Musical Theatre and More Up Next at the PAC


FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: Threatened by Russia’s political climate in 1905, a father, played by Mark Frie, tries to protect his family and stay true to tradition. Presented by Theatre Tulsa, Apr. 15-30.

A recent audience survey that polled 82,000 Tulsa Performing Arts Center customers confirmed that the most popular form of entertainment at the Center is musical theatre. The usual suspects – “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” – drew the most praise. Audience members also let us know that they enjoyed “The Book of Mormon” and are longing to see the runaway hit “Hamilton.”

Our musical theatre fans will be delighted with April’s roster of shows, beginning with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” This lovely production, with a most memorable score, plays at the through April 3, presented by Celebrity Attractions. Coincidentally, music and film buffs can settle in for a Rodgers and Hammerstein sampler Apr. 9 when Tulsa Symphony presents a Pops evening devoted to this eminent writing team’s music for the movies.

More musical theatre is planned Apr. 15-30 when Theatre Tulsa stages “Fiddler on the Roof.” Mark Frie, who was superb in the lead role for Theatre Tulsa’s “Les Misérables,” stars as Tevye. I don’t recall ever seeing a local theatre production of “Fiddler.” I know for sure that I have not seen “Billy Elliot, The Musical” in Tulsa. Presented by Tulsa Project Theatre, Apr. 29-May 7, this is the story of a young boy who abandons boxing for ballet. His true passion is dance, which doesn’t make sense to many in the English mining town where he lives.

Not all stage events in April are musicals. “Steel Magnolias,” a tender story with touches of humor, is familiar to most of us because of the hit film. Set in Truvy’s Beauty salon in the late 1980s, this is a Robert Haring play about love and friendship among six women. Playhouse Tulsa presents, Apr. 1-10.

Enchantment Theatre of Philadelphia’s “Peter Rabbit Tales,” hosted Apr. 8 by the Trust, is perfect for younger family members, but not “Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them,” presented by Theatre Pops, Apr. 21-24. Any Christopher Durang play is challenging material and totally suited for adults. This black comedy centers on “homeland insecurity,” with a cast of dubious characters and issues we can laugh at and then think about in-depth later.

Earlier in the month, Apr. 6, Gen. Keith Alexander, a retired four-star Army general, who was Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, will give a talk for Tulsa Business Forum. And, historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin speaks at the , Apr. 22, for Tulsa Town Hall. Both events are sold by season subscription.

This mega month of entertainment includes the Jerusalem Quartet, Apr. 3, presented by Chamber Music Tulsa, playing Beethoven, Bartók and Schumann. Pianist Barron Ryan performs for Brown Bag It, Apr. 6, and Jessica Lang Dance is hosted by Choregus Productions, Apr. 12. Lang’s work is beautifully crafted to incorporate a range of inspirations that find artful expression through dance.

Trekkies and those who enjoy orchestral music will want to check out “Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage,” Apr. 23. All the music from the many Star Trek films and TV shows, with film footage beamed in high definition to a 40-foot-wide screen, are part of this evening of entertainment presented by 35 Concerts. As Mr. Spock would say, “fascinating.”

Judy Collins, a folk and pop music singer whose work defined an era, performs in Chapman Music Hall, Apr. 24. I had a chance to interview the woman who inspired Stephen Stills to write “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.” Now in her seventies, she stays active and in demand – selling out theatre gigs and working on a new Sondheim Special. Reviews say her voice is as crystal clear as ever. The Woody Guthrie Center hosts her for a concert that will include “Both Sides Now,” “Send in the Clowns,” “Amazing Grace,” and many more of her hits.

The has an astute “frequent-flyer” audience that is in touch with what is playing in theaters across the country. We were very interested in what they had to say in a recent survey, and we also want to gather information from other sources. We’d like to hear from people who just occasionally come to events at the , or maybe who have never been. If there are programs, performers, musicals or other types of entertainment that are on your bucket list, I hope you will contact me and share. We want our to reflect the tastes and interests of our community, and we invite you to help.

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

Updated 03-28-2016

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