October 23, 2018
Oklahoma History Center Welcomes “The Sound of Music” Traveling Troupe on November 1
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center (OHC) will host a performance from a traveling theatrical troupe currently touring with a production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein hit “The Sound of Music” on Thursday, November 1, at 9 a.m. Cast members will perform various selections on the stage in the “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Oklahoma!’: The Birth of Modern Musical Theatre and a New Image for the State” exhibit gallery in the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Gallery at the OHC. This event is open to the public and free of charge, and attendees will receive a $2 discount coupon to the annual holiday sale at the History Center Museum Store.
The troupe, representing NETworks Presentations®, will be in the metro with two performances at Oklahoma City Community College on November 2 and 3. “Rodgers & Hammerstein and the state of Oklahoma have enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship, which continues to this day,” said Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. “Having both the extraordinary exhibit on the musical that bears the state’s name—which includes Oscar Hammerstein’s standing desk, at which he wrote all his shows, exhibited for the first time—and the start of the new tour of ‘The Sound of Music’ just continues the collaboration. There is no reason why the lasting impact of the works of Rodgers & Hammerstein won’t continue—especially in the wonderful state of Oklahoma.”
The Oklahoma History Center’s exhibit “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Oklahoma!’: The Birth of Modern Musical Theatre and a New Image for the State” celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Broadway production’s debut. The title of the OHC exhibit makes reference to a “New Image for the State.” In 1939 John Steinbeck published his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” a fictional account of the mass migration of thousands of “Okies” from Oklahoma to California in search of jobs, land, dignity and a future in the shadow of the Great Depression. The novel cast an image of hopelessness, bank foreclosures and economic hardship on Oklahoma. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” counteracted this image with its lively musical comedy that, despite a few fight scenes that include an accidental death, portrayed romance, laughter and a spirit of joy in direct contrast to the storyline of “The Grapes of Wrath.”
NETworks Presentations is a theatrical production company with more than 20 years of experience in road productions of Broadway and West End musicals, offering financially sustainable shows in any size market to ensure that audiences anywhere may experience a night of Broadway theatre.
The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.okhistory.org/historycenter.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.