Category Archives: O

Musicals staring with letter O

Once the Musical

Once the Musical is a breakaway Broadway hit musical based on the 2006 independent Irish film of the same name. The musical opened on Broadway in 2012 and received 11  Tony Award nominations, going on to win eight including Best Actor and Best Musical. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Show Album. The show features a book by Edna Walsh and the score builds on that of the film, featuring music by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The song “Falling Slowly” won an Oscar for Best Original Song. After proving to be a sell out on Broadway, the show transferred to the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End. 

Once the Musical Playbill

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

Enda Walsh

the motion picture written and directed by John Carney

Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf and The

John Tiffany

Steven Hoggett


Once - Original Broadway

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Opened 3 Mar 2013, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti, Elizabeth A. Davis, David Abeles, Will Connolly, David Patrick Kelly. 

Once the Musical London

Once - Original London

Phoenix Theatre - Opened 16 Mar 2013, closed 30 Nov 2013

Cast: Declan Bennett, Zrinka Cvitesic, Valda Aviks, Ryan Fletcher, Gareth O’Connor, Michael O’Connor, Miria Parvin, Jos Slovick, Jez Unwin, Gabriel Vick

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

An Irish busker falls in love with a Czech Piano player and make sweet music before he leaves her and moves away to New York. 

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box


Act 1

  • “Leave” – Guy
  • “Falling Slowly” – Guy & Girl
  • “The North Strand” – Ensemble
  • “The Moon” – Andrej (as Ensemble)
  • “Ej, Pada, Pada, Rosicka” – Ensemble
  • “If You Want Me” – Guy, Girl, & Ensemble
  • “Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy” – Guy
  • “Say It to Me Now” – Guy
  • “Abandoned in Bandon” – Bank Manager (composed by Martin Lowe, Andy Taylor and Enda Walsh)
  • “Gold” – Guy & Ensemble (composed by Fergus O’Farrell)
Act II 
  • “Sleeping” – Guy
  • “When Your Mind’s Made Up” – Guy, Girl, & Ensemble
  • “The Hill” – Girl
  • “Gold (A Cappella) ” – Company
  • “It Cannot Be About That” – Ensemble
  • “The Moon” – Company
  • “Falling Slowly (Reprise)” – Guy, Girl, & Ensemble
  • 2012 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by Actor in a Leading Role, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, 
  • 2012 Drama Desk: Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lyrics, Outstanding Director. 

On the Town

On the Town is a musical and film featuring music by Leonard Bernstein (West Side StoryWonderful Town) and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The musical was based on an idea by Jerome Robbins and puts many of his famous dances to music. Songs from the show have since become standards such as “New York, New York”, ” Lonely Town” and “I Can Cook Too”. The show follows a group of sailors who are on 24 hour leave and aim to find themselves an amazing woman. The show was moderately popular, but it was the film version, starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra that is most remembered by audiences. The score is often remembered over the book or dances, and is often performed by opera companies such as the English National Opera.

On the Town 1971 Playbill

Leonard Bernstein

Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Oliver Smith and Paul Feigay

George Abbott

Jerome Robbins

On the Town Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Adelphi Theatre - Opened 28 Dec 1944, closed 2 Feb 1946, 462 performances

Cast: John Battles, Cris Alexander, Nancy Walker, Sono Osato, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green (Ozzie)

On the Town Original London

Original London Production

Prince of Wales Theatre - Opened 30 May 1963, closed 1 Jan 1970, 62 performances

On the Town Broadway Revival

Broadway Revival

Imperial Theatre - Opened 31 Mar 1971, closed 1 Jan 1972

Cast: Donna McKechnie, Phyllis Newman, and Bernadette Peters

On the Town London Revival

London Revival

London Coliseum - Opened 20 Apr 2007, closed 25 May 2007

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


In the Brooklyn navy yard, three soldiers stumble off a ship at dawn ready to take on “New York, New York.” Ozzie is out to get as many girls as possible, while Gabey wants a real romance, and Chip is more interested in seeing tourist attractions. On their way into Manhattan, they see a poster of Miss Turnstiles who has been chosen to appear in subway stations for the month. Her real name is Ivy Smith, and she studies ballet at Carnegie Hall, painting at the Museum of Modern Art, while also loving the city’s vibrant club scene. They agree they’ll try to track her down over the course of the day and split up to look for her based on the information they find on the poster, which they’ve torn down for reference. An old lady spots them vandalising the station and reports the to a police officer, who begins to pursue them.

