OKLAHOMA CITY — The state-wide premiere of Oklahoma! is set for Labor Day weekend at Arts Festival Oklahoma.
The stage musical debuted in 1943. It was adapted to film in 1955 and met with rave reviews.
Back when he was a State Legislator, former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh introduced a bill to change the state song to Oklahoma!.
“We had a state song, but it had no pep. It was historical, but it had no excitement. I wanted (the state song) to be Oklahoma! so I introduced the bill.” Nigh said.
In 2007, Oklahoma! was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.
“I think it speaks to the state as a whole. It speaks to communities as a whole and really creates and source of pride. That’s a good thing.” said Roy Williams of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
Next month, the brand new digitally re-mastered film will premiere at Arts Festival Oklahoma on the campus of Oklahoma City Community College.
“So we think it will be one more element for the festival. Our new theater which is really close to the grounds where the festival is held. It will attract more people to the college, more people to the festival, and really highlight something in our history that’s really great, the musical Oklahoma!.” said OCCC President, Dr. Paul Sechrist.
OCCC has scheduled three FREE shows: 1pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival.
“Go see the movie.” Nigh said. “You’ll love it. You’ll be proud you’re an Oklahoman.”
Organizers are in the early stages of planning a series of statewide movie showings across Oklahoma is 2015.