The 1979 Broadway revival of Oklahoma! opened on December 13, 17 days before the show's composer, Richard Rodgers, died. Directed by William Hammerstein, the son of Rodgers' lyricist partner Oscar Hammerstein II, the new production was a faithful reproduction of the wildly successful original, retaining the Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations conducted by Jay Blackton, who had wielded the baton back in 1943 as well as for the 1955 film version. Even Agnes De Mille's revolutionary choreography was reproduced. The new cast album demonstrated that the cast, led by Laurence Guittard and Christine Andreas, was enthusiastic and talented. Unlike the original Broadway cast album, which was recorded for 78 rpm records with their inherent time limitations, the new LP, recorded in early 1980, was able to include more of the music than ever before. It and the show from which it derived made for a fitting memorial for Rodgers and confirmed the primacy of Oklahoma! in the history of the musical theater.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann