Entertainment in Tulsa Engages Audiences


HOLIDAY CLASSIC: American Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol returns for its 34th season  Dec. 8-18. Pictured is Karl Krause as Scrooge and Steve Fendt as the ghost of Christmas present.

Last summer I wrote a Show Buzz column about how tame Broadway can be in Tulsa. The focus of that discussion centered on The Book of Mormon, and how we probably won’t have that in Tulsa anytime soon due to its content. Recently, as I sat in a full theater watching Celebrity Attractions’ presentation of the musical Memphis, I felt deeply appreciative of the entertainment we are lucky to see in Tulsa. Memphis was a standout.

What do you want in return when you spend your money and time to come to a show? The main criterion for me is to be engaged. I want to see something that reaches out and reaches in. Memphis did that for me. Tulsa Opera’s The Barber of Seville did too, and not because its story was deep. The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio concert also was moving. I appreciated all three because superb artistry in any form has the power to connect.

It’s not too late in the performance season to download the PAC’s season brochure and take a look at what our dozen or more regular arts organizations have planned for 2011-12. Gift certificates, which will help with holiday shopping, are available through our ticket office. This is a phenomenal year for Broadway. Put The Addams Family on your calendar for January, Stomp in March, Fiddler on the Roof in May, and the long-awaited Jersey Boys in June.

Tickets to the PAC’s 35th anniversary’s signature event, The Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers, go on sale Jan. 1. That March 17 show, presented by Choregus, will rock!

All of downtown is going to be reeling with street parties in the Blue Dome district and the PAC’s own Blues on the Green celebration on the Williams Green. There’s only one performance of the Blues Brothers, so be sure to get your tickets early.

Downtown is aglow in anticipation of the holiday season. is a festival that encompasses all that is happening downtown pre-Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Skate at the Center, take advantage of special downtown shopping, attend a myriad of entertainment events and make a day of it, complete with meals at one of the many downtown restaurants.

At the , American Indian Theatre Company’s classic wintertime tale, A Song of Winter, returns Dec. 2-3. Performed by a cast of Native Americans, this musical shares Native American traditions and songs.

Not a Christmas show, but an inspiring piece of theatre, Good Boys, a collaboration of Tulsa Community College and American Theatre Company plays Dec. 2-10. Two fathers, one black and one white, come together to grapple with the deaths of their sons: one a victim and one a killer.

On a much lighter note but also not traditional holiday fare is The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, presented by Theatre Pops. Santa is accused of sexual harassment by one of his reindeer in a dark Christmas comedy written by Jeff Goode. Catch this adult-themed play in our intimate Norman Theatre. The Eight has a number of shows, Dec. 8-18.

When the December theatre menu includes some new entrees and a couple of tested mainstays, there is likely to be something for every taste. American Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol is both eye-candy and poignant, has uplifting, memorable music, and will send you out into the cold feeling warm and wistful. Children love this holiday ghost story, and you will too. Performances are scheduled Dec. 8-23. Matinees are Dec. 11 and 18.

With evening as well as several matinee performances, The Nutcracker returns Dec. 10-23. The production has all the glitz of the City of Lights, Paris. As you may know, this version takes place in Paris and follows a young girl’s fantasy, bringing the audience along on a dreamy adventure. There’s whimsy and glamour, and so much fabulous dancing! I can’t say enough about our extraordinary Tulsa Ballet.

Holiday time is about connecting. That connection may be spiritual. We may feel a special connection to the earth, to our families and friends. We celebrate life, renew hope and take time to remember everyone in our lives, living and gone, who have made us feel part of something bigger than ourselves. The arts fit nicely with that theme and way of thinking. Come celebrate with us this holiday season.

Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 11-21-2011

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