A female cab driver named Hildy takes a shining to Chip, who remains naïve of her intentions (“Come Up to My Place”). Ozzie arrives at the Museum of Natural History, even though he should be looking for Ivy at the Museum of Modern Art. A young anthropologist, Claire finds him attractive, particularly given his resemblance to an ancient ancestor of man she is studying. When they accidentally destroy a dinosaur skeleton, they are forced to flee the museum with the police in hot pursuit.

Gabey heads to Carnegie Hall, but on his own he begins to find that New York is a “Lonely Town.” Ivy is mid-lesson with Madam Dilly, but Gabey manages to sneak in and arrange a date with her later on in Times Square. Gabey is thrilled that he managed to snag a date with Ivy first (“Lucky to Be Happy”).

Claire and Ozzie get “Carried Away” in her uptown apartment, while Hildy is still trying to seduce Chip. Gabey is in Times Square waiting for Ivy when the other boys arrive with their respective dates. Unfortunately Madam Dilly has convinced Ivy she should work instead of fraternising with a sailor, so she does not arrive to meet Gabey. Instead she heads to work on Coney Island.

The group heads to a number of clubs in an attempt to cheer up Gabey, but they are unsuccessful. The sailors are sad that their 24 hour leave is drawing to a close, but they decide to visit Coney Island before they leave. Gabey finds Ivy dancing in a club, and is pleased to be reunited with her. The police arrive to arrest them for their various misdeeds, but the whole misunderstanding is explained and the boys are set free. They say goodbye to their girls and head back to their ship, where a new group of sailors get off for their own 24 hour adventure.


Act I

  • I Feel Like I’m Not Out of Bed Yet—Workmen
  • New York, New York—Ozzie, Chip and Gabey
  • Miss Turnstiles Ballet—Announcer, Contestants, Ivy Smith and Manhattanites
  • Gabey’s Comin’ (cut in original production, restored in some revivals)—Gabey, Ozzie, Chip and Girls
  • Come Up to My Place—Hildy Esterhazy and Chip
  • Carried Away—Claire DeLoone and Ozzie
  • Lonely Town/Pas de deux—Gabey and Dance Ensemble
  • Carnegie Hall Pavane (Do-Do-Re-Do)—Madam Dilly, Ivy and Women of Carnegie Hall
  • Lucky to Be Me—Gabey and Full Company
  • I Understand—Pitkin W. Bridgework
  • Carried Away (Reprise)-Ozzie and Claire
  • I Can Cook Too—Hildy Esterhazy
  • Times Square Ballet—Company

Act II 

  • Entr’acte—Orchestra
  • So Long, Baby—Diamond Eddie’s Girls
  • I Wish I Was Dead (In English & Spanish)—Diana Dream, Senorita Dolores Dolores
  • Ya Got Me—Hildy, Claire, Ozzie, and Chip
  • Pitkin’s Song (I Understand Reprise)—Pitkin
  • Subway Ride/Imaginary Coney Island—Gabey, Ivy and Dance Ensemble
  • Some Other Time—Claire, Hildy, Ozzie and Chip
  • The Real Coney Island—Rajah Bimmy
  • Finale—Full Company

UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark


Of Thee I Sing

Of Thee I Sing  features music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin, along with a book by George S Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. The show was the first ever musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The plot follows John P Wintergreen who runs for President of the USA. Whilst his manifesto stands up on the ‘love’ platform, he falls for the wrong woman and finds himself in a difficult political situation. The original production was a critical and commercial success and has led to numerous revivals and concerts over the past 75 years. It was the longest running Gershwin musical of their lifetime.

Of Thee I Sing

George Gershwin

Ira Gershwin

George S. Kaufman

Sam H. Harris

George S. Kaufman

George Hale

Of Thee I Sing Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

46th Street Theatre - Opened 26 Dec 1931, closed 14 Jan 1933

Cast: William Gaxton, Lois Moran, Victor Moore, Grace Brinkley, George Murphy, June O’Dea, Florenz Ames

Of Thee I Sing 1st Broadway Revival

Broadway Revival

Imperial Theatre - Opened 15 May 1933, closed 10 Jun 1933

Of Thee I Sing 2nd Broadway Revival

Broadway Revival

Ziegfeld Theatre - Opened 5 May 1952, closed 5 Jul 1952

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


In America during the 1930s, a campaign is underway supporting ‘Wintergreen for President’. John P Wintergreen has been nominated alongside his Vice Presidential candidate Alexander Throttlebottom. As they meet together to discuss party tactics, they ask a room cleaner what issues are important to her. She initially says money, but changes her mind and says that love is the most important thing. The politicians decide that the campaign should run on the principle of love. They decide that Wintergreen needs to find a perfect wife, and set up a nationwide pageant to find the ideal candidate.

