Why Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Is the Key to Watchmen on HBO

Film & TV News   Why Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Is the Key to Watchmen on HBO
The new HBO series heavily featured the musical, currently seen on Broadway in a Tony-winning revival, in its first episode.
Oklahoma on HBO Watchmen HR 2019
A production of Oklahoma! on Watchmen Van Redin/HBO

When viewers tuned in to the series premiere of HBO's Watchmen October 20, they may have been surprised at the relevance of a 1943 musical to a story about superheroes.

But from the episode's title ("It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice") to musical cues, the first episode was suffused with references to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!—right down to an all-black production of the classic musical attended by Sheriff Judd Crawford (notice the first name?). Later, a shocking death is set to the strains of Gordon MacRae singing from the film adaptation.

The series stars recent Oscar winner Regina King, Tim Black Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Jacob Ming-Trent, Tom Mison, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Louis Gossett Jr., and Jeremy Irons.

Check out the exclusive photos from the Season 1 premiere, set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and catch Watchmen Sundays on HBO.

In addition to on the small screen, Oklahoma! can currently be seen on Broadway, as the Tony-winning revival continues its run at the Circle in the Square Theatre through January 19, 2020. Daniel Fish directs the re-imagined staging.

A performance of <i>Oklahoma! </i>on HBO&#39;s <i>Watchmen</i>
A performance of Oklahoma! on HBO's Watchmen Van Redin/HBO
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