Entertainment Is Your Ticket to Happiness


JASON ALDEAN: Academy of Country Music’s two-time “Entertainer of the Year” comes to the BOK Center Oct. 12.

Are you on a quest for health and happiness? A current issue of “Time” magazine carried an article titled “New Ways to Become Happier — and Healthier.” Among the suggested approaches for feeling better fast, without a drastic revamp of your life, is to attend events. “People get more joy from experiences than things, and many memories sweeten with time,” advised the article. I couldn’t agree more.

Because I write about entertainment, I seek out a fair sampling of what’s being offered locally. Admittedly, much of the music that comes to Tulsa-area venues is not from my era, but that doesn’t stop me from trying something new. I usually strike up a conversation with people I am sitting (or standing) next to, and when the music starts, we’re all in the moment together. I’ve had a blast at some landmark concerts and met a few fascinating people that way. You don’t have to be part of a group or a twosome if you’re dying to see Bad Company or “Faust” and no one else is available to go. Most times it’s easy to get a single ticket, and often it’s in a better location than a pair of seats might be.

At the Center this month, check out Jason Aldean (Oct. 12) and The Weeknd (Oct. 21). A charismatic country music artist, Aldean will be highlighting hits from his seventh album “They Don’t Know.” He’s twice won the Academy of Country Music’s biggest prize, “Entertainer of the Year,” and racked up 17 no. 1 songs on country music charts.

The Weeknd is not a band but Grammy Award winner Abel Tesfaye (“Can’t Feel My Face,” “Starboy”, “Earned It,”). He’s a Canadian singer of Ethiopian descent who found fame via YouTube in 2010. His chart-topping string of hot R&B hits keep coming.

The Tulsa Performing Arts Center hosts a packed roster of shows, including the contemporary dance group TU Dance, Oct. 13-14, presented by Choregus Productions. This 10-member group hails from St. Paul, Minnesota. The TU name references its founders, former Alvin Ailey principal dancers Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands. The troupe incorporates classical ballet, modern dance, African-based and urban-style movement in pieces that address connectivity, diversity and social change.

There is only a handful of opera performances every season and only one opera company in our entire state. If you’re a fan of opera or of music and theatre in general, mark Tulsa Opera’s “Faust” on your calendar, Oct. 20 and 22. Sung in French with English subtitles, Charles Gounod’s grand opera is about an aging scholar, wannabe romantic, who trades in his soul to become a youthful suitor once again. Except in maybe “Damn Yankees,” the devil always triumphs in deals like this.

Two upcoming theatre productions at the are “How I Became a Pirate,” presented for young people by the Trust, Oct. 6, and “Fun Home,” staged by American Theatre Company, which is not for kids, Oct. 21-28. “Fun Home” won five Tonys, including the 2015 Tony for Best Musical, adapted from Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel. This is a deeply emotional, multi-layered story about family and coming to terms with who you are.

Also at the is the return of the popular Danish String Quartet for Chamber Music Tulsa, Oct. 15. The “New York Times” deemed one of ’s concerts to be a highlight of the year. They will perform music by Haydn, Schnittke and Beethoven.

Tulsa Town Hall returns to the Oct. 27 with Dr. Bennet Omalu. He courageously pioneered work that investigated trauma-induced brain disease in American football players. Closing out the month, Tulsa Symphony will perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6, “Pathétique,” among other selections, Oct. 28.

I’m glad that my husband and I saw Steely Dan at the Brady Theater when songwriter/guitarist Walter Becker was still alive. Becker passed in September, but band co-founder Donald Fagen and the Steely Dan Band will perform the scheduled show at River Spirit Casino Resort on Oct. 12. We have tickets. The Tulsa stop is the first of nine U.S. concert dates in October before Fagen and company join the Doobie Brothers on tour through the U.K. Becker and Fagen’s songs are timeless. Smart. Esoteric. Wry. I’m a fan. If you like bands from yesteryear, you might want to add Bad Company to your must-see list this month. They appear at Hard Rock’s The Joint, Oct. 26.

River Spirit Casino Resort hosts comic T.J. Miller, Oct. 14. He’s a hoot in ’s “Silicon Valley” series. Country music’s Chase Rice performs at River Spirit, Oct. 27, and “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” with Steve Martin and Martin Short, is slated for Oct. 28. The Grammy-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers joins their fun.

It is difficult to forecast which band will be the hottest ticket at the Brady Theater and Cain’s Ballroom in October, but Marilyn Manson at the Brady is a candidate, Oct. 17. Alaska’s Portugal The Man will attract a big audience at the Cain’s Oct. 5, along with the Blues Traveler 30th Anniversary Tour, Oct. 30.

You may have caught one of Portugal The Man’s performances on Conan O’Brien’s show. The band’s music has been included in several popular TV series: “The Walking Dead,” “Shameless,” and “Silicon Valley,” and in iPad Pro commercials. Their feel-good “Feel It Still,” was a breakthrough hit in 2017.

Come on along, get happy. Before holiday time gets too hectic, select a show or two and go! There’s joy to be found in the most unexpected places.

Updated 10-19-2017

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