Set in the 1900s, shortly before Oklahoma
is added to the union
The musical opens one morning with Curly, a handsome cowboy, singing Oh What A Beautiful Morning. He meets up with Aunt Eller, who tells him that her niece Laurey kinda has a thing for him. Curly invites Laury to the box social (a big party where you bid on baskets of lunch for charity, and whoever's basket you win, you get to dance with them for the night) that evening, and she refuses, choosing to go with the creepy farmhand, Jud Fry, instead. Curly tries to woo her by telling her (in song, of course) about their method of transport- The Surrey with the Fringe on Top. Laurey still chooses Jud as an escort simply to spite Curly, as he was "acting fresh."
Will Parker enters and extols the virtues of Kansas City in Everything's Up To Date in Kansas City- Brand new modern day amenities such as running water and strippers amuse him to no end. Will won $50 in Kansas City; which he plans on using to convince Ado Annie's father, Andrew Carnes, that he's not a bad guy at all and should be allowed to marry Ado Annie.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, comic relief Ado Annie bursts onto the scene with a new guy- the Persian peddler, Ali Hakim. Annie explains to Laurey that Ali wants to marry her, and Laurey tries in vain to explain to Annie that he doesn't want to take her to a hotel as a honeymoon. Ado is taken with both Ali and Will, and can't decide which one she likes more. She explains how much of a skank she is in I Cain't Say No.
Curly, desperate to take someone to the box social, asks Gertie Cummings, a young woman with a terrible laugh and many other annoying habits. Once they leave, Laury tells the other girls that she's not really sad about losing Curly in the song Many a New Day.
Shortly after this, Ali Hakim finds out that Ado Annie is expecting him to marry her. Annie's overprotective father plans a literal shotgun wedding between Ali and Annie after finding out that Will spent the $50 already. Ali expresses his discontent with this situation in the song It's a Scandal! It's a Outrage!.
Laurey talks to Curly and explains that this Jud fella is creepy, and she already promised to go with him. Curly doesn't like this one bit. Even though they're in love, they don't want anyone to think that, so they set down some ground rules to squelch these nasty rumors that are flying about the two of them in People Will Say We're in Love.
Curly decides to go talk to Jud Fry, the creepy farmhand, who lives in the Smokehouse behind Aunt Eller and Laurey's house. Curly doesn't like Jud very much, and tries to convince him to hang himself ("You never know how many people like you until you're dead") in Pore Jud is Daid. Jud all but admits to killing the last girl he was "In Love" with (read: stalking) and tells Curly to stay away from Laurey or the same will happen to him. After Curly leaves, Jud sings Lonely Room and just generally creeps everyone out.
Laurey purchases "The Elixir of Egypt" from Ali, smelling salts that he claims will help her decide what to do. After taking a whiff, the girls sing Out Of My Dreams telling Laurey to just do what she wants rather than worry about everything so much. Laurey passes out and has a dream where she and Curly are together, but Jud kills Curly and drags her off.
The box social starts. After a riot breaks out between the farmers and the cowboys in The Farmer and the Cowman (should be friends), the box social starts. Ali Hakim finds out that if Will has $50, it'll solve his problem with Ado Annie. He buys a bunch of crap that Will picked up in Kansas City, leaving Will with just enough to get Annie. Stupidly, Will bids it all on Annie's lunch basket. Ali once again comes through, bidding $51 on Annie's basket.
Laurey's basket is bid on by Curly and Jud, who proceed to start a bidding war for it (and Laurey). Curly wins after selling his saddle, horse, and gun. After the whole thing is over, Jud tries to kill Curly with "The Little Wonder", a combination telescope/pornography viewer/switchblade. Thanks to intervention by Aunt Eller, he fails.
Will takes Annie aside and tries to convince her to give up her promiscuous ways in All Er Nothin'. Jud takes Laury aside and starts to act really creepy, spouting all of tripe about how they were meant to be together, and whatnot. Laurey gets freaked out, runs off, and finds Curly- who proposes. She accepts, and they sing People Will Say We're In Love (reprise).
A few weeks pass and we show up after Curly and Laurey's wedding. The cast sings the classic song Oklahoma!. Jud Fry comes back, threatens to kill Curly, attacks him with a knife, and accidentally stabs himself. Jud dies, and an impromptu trial is held. Curly is found Not Guilty, and the happy couple leaves for their honeymoon. Everyone's happy, except for Jud.
The title song:
They couldn't pick a better time to start in life
It ain't too early and it ain't too late
Startin' as a farmer with a brand new wife -
Soon be livin' in a brand new state!
Brand new state! Gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters
Pasture for the cattle
Spinach and termayters
Flowers on the prairie where the June bug
s zoom -
Plenty of air and plenty of room
Plenty of room to swing a rope
Plenty of heart and plenty of hope...
Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat
Can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain
Every night my honey lamb
Sit alone and talk
And watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say -
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Incidently, my high school
is doing Oklahoma! this year. I play the part of Chalmers, who is never referenced in the script except under the "Characters:
" section. I have two lines, both during the song The Farmer And the Cowman (should be friends)
: "Why, we got as much right to be here as you!" and "Oh you would
, would you?!".