The crew of Oklahoma! poses for a press event on April 8. Provide to China Daily
Oklahoma!, one of the most well-known musicals on Broadway, is to be staged in Beijing for the first time, by Beijing Playhouse theater group from next month.
Set around the high-spirited rivalry of farmers and cowboys and the romance between a cowboy and a farm girl in 1906 just before Oklahoma state was founded, the show was a box-office smash in the US when it opened in the 1940s. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1944.
"This Beijing Playhouse production of Oklahoma! is the largest locally produced English theater in the history of China," said Chris Verrill, executive director of Beijing Playhouse.
"This story is universal. It's about people having conflict, solving it together and falling in love. The play is set in America 100 years ago, but it could also be China or Europe."
While the musical is not as familiar to Chinese audience as Mama Mia! or The Sound of Music, it is likely to capture them with the same power of music.
"The one thing that really would appeal to the audience is that the music is written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who are the same two writers who wrote The Sound of Music, which became a big hit in China after the movie came out," David Peck, the director of the play, said.
Beijing Playhouse theater group is an amateur English theater group whose previous works include Cinderella, Guys and Dolls and A Christmas Carol.
The play involves 30 singers and dancers and will run from May 18 to June 3.