Game Changers: The Broadway Musicals That Shaped the Art Form

By Ben Rimalower
29 Mar 2014

Oklahoma! (1943)

Oklahoma! expanded on the precedent set by Show Boat, by not only being a serious piece of storytelling, but by using all its songs to do so. Every number serves a specific function in advancing the plot or developing the characters. There are no throw-aways or "cigarette songs" (as used to be the case where you could go out for smoke without missing anything important).