“Oh, what a beautiful morning” – it’s just one of the many iconic songs attributed to the team of Rogers and Hammerstein. In their first collaboration, they created “Oklahoma!” It’s romance, Western and a piece of legendary Americana that many can quote by heart.
Missouri State University students will perform in the world premiere concert version of “Oklahoma!” alongside the Springfield Symphony this Nov. 9-10.
“The lines are going to be fully memorized. It’s going to be fully acted. There’s full scenes, even a little bit of dance,” said Robert Westenberg, coordinator of the musical theatre program at MSU. “It’s going to be somewhere in between a more formal concert presentation and a full blown production.”
Westenberg, who directs the show, says the themes in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s works are eternal.
“They deal with really hardcore issues, and yet, there is a overpowering sense of ‘can do’ spirit, ‘things will work out’ and ‘love conquers all,’” he said. “I know in my bones that in 200 or 300 years, we’re still going to be performing Rodgers and Hammerstein.”