Experiences to Share at the Tulsa PAC


JAZZ LEGEND: Fifteen of jazz’s leading soloists and Wynton Marsalis play the music of Ellington, Mingus, Coltrane and others when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs Oct. 2, all proceeds benefitting Sistema Tulsa.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

When people ask me when is the best time to visit Tulsa, my first thought is to reply “anytime,” but my answer, most often, is “October.”

Between football and the State Fair, there is much activity to remind us that fall has arrived. Please save some time for shows at the Tulsa . October is our busiest month of the current season and some internationally known talent is dropping by.

Sue Monk Kidd stepped into the author spotlight after “The Secret Life of Bees” was published in 2002. The book sold eight million copies worldwide and was translated into 36 languages. Her bestselling “The Invention of Wings” (2014) may be her most powerful and satisfying work yet. She is the first speaker scheduled for Tulsa Town Hall’s sold-out 2015-16 season, which begins Oct. 2.

If it’s family-friendly time you are looking for, consider the Trust’s presentation of The (Big Friendly Giant), also Oct. 2. The production is adapted from the beloved book by Roald Dahl and performed by the excellent Dallas Children’s Theater troupe. Tickets are only $10 and going fast.

Another superb family, date night, or group outing event is the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, slated for the evening of Oct. 2. This is the crème de la crème of jazz orchestras, and Marsalis is an amazing advocate for the arts. All proceeds from the show benefit the launch of Sistema Tulsa, a social change through music education program.

Chamber Music Tulsa welcomes back the Quartetto Di Cremona on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 4. I had a memorable time listening to these charming Italian musicians perform in 2013. They’ll be playing Mozart, Webern and Brahms.

Two musicians at the top of their game, Jeff Barnhart and Brian Holland, perform a Ragtime for Tulsa concert, Oct. 6. Both highly respected in the world of ragtime, Holland is an outstanding ragtime and stride piano performer, and pianist Barnhart sings, composes and has a notable recording career.

Theatre Pops takes on a dark comedy by playwright Zach Braff, Oct. 8-11. A quartet of solid actors star in “All New People,” playing a guy who is saved from suicide, a British real estate agent, a call girl and a drug-dealing fire chief. Yep, this isn’t for the young ones, but I love when we get to see new material performed locally. George Romero directs.

Time for Three is back by popular demand, Oct. 10 for Choregus Productions. This string trio has performed at Carnegie Hall, games, the Indy 500, and at festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe. You’ll hear jazz, folk, bluegrass and more. It’s one of those events you can suggest to anyone and know they will thank you later.

Storyteller/actor Peter Story is ready to share witty bits of wisdom on love, sex and marriage in “Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus,” adapted from John Gray’s best-selling book. Celebrity Attractions presents this show in the PAC’s Williams’ Theatre, Oct. 13-15.

Tulsa Opera opens its season with Giacomo Puccini’s “La bohème,” Oct. 16 and 18. Tulsa opera audiences will remember Karin Wolverton, who made her Tulsa Opera debut as Micäela in “Carmen.” She sings the role of Mimi, the coquettish belle of bohemian Paris, who falls in love with the adoring Rodolfo, sung by Nathan Granner. The couple finds that even the most devout love cannot conquer all, but the ensuing passion, longing and heartbreak make for great stage moments and music. Kostis Protopapas conducts. This story was the basis for the popular rock musical, “Rent.”

We miss Chad Oliverson at the , so we’re glad to have him doing “The Time Warp” again as Dr. Frank-N-Furter with the return of “The Rocky Horror Show.” Tulsa Project Theatre reprises this rock classic Oct. 16-24.

Tulsa Ballet presents its first full-length ballet of the season Oct. 23-25 with a production based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” This humorous story, featuring fast-paced choreography by John Cranko, follows the rocky romance of two people who fall in love while fighting the attraction at the same time. And, you will be treated to Domenico Scarlatti’s lovely score, performed by Tulsa Symphony.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” premieres Oct. 23 to Nov. 1, staged by Theatre Tulsa. Neil Patrick Harris won one of the show’s four Tony Awards when it ran away with all the Broadway buzz and accolades in 2014. Basically, it’s about a guy, Hansel, who becomes Hedwig in a multi-layered story that has messages of love and redemption.

Another Tulsa premiere is Heller Theatre’s “Bad Jews,” Oct. 30-Nov. 7. Written by Joshua Harmon and directed by Rebecca Ungerman, this comedy drops in on a post-funeral conflict between three cousins, all in their 20s, who are mourning their grandfather, sort of. There are disagreements about several things, like who is a “real Jew,” and who is entitled to family heirlooms. The play debuted in New York in 2013.

No tricks and all treats await concertgoers Oct. 31 with Tulsa Symphony’s Halloween Symphony Spooktacular. This is the Symphony’s first event in its new Pops Series, featuring Halloween-themed music conducted by Ron Spigelman. The Symphony makes this concert a fun outing for the family with trick-or-treating, a costume contest and more fun. We love it at the when an event we host becomes an experience to share.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather and many memorable arts moments!
Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 09-28-2015

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