John is not particularly happy wit the event and instead falls for Mary, the event organiser. The judges select Diana Devereaux, a southern belle to be his wife, but John refuses and runs off with Mary, whose corn muffins keep the judges at bay.

The theme of love begins to sweep the nation, and as the crowds gather John proposes to Mary and she accepts. He leads the crowds in a rendition of the title number. Wintergreen wins the election by a landslide and holds the wedding on the same day as the inauguration. Just as they are about to tie the knott, Diana appears from the crowd to hold him for breech of contract, saying she was supposed to be marrying him. The Supreme Court rule against her saying Mary’s corn muffins are more important and once again they sing a victorious rendition of the title song.

As John and Mary settle into life in the White House, Throttlebottom realises he has to govern over the senate. Diana is generating support throughout the USA telling anyone who will listen that she has been wronged by the President. Diana is revealed to be a descendant of Napoleon and therefore has French blood. The French ambassador insists that Wintergreen marry Diana to maintain good diplomatic relations between the two countries. Everyone can do nothing but agree, leaving Mary and John to declare their eternal love for each other.

Diana brings the President up in front of the Senate saying she was jilted and a contract was breached. Mary declares she is pregnant and the senators decide they cannot arrest an expectant father. The French Ambassador reveals that because of this event, the birth rate in France has decreased and says that the child should be given over to France as a symbolic gesture.

The baby is born and everyone begins to celebrate. The French Ambassador delivers his final ultimatum as they find out that Mary has actually given birth to twins. Wintergreen has an idea, reminding everyone that the constitution says that if the President is unable to fulfil his duties, then the Vice President has to step up to the mark. He suggests that Throttlebottom then marries Diana instead of him. Everyone is happy and sings a rousing chorus of ‘Of Thee I Sing’.


Act I

  • Wintergreen for President
  • Who is the Lucky Girl to Be?
  • The Dimple on Your Knee
  • Don’t Worry, Little Girl
  • Because, Because
  • As the Chairman of the Committee
  • How Beautiful
  • Never Was There a Girl So Fair
  • Some Girls Can Bake a Pie
  • Love is Sweeping the Country
  • Of Thee I Sing
  • Entrance of the Supreme Court Judges
  • A Kiss for Cinderella
  • Is It True or Am I Dreaming?
  • I Was the Most Beautiful Blossom
  • Some Girls Can Bake a Pie (reprise)
  • Of Thee I Sing (reprise)
Act II 
  • Hello, Good Morning
  • Who Cares?
  • Garcon, S’il Vous Plait
  • Entrance of the French Ambassador
  • The Illegitimate Daughter
  • We’ll Impeach Him
  • Who Cares? (reprise)
  • The Senatorial Roll Call
  • The Impeachment Trial:
  • Wheras
  • The Illegitimate Daughter (reprise)
  • Jilted, Jilted!
  • I’m About to Be a Mother
  • Posterity is Just Around the Corner
  • Trumpeter, Blow Your Horn
  • On That Matter No One Budges
  • Of Thee I Sing (reprise)

1932 Pulitzer Prize for Drama


UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International



Once On This Island

Once on This Island comes from the writers of ‘Ragtime’, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens as is based on the 1985 novel ‘My Love, My Love’. The show is set in the French Antilles in the Caribbean and is known by many people as the Caribbean retelling of The Little Mermaid. An orphaned girl brings together two feuding worlds by falling in love with a boy from a different social class. The people of the island are watched over by the Gods of Love, Earth, Water and Death and pray to them to help their lives. The show is often performed by amateur theatre groups, and is a useful tool to explore class, gender and racial differences. The London production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Once on this Island

Stephen Flaherty

Lynn Ahrens

Lynn Ahrens

My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy

Shubert Organization, Capital Cities/ABC, Suntory International and James Walsh in association with Playwrights Horizons

