Original London Cast

Oklahoma! [1980 London Revival Cast]

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

James Hammerstein, son of lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, directed a Broadway revival of Oklahoma! that opened in late 1979, and its success led to similar productions in London and Australia. Hammerstein directed the British staging, which opened at the Palace Theatre in London September 17, 1980, and, with a run of 419 performances, was even more successful than its New York counterpart. Surprisingly, the cast recording was contracted out to Stiff Records, best known as a new wave rock label, and probably on economic grounds, Stiff opted to record the show live at the theater. The result is a sonically challenged recording. Clearly, the players were not wearing body mikes, and so their voices move up and down in volume depending on where they are and what they're doing. No apparent concessions have been made for audio recording, and the orchestra, which of course was stationary, is often louder than the singers and drowns them out; they are also drowned out by the audience on occasion. The only performer who overcomes the sound problems is big-voiced lead John Diedrich, playing Curly, and so his numbers, such as "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top," do not suffer as much. It is also good to hear the portions of dialogue that precede and interrupt the songs, and to hear a live audience cheering and laughing. But these qualities do not overcome the recording's shortcomings, making this one of the less impressive of the major recordings of Oklahoma!

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Oklahoma!, musical
1 3:21
2
feat: Curly / Aunt Eller
4:02
3
feat: Curly / Aunt Eller / Laurey
6:03
4 4:51
5 3:03
6 4:24
7
feat: Cruly / Laurey
4:10
8
feat: Curly / Jud Fry
3:59
9
feat: Jud Fry
2:34
10 2:53
11 6:25
12 4:33
13
feat: Company
3:16
14
feat: Company
1:07
blue highlight denotes track pick