Entertainment is in Store for the New Year


The holidays can be joyous and stressful too. The main thing I try to keep in mind is that by this time next month, all the angst will be over and forgotten. What will resonate in our memories are the hours we share with people we care about. There is still time to include family and friends in a warm Christmas season outing. Both A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker have performances at the until Dec. 23, and downtown’s Winterfest closes Jan. 2.

When my husband suggested we get married on New Year’s Eve, his reasoning was that people are always celebrating on that date, so it would be perpetually joyful, and easy to remember. The trouble is, a quiet, romantic dining spot on New Year’s Eve is a rarity. Most places are gearing up for a midnight party, or marketing a packaged menu that is both expensive and limited. So, with a candlelit evening in a cozy corner unlikely, New Year’s Eve-sized entertainment has become a likely centerpiece for a Dec. 31 soiree. The parties at area clubs and casinos will be a big draw this year, but there are other options.

While the Brady Theater has more history, I can’t think of another venue in Tulsa that has more character than the Cain’s Ballroom.

Their New Year’s Eve gig will be wild with the jazz-funky Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey as the instigator. Whatever Jacob Fred keyboardist Brian Haas cooks up is going to be over-the-top, which is kind of what New Year’s Eve is about. The focus of the evening will be the music of those divas of outrage, Madonna and Lady GaGa and Beyonce. The enchanting Annie Ellicott, a singer and superb actress, will be among the guest artists, along with Travis Fite. That’s a lot of entertainment for $19.

And if you’re in the downtown area at midnight, meander over to McNellie’s. They have a super New Year’s Eve’s planned that includes fireworks. A midnight kiss beneath a sparkled sky, now that could be romantic.

Looking past December, you can shake off holiday letdown and get out of the house with January events at the . If the had windows, Burn the Floor (Jan. 11-16) would steam them up, guaranteed. Guest artists will be So You Think You Can Dance standouts Ashleigh and Ryan Di Lello performing a heat-on-high show that has been called both erotic and tacky. You know the segment of Dancing with the Stars when the celebrities aren’t on the dance floor? As a dance fan, that’s my favorite part. Burn the Floor will be totally like that. No amateurs allowed.

Along with the Celebrity Attractions presentation of Burn the Floor, the also hosts the Monument Piano Trio, presented by Chamber Music Tulsa, Jan. 9. You won’t see a lot of leg or any tasty tango at this concert, just three superior musicians, who are friends, performing the music of Haydn, Arensky and Brahms. Chamber Music Tulsa offers a $5 ticket to students. That’s an exceptional deal to see world-class musicians such as these.

There’s a lot more in January at the , but I wanted to let you know about the Vince Gill Tulsa invasion. This handsome country crooner from Norman, Okla. will be at the Riverwind Casino on Jan. 21 and at the Hard Rock’s Joint on Jan. 22. Several years ago when Vince played at the , as guest of the Tulsa Philharmonic, he and Amy Grant’s romance bloomed. What a concert that was: Amy and Vince, the Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald and guitarist Chet Atkins. Perhaps you were there.

Elsewhere in town, on Jan. 20, you can see the red-headed acerbic comic Kathy Griffin of My Life on the D List fame at the Brady Theater, and Johnny Mathis at the Mabee Center. The Harlem Globetrotters drop by the Center on Jan. 22.

Make time for live entertainment in the New Year! Here’s wishing you amazing theatre experiences in 2011 and all the best in the year ahead.

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

Updated 12-18-2010

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