Graciela Daniele

Graciela Daniele

Once on This Island Original Broadway

Once on This Island - Original Broadway

The Booth Theatre - Opened 18 Oct 1990, closed 1 Dec 1991

Cast: Jerry Dixon, Andrea Frierson, Sheila Gibbs, La Chanze, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Afi McClendon, Gerry McIntyre, Milton Craig Nealey, Nikki Rene, Eric Riley & Ellis E. Williams

Once on this Island Original London

Once on This Island - Original London

The Peacock Theatre - Opened 1 Sep 1994, closed 1 Jan 1970

Once on This Island London Revival

Once on This Island - London Revival

The Hackney Empire - Opened 1 Jun 2009, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Sharon D Clarke

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


The story begins on a dark stormy night where a small girl cries in the dark. The villagers tell her the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who fell in love with a grand homme, Daniel. Although they were from two different walks of life, they were brought together through the intervention of the four Gods: Asaka, Mother of the Earth; Agwe God of Water; Erzulie goddess of love; and Papa Ge the sly demon of death. On one side of the island the dark skinned peasants live in poverty, and on the other the lighter skinned Grand Hommes, descendants of French planters. Ti Moune is saved after Agwe unleashes a storm on the villages and is found by Mama Euralie and Tonton Julian.

As Ti Moune grows up she is bored of life, and prays to the gods to hear her prayer and bring something exciting into her life. The Gods laugh but Erzulie decides to give her love, saying it is the strongest force of nature. Agwe sends a rainstorm that results in a car crash and Ti Moune saves Daniel from the accident. None of the other peasants want to help save him, but Ti Moune falls in love with him and swears to look after him. Papa Ge arrives to take his life, but Ti Moune trades her own life for his. She now belongs to Papa Ge.

Daniel returns to the land of the Beauxhommes and Ti Moune is devestated. She decides she will travel to see him so they can get married. She is helped on her journey by the gods who give her the gifts of nature and love to aid her journey. As she arrives at the palace, Daniel does not recognise her. She describes the scar on his chest and he slowly remembers. He begins to fall in love with her again and the peasants gossip about the relationship between a rich Beauxhomme and a peasant girl.

At a ball held by the upper levels of society, Andrea, Daniel’s intended, makes Ti Moune dance to try and humiliate her. She dances for the gathered crown who are impressed by her, but she finds out that Daniel is betrothed to Andrea against his wishes. She is heartbroken, and Papa Ge arrives to remind her that her life belongs to him. He tells her that she can only revoke the bargain if she kills Daniel. She sneaks into Daniel’s room with a knife, but can’t bring herself to kill him, proving Erzulie’s point that love is always stronger than death. She is thrown out of the palace but she waits for days at the gates to see Daniel, just as Daniel and Andrea are married. Ti Moune is ignored by Daniel, but he places a coin in her hand, as is the tradition of giving peasants money after a wedding. Erzulie guides her to the ocean and Agwe allowed her to drown peacefully. Papa Ge then took her body back to shore where Asaka transformed her into a tree and the gates of the hotel Beauxhommes. It becomes a symbol of freedom and life and the show ends as we see Daniel’s son meet another peasant girl and the story is told again and again.

  • We Dance
  • One Small Girl
  • Waiting For Life
  • And The Gods Heard Her Prayer
  • Rain
  • Pray
  • Forever Yours
  • The Sad Tale Of The Beauxhommes
  • Ti Moune
  • Mama Will Provide
  • Some Say
  • The Human Heart
  • Some Girls
  • The Ball
  • A Part Of Us
  • Why We Tell The Story

1995 Olivier Awards: Best New Musical


UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International


Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon a Mattress features music by Mary Rodgers along with lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson and Dean Fuller. The musical original started life off-Broadway, before coming to the mainstream theatre in 1959. The script is based on the classic fairy tale ‘The Princess and the Pea’ and features a number of catchy songs in an otherwise overlooked show. The musical has never been particularly popular in Britain, although it remains popular with American high schools and summer camps. The show had a revival in 1998 starring Sarah Jessica Parker in her first musical theatre role.

Once Upon a Mattress

Mary Rodgers

Marshall Barer

Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer and Dean Fuller

The Princess and the Pea, a popular children’s fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson

T. Edward Hambleton, Norris Houghton, William Eckart & Jean Eckart

George Abbott

Joe Layton


Original Broadway Production

Alvin Theatre, Neil Simon Theatre - Opened 11 May 1959, closed 1 Jan 1970, 244 performances

Cast: Joseph Bova, Carol Burnett, Allen Case, Jack Gilford, Anne Jones, Matt Mattox, Harry Snow, Jane White.

