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Though the competition was slim since a mere two musical revivals opened on Broadway this year, Oklahoma! took home best revival of a musical at the 2019 Tony Awards on Sunday night, beating out Kiss Me, Kate.
Producer Eva Price accepted the award on behalf of the Rodgers & Hammerstein production, thanking both the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and St. Ann’s Warehouse.
She also thanked director Daniel Fish, “who saw something in a 1943 musical about people living in 1906 that speaks directly to 2019.”
“Oklahoma! reminds us that when we try to define who we are as a community, by creating an outsider, it can end in tragedy. Near the end of Oklahoma!, Laurey’s trying to make sense of great loss and Aunt Eller tells her, ‘Lots of things happen to folks. That’s how it is, cradle to grave. You gotta be hearty. You gotta be tough. Because the sweet and tender things in life happen to those who are tough,'” Price explained. “We are living through difficult times, but we have to be hearty and we have to be tough, because the sweet and tender things in life can happen and they’re too wonderful to miss. And this is pretty sweet and tender, so thank you so much!”
Fish’s reinterpretation of Oklahoma! returned to Broadway this year just in time for the show’s 75th anniversary, following a 2015 premiere at Bard College and a 2018 run at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse. The production began previews March 19 at New York’s Circle in the Square Theatre and officially opened on April 7. The extended Broadway run currently is scheduled through Jan. 19, 2020.
This latest iteration of the beloved musical has been a hit with critics, who have applauded its stripped-down, intimate and immersive style. A national tour is set to launch in January.
The 73rd Annual Tony Awards were broadcast on CBS from Radio City Musical Hall in New York. After hosting in 2016, James Corden returned to emcee the Broadway awards show for a second time.
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