Holiday Entertainment Takes Center Stage


WHITE CHRISTMAS: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is a Thanksgiving holiday treat, showing Nov. 20-25 at the Tulsa PAC.

Courtesy photo

This assessment may be due to my stage of life, but the best gifts I receive at holiday time or on birthdays are ones that involve some sort of experience. That might include travel, a lovely shared meal or tickets to live entertainment. Now that the holidays are drawing near, I encourage you to scout out possible gift solutions that support local talent, focus on touring shows or both. You might be surprised by the large cache of fun and affordable options available.

Look no farther than the Tulsa for a super-sized range of events. Best-selling author, contributor and irreverent observer David Sedaris returns to the Tulsa , Nov.13. His latest essay collection, “Calypso,” tackles aspects of middle age and mortality. Who better to take a humorous look at the pressures of time than Sedaris?

For the young people you know, the touring theatrical troupe Puppets presents a 50-minute production of “Alice in Wonderland.” There are two performances the morning of Nov. 15, and the base ticket price for those morning shows is only $5. There’s also a 7 p.m. show on Nov. 16. This production features life-sized puppets, digital scenery, music from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and a message about how to communicate in a positive way.

Tulsa Town Hall continues its juggernaut season with Harvard medical professor and talk speaker Lisa Genova. She wrote the best-selling novel “Still Alice” about a woman’s descent into advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Her book was adapted into a movie starring Julianne Moore. On Nov. 16, Genova will share insights into Alzheimer’s along with encouragement for those who care for people affected by this devastating disease.

The Trust presents singer Faith Prince in “Have a Little Faith” Nov. 17. She’s won a slew of awards, including the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. This will be a good opportunity to see and hear nationally known talent in an intimate setting.

If you enjoy seeing a film while listening to a live orchestra, Tulsa Symphony has two offerings for you in the weeks ahead. See the movie “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” on a big screen while the orchestra performs John Williams’ score. There are two performances on Nov. 17 (a matinee and evening showing) and a matinee on Nov. 18. The same concert/film format, but with “Home Alone,” another John Williams’ score, can be enjoyed during a showing of the film on Dec. 1.

Celebrity Attractions and the Trust host “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” Nov. 20-25. I love having a holiday show to look forward to around Thanksgiving. This is the “White Christmas” story we know from the beloved film about a snow-bound Vermont inn and a post- song-and-dance team putting on a show. “Sisters,” “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” and “White Christmas” are among the best-known songs.

Another holiday themed event is “Grady Nichols: Falling in Love with Christmas,” slated for Nov. 27, featuring saxophonist Grady Nichols, tenor Kelly Ford and vocalist Andy Chrisman. And while we are looking ahead with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, make plans for American Theatre Company’s “A Christmas Carol,” opening Dec. 7, and Tulsa Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” beginning its holiday run on Dec. 8.

Country singer Kacey Musgraves brings her “Oh, What a World” tour to the River Spirit Casino and Resort, Nov. 15. She launched the tour in October following a performance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Supporting her recently released album “Golden Hour,” Musgraves drops into Oklahoma after several weeks in Europe, and then continues to South Africa. She’s one of the hottest female country music stars to come along in recent years.

River Spirit hosts Alabama for a stop on the band’s 2018 Hits Tour. Three of the four original members (from 1969) are still playing. The group is known for its blend of American country music and Southern rock. Catch their concert on Nov. 16.

Elsewhere around town, Asleep at the Wheel plays at Cain’s Ballroom, Nov. 16, and The Ultimate Queen Tribute Show, starring Marc Martel, stages a one-nighter at The Joint on Nov. 25. Martel is a Canadian singer who looks and sounds a lot like Queen’s Freddie Mercury.

Celtic Thunder celebrates their tenth year touring with an appearance at the Hard Rock, Nov. 29. This is a group of male singers, all under the age of 40, who showcase their Celtic heritage in a production that employs dramatic effects and choreography.

You might want to lace up your skates and loop the ice rink in front of the Center for Winterfest, Nov. 23 through Jan. 6. For upcoming entertainment at the venue, seek out the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Nov. 15 and the children’s show “Paw Patrol Live,” Nov. 30–Dec. 2.

As the holidays approach, I am thankful for this community, for our lives in a free country and for the health and happiness of our friends and family. Each is a gift. Happy Thanksgiving!

Updated 11-14-2018

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