Original London Production

Adelphi Theatre - Opened 1 Sep 1960, closed 1 Oct 1960

Broadway Revival

Broadhurst Theatre - Opened 19 Dec 1996, closed 1 Jan 1970, 188 performances

Cast: David Hibbard, Sarah Jessica Parker, Daivd Aaron Baker, Mary Lou Rosato, Heath Lamberts, Jane Krakowski, Lewis Cleale, Lawrence Clayton, Tom Alan Robbins, Ann Brown.

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


The musical is set in a medieval kingdom ruled by Queen Aggravain and the mute King Sextimus. The Minstrel acts as the narrator and begins to tell the tale of the Princess and the Pea which differs somewhat from the tale we all know and love. The Princess was actually one of 13 tested by the Evil Queen. We see the 12th Princess being tested with an impossible quiz and she fails the final question that would be impossible for her to answer. The Queen has created a law in the town that says no one can wed until Prince Dauntless shares his wedding bed, but she is unwilling to let any girl be good enough for him.

One of the Knights Sir Harry realises that his girlfriend Lady Larken is pregnant and they are worried about the consequences. Larken says she will run away to hide her pregnancy but Sir Harry says he would rather try and find a suitable Princess himself to lift the town from the law. He tries to convince the Queen who is persuaded by the Prince to let him help. Princess Winnifred the Woebegone, an unrefined Princess travels to the castle and charms the court, but is instantly disliked by the Queen. The mute King finds out about the pregnancy and mimes it to his Jester and Minstrel, telling them to to say a word.

The Queen devises another impossible task helped by her Wizard companion. They plan to put a tiny pea underneath the 20 thick mattress to see if the Princess is sensitive enough to marry her son. Winnifred tells the Prince and court about her home in the marshlands and everyone instantly likes her. Lady Larken fights with Harry and promises she will run away. The King attempts to stop her running away but then lets her escape to Normandy. That night the Queen hosts a ball making Winnifred dance the hardest dance possible, ‘The Spanish Panic’, but instead of collapsing herself, everyone else becomes a victim. Dauntless tells her that he loves her.

During the night the Queen sets up the 20 mattresses for her challenge. She spots Larken running away as the Minstrel tries to protect her. Winnifred and Dauntless study for the test and she complains about wanting a ‘happily ever after’. Meanwhile the King has a man to man talk with Dauntless about the birds and the bees through mime.

Lady Larken and Sir Harry confess that their love is as strong as ever as Winnifred passes the test and has a restless night on the bed. The Queen desperately tries to find a way to make the test invalid, but Dauntless yells at her telling her to ‘shut up’. This act of anger breaks the curse on the King and makes the Queen become mute, as the King lets Dauntless marry Winnifred. They force the Queen to hop around the room as punishment.

It is revealed that the only reason Winnifred passed the test is because the Jester heard of the plan and planted metal weapons on each layer to give her trouble sleeping. He then removes them but Winnifred still struggles to fall asleep, even with just the pea disturbing her. As she falls asleep everyone lives happily ever after.



  • Overture
  • Many moons ago
  • An Opening For A Princess
  • In A Little While
  • In A Little While Reprise
  • Shy
  • Fanfare
  • The Ministrel, The Jester and I
  • Sensitivity
  • The Swamps of Home
  • Fight-Fight
  • Spanish panic
  • Tents
  • Normandy
  • Spanish PL NO. 2
  • Song of love


  • Entr’acte
  • Opening – Act II
  • Happily ever after
  • Man to man talk
  • Very soft shoes
  • Three O’clock In The Morning
  • Yesterday I loved you
  • Nightingale Lullaby
  • Wizard
  • Finale
  • Bows And Exit Music

Tony Award Nominations: Best Musical, Best Leading Actress, Best Musical Revival.


UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International




The great British musical Oliver! has entertained the world for over 50 years and become one of the West End’s most loved shows, thanks to numerous revivals with first rate performers. The show is also performed by various school and youth groups all over the country each year. Written by Lionel Bart the show is based on the novel by Charles Dickens and follows the plucky Oliver Twist in his plight around Victorian London.


