If Sunday evening’s Broadway-heavy Oscar telecast whet your appetite for musical theater, you’ll have some fine local options to feed that hunger this week. If you’re a newbie to the form, your first destination ought to be the Lancaster Opera House, whose production of “Oklahoma!” opens at 7:30 tonight and runs through March 17. (You can also check out MusicalFare Theater’s ongoing production of “Rent,” which closes Sunday.)

“Oklahoma!” – the first large-scale collaboration between lyricist Oscar Hammerstein and composer Richard Rodgers, with choreography by Agnes De Mille – is one of the prototypical Broadway musicals. Its construction served as a map for countless subsequent productions and codified a formula from which even modern musical theater writers and producers have trouble deviating. It tells the gauzy, sepia-toned tale of love between a farm girl and her cowboy Prince Charming in language so lofty and melodies so hummable as to seduce all but the most cynical theatergoer.

This production, directed by Lancaster Opera House Artistic Director David Bondrow, stars Michael Niederer and Emily Yancey in the lead roles. Tickets are $20 to $22, with more information at 683-1776 or

Colin Dabkowski