An Eclectic Mix of Shows Due at PAC for April


BARD FICTION: Shakespeare gives his version of Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in Theatre Pops’ “Bard Fiction,” Apr. 16-19.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

New York Times crossword puzzle master Will Shortz will be Tulsa Town Hall’s next speaker, so with that in mind, I’m suggesting that our April roster of events could be described with an eight-letter word and the clue “all-embracing.”

The is the performance home to 14 arts organizations. Because of that, each month is ECLECTIC to some extent, and April is no exception. We have tango, opera, The Phantom of the Opera, chamber music, theatre for children and for adults. And a puzzle master.

Diversity is another word that is important to a center for the arts, as well as education. The group Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca embodies both. Martín Santagelo and his wife, the extraordinary flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio, head up a troupe of dancers, singers and musicians from Spain to recreate a theatric, authentic tango experience. Choregus Productions presents, Mar. 31 and April 1.

Tulsa Project Theatre returns to the stage, this time with the musical Godspell, Apr. 3-11. The most well-known song from the show is “Day by Day,” but you will recognize many more. Godspell was one of Stephen Schwartz’ earliest musicals. He’s best known for Pippin and Wicked. Tulsa Project Theatre has engaged a group of fresh-faced actors whose characters employ music, games and comedy to help Jesus tell parables.

Each year, Tulsa Opera presents an American or English-language piece as part of its season. Thank you, Tulsa Opera, for introducing us to new work. American composer Carlisle Floyd wrote the critically acclaimed operas Susannah and Cold Sassy Tree. His Of Mice and Men, based on John Steinbeck’s novel and starring Craig Verm as George and Corey Bix as Lenny, plays Apr. 10 and 12 at the .

You’d think that the Modigliani String Quartet would be from Italy, but they are actually French musicians, and close friends, who play Italian instruments. The oldest instrument is a 1660 viola. This award-winning ensemble has been called one of the world’s top string quartets. Its Sunday afternoon concert for Chamber Music Tulsa on Apr. 12 will feature music by Shostakovich, Saint-Saens and Ravel.

I can’t think of another Broadway show that can stir as much excitement from the public as The Phantom of the Opera. The first time the hosted Phantom was in 1996 when nearly 100,000 people saw it during 40 performances. This new production features Chris Mann as the reclusive Phantom. In 2012 Mann was the first opera singer ever to be featured on The Voice. He was on Christina Aguilera’s team and finished fourth overall. Do you have a favorite song from Phantom? Mine are “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and “All I Ask of You.” Celebrity Attractions brings The Phantom of the Opera to Tulsa Apr. 15-25.

Theatre Pops’ next production, Bard Fiction, Apr. 16-19, was originally part of the 2009 Minnesota Fringe Festival. In this playful reimagined Pulp Fiction, retold by Shakespeare, Quentin Tarantino’s offbeat characters become denizens of London’s underworld. This sound like a hoot and also something best suited for a mature audience. Fun night out? You bet.

As mentioned, New York Times crossword puzzle guru Will Shortz will be in Tulsa for Town Hall on Apr. 17. I didn’t realize that he was a major table tennis enthusiast. He rarely misses a day of playing, so he’ll be checking out the Bixby table tennis club during his Tulsa appearance. It will be interesting to hear how crossword puzzles are put together and selected. Shortz will be the last Tulsa Town Hall speaker of their current season. Bravo, Town Hall! What a year. We’ll be watching for the announcement of next year’s speaker lineup.

Wrapping the month are three family productions. People have been asking about Charlotte’s Web for months. It’s finally here. I recommend you get tickets early for this Apr. 17-19 run, produced by Playhouse Tulsa. And also for our other family shows, Treasure Island, staged by Theatre Tulsa, April 24-26, and A Devil Inside, presented by Riverfield Country Day School, April 30 and May 1. Children’s programming often sells out quickly.

Free Brown Bag It concerts this month are Dean Demerritt’s Jazz Tribe, Apr. 1, Strings & Pearls, Apr. 8 and Tulsa Camerata, Apr. 15. While you are at the , stop by our Gallery, located off of the Third Street Lobby to view “Colors of the Day,” an exhibit by photographer Michael McRuiz.

What’s a three-letter acronym representing great entertainment during April? You got it!

Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa .

Updated 03-22-2015

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