OKLAHOMA! Celeste Holm's annotated script and song book for Green Grow the Lilacs, the musical that became Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
Two items, comprising: Ms. Holm's signed and notated original script for Green Grow the Lilacs, 30 typed scripts sheets and various inserts on a thin onion-skin paper (being full or half sheets), laid-into its original folding manila wrappers with "Green Glow the Lilacs/Ado Annie Carnes" to the cover in type, additionally signed in ink "Celeste Holm" across the cover at a later date, the sheets within with numerous annotations in Ms. Holm's hand. 7 1/9 x 9 inches. The cover with creases, short tears and small losses, the contents handled by generally clean; And Ms. Holm's signed song book, brad-bound in manila wrappers signed in pencil "Celeste Holm", 12 x 9 1/2 inches, 22 mimeographed typed sheets headed with the titles of 12 songs, a few extended over several pages, two with annotations in Ms. Holm's hand (I Can't Say No and The Farmer and the Cowman). A few small ink notations and small stains on the covers, light toning within, with a folding Theatre Guild Hotel sign laid-in.
An important and rare group of preparatory items for Celeste Holm's breakout performance as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!. The script and song book printed here are under the original title of Green Grows the Lilacs, shortly to be renamed Oklahoma! Directed by Rouben Mamoulian and choreographed by Agnes de Mille in her first Broadway production, the musical opened on March 31st, 1943 at the St. James Theatre in New York with an original cast including Celeste Holm in the role of Ado Annie. Remarkably, the production ran for 2,212 performances and was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944, a Theatre World award in 1947, and a Special Tony Award in 1993 on the occasion of the original show's 50th anniversary (the Tony awards began in 1947).
Songs performed by Celeste Holm in Oklahoma! include "I Can't Say No!", here with several annotations in her original song book, along with the extended "The Farmer and the Cowman" which is annotated with the sung versus spoken lines. Of the annotations in the script, in the scene in which Ado Annie discusses marriage with Ali Hakim and Will Parker, Ms. Holm has penciled the line " Six wives - all at once?" and in Act II, Scene II Ms. Holm has crossed out the line "Cain't y'even stay to drink to Curly and Laurey?" and replaced it in manuscript with "Cain't y'even stay for more of my sweet pertater pie?" a sign of the comedic talent she brought to the role.
Such early materials from Oklahoma!, the musical that changed Broadway forever, are scarce.
C The Celeste Holm Collection
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