The movies are finally back in theaters in a big way! While streaming services do continue to contribute some much-needed variety to the film ecosystem, I was able to catch a ton of my favorites in theaters in 2022. There have been a lot of big swings in film this year, some of which paid off, and others… not so much. More than most years, I feel there are even more diamonds in the the rough that I haven’t been able to catch yet. Here are my favorites of the 60 new films I saw in 2022.(more…)
‘Oklahoma!’ (2019 Revival): A Deconstruction of a Theatrical Classic
Take one of the most famous musicals of all time, the 1931 Rodgers and Hammerstein Oklahoma!. It’s nearly a century old, and is dated in its takes on gender, sexual dynamics, and traditional American values from the time. It has some darkness lurking in its story, but it’s always buried under the surface, opting for unbridled optimism instead. It’s fun, it’s a crowd-pleaser, it’s a classic.
Say you want to deconstruct and satirize Oklahoma!. Why not make a new musical (Wyoming!), a commentary on some of the messed up norms that are accepted in the name of a fun, surface-level musical?
Now imagine that instead of making this new satire, you simply change the tone of the original Oklahoma! musical to bring all of its darkness right to the forefront. That’s exactly what the Oklahoma! 2019 revival does; the lyrics and script are all identical to the original, and yet the sharp edge is front and center rather than buried beneath glitz and glam.(more…)