Merry Entertainment for the Holidays


Courtesy photo
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: American Theatre Company’s musical adaptation of Dickens’ tale runs Dec. 12-23 at the Tulsa PAC.

As the days of December draw down, I think of that proverbial hourglass — sand falling without hesitation from one chamber into the next. Looking back at 2019, I’ve tried to gage whether I lived my time to the fullest. What experiences did I have that made me feel engaged, enriched and alive?
If you are taking your own personal inventory of 2019, I hope a few of your highpoints include live entertainment. Whether you enjoyed free summertime concerts under the stars or grooved to U2, being with others to experience real-time entertainment is rewarding on so many levels.
The grand old Brady Theatre, more than 100 years old, is a great place still for concerts, comics and a range of shows. I like to sit on the second level nearest the stage. Those are great seats, and would be perfect for Il Divo, Dec. 10. Simon Cowell formed this group in the U.K. in 2003. Four good-looking guys from four different countries — Switzerland, Spain, France and the USA — perform a combination of folk music, opera, pop and Latin American styles of music.
This is the 50th consecutive year for Tulsa Ballet to present “The Nutcracker.” The current production has featured the choreography of the Ballet’s Artistic Director Marcello Angelini since 2003. It’s the story of a young French dancer, set against the glamorous and glittering background of 1920s Paris and Versailles. Angelini estimated that more than a million people have interacted with the Ballet’s “Nutcracker” over five decades, including participants and audience. Tulsa Ballet has created The Nutcracker Alumni Association to connect all past cast members.
A Christmas Carol has been a Tulsa tradition for more than 40 years. The set is glorious, and the musical adaptation by Robert Odle and Richard Averill will keep the attention of the youngest audience member while appealing to adults. This is a precautionary tale about a man who reclaims his generosity and fun-living spirit before the chilling revelations of the Ghost of Christmas to Come are realized. Both “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 7-22) and “A Christmas Carol” (Dec. 12-23) are uplifting and joyous holiday fare.
A perfect date-night would be “Miss Saigon” on New Year’s Eve at the Tulsa PAC. The creators of the show are Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the same team who crafted the beloved musical, “Les Misérables.” “Miss Saigon” has a romantic/tragic storyline that echoes Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” An American soldier falls for a 17-year-old bargirl, Kim, in war-torn Vietnam. After the hasty departure of American troops, Kim clings to the hope that she, her American lover and their young child will be reunited and begin a new life in America. If only. Presented by Celebrity Attractions as part of its Broadway series, “Miss Saigon” runs Dec. 31 – Jan. 5.
The River Spirit Casino has a terrific roster of shows in the weeks ahead. Check out Cirque Musica’a presentation of “Holiday Wishes,” Dec. 22. Acrobats, aerialists and other acts are accompanied by a full live orchestra performing seasonal tunes.
The Steve Miller Band entertains at River Spirit on Dec. 27. Miller has been active on the pop music scene for decades with hits such as “Take the Money and Run,” “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Living in the USA.”
Next up is John Fogerty, Dec. 29. He’s racked up eight gold albums during his career as lead singer/guitarist and songwriter with Creedence Clearwater Revival, which he co-founded in 1968, and during a successful solo career. “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Susie Q” are among his most well-known hits.
A fun, laid-back New Year’s Eve plan could include comic Ron White’s show at River Spirit’s Paradise Cove. White was formerly part of the Blue Collar Comedy tour with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy. “Tater Salad,” as White is known, will nurse a glass of scotch or two (part of his act), and provide a hilarious dose of New Year’s Eve cheer.
The BOK Center is a gathering spot during the holidays. Skate ‘til you drop during the Arvest Winterfest, open through Jan. 5. Enjoy country artists Cody Johnson and Friends, Dec. 7, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Dec. 20 and, for younger kids, “Paw Patrol Live, The Great Pirate Adventure,” Dec. 28-30.
At the Hard Rock, the evergreen Jackson Browne performs with his longtime seven-member band, Dec. 30. He’s the songwriter behind “Doctor My Eyes,” “Rock Me on the Water” and “Running on Empty,” among so many other hits. An advocate for the environment, human rights and arts education, he is broadly recognized for a personal, literate artistry that incorporates social justice. Looking ahead, get tickets now for Rick Springfield at The Joint, Jan. 9.
Kristin Chenoweth and Sandi Patty team up in concert at Broken Arrow Performing Art Center. These two powerhouse singers are Oklahoma treasures and consummate performers. Each has enjoyed an immensely successful career. They celebrate the holiday season with their special sparkle and style, Dec. 20 at the BAPAC’s Kristin Chenoweth Theatre.
Please join me in toasting our good fortune to live in a caring community that has incredible museums, green spaces, performance venues and incredible talent. It’s a rich life. Cheers!

About Post Author