Fall Entertainment Rivals Football in Oklahoma

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CARRIE UNDERWOOD: Oklahoma’s favorite American Idol stops at the BOK Center with her “Cry Pretty” tour, Oct. 24.

Fall is my favorite time of year in Oklahoma. It’s like spring, but without the tornadoes. The air is fresh, and you can open your windows for a brief few weeks. It’s also the time when arts groups launch their new seasons and when entertainment venues hope they don’t have to compete with a showdown between OU and an arch enemy.
While football is a draw for many fans, superb music and theatre abound not only on weekends, but most nights of the week. Celebrity Attractions keeps the hits rolling with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats,” presented in conjunction with the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust. This show features new sound design, direction and choreography. Andy Blankenbuehler, who crafted the inventive choreography for “Hamilton,” and who was here recently as a guest of Tulsa Ballet, choreographed this “Cats” production. The first-ever live-action film adaptation of “Cats” will open in theaters in December 2019. Before that, catch this stage version at the Tulsa PAC, Oct. 9-13.
Theatre Tulsa presents the comedy/musical “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Oct. 11-20. Broadly, this is a parody of 1920s musicals, complete with mistaken identities, dream sequences, comic gangsters, an English butler, a Follies number and more. The show debuted in 2006 and won five Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards.
Chamber Music Tulsa continues its “66 Years on Route 66” season with the Lysander Piano Trio. The “Washington Post” recently applauded the trio for its “uncommon degree of heart-on-the-sleeve emotional frankness.” Hear the Lysander perform Debussy, Liszt and more at ahha Tulsa on Oct. 11. The performance is part of CMT’s Gallery series. Wine and hors d’oeuvres are included in the ticket price. You also can enjoy Lysander at the PAC on the afternoon of Oct. 13 playing music by Beethoven, Higdon, Ciupinski and Brahms.
American Theatre Company presents the British sex farce “What the Butler Saw,” Oct. 18-26 at the Tulsa PAC. The play was written by Joe Orton and debuted in 1969. Another piece that has seduction at its core is the opera “Carmen,” Georges Bizet’s masterwork. The title character is a delectable, passionate and independent woman whose allure causes a Spanish soldier to leave his post and childhood sweetheart. Nothing good is going to come out of this, of course, and the soldier, Don Jose, can’t compete with the next guy Carmen desires, the handsome bullfighter Escamillo. Filled with opera’s most recognized and beloved arias, sung in French with supertitles, “Carmen” plays at the Tulsa PAC Oct. 25 and Oct. 27.
A fun Halloween outing would be the musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” Oct. 25 – Nov. 3 at the PAC. The crack writing team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman created the music for this tale of a nerdy florist shop worker, Seymour, his colleague and would-be girlfriend, Audrey, and a blood thirsty plant with an insatiable appetite. This dark comedy is presented by Tulsa Project Theatre.
Two rock bands, Godsmack and Halestorm, end their month-long tour at the BOK Center on Oct. 18. Both are supporting albums they released last year. Then, welcome back Oklahoma’s own Carrie Underwood. The winner of seven Grammy awards, Underwood is arguably the most successful America Idol ever. Her “Cry Pretty” tour stops in Tulsa Oct. 24. Maddie & Tae and Runaway June open her show. The band Tool performs at the BOK Center Oct. 29 with special guest Killing Joke.
The Brady Theatre presents a strong lineup with the band tribute show “Killer Queen,” Oct. 19, the comic rock duo Tenacious D, Oct. 21, Goo Goo Dolls, Oct. 29, Trisha Yearwood on Nov. 2, and Kris Kristofferson and the Strangers, Nov. 5.
There’s more Queen to be had with “We Will Rock You, The Musical Tour,” at River Spirit’s Paradise Cove Theater. This is the piece written by Queen and Ben Elton that follows two characters, Galileo and Scaramouche (named in the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”) on a quest to resurrect rock music in a post-apocalyptic world. There is one show only, Oct. 18.
Comic Dane Cook performs standup on Oct. 24 at the River Spirit with Rascal Flatts waiting in the wings on Nov. 7, followed by the ZZ Top Anniversary Tour, Nov. 8.
If comedy is your bag, check out the Hard Rock Casino’s Midnight Joker Comedy Club. The Hard Rock will showcase five comics ahead of their featured comedian. Pauly Shore headlines Oct. 11-12. The Casino’s Country Gold concert series has been a big hit. Next up is Mark Chesnutt and Lorrie Morgan, Nov. 3.
Look for Air Supply at the Hard Rock on Oct. 11. Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, who first met in 1975, bring their “Lost in Love Experience” tour to the Hard Rock, filled with hits such as their “All Out of Love” and “Every Woman in the World.”
Singer Charlie Daniels and his band perform at The Joint on Oct. 17. Daniels’ signature song is “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and he’s known for his southern-rock anthems, and Christian and children’s albums.
“Experience Hendrix” will blow out The Joint, Oct. 19, followed by the Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly Dream Tour, Oct. 20, and country music artist Jamey Johnson, Oct. 31.
Try out a relatively new venue, the Skyline Event Center at the Osage Casino. It hosts Sawyer Brown, Oct. 12.
Enjoy the weather, football, and the colorful and varied mosaic of live entertainment headed for Green Country this fall.

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