October a Top Attraction Month in Tulsa


DRACULA: Tulsa Ballet will debut choreographer Ben Stevenson’s “Dracula” at the PAC Oct. 29-31. “Dracula” will be performed in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City in collaboration with Celebrity Attractions.

Courtesy Tulsa Performing Arts Center

Just back from a trip to the Baltic countries, my husband, Bill, and I have been talking about the things we would show tourists if we ran a tour company in Tulsa. What would be on the must-see list for people who don’t know much about our city, and where would we take them?

If I were to author a DK Eyewitness Travel “Top 10” Tulsa book, it would be heavily skewered toward entertainment. In preparing to write this column, I thought about my “Top 10” downtown October events and had to cap the “rough sort” list after reaching 20. Anyone who’s lived in Tulsa very long knows that, weather-wise, October in Tulsa is divine, so let’s take this show talk outside.

For the last several Octobers, “The Rocky Horror Show” has played at the , and my co-worker Chad Oliverson has commanded the musical’s prime role – the ambidextrous Dr. Frankenfurter. “The Rocky Horror Show” will have one performance only on Halloween eve, this time presented on an outdoor stage at 300 N. Main. Chad has been sharing with his officemates details of his all-new “Rocky” couture and makeup – likely to be totally outrageous in the fun way “Rocky” always is.

Meanwhile, back at the , Oct. 29-31, the ballet I have been waiting for makes its debut. First of all, could there be a Dracula any more handsome than Spaniard Alfonso Martín? Holy Béla Lugosi! Or a nightgowned damsel – at risk of losing her immortal soul – any more bewitching than Karina Gonzalez? Tulsa Ballet’s international company is packed with not only gorgeous but talented, personable dancers. “Dracula” will be performed in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

While Tulsa Ballet is dancing “Dracula” “upstairs” in Chapman Music Hall, American Theatre Company will stage “Side Show” Oct. 23-31 in Williams Theatre. Predating Nicky and Paris, there once was a pair of Hilton sisters who were born literally joined at the hip. Bob Hope hosted them in a vaudeville review, and they were pals with Harry Houdini. They had numerous lovers over their lifetimes, lived in a San Antonio mansion, built and lost a fortune, and died of the Hong Kong flu! “Side Show” was nominated for several Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” Standout actresses Heather Richetto-Rumley and Cathy Rose star.

My other theatre pick at the would be Playhouse Theatre’s “Boy Gets Girl,” about a New York reporter stalked by a rejected suitor. Playhouse Theatre directors Courtneay Sanders and Chris Crawford are exceptionally talented, good people who bleed theatre. If you like psychological suspense done well, this will be your show, Oct. 28-31.

More dark theatrical fare comes our way when Tulsa Opera presents a haunting, bloody tale of passion and treachery set in a Scottish castle. Performing the title role in “Lucia di Lammermoor” is Oklahoman Sarah Coburn, a lovely, much-lauded soprano, who has just become a mom, by the way. In this Donizetti opera, Lucia’s love for a man her family will not accept causes big-time heartbreak. The going gets so rough, she is driven mad. If you attended “Lakmé” at the , Coburn’s last star vehicle for Tulsa Opera, you were in for a huge treat with “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Other events not-to-be-missed at the include filmmaker Rory Kennedy (the daughter never met) speaking for Town Hall Oct. 23 and Tulsa Symphony performing an Italian program Oct. 24.

With Octoberfest, T.U. Homecoming, the Tulsa State Fair and the Tulsa Run also in October, Tulsa is a showcase of activity. This month we’re planning an exciting “vacation” by becoming tourists in our own town!

The author is the marketing director for the Tulsa Performong Arts Center.

Updated 10-12-2009

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