Great Shows Keep Coming to Downtown


LYLE LOVETT: The country music veteran Lyle Lovett and his Large Band will perform at the PAC July 11.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

It wasn’t all that long ago that headliner shows in Tulsa were few and far between. We now can expect not just one but three well-known celebrities in the Tulsa area over a weekend performing at the Center, or the Brady, the , Cain’s, the Mabee Center, or at a local college or casino. Let the good times roll!

The month of July boasts a pleasing complement of celebs and tried-and-true annual events beginning on July 6 with teen heartthrob Justin Bieber at the . This Canadian pop star gained fame through a YouTube video his mom posted, and he recently snagged a music guest gig on .

Seemingly at the other end of the spectrum from Bieber is country music veteran Lyle Lovett and his Large Band performing at the July 11. More than a dozen musicians, including a horn section and a vocal group, take the stage for this buzz-worthy concert. What we know about Lovett is that he’s smart — smart enough to have snagged Julia Roberts for a while — and that his intelligence translates into multiple Grammy Award-winning recordings and immensely entertaining live concerts. Don’t miss this show.

Also in the known-name category is “Weird Al” Yankovic at the Brady on July 15. Here’s a Grammy-garnering talent who’s sold more than 12 million albums. Remember his “My Bologna,” a parody of “My Sharona,” or “Another One Rides the Bus”? Silly. Ingenious. He’s a classic.

The following night at the Brady, July 16, the charismatic rocker Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame makes the third stop of his 12-show “Band of Joy” tour. The Brady Theatre is the perfect venue to dress down and sip on a beer at your seat while enjoying music icons.

“What Hurts the Most?” Not being able to find time for all of July’s entertainment, including Rascal Flatts, who will more than likely sing about what hurts most (their biggest hit) at a Center concert on July 23. If you’re a country music fan, or a fan of music in general, you will appreciate the unstoppable talent of these musicians/showmen.

It was only a matter of time before a Michael Jackson tribute gained momentum. On July 14 The Ultimate Thriller comes to the for one-night only. This Thriller stars four musicians, two background singers and four dancers. Tej’ ai Sullivan appears as Jackson, and the choreographer and principle dancer who worked with Jackson for nine years has choreographed the show. This is one of those extravagant multi-media spectacles that incorporates video and a light show. Add costumes befitting The Gloved One and Jocko’s timeless hits, and this could be a fun night out.

SummerStage at the continues through July with an ambitious roster. We’re stoked! The Summer of Love grooves on July 2 with LOOK’s Patience, a Gilbert and Sullivan piece, and Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate on July 1 and 3.

Cabaret-style shows and low ticket prices are a hallmark of SummerStage with audiences of about 100 gathering around performers in Norman Theatre for intimate evenings of entertainment. Many cabarets are set up with small tables close-up to the action, and audience members can bring in their beverages from the lobby bar in both Norman and Doenges Theatres. You’ll want to sample the group Crossroads on July 1. This Tulsa-based ensemble takes listeners on a musical journey from Appalachia to Celtic lands and beyond. Tulsa Folkloric Theatre follows the life journey of dancer/producer Shadia Dahlal with help from the Purple Roses of Cairo and other dance troupes on July 1-2 in Hollywood Dreams.

Claire Kifer: Under the Influence is up on July 2, and Claire’s husband, Brad Morris, sings a show of his own on July 3 titled Here I Am. Other cabaret artists include the local Celtic group Cairde na Gael on July 8, the lovely Janet Rutland on July 9-10 in a program titled Pure Country: Song of Dolly, Hank, Patsy and more, and the Irish-American Club of Tulsa singing and dancing on July 11.

Theatre is center stage in July with the Lipstick Librarians’ (love that name) Wide-Eyed Wonderland (July 8-10). This is a multi-media production concerning mental illness and is the brainchild of poet and performance artist Karen Lacy and artist/director Wendi Wilkerson. Other plays include Greenwood Cultural Center’s Amy’s Beauty — An African Fantasy Tale July 15-17, Theatre North’s Jo Ann’s Struggling Soul July 16-18, Portico Dans Theatre’s Project Alice, July 16-18, The Playhouse Theatre’s House and Garden (two different plays sharing a cast that are performed simultaneously in adjacent theaters) July 22-25 and Dido and Aeneas, July 23-25. And don’t miss a SummerStage standard: Tinkerbell is Dead: Free Beer on July 18.

Whether you’re taking in big-name, high-dollar attractions or a warm, heartfelt and funny performance in a 100-seat theatre, summer entertainment is all about taking a break, taking life less seriously and having some fun.

For more info on events, click on

Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 07-02-2010

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