Ballet, Opera and Symphony All Slated for October


Onegin: Madalina Stoica and Arman Zazyan perform in Tulsa Ballet’s production of John Cranko’s story of unrequited love, set in Russia. Costumes and sets are from the Polish National Ballet. 

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

After nearly 24 years, I am retiring from my marketing job at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. My youngest son was in second grade when I started work at the , and now he is almost 32. When I think of time passing in that way, it does feel like I’ve walked the hallowed halls of the for quite a stretch.

Here we are almost a quarter of a century later, and despite every kind of electronic entertainment enticement that has come into our world since I began my career, people are still craving a live theatre experience. I’m happy to share what we have coming up at the in October! Then, in coming months, I will broaden the Show Buzz column to talk about entertainment in the Greater Tulsa area.

October is the only month in the upcoming season that Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Opera and Tulsa Ballet all perform. Tulsa Symphony hosts guest conductor Philip Mann on Oct. 8 for Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, along with Samuel Barber’s Essay No. 1, written in 1937. Also that evening, Tulsa Symphony’s Bruce Schultz will take the spotlight for Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2.

Tulsa Opera opens its season with Georges Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers,” Oct. 21 and 23. This colorful and steamy opera takes place in Ceylon and is about two fisherman-friends in love with an enchanting priestess. There will be plenty of eye- candy along with the usual fabulous music and singing. Fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes created the costumes and sets.

Last year when Tulsa Ballet opened its season with John Cranko’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” I had reservations. I’ve never cared for that storyline, but Cranko’s choreography easily won the day. I can believe that dance companies around the world compete for the privilege to dance his work. Opening Tulsa Ballet’s 60th anniversary season is John Cranko’s “Onegin,” with performances Oct. 28-30. The story centers on the unrequited love between a sophisticated Russian gentleman and a simple country girl. The ballet is based on Alexander Pushkin’s verse-novel, with music by Tchaikovsky.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Live!, presented by 35 Concerts, comes our way Oct. 5. The antics of Daniel Tiger and his friends are familiar to those who follow the popular TV show on which this live music-filled production is based. There’s dancing and singing, and lots of fun planned for the children and families who attend. Earlier in the day, Ensemble Salonniére takes the stage at Brown Bag It, hosted by the Trust. The concert features classical vocalist Margaret Sewell, who specializes in art songs.

Chamber Music Tulsa continues its 2016-17 season with Trio Solisti, Oct. 9. The New Yorker proclaimed this group “the most exciting piano trio in America.” Italian pianist Fabio Bidini joins violinist Maria Bachmann and cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach for music from Haydn, Chausson and Brahms.

The welcomes Sheridan Road on Oct. 20. The group may be new to audiences, but the ensemble has performed locally since 2012. Sheridan Road is known for its “a cappella” numbers and also performs with an instrumental combo. Band members, including Sheridan Road founder Barry Epperley, will perform a series of shows this year at the with this one featuring the music of Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Billy Joel and Sting.

The remainder of the performances in October are all theatre related. The Fellowship for Performing Arts presents “C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert” (Oct. 6-8) with actor Max McLean in the title role. The piece follows the author as he turns from atheism to belief.

“All The Way” takes us back to 1964, a tumultuous year in America in the wake of ’s assassination and during the escalation of conflict in Vietnam. Texan Lyndon Baines Johnson finds himself forced to the front and toe-to-toe with J. Edgar Hoover, George Wallace, Hubert Humphrey and others. Theatre Pops stages this 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Play, Oct. 7-16.

Here’s a first. American Theatre Company and CityRep from Oklahoma City have collaborated on a new musical, “Pryor Rendering.” Tulsa hosts its world premiere Oct. 13-16. This is Tulsan Gary Reed’s story about a young man coming out in rural Oklahoma in the 1960s. The piece was adapted for the stage by Shawn Churchman with music and lyrics by Frank Schiro.

The Tulsa Trust brings the Puppet State Theatre Company of Edinburgh, Scotland, back to Tulsa on Oct. 21 for a reprise of “The Man Who Planted Trees.” The play is adapted from Jean Giono’s book about a shepherd who transforms a wasteland by painstakingly planting a forest, acorn by acorn.

Closing the month is Theatre Tulsa’s production of the Kander, Ebb and Masteroff Tony Award-winner about the doomed romance between a very young British cabaret performer and a young American writer. The musical is set in the seamy Berlin Kit Kat Club against the backdrop of a growing Nazi threat. Catch this show Oct. 28-Nov. 6.

There’s much more to enjoy at the during its 40th Anniversary year. Though I’m retiring from front-line work, I will most definitely be in the audience all season long.

Updated 10-13-2016

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