Imagine life in New York City as a sailor on leave in the midst of World War II, with only one day to have the time of your life.
This footloose and fancy free spirit is captured in the University of Oklahoma’s upcoming production of “On the Town,” a Broadway musical that mirrored real life when it originally opened in 1944.
The show promises to be a humorous jaunt through the Big Apple as it tells the story of three sailors on a 24-hour long shore leave, set to the famed music of Leonard Bernstein.
With music favorites such as “Come Up to My Place,” “Lucky to Be Me,” and “New York, New York,” the production comes packed full of both romance and humor.
“It is a dance musical. Dance is the storytelling component of the show, but I also don’t think people realize how funny the show is, how comedic it is,” Director Lyn Cramer said. “All scenes are very tight, the comedy is fast paced and really fun.”
The humor in the show is historically significant. Cramer said in its opening in 1944, service men and women would see the production on Broadway before going off to war. The experience was uplifting.
“This was the one show they saw before they left, because it’s about cramming everything you can as a young person into 24 hours of fun,” she said. “When you’re going off to war and you don’t know if you’re going to come back, it can be a very daunting thought.”
Cramer said “On the Town” is a production years in the making for OU. Because it is so enormous in scope, the show is seldom produced by anyone except for professional companies with a lot of money.
It’s one of the reasons Cramer said she is so excited to see OU tackle the show.