The following is not for those who have a problem with foul language or musical theater.
I see you. I see you right now. Running your eyes over the bright, shiny art for our production of Oklahoma! – I can see your expression, the little twist too your lips, the ever-so-slight eye-roll. Oh, this show. It’s so hokey, so old-fashioned, so…cough cough…lame.
You feel supremely confident in this judgement. You take a sip of your fucking Cherry Sprite and go back to yawning your way through your John Green subreddit. It feels good, doesn’t it? Dismissing a faded old chestnut of a show, putting thing in their proper cultural context enlivens your nightly spank-session. The semen-encrusted sock of your aesthetic judgement is a treasured possession that you clasp tightly each night as a Velveteen Rabbit of Irony. It is so pleasant to completely judge and abandon a work of art without any effort or exposure, like knocking the bowl of broccoli casserole off your high-chair so you don’t have to taste it.
You are in a high chair because you are a baby. You are a baby in this metaphor. With a baby face and baby hands and baby drool going down your baby chin.
Well, I am here to tell you something. You are not cooler than this show. I know it is horrible to consider that you might enjoy spirited dancing, bright melodies, and broad humor. I know you think you’ve seen all this show has to offer because you saw a high school production 10 years ago. I know how easy and precious it is to slot this show into your ever growing pile of ‘Art I Don’t Have an Immediate Affinity For or Societal Pressure to Experience, So Why Bother When I Can Watch Netflix and Begin My Slow Descent Into Utter Cultural Stagnation’.
I’m assuming you read this far because you like musical theater. Pick a show, any show — trace the genealogy back and you’ll find Oklahoma! winking at you. Characters that reveal their emotions directly through song? Songs used to advance the plot? The synthesis of different styles of performance and dance in unexpected ways? Shivorees?
You may laugh in your cyclone of pretension and empty fucking souled rumination — but I tell you this show is beautiful. Silly, yes. Dated, yes. Kind of like Beethoven’s Ninth you miserable pustule of cynicism. The form, the shape, the stage language, the music, the movement of its internal pieces – it is something wonderful to behold, you jaded Ass McNugget. As long as human culture exists this piece of art will be performed – I suggest you find a way to open your mind a wee, tiny crack and experience it the way it should be. Live band, gifted performers, and no excuses.
Fuck. Just fucking…just fucking watch the goddamn show you incandescent shit-squeeze.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! Will be performed April 4th-13th at the Town&Gown Players in Athens, GA. Ticket information at the link above.
2 thoughts on “You Are Not Cooler than Oklahoma! [.]”
Actually, since I was 11, it suited me fine for “Oklahoma” to be cooler than I was, or ever will be. I loved the movie version, and begged my grandmother to buy me the soundtrack, which in those days could be obtained as a set of 45rpm’s. I stacked them on my fat spindle, over & below Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ricky Nelson, and Connie Francis.
To most of us in the 1950’s, a good tune was a good tune, regardless of where it came from. But I’m afraid your Earth-Shattering Announcement will mostly fall on deaf ears. I have observed for quite some time now that those ears of most under-thirtysomethings are indeed deaf to melody; and as for lyrics that meter and rhyme perfectly, so what? Why bother? It’s just too much damn trouble.
Indeed sir. Music is forever and pure melody will always triumph, even in the ages where it is so easily disdained or dismissed.