Entertainment Outlook is Bright for the New Year


TONY WINNER: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” won the “Best Musical” Tony Award in 2014. Celebrity Attractions presents this hilarious Broadway hit, Jan. 23-28 at the Tulsa PAC.

I have one prediction for 2018. Leisure activities in Tulsa will rise to a new level. Along with the opening of the Gathering Place in its various stages, our town is set to rock. The Center is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and already has announced a lineup of mega events. How many cities host U2 and Justin Timberlake in the same week?

More immediately, the Center welcomes The Moody Blues, Jan. 23, for the group’s 50th anniversary tour. “Nights in White Satin” and other hits keep this band on the road and booked into sizable halls. One of its founding members, flautist and soloist Ray Thomas, passed away on January 7 of this year. He hasn’t appeared on recent tours, but will no doubt be honored by the band during its Tulsa concert, and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. The Moody Blues will be inducted in 2018.

The Center welcomes the California heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) Jan. 29 and The Illusionists — Live from Broadway, Feb. 1. I was impressed by this clever assemblage of deft magicians when The Illusionists appeared at the Tulsa several years ago. They’ve taken names like The Manipulator, The Daredevil and The Inventor — each with his own specialized approach to magic. Projections on the arena’s big screens will ensure that even close-up sleight of hand can be appreciated along with levitation illusions and a water torture escape. If magic is not your bag and country music is more to your liking, you can see Travis Tritt at the Cox Business Center that same night.

American singer and rapper Kid Rock brings his American Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour 2018 to the Center Feb. 2, fronted by the band A Thousand Horses. Also on that evening, folk rock’s Avett Brothers perform at the Cox Business Center.

Another set of siblings Brothers Osborne are guests of the River Spirit Casino’s Paradise Cove Jan. 27. This American country music duo makes Tulsa an early stop on a world tour that takes them to Australia and the U.K. Their “It Ain’t My Fault” is nominated for a 2018 Grammy. Also coming to the Paradise Cove is Jim Gaffigan on his Fixer Upper tour Feb. 10. Gaffigan has a deadpan comedy style influenced by David Letterman and Bill Murray. A father of five, who makes family life part of his act, Gaffigan is known for his “clean comedy.” And if you enjoy comedians, check out Steve Trevino at the Cox Business Center on Jan. 27.

Other casino entertainment includes Clay Walker and fellow Vidor, Texas country music star Tracy Byrd, Feb. 1 at The Joint, located in The Hard Rock.

Broadway is back at the Tulsa , Jan. 23 through Jan. 28, with Celebrity Attractions’ presentation of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” Its story centers around an Englishman who learns that he is ninth in line to inherit property and a blue blood title. Doing away with the eight who precede him is a sticky (and comic) business, as are his romantic entanglements. It’s all jolly good fun. One actor plays all the characters, men and women, who are targeted for elimination. The musical was a runaway hit on Broadway, winning seven Drama Desk Awards and the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical.

I’ve not seen enough dance this season, but I’m going to remedy that with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Formed two decades ago, the company excels in melding classical dance expertise with creative contemporary movement. I’ve enjoyed this top-notch company immensely in the past. Choregus Productions presents Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at the Tulsa , Jan. 26-27.

Ensemble 4.1 makes its Tulsa debut as a guest of Chamber Music Tulsa. This German group, comprising piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, has been praised for its Beethoven performances and for bringing to life the works of lesser-known composers. Music by Beethoven, Poulenc, Dorman and Gieseking is slated for Jan. 28 at the Tulsa . A free lecture by Jason Heilman about the work to be heard is slated at 2:15 p.m. in Williams Theatre prior to the 3 p.m. concert.

Tulsa Town Hall opens the next phase of its 2017-18 season with a stage, TV and film star. Laura Linney is all that and a crusader for arts in education. Her talk on Feb. 2 at the will focus on her work as an arts advocate. I’ve enjoyed her acting in “Mystic River,” “Love Actually” and “The Truman Show.” She’s currently shooting the second season of the Netflix hit series “Ozark,” starring as Jason Bateman’s flawed and resilient wife.

Live indoor entertainment is a great option for February and March. Stay tuned for more excitement in the weeks ahead.

Updated 01-27-2018

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