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May 25, 2004


Farmer and the Cowman Hoedown

Like Jazz and NFL Football, the musical theater is a uniquely American art form. Oklahoma is the purest example of the Broadway Musical. It has all the essential elements: great tunes, clever lyrics, wonderful book, exceptional dance, exciting staging, and it is a hoot. Some would argue that My Fair Lady is better written or West Side Story is better scored. It would be hard to contest this. But Fair Lady borrows from no less than GBS, and the other work is from the Bard himself by way of Bernstein. No Fair! The musical is an American art form, not an English one. Oklahoma has the message that we should carry out from our borders to the world. Laurey's Aunt Eller sings it in the "The Farmer and The Cowman" number in Act II. It goes: "I don't say I'm no better than anybody else, but I'll be damned if I ain't just as good."

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