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  Oklahoma! at American Theater Company

Oklahoma!

American Theater Company
1909 W Byron Chicago

One of the greatest American musicals in a sexy, bristling production, performed in the ATC signature Chicago ensemble style at their uniquely intimate theater.

Thru - Mar 18, 2007



Price: $10-$35

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 2hrs 30mins; one intermission

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  Oklahoma! Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...In all frankness, you find yourself wanting this cleverly conceived and entirely honorable show to be better than actually is the case. But let's start with its most positive element. Kiely and musical director Malcolm Ruhl persuaded the estate to let Ruhl re-orchestrate the score for a four-piece string band--mostly guitar, banjo, fiddle and bass, but with occasional excursions by a second guitar and a harmonium."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Whether you've seen "Oklahoma!" a hundred times or have somehow managed to miss it entirely (Kiely knew it only from recordings), this ATC rendering is nothing short of a miracle. Faithful to every note, lyric and scene, it still feels completely reborn, even revelatory."
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Hedy Weiss


Daily Herald - Recommended

"...ATC's intimate, revisionist version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic looks and sounds like no production you've ever seen. Music director Malcolm Ruhl's inspired, re-orchestration adds a wistful tone to this homespun revival, which showcases the acting prowess of the ATC ensemble."

Barbara Vitello


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...The cast, led by director Damon Kiely and musical director Malcolm Ruhl, compensate for their occasional vocal limitations by creatively mining the emotional depths of Oscar Hammerstein's libretto, finding unexpected nuances even in traditionally stereotyped supporting roles."

Albert Williams


Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...In paring Oklahoma! down to its scruffy, folk-strummed musical roots and simple, vibrant storytelling, Damon Kiely has created a whole new—and wholly wonderful—state for the musical that celebrates the settlement of the heartland territory."
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Catey Sullivan


Gay Chicago Magazine - Somewhat Recommended

"...Not known to produce musicals of the big, flashy Broadway variety, it appears that staging “Oklahoma!” by director Damen Kiely and his ensemble was a challenge. Instead of the large cast with the Broadway-booming bravado voices, the show-stopping production numbers and flashy settings, Kiely instead choose to focus on the text and the intimacy of the story, casting the show with a limited number (12) of actors who can sing rather singers who can act, choosing to downplay choreographed dance numbers and incorporating a simple single setting."

Tim Sauers


EpochTimes - Highly Recommended

"... The "dream ballet" is not what you might recall and I thought choreographer Wilfredo Rivera did a splendid job on all the dance numbers, scaling them down from a large stage to a small venue and still having them be important to the telling of the story was not an easy task, but Mr. Rivera did it! This is a sparkling rendition of one of America's favorite big productions and ATC made it look simple. This is one to see."

Al Bresloff


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Director Damon Kiely has stripped down the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical from its usually large cast and full orchestra to 12 actors and a four-piece string band. It wasn’t an inevitable outcome, but the director has also stripped the show of its essence."
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Novid Parsi


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The folksy scaled down production is a well thought out piece that strips Oklahoma down to its basics without sacrificing the brilliant songs or the nostalgic feel. Damon Kiely’s direction is visionary. He proves that classics can be reduced without a loss of heart. Again, less can often be more."
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Tom Williams


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.


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