Cameron Mackintosh's long-awaited Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein' s Oklahoma! will not be coming to New York this fall, reported the New York Post. Mackintosh cited scheduling conflicts with production personnel.
"We have decided that due to the prior committments of many of the production teams, as well as the extremely short time for a December opening, the production would be better served by postponing to a later date."
This will mark the second time Mackintosh's plans to bring the classic musical to New York have been scuttled. His first attempt was thwarted when Actors' Equity balked at the producer's wish to bring over the entire English cast from the Royal National Theatre revival.
* Set in the turn of the century American West, Oklahoma! tells the story of young Laurey and the two rivals for her affections: Curly, a cowboy, and Jud, the hired farmhand. The classic score includes "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "Surrey with the Fringe on Top," and "People Will Say We're in Love" as well as the title song.
Directed by Nunn and produced by Mackintosh at the Royal National Theatre in London's West End, Oklahoma was a successful revival there last year. But hopes of a Broadway run featuring the original London cast were dashed when Actors' Equity held firm and enforced rules that prohibit the importing of talent except in certain special circumstances. The new Broadway run was to have featured an all American cast.
As reported earlier, the West End production of the show opened Jan. 21, 1999 and ran through Oct. 3, breaking box-office records and later selling out.
The London cast included Maureen Lipman as Aunt Eller, Hugh Jackman as Curly, Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, Vick’mon as Ado Annie, Peter Polycarpou as Ali Hakim and Jimmy Johnston as Will Parker. They were joined by Helen Anker, Julie Barnes, Luke Baxter, Sarah Bayliss, Leigh Constantine, Marilyn Cutts, Amanda C Davies, Zoe Dawson, Susie Drumbreck, Tom Dwyer, Howard Ellis, Elizabeth Gee, Sam Henson, Sarah Ingram, Nicola Keen, Sidney Livingstone, Fergus Logan, David Lucan, Helen Missing, David Shelmerdine, Rebecca Thornhill and Kevin Wainwright.
Oklahoma! is based on the Lynn Riggs' play Green Grow the Lilacs, which appeared on Broadway in 1931. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, originally called Away We Go!, premiered at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven in 1943, and later at the Colonial Theatre in Boston where the play was developed before its Broadway run. Renamed Oklahoma!, the play opened on Broadway at the St. James in 1943 and ran for almost five years, setting records with its 2,212 performances.