Stephen R. Buntrock and Amy Bodnarin Oklahoma!(Photo: Joan Marcus)
Stephen R. Buntrock and Amy Bodnar
in Oklahoma!
(Photo: Joan Marcus)
The Royal National Theatre production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma! will close on Broadway following the 3pm performance on Sunday, February 23 at the Gershwin Theatre. The date of the closing is the one year anniversary of the show's first New York performance; previews began on February 23, 2002 and the official opening was March 21.

The closing is sooner than expected, given that recent ads had indicated that the production would run through the spring. According to a press representative for the show, "The bottom just fell out. Right now, people are having no trouble getting tickets for Hairspray or Mamma Mia!, so everything farther down the ladder has really been suffering."

Though the production received extraordinary praise when it premiered in the West End, the Broadway transfer was greeted more coolly by critics. In their TheaterMania review of the show, Barbara & Scott Siegel wrote that "If this is not the great Oklahoma! that we had expected from all the hype it received in London, it is certainly a welcome show in the aftermath of September 11. The American heartland, its people, and its values are roundly praised in song and dance -- and that feels pretty good right now."

Presented by Cameron Mackintosh, the RNT Oklahoma! is directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman. At its opening, the show starred Patrick Wilson as Curly, Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, Shuler Hensley as Jud, Andrea Martin as Aunt Eller, Justin Bohon as Will Parker, Jessica Boevers as Ado Annie, and Aasif Mandvi as Ali Hakim; Stephen R. Buntrock, Amy Bodnar, Merwin Foard, and Patty Duke recently replaced Wilson, Gabrielle, Hensley, and Martin, respectively.

Tickets for the final weeks of Oklahoma! performances are available by calling Ticket Master at 212-307-4100, online at www.ticketmaster.com, or at The Gershwin box office. For further information on the production, visit the website www.oklahoma-themusical.com.