Oklahoma!

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 19 2013

Lyric Opera's mounting of Rodgers and Hammerstein's landmark 1943 musical offers audiences a rare chance to see Agnes de Mille's original choreography, with its innovative melding of folk dance and classical ballet, performed by top-flight dancers under the guidance of de Mille protegee Gemze de Lappe. And it's great to hear Robert Russell Bennett's arrangements of Rodgers's score played by an opera house orchestra under James Lowe's baton. But despite splendid vocals (notably soprano Ashley Brown in the female lead) and expertly timed comic supporting performances (kudos to Usman Ally as a womanizing traveling salesman), director Gary Griffin's handling of the story's dramatic core—the rivalry between a cocky cowboy and a threatening farmhand for the love of a headstrong farm woman—is shallow. The result is sometimes exhilarating and always entertaining, but Oklahoma! is capable of more. —Albert Williams

Price: $32-$153

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