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Town and Country presents “Oklahoma!”

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Despite being located a few short miles from Highland Farm where Oscar Hammerstein wrote “Oklahoma!,” Town & Country Players has never before staged a full production of this classic.

“Oklahoma!” was the first collaboration between Rodgers (music) and Hammerstein (book and lyrics), and the cast and creative team are more than a little excited to present the show in the Barn Theater.

Director Jon Knapp considers “Oklahoma!” one of his favorite shows, if not his favorite show. He confessed that inscribed in his wedding band are the words “Let people say we’re in love,” so clearly the show holds a special place in his heart.

And while he has been in “Oklahoma!” many times, he is thrilled to be “taking the reins” as the director this time.

Knapp explained that while not doing a completely reimagined version, as is being done in New York City right now, the T&C version does focus on the drama and in particular the love triangle between Laurey, Curly and Jud, with Jud being a bit more prominent as Jud is portrayed as a “viable” option to Curly.

“Oklahoma!” (1943), was considered a groundbreaking show in that it combined musical comedy and operetta into a new genre called a musical play.

Columnist Frank Rich aptly describes the show: “At its birth, the show was to its America what Hamilton has been to ours: both an unexpected record-smashing box-office phenomenon and a reassuring portrait of our past that lifted up theatergoers at a time of great anxiety about the country’s future.”

Set in the 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, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl, play out their love story.

“Oklahoma!” is playing at Town and Country Players on Route 263 in Buckingham and runs weekends from July 19 to Aug. 10. For show times and to order tickets, visit townandcountryplayers.org or call 800-838-3006. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children.

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