Downtown Bustling With Arts, Music, Sports


EXHILARATING PERFORMANCE: Carmina Burana brings together Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Oratorio Chorus to lay emotions bare in this startlingly dramatic work, choreographed by Ma Cong and set to Carl Orff’s cantata at the TPAC May 21-23.

Recently as I left downtown headed home on my usual route via Second Street, I noticed something different. The streets were a tangle of people and cars. The last time I’d observed this was on St. Patrick’s Day, with the proximity of Arnie’s Bar and McNellie’s accounting for clogged traffic and a sea of young faces.

This time, however, the people were young, old and in-between, and the foot traffic was headed in two directions – one going east to Peoria, and the other west toward Denver. That “new kind of energy” we’ve all talked about was on full display as throngs made their way to either the Center to hear Tim McGraw, or to the grand opening of ONEOK Field. Though the game hadn’t started, I felt Tulsa had laid claim to its first of many winning seasons.

May is bound to be a big baseball month, attracting visitors who may not otherwise venture downtown, and that’s good for our city’s arts and entertainment venues.

It’s a great month to catch comedy! Conan O’Brien is scheduled to engage the Brady Theatre bunch on May 15 with “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.”

Tulsa is fast becoming a boom town for bands. Georgia jam band Widespread Panic appears at the Center on May 1, with the Happy Daze Tour taking place on the Tulsa Convention Center Exhibit Hall on May 11. Included in this roundup of rockers are Insane Clown Posse, Kottonmouth Kings, Coolio, Necro and Kittie.

And if you’re hankering for some country, get tickets now for Hank Williams Jr. on May 7 and Brooks and Dunn’s final tour, “The Last Rodeo,” on May 28. Both play the .

May is all about theatre at the , with Thunder Road Theatre Company presenting a new comedy written and directed by Julie Little Thunder on May 6-8. Buffalo Gallery, starring Okcate Smith, Jana Rhoads and well-known film actor Wes Studi, takes place in an art gallery where creativity and imagination intermingle, and love, art and commerce collide.

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, staged by The Playhouse Theatre, is a charming children’s play based on Kevin Henkes’ books about a spunky, diva-divine mouse named Lilly who gets into a spot of trouble now and then. Lilly runs at the from May 7-15. Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences presents a family show, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on May 15-16. This play enchanted Broadway and earned a Tony Award.

Tulsa’s longstanding theatre companies, American Theatre Company and Theatre Tulsa, both have plays slated for May, with presenting the sterling legal drama Twelve Angry Men May 7-15, directed by Robert Walters, and Theatre Tulsa performing the poignant On Golden Pond May 21-29, directed by Don Miller.

One more theatre piece worthy of note is Odeum Theatre Company’s version of Euripides’ The Trojan Women. Choregus Productions’ Ken Tracy translated the script to reflect contemporary speech and world events, and incorporate familiar music. It’s all Greek to me, but I think this will be a most stimulating and memorable presentation. The Trojan Women plays through two weekends, May 20-30.

The PAC’s largest theater, Chapman Music Hall, hosts Celebrity Attractions’ Cirque Dreams Illumination on May 11-16. Acrobatics, dazzling costumes and a dynamic original music score combine in this hybrid of circus tradition and Broadway pizzazz.

I never want to see a Tulsa Ballet season end, but I have been waiting for Carmina Burana all year. Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Oratorio Chorus lay emotions bare in this startlingly dramatic work, choreographed by Ma Cong and set to Carl Orff’s cantata. It’s sexy. Exhilarating. Don’t miss it, May 21-23.

With Mayfest, baseball and a bevy of entertainment events, Tulsa hits one out of the park this month. Be a part of Tulsa’s winning season. Come join the fun.

Updated 05-03-2010

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