Claybourne Elder and Elizabeth A. Davis in Rodgers and Hammerstein's...

Claybourne Elder and Elizabeth A. Davis in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro. Credit: Matthew Murphy

In 1947, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, fresh off the triumphs of "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel," experimented with a Greek chorus in the quieter "Allegro," one of their few flops. Classic Stage Company and resident director John Doyle have ventured a drastic 90-minute rethinking that fills in useful history but doesn't change the show's reputation.

As he did so inventively in revivals of "Sweeney Todd" and "Company," Doyle again has actors playing their own instruments. This works fine in a chamber reduction in the tiny theater and the cast is lovely. But the story of a small-town doctor seduced by big-city riches feels like "Our Town" with a class-conscious dogma, a morality-play musical that's preachy and obvious.

WHAT "Allegro"

WHERE Classic Stage Company, 136 E. 13th St.

INFO $70-$125; 212-352-3101;

BOTTOM LINE Rodgers and Hammerstein flop is not rescued

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