Hensley as Jud Fry, Vicki Simon as Ado Annie, Jimmy Johnston as Will Parker and Peter Polycarpou as Ali Hakim. The stage production transferred to London’s West End in 1999 and won four Olivier Awards, including Outstanding Musical Production.

This 25-year-old production of Oklahoma! – coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the musical’s ground-breaking 1943 premiere on Broadway – features some of the most delightfully hummable songs by the legendary team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist/lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, including Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, The Surrey with the Fringe on Top, People Will Say We’re in Love and the joyous title tune, Oklahoma!.

The creative team includes set and costume designer Anthony Ward, lighting designer David Hersey, music director John Owen Edwards and orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett, with additional orchestrations by William David Brohn and new dance music arranged by David Krane.

The 1998 production is considered Hugh Jackman’s breakout musical role. “It’s hard to imagine a more immediately charming Curly than Jackman,” wrote Variety in 1998. “He’s as pliable, the staging suggests, as Jud is rigidly doomed, and Jackman makes an appealing (and beautifully sung) case for a man who won’t be left behind by the winds of change in ‘this here crazy country.’”

“The 80th anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! allows us to share this quintessential slice of Americana with global fans,” said Kymberli Frueh, SVP of Content and Programming Acquisitions at Trafalgar Releasing.

“This particular production is acknowledged as one of the best through the eight decades of performances in theatres around the world. All the talent in this classic version of Oklahoma! hit their mark brilliantly and musical theatre fans can experience for themselves why it is credited with launching Hugh Jackman’s stage career. We’re proud to be a part of this momentous anniversary,” said Frueh.

“This musical is the living, breathing proof that important works will find and impact multiple generations in meaningful ways. We couldn’t be more proud to champion this anniversary re-release of Sir Trevor Nunn’s stunning 1998 revival with Trafalgar Releasing,” said Sophia Dilley, SVP of Concord Originals.

“80 years after first premiering on Broadway, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! is recognized as a theatrical landmark,” said Imogen Lloyd Webber, SVP at Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.

“It was the first successful, truly unified musical – a seamless integration of song, story and dance. This 1998 production masterfully combined those three elements, and the resulting film is a treasure trove for musical theatre fans of all ages.”

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! will screen in selected cinemas on Sunday 16 July and Wednesday 19 July 2023. For more information, visit: www.oklahomaincinemas.com for details. Check out the trailer here!

Image: Hugh Jackman as Curly in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (supplied)