Lionel Bart

Lionel Bart

Lionel Bart

'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens

David Merrick & Donald Albery

Peter Cole


Original London Production

New Theatre (now the Noel Coward) - Opened 30 Jun 1960, closed 1 Jan 1970, 2618 performances

Cast: Ron Moody, Georgia Brown, Danny Sewell

Original Broadway Production

Imperial Theatre - Opened 6 Jan 1963, closed 1 Jan 1970

First London Revival

Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward) - Opened 6 Jan 1977, closed 1 Jan 1970

Second London Revival

Aldwych Theatre - Opened 1 Dec 1983, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Patti LuPone,

Broadway Revival

Mark Hellinger Theatre - Opened 29 Apr 1984, closed 9 May 1984

Cast: Ron Moody, Patti LuPone,

1994 London Revival

London Palladium - Opened 8 Dec 1994, closed 21 Feb 1998

Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Sally Dexter

Oliver Drury Lane 2009

2009 London Revival

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 14 Feb 2009, closed 8 Jan 2011

Cast: Rowan Aitkinson, Jodie Prenger (winner of BBC’s I’d Do Anything – search for the stars of Oliver!)

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


Twitter Synopsis:

Greedy orphan runs away and becomes a pickpocket under watchful eye of criminal mastermind. Buxom girlfriend’s defense leads to murder.  

Add your own Twitter style synopsis (140 characters only!) in the comments box

The show opens in a workhouse, where boys line up to be fed their daily portion of gruel, wishing for something more, “Food, Glorious Food”. As Mr Bumble and Widow Corney teach the boys to be thankful to God, young Oliver Twist is dared to ask for more food. Bumble is shocked by the request (“Oliver”) and decides that the boy is trouble and needs to leave the workhouse, selling him to an undertaker, “Boy For Sale”, not before suggesting his amorous advances to Widow Corney, “I Shall Scream”. At the undertakers parlour he is warned against behaving badly as Mr Sowerberry tells him “That’s Your Funeral”. Alone, Oliver wishes for a happier life and sings “Where is Love?”. He decides to run away to London, and dashes off in the middle of the night.

As he arrives in bustling Victorian London he is greeted by the Artful Dodger, a boy his age who earns a living by pick pocketing on the streets. Dodger introduces him to his way of life and says ‘Consider Yourself’ one of the gang. He leads him back to see Fagin, the crook who runs the thieves kitchen. In Fagin’s den, Oliver is surprised at the number of boys working for him. They teach him that “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two” in order to survive. Whilst Fagin looks after the boys, they are all under the watchful eye of sinister robber Bill Skyes, whose girlfriend Nancy is sympathetic to the gang. Nancy tells Oliver that “It’s a Fine Life” if he is happy to have nothing. The boys are playful towards Nancy and her friend Bet, telling them that “I’d Do Anything”. Fagin has enough of their games and send them out to the streets to pick pocket, getting them to bring back whatever they can find, but “Be Back Soon”. Whilst on the rob Oliver gets into trouble when he makes a failed attempt at trying to take Mr Brownlow’s wallet. He tries to escape but is captured by the police.

Act II opens at the Three Cripples Arms where Nancy works as a barmaid. She sings an old drinking song “Oom pa Pa” to entertain the guests. Bill Sykes arrives and reminds everyone why they should fear “My Name”. He is furious to hear that Oliver has been captured and concocts a plan with Fagin and Dodger to get him back. Alone, Nancy admits that she will do anything for Bill, despite his violent nature “As Long As He Needs Me”.

Over at Mr Brownlow’s house in Bloomsbury, Oliver is being cared for by the Doctor and Housemaid who sings “Where is Love? (reprise)” to him. They discuss his condition and send him out to run an errand. Oliver is taken in by the beauty of Bloomsbury that opens out in front of him, “Who Will Buy?” As the crowds disperse, Nancy appears to try and get Oliver back and they kidnap him, taking him back to the thieves kitchen. Nancy argues with Bill about the plan (“It’s a Fine Life Reprise”) and he beats her. Fagin questions his future and whether or not he should continue life as a thief, (“Reviewing the Situation”).

Over at the workhouse, Mr Bumble and the now married Mrs Bumble discover a locket that belonged to Oliver’s mother Agnes. They realise that he may have wealthy connections, and journey to find the boy (“Oliver (reprise)”. Mr Brownlow throws the pair out, but recognises the picture in the locket to be his daughter, meaning that Oliver is in fact his grandson. He swears to find the boy and look after him for good. Nancy visits Mr Brownlow and tells him she will bring Oliver to him that night on London Bridge. She knows she is going against Bill’s wishes, but wants to help the boy have a better life, (“As Long As He Needs Me Reprise”). Bill catches wind of the plan and rushes to London Bridge to meet Nancy and Oliver. He intercepts the meeting and beats Nancy to death as she struggles. A chase ensues across London until the police track Bill down and shoot him. Oliver is reunited with his grandfather and they both mourn the death of Nancy. Fagin and Dodger decide it is time to move on with their life of crime (“Reviewing the Situation Reprise”) as the curtain falls.


