An Arts Sampler of Possibility Awaits March Audiences
Show Buzz by NANCY HERMANN
CINDERELLA: Paige Faure and Andy Jones star in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” presented by Celebrity Attractions Mar. 29-Apr. 3 at the PAC.
Courtesy Tulsa PAC
March at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center offers an arts sampler of events. All of our major presenting groups have shows. If you have favorite arts organizations you usually support, you’ll want to plug them into your calendar, along with March Madness, maybe, and perhaps a spring break. But, also, consider sampling a type of entertainment you’ve not experienced before. I know of many people who have done so and said, “I discovered that contemporary dance can be transformative” and “I didn’t know how much I could dig opera.”
Choregus Productions is a presenter of music and dance from around the world. The work is sometimes edgy and always interesting. After a performance, I feel as though I’ve been to an international festival or an artsy theater in New York. Choregus brings those experiences to us. For example, in March, you can see a dance troupe from Korea, Chang Mu Dance (Mar. 1-2) and a pairing of Israeli and Palestinian pianists, Duo Amal (Mar. 22). Chang Mu combines dance movement with poetry and painting. The globetrotting Duo Amal played at the United Nations in Geneva last year. “Amal” is Arabic for the word “hope.”
The enjoys hosting Living Arts’ New Genre Festival each year, of which “Preparations for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome” is a part, Mar. 4-5. Thanks to generous sponsors, you can see it free, although reservations are required. This multimedia performance by Michelle Ellsworth imagines a world without men, and what that might mean. Another free event at the is the Brown Bag It noontime program on Mar. 2 featuring Tulsa Camerata.
Tulsa Opera stages the Oklahoma premiere of André Previn’s steamy “A Streetcar Named Desire,” Mar. 4 and 6. Based on the 1948 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams, the opera takes place in New Orleans’ French Quarter and centers on Blanche, an aging, delusional Southern belle who comes to live with her sister, Stella, and Stella’s abusive husband, Stanley. Created for San Francisco Opera in 1998 with a libretto by Philip Littell, the piece will be sung in English and is recommended for mature audiences.
It’s not opera, but it’s based on one. Tulsa Project Theatre takes on another ambitious presentation with the rock musical “Rent,” Mar. 4-19. “Seasons of Love” and “I’ll Cover You” are two of my favorites songs from this Pulitizer Prize winner. Echoing the story and characters in Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Rent focuses on starving young artists who are trying to survive in New York City during the onset of the crisis.
Another Broadway musical is planned for one-night only, Mar. 8, presented by Celebrity Attractions. This will be the first time that the Woody Allen/Susan Stroman collaboration “Bullets Over Broadway” has played the . Set in the 1920s, this musical comedy is about a young playwright who has to mollify the mob to get his Broadway show funded. Expect lots of laughs and superb dancing.
Tulsa Town Hall welcomes conductor Benjamin Zander, Mar. 11. He is not only an authority on music – the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic – but also somewhat of a life coach in the grandest sense. He co-wrote the bestselling “The Art of Possibility.” On Mar. 12, he will conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection” symphony, for Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. The first part of the program will be dedicated to a discussion of the work with accompanied demonstrations, and the second part will include the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and soloists in a rapturous performance.
Tulsa Ballet follows February’s glorious production of “Romeo and Juliet” with a program of contemporary dance, Mar. 18-20. This is the same program I will see the troupe perform during its April tour of Italy. Featured are works by Yuri Possokhov, Jiri Kylian and Christopher Bruce. Each one of these pieces offers the viewer something involving to watch. Petit Mort (meaning little death) is set to two Mozart piano concertos and includes six men, six women and six fencing foils. “Rooster” is a romping, swaggering piece danced to the music of the Rolling Stones. This program is a great vehicle to show off the technique and physical beauty of Tulsa Ballet.
Wrapping the month is a full run of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” Mar. 29 to April 3. I remember watching Lesley Ann Warren perform the role of Cinderella on TV in 1965. The music and lyrics have stayed with me all these years – particularly “In My Own Little Corner” and “Impossible! It’s Possible.” Presented by Celebrity Attractions, this will be a gorgeous production that will impress newcomers to the show – both adults and children – and be a beautiful experience for those who grew up with this music or just believe all is possible.
Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.