Good Times Will Roll in Tulsa in 2020
A new decade dawns, filled with possibility. Are you ready for 2020?
Now that everyone has packed away the holidays in one form or another, it’s playtime. Indoor entertainment is never more appealing than in the dead of winter. Warm up with one of America’s most-loved musicals. Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” is about a con man who preys on the fears of a midwestern town as a way to line his pockets. Only the lovely and brainy Marian the librarian stands in his way. Memorable songs include “Seventy-Six Trombones,” “Ya Got Trouble,” and “’Til There Was You.” The production stars Mark Frie and Margaret Stall, Jan. 10-26 at the Tulsa PAC.
A fantastic evening of music is presented by Tulsa Symphony, Jan. 11. Internationally known soprano Sarah Coburn, who happens to be a current Tulsa resident, will be a featured guest on Strauss’ “Four Last Songs.” Also part of the program is Elgar and Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor and Schumann’s highly emotional Symphony No. 2. Later in the month, you can hear Tulsa Symphony play the score of the film “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” during a showing of the film at the PAC, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
Those bald and blue guys are back with more odd acts that incorporate eccentric music, art and comedy. In this new Blue Man Group show, the entertainers search for the elusive “present moment” while inviting large-scale participation and striving to make a universal connection. If you can imagine. Tulsa’s Broadway presenter, Celebrity Attractions, and the PAC Trust host the Blue Man Group’s Speechless Tour, Jan. 20-22.
Percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum is guest artist for Choregus Productions, Jan. 24 at the PAC. A passionate advocate for contemporary work, Rosenbaum was hailed by the “Wall Street Journal” for his “spectacular performances.” In Tulsa, he will present Christopher Cerrone’s “Memory Palace,” using creative music-making techniques and unconventional instruments. Cerrone’s piece is a soundscape intended to evoke all the important places that helped to shape his life.
Near the top of my list for upcoming music events is the Daedalus Quartet, which will perform for Chamber Music Tulsa audiences at ahha in the Tulsa Arts District, Jan. 31, and at the Tulsa PAC, Feb. 2. The Quartet comprises three females and one male, unusual for a chamber music group, performing on violin, viola and cello. Promoting the idea that music has no borders, this group is among the finest of new generation string ensembles with critics praising them for their technical prowess and sheer gusto.
Head over to the the BOK Center, Jan. 16-19, for a new Cirque du Soleil show, “Axel.” For this production, the main character is a skater, who is in hot pursuit of a woman, and on a quest for self-realization. The story takes place on ice with world-class skaters and acrobats, gorgeous costumes, moving music and an uplifting message.
One of the world’s most gifted performers, Canadian singer Celine Dion, appears at the BOK Center, Feb. 5. If you have ever seen a Celine Dion concert, you know she has an amazing voice and is a consummate performer. For pure entertainment, this is a winner.
Much of the same can be said for country singer Miranda Lambert. Her fans rave about her concerts. Lambert has won the Country Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” honor seven times, among countless other awards. She released her latest album “Wildcard” in Nov. 2019. Catch her “Wildcard Tour” at the BOK Center, Feb. 7.
At the Hard Rock Casino, comic and actor Chris Tucker entertains on Jan. 17, and heavy metal singer/songwriter Bret Michaels appears Jan. 23 as part of his “Unbroken World Tour.” Michaels has sold 40 million records worldwide with “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” being his greatest hit.
Brighten the gray winter days at the River Spirit Casino and Resort with comedian, actor and impressionist Frank Caliendo, Jan. 10 (he does a hilarious Donald Trump), and actor and standup comedian Mike Epps, Jan. 24. Ten-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan appears in concert on Jan. 30. Jazz great Miles Davis said that she “sings like my horn.” Then, on Feb. 1, take in an evening of music with the Eli Young Band.
For something very different, check out “The Nostalgia Will Eat Itself” at Nightingale Theater, Jan. 17 – Feb. 1, a horror piece written by John Fisher. The production is a collaboration between Heller Theatre and Midwestern Theatre Group. The plot follows a couple who meet on Tinder. It explores “nostalgia, misogyny and fame in a post-Gamergate world.” If you enjoy experimental theatre, this could be for you. The show’s audience guidelines forewarn “mature themes, violence and gore.”
The Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center hosts the beloved Broadway musical “The Color Purple” for one night only, Jan. 21, and the 11-member a cappella singing group Voctave on Feb. 1. Voctave performs musical theatre, barbershop, pop tunes, gospel and contemporary Christian music. I encourage you to listen to their rendition of “Over the Rainbow” on YouTube. Perfection.
Happy New Year to all! With 20/20 foresight, I envision that the upcoming year will be filled with good times and great memories.