Check Out That Sunset!

We just saw a high school performance of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, and I was surprised at how much darker it was than I remembered.  Aside from the cynical humor of the Ado Annie subplot, the story of the brooding, uncouth Jud is really disturbing.  He’s scorned for hiding away in his lonely smokehouse with his dirty pictures, but it’s really unclear how much of this is his fault; do people really treat him like dirt, because he’s the lowly hired hand, or is he just imagining it?  My husband pointed out that he’s not the only one to enjoy dirty pictures or lust after women–Will shows all the cowboys his special picture tube, and even Aunt Eller joins in–but for some reason everyone except Jud is excused because they’re funny, or they’re just boys being boys.

“Everything’s up to date in Kansas City! / They’ve gone about as…

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