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Entertainment Fun Predicted for New Year


ELTON JOHN: The incomparable entertainer returns to the BOK Center on Feb. 9.

Remember when people feared Y2K would create global chaos? That anxious time leading up to 2000 is now two decades old. Here we are in 2019, Y2K-wiser and, as a matter of course, dealing with whatever personal, world or domestic issues draw our attention. At home, when I feel even run-of-the-mill chaos encroaching, I put down my phone, turn off TV and turn on music. A night on the town offers the same respite ? a chance to relax, refocus, and remember that life should be fun.

So, if you need a laugh, and who doesn’t, you might want to check in with funnyman Brian Regan. He’s a comic’s comic. Jerry Seinfeld has long been a fan, so much so that he produced a Netflix series starring Regan that debuted on Christmas Eve. You can see Regan live at the Brady, Jan. 25.

If you’d rather kick back with music that night. River Spirit Casino and Resort hosts multi-Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton. An R&B diva, known for her husky, coloratura voice, Braxton also can belt out soul and pop with the best. Listen again to “Un-break My Heart” if you haven’t heard it lately. Her Jan. 25 appearance is part of Braxton’s “As Long As I Live” tour, also featuring SWV (Sisters with Voice).

As far as I know, Braxton doesn’t sing country. For that, hop over to Catoosa. At Hard Rock’s The Joint, Texas country music singer/songwriter Clay Walker performs, also on Jan. 25. He just released a new album, “Long Live the Cowboy.”

One more show to put on your list for Jan. 25 is Golden Hornet’s “The Sound of Science” with cellist extraordinaire Jeff Zeigler, a former member of the Kronos Quartet. Golden Hornet is a composer lab. “The Sound of Science” program, which has become an acclaimed album, features eight works created by renowned contemporary composers. Each is a tribute to a celebrated scientist. Their music will be performed on Zeigler’s amplified cello and incorporates other electronics. This evocative presentation is hosted at the PAC by Choregus Productions.

More music can be enjoyed that weekend at the VanTrease PAC, located at TCC’s south campus for an all-Bach program, Jan. 26, performed by the Signature Symphony.

There’s still time to catch Theatre Tulsa’s “Beauty and the Beast,” playing through Feb. 3. Margaret Stall and Drew Rosene star in this “tale as old as time,” with music from the 1991 animated film written by Alan Menken and with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Look for great costumes, choreography and musical direction. The musical is staged in one of the PAC’s smaller venues. Young people, especially, will enjoy the up-close theatre experience, and the production will appeal to all ages.

For non-musical theatre, consider Theatre North’s “The Green Book.” “The Negro Motorist’s Green Book” was a motor guide during the 1930s through 1960s for finding restaurants and hotels that accepted people of color. The two-act play, written by Calvin A. Ramsey, runs Feb. 3-10.

Don’t miss a rare opportunity to hear a nationally recognized saxophone quartet. The Kenari Quartet comes to Tulsa for a week of residency, Jan. 22-28. Chamber Music Tulsa hosts the group’s stay, including a Jan. 27, 3 p.m. performance at the Tulsa PAC. Formed in 2012, Kenari is passionate in their promotion of music by living composers. The Kenari’s stop in Tulsa will be a performance season highlight.

TV journalist Lara Logan speaks at Tulsa Town Hall’s event, Feb. 1. From all accounts, she is fearless. Logan provided vital reporting from inside an extremely dangerous Afghanistan. She was the only major American television journalist in Iraq when the last war broke out, having found a way back into Baghdad after CBS evacuated all personnel. In 2011, she was brutally assaulted by a large gang in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Arab spring. Interviewing her for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s INTERMISSION magazine, I found her to be candid, genuine and dedicated to her craft. I am so much looking forward to hearing her presentation, “On the Front Lines with Lara Logan.”

Also at the PAC is Tulsa Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Feb. 2, conducted by Gerhardt Zimmermann. This is a moving piece, written during the 900-day German siege of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg).

A trio of heavy hitters are up Feb 8 through Feb. 11 at the BOK Center. Kelly Clarkson’s show is slated for Feb. 8. This winner of the first American Idol competition has the pipes! Her warm TV presence as a judge on “The Voice” has earned her new fans.

Elton John’s shows are worth every dollar. He just doesn’t hold back. I love watching his hands on the keyboard as much as revisiting “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer.” My favorite Elton John tune is “Your Song.” What’s yours? He returns to the BOK on Feb. 9
Popular American rapper Travis Scott rocks the BOK on Feb. 11. Also, be sure to peruse the upcoming jazz schedules for Tulsa’s jazz club, Duet, and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

We have many choices. That by itself is worth celebrating. I’m viewing 2019 with a sense of optimism, and I plan to have some fun along the way. Join me!

Updated 01-18-2019

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