Act I

  • Overture
  • Food, Glorious Food
  • Oliver!
  • Widow Corney’s Parlour
  • I Shall Scream
  • Boy For Sale
  • That’s Your Funeral
  • Where Is Love
  • Oliver’s Escape
  • Consider Yourself
  • You’ve Got To Pick-A-Pocket Or Two
  • Rum Tum Tum
  • It’s A Fine Life
  • I’d Do Anything
  • Be Back Soon
  • The Robbery
Act II
  • Oom-Pah-Pah
  • My Name!
  • As Long As He Needs Me,
  • Where Is Love (Reprise)
  • Who Will Buy
  • It’s A Fine Life (Reprise)
  • Reviewing The Situation
  • Oliver! (Reprise)
  • As Long As He Needs Me (Reprise)
  • London Bridge
  • Reviewing The Situation (Reprise)

1963 Tony Awards: Best Performance, Best Score, Best MD, Best Scenic Design

1997 Olivier Award: Best Actor (Robert Lindsay)


UK: Music Scope UK

USA: Tams-Witmark



Oklahoma! is perhaps one of the most important pieces of musical theatre of the Twentieth Century. The iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein score inspired a new generation of Broadway musicals, and pushed the boundaries of the genre. With impressive choreography by Agnes de Mille, featuring one of the first dream ballet sequences seen on the stage, this show changed the way modern audiences would appreciate musicals for the next fifty years. Originally opening in 1943 on Broadway, the show ran for an impressive 5 years and was immortalised by a Hollywood film version. The state of Oklahoma took the title song to be the official anthem of the state, solidifying the show’s cultural impact.

Oklahoma Original Playbill

Richard Rodgers

Oscar Hammerstein II

Oscar Hammerstein II

the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs

Theatre Guild

Rouben Mamoulian

Agnes de Mille

Oklahoma Original Broadway

Oklahoma! Original Broadway Production

St James Theatre - Opened 31 Mar 1943, closed 29 May 1948

Cast: Alfred Drake, Joan Roberts, Howard Da Silva, Betty Garde, Celeste Holm

Oklahoma Original London

Oklahoma! Original London Production

Theatre Royal Drury Lane - Opened 30 Apr 1947, closed 1 Jan 1970, 1543 performances

Cast: Howard Keel and Betty Jane Watson

Oklahoma First Broadway Revival

Oklahoma! 1951 Broadway Revival

The Broadway Theatre - Opened 9 May 1951, closed 1 Jan 1970, 100 performances

Cast: Ridge Bond, Patricia Northrop, Henry Clarke, Jacqueline Sundt

Oklahoma Second Broadway Revival

Oklahoma! 1979 Broadway Revival

The Palace Theatre - Opened 13 Dec 1979, closed 24 Aug 1980

Cast: Christine Andreas, Laurence Guittard, Mary Wickes, Christine Ebersole, Martin Vidnovic, Harry Groener, Bruce Adler

Oklahoma London Revival

Oklahoma! 1980 London Revival

The Palace Theatre - Opened 17 Sep 1980, closed 19 Sep 1981

Cast: John Diedrich as Curly and Alfred Molina as Jud

Oklahoma National Theatre

Oklahoma! National Theatre Revival

The National Theatre, The Lyceum Theatre - Opened 15 Jul 1998, closed 1 Jan 1970

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, Shuler Hensley, Maureen Lipman, Jessica Boevers

Oklahoma 2002 Broadway Revival

Oklahoma! 2002 Broadway Revival

George Gershwin Theatre - Opened 21 Mar 2002, closed 23 Feb 2003

Cast: Josefina Gabrielle, Shuler Hensley, Patrick Wilson, Andrea Martin

What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box


As the sun rises over the rolling fields of Oklahoma, we hear the voice of Curley McLain singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” as he startles Aunt Eller who is sat on her farm churning butter. Her niece Laurey Williams enters and teases him. She pretends not to like him and refuses his invitation to the box social that coming evening. He tries to woo her by singing about his “Surrey With a Fringe on Top” and she is almost bought until he admits it isn’t real. She storms off before her can tell her that he really has rented one for the party. Jud Fry, the lonely and misanthropic farm hand has become obsessed with Laurey and invites her to the party with him. She accepts only to annoy Curly.

