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Sixty-four years ago, Oklahoma!, by songwriting duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, premiered on Broadway. Carter (music, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Monteverdi's Musical Theatre) has written what must surely be the last word on this iconic musical (pending the discovery of material in a warehoused trunk somewhere in New Jersey). He charts the work's beginnings from its source, Lynn Riggs's 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs, through to the eventual 1955 movie version. (This story was retold most recently in the various editions of Max Wilk's Ok! The Story of Oklahoma!.) He also tracks the attachment of the "myth" label to many of the show's aspects (e.g., fresh cast, incorporation of dance), which will be of use to future directors and producers; meticulously analyzes Rodgers's music; and concludes with a close reading of the libretto. Carter's notes and bibliography attest to the time he must have spent in the Rodgers/Hammerstein and Theatre Guild collections of Yale, the Library of Congress, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. This is not a book for the casual fan, but it will give depth to the serious student's appreciation of everything that came to make up Oklahoma!