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"OKLAHOMA!" in CHICAGO (HUGE SPOILERS) -- DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS REVIVAL
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 02:10 pm EST 01/19/22
In reply to: re: TB REGIONAL REVIEW: "OKLAHOMA!" in CHICAGO (HUGE SPOILERS) -- DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS REVIVAL - singleticket 12:29 pm EST 01/18/22

In Hammerstein's original text (and stage directions), the legal proceedings against Curly are not really a kangaroo court since Jud Fry's death is an open-and-shut case of self-defense, witnessed by the entire group at the shivaree/hazing: "He" (referring to Jud) "socks Curly. . . . Jud pulls out a knife and goes for Curly. . . . Jud falls on his knife, groans and lies still."

In the Fish revival, the proceedings definitely are a kangaroo court because Curly shoots and kills Jud (without any substantial justification) and then blatantly denies it when, at first coached by Carnes, and then when questioned by said Carnes, both actions being witnessed by the entire ensemble. Curly is obviously guilty of perjury and most likely guilty of second degree murder. Nevertheless, Carnes (and Eller) declare him not guilty, despite the objections of both Cord Elam (verbal) and Mike (facial expression and body language).

The trial is an obvious miscarriage of justice in which all present (morally) share the guilt. Shades of Wellman's 1940 film The Ox-Bow Incident, but also (and more relevantly) Huston's 1960 film The Unforgiven, in which a character played by June Walker (the original Laurey Williams) carries out morally ambiguous vigilante justice against an individual reminiscent of Jud Fry. I'll wager Fish has seen both films.

I saw the Oklahoma! revival last night and brought Hammerstein's text with me. In the climactic scene, at least 3 lines of original dialogue have been changed or deleted. A new line (I assume by Fish), in which Curly denies that he shot Fry, has been added.
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