Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains, in many ways, the most innovative of their career, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre still being followed today.
The original production of “Oklahoma!” opened on March 31, 1943 at the St. James Theatre in Manhattan and ran for 2,212 performances. The musical implemented a number of cutting-edge storytelling techniques, including a focus on emotional empathy, dealing with American historical and social themes in an anachronistically-correct way and its use of song and dance to convey plot and character rather than a mere diversion for the audience.
Set in a Oklahoma Territory just after the turn of the century, the high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly (Benjamin J. Ayres), a handsome cowboy and Laurey (Rachel Ferguson), a winsome farm girl, play out their love story.
Oh, what a beautiful morning? You bet.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Pensacola Little Theatre 400 S. Jefferson St.
432-2042 or www.pensacolalittletheatre.com