Academy Award-winning Hollywood musical "Oklahoma!" returns to theaters nationwide for the first time in wide release in 60 years fully restored and with extended pre-show featurette featuring Okie native Kristin Chenoweth singing songs from the classic musical based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II stage production. The limited theatrical re-release, a partnership between BY Experience and Rodgers & Hammerstein, An Imagem Company, begins November 1st with more than 800 screenings nationwide.
The theatrical re-release marks the first time theater goers will see the fully restored film on cinema screens. More than 50 professionals spent more than 3,500 hours restoring the film's 275,678 frames. The nine-month process was completed early in 2014 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
"I can remember watching 'Oklahoma!' and my heart soared," said Chenoweth. "A musical about the very place where I was growing up that has always remained special to me. From the very first downbeat of the overture to the very last note of this score, 'Oklahoma!' is my favorite musical." The multi-hyphenate performer filmed the featurette last month while performing several songs from the film at New York City's famed Broadway supper club Feinstein's/54 Below for an audience of theater students from the American Theatre Wing Intern Network and SpringboardNYC programs. Chenoweth is a passionate advocate of providing young people from all backgrounds with access to theater and is a supporter of The Kristin Chenoweth Theater at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center.
"Oklahoma!" was released October 11, 1955, but its origins date back a dozen years earlier when legendary musical writing team Rodgers & Hammerstein staged their first Broadway production "Oklahoma!." The stage production inspired the classic movie, which was the first feature film shot in the Todd-AO 70 mm process. Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger and Eddie Albert starred in the Academy Award-winning film, which was inducted into the prestigious National Film Registry in 2007. Memorable songs from the film include "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "People Will Say We're in Love," "I Cain't Say No" and the iconic title song "Oklahoma!."
"When Rodgers and Hammerstein produced the movie version of their musical, they opted to be the first motion picture filmed in Mike Todd's then brand new Todd-AO technology," explained Ted Chapin, president and chief creative officer, Rodgers & Hammerstein. "That was incredibly exciting for the movie industry at the time. The fact that Fox's technical crew could restore the original so brilliantly is equally exciting."
"Few movie musicals capture the American spirit more than 'Oklahoma!,' with cowboys and the independent women they love, in the sprawling turn-of-the-century southwest, all set to the unforgettable songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein," said Julie Borchard-Young, co-president of BY Experience. "We're so proud to be partnering with Rodgers & Hammerstein on this memorable cinematic event."
Advance Tickets: $16 adults; $14 seniors; $12 students and children plus applicable fees. Lincoln Theatre Members receive $2 off per ticket.