Plenty of Entertainment Ahead for the Holidays
The holiday season can be heaven or hell, depending on your perspective. One way to approach a crush of stressful expectations is to focus on quality time with friends and family. A shared activity is a great way to connect.
When choosing entertainment, I tend to gravitate toward theatre, dance and chamber music, but a masterful comedian, an engaging speaker, an awe-inspiring magician, and rock music that is so good I have to stand up and boogie are magic carpets that proffer a satisfying ride. In the weeks ahead, our local entertainment venues offer a range of experiences that will make sharing holiday time memorable and fun.
Presented at the Tulsa PAC Nov. 7-17 is the comedy “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” adapted from Ilene Beckerman’s book into a play written by two gifted writers (and sisters), Nora and Delia Ephron. In the play, five actresses inhabit the lives of women who’ve had significant experiences to recall or bemoan. Their humorous and poignant monologues and ensemble pieces reference articles of clothing that underscore the characters’ stories. That premise resonates with me. I have abandoned the outfit I was wearing when I had a fall-out with a friend, and kept that outdated turquoise number at the back of my closet because I wore it when I met David Baldacci! The last time I saw this play, I attended with a riotous group of gal-pals and we had a blast. This production is presented by OK World Stage Theater.
Coming Nov. 10 is a captivating chamber music group, the Harlem Quartet. They’ve played for President Obama at the White House, and shared a 2013 Grammy win with Chick Corea and Gary Burton. Their diverse repertoire incorporates classical, Latin music, and jazz. On Nov. 8, Harlem Quartet plays at the DUET jazz club with a program that includes Debussy, Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” and Rodgers and Hart’s “My Funny Valentine.” The Quartet also performs a full, eclectic program on Nov. 10 at the PAC.
Texas oil tycoon turned Nazi-treasure hunter Robert Edsel speaks at the Tulsa PAC, Nov. 15. You might know him as the author of “The Monuments Men,” which became a major motion picture produced and directed by George Clooney and starring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Clooney and other big names. Edsel pioneered horizontal drilling, retired early and moved to Europe. His time in Florence, Italy led him to discover the previously little-known true-life stories of the men and women (soldiers) who risked their lives to save and recover art following World War II. In my recent interview with Edsel in advance of his Tulsa Town Hall lecture, he emphasized, “At the end of the war, in a break with thousands of years of civilization, the victors did not keep the spoils of war. They returned them to the countries from which they were taken.” It’s a great story that he will share in greater detail than was possible