(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 7/5; via Pam Green.)

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — It’s a brash, fresh wind that’s sweepin’ down the plain of “Oklahoma!” these days, the kind that dispels mists and must. Daniel Fish’s vibrant, essential excavation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 classic — which opened on Thursday at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College — asks that we listen with virgin ears to the show that changed the course of the Broadway musical.

And what do we hear? Why, America singing, of course, in all its insolence and innocence, its optimism and anxiety, its gregariousness and its guardedness — America as it was, and is, and probably shall ever be. I caught the production’s second-night performance, on the eve of the Fourth of July, and it seemed as appropriate to the holiday as “The Nutcracker” does to the Christmas season.


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