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Greater Tulsa Reporter

Spring is Here, Come Out and Play


BLUE-COLLAR COMEDY: Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy will perform at the BOK Center April 15.

After a hard day, and especially after a rough week or an exasperating time wrangling tasks and managing challenges, I am tempted, like you might be, to get comfy, read, or escape to “On Demand” television. Yet, I’m always glad when I’ve made an effort to attend a good play or dance performance, view art, groove to live music or take in a great film. And if someone can make me laugh, I am all about that.

There will be a few opportunities to laugh or smile this month with so many top-flight comics in town. Comics generally are very smart people, and one of the most brilliant is Chris Rock. Comedy Central voted him fifth greatest comedian of all time. When I read that, I had to research to see who were considered the top four. Guess! Don’t look yet, but I will post those names at the very end of this column. Chris will perform at the River Spirit Casino Apr. 6, while his compatriots from SNL, Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider (all of whom, along with Chris Farley, were “the bad boys of SNL”), will appear with him and Nick Swordson at the Casino on April 18. And, if you like a different brand of comedy, consider Jeff Foxworthy and Larry & the Cable Guy at the BOK Center, Apr. 15.

The Riverspirit has hosted a string of headline performers since it opened its new theatre. In addition to the comics, look for Smokey Robinson on Apr. 20 and Kenny Rogers on Apr. 28, both at the RiverSpirit, and also another big-name performer, trumpeter Chris Botti at the Tulsa PAC, Apr. 22.

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner” as long as Johnny Castle is around. I’ve probably seen the “Dirty Dancing” movie with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey a dozen times or more, and I’m excited to discover what the story looks and sounds like live onstage. Celebrity Attractions hosts the Broadway show, Apr. 11-16 at the PAC, complete with steamy dancing and songs like “Hungry Eyes,” and more.

“Pippin,” with music written by Stephen Schwartz, who penned “Wicked,” plays at the Broken Arrow PAC for one night, Apr, 23. I love the music in this piece, especially “Corner of the Sky.” I made a point to see “Pippin” on Broadway just after it won four Tony Awards -one for best revival. There is an abundance of acrobatics in this show, trapeze-flying and Fosse-style dancing.

Dance and chamber music are passions of mine, so I’m happy to enjoy them back to back at the PAC. Choregus Productions presents Black Grace, all the way from New Zealand, Apr. 1. Tulsa is one stop on the company’s 10-city “One Night Only” tour in the U.S. Other cities include Denver, Salt Lake City, Palo Alto (Stanford) and Austin. A hallmark of Black Grace is its physicality, energy and the narrative quality of choreographer Neil Ieremia’s work. Another Choregus presentation is Che Malambo, Apr. 18, also in Chapman Music Hall. Fourteen Argentine men – gauchos – perform the malambo, which is only danced by men and is inspired by the galloping horses of Argentina! The program was created by former ballet dancer and choreographer Gilles Brinas.

On Apr. 2, the Hermitage Piano Trio from Russia makes its Tulsa debut with music from Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Rimsky-Korsakov. I don’t know how Chamber Music Tulsa can possibly follow the fabulous Beethoven Winter Festival, but this program and these highly praised performers are going to provide their own fireworks. They’ve expressed an interest in seeing Tulsa’s vaunted Art Deco, and I hope I have an opportunity to show them around. We can hear The Hermitage ensemble open April and the Lysander Piano Trio close it on Apr. 30. Lysander will perform music from Spanish and Italian composers and Schubert’s Trio in E Flat major.

I don’t often include films in Show Buzz, but I think we should gather at the Circle Cinema, Apr. 20-23 and geek out at the Architecture & Design Film Festival:Tulsa. Twenty-one films from nine countries are featured, and curated by Kyle Bergman, program director of ADFF:New York. I attended his film fest in New York in September and saw several of these beautiful and interesting films. One that will resonate locally is the Eero Saarinen film about the man who created the St. Louis Arch and so many other extraordinary structures. Two of the many special guests at the festival are Paul Makovsky from Metropolis magazine, and Pulitzer Prize-winning former architectural columnist for the NYC Times, and now with Vanity Fair, author Paul Goldberger. I’m reading his book “Why Architecture Matters,” and it is so very good. He has a recent book out on Frank Gehry and will sign books following the film “Getting Frank Gehry.”

ADFF:Tulsa, hosted by Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, will include films about well-known architects, a film exploring the life of Mexican-American photographer Pedro Guererro, a film about yarn and all the cool art being crocheted and knitted, and films about buildings, gardens and communities. I particularly liked “Windshield,” which tells the story of an East Coast family that has a West Coast modern architect design their home. Not long after it is completed, tragedy strikes. The story plays out with the help of old photographs and early home movies.
Spring is here! Come out and play all month long.

The answer to the comedian question is: Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen.

Updated 04-05-2017

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