At the train station, Will Parker has returned from a visit to “Kansas City” and tells the crowd of all the amazing things he has seen. He also got $50 – the amount needed to secure the hand of his intended, Ado Annie. Annie confesses to Laurey that whilst Will was away she fell for a travelling Peddler, Ali Hakim. Laurey tells her she needs to choose who she wants, but she simply “Can’t Say No” to male attention. The girls arrive to assist with the preparations for the party and Laurey tries to hide her feelings towards Curly and his new date Gertie Cummings, (“Many a New Day”).

Ado Annie’s father Carnes is not pleased with Ali Hakim and thretens him with his shotgun. Ali Hakim does not particularly want to get married (“It’s A Scandal, It’s An Outrage”). Curly realises that Laurey is going with Jud to the party and pretends not to be upset, (“People Will Say We’re in Love”). He goes to talk to Jud and convinces him that no one would miss him if he died, (“Poor Jud is Daid”). They talk about Laurey and this makes Jud more determined to keep her in his “Lonely Room”.

Laurey buys some smelling salts from Ali Hakim to help her reveal her true love and she falls asleep, “Out of My Dreams”. A dream ballet scene begins, showing Laurey dancing with Curly. This happiness is interrupted by Jud Fry who fights with Curly and kills him. As the dream turns to a nightmare, Jud wakes her in time to take her to the party.

The box social begins with a barn dance, but division begins as the “Farmer and the Cowman” argue with each other. Aunt Eller tries to control the proceedings as the basket auction begins. Ali Hakim tries to rid himself of Ado Annie and buys Will’s belongings for $50, so he can now marry Annie. When the bidding on Laurey’s box begins Curly and Jud go head to head, with Curly bidding everything he owns for her basket. Will tells Annie that now they are going to be married she has to be faithful and not flirt with others, (“All Er Nuthin”).

Jud confronts Laurey and pressures her into revealing her feelings for him. She tells him she doesn’t like him in that way, and when he gets aggressive she fires him. She cries out for Curley’s help and they admit to each other they are actually in love, (“People Will Say We’re in Love Reprise”). Ali Hakim decides to leave and tells Annie she should marry Will.

Laurey and Curly are finally married and everyone rejoices in the territory becoming a state, (“Oklahoma!). Jud arrives drunk and attacks Curly, and falls on his knife and dies. The guests take him away, declare Curly not guilty and he and Laurey ride off into the sunset in the surrey.

Act I
  • Overture – Orchestra
  • Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’ – Curly
  • Laurey’s Entrance – Laurey & Curly
  • The Surrey With the Fringe On Top – Curly, Laurey, & Aunt Eller
  • Kansas City – Will Parker, Aunt Eller, Male Ensemble
  • I Cain’t Say No – Ado Annie
  • Entrance of Ensemble (“I Cain’t Say No” and “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’”) – Will, Ado Annie, Curly, Aunt Eller & Ensemble
  • Many a New Day – Laurey and Female Ensemble
  • It’s a Scandal! It’s a Outrage! – Ali Hakim & Ensemble
  • People Will Say We’re in Love – Curly & Laurey
  • Pore Jud is Daid – Curly & Jud
  • Lonely Room – Jud
  • Out of My Dreams/Dream Ballet – Laurey & Dream Figures

Act II
  • Entr’acte – Orchestra
  • The Farmer and the Cowman – Andrew Carnes, Aunt Eller, Curly, Gertie Cummings, Will, Ado Annie, Laurey, Ike Skidmore, Cord Elam & Ensemble
  • All Er Nuthin’ – Will & Ado Annie
  • People Will Say We’re in Love (Reprise) – Curly & Laurey
  • Oklahoma! – Curly, Laurey, Aunt Eller, Ike Skidmore, Cord Elam, Fred, Andrew Carnes & Ensemble
  • Finale Ultimo (“Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’” and “People Will Say We’re in Love”) – Company
1999 Olivier Awards
  • Outstanding Musical Production
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Musical – Shuler Hensley
  • Best Set Designer – Anthony Ward
  • Best Theatre Choreographer – Susan Stroman
2002 Tony Awards
  • Best Featured Actor in a Musical – Shuler Hensley

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: R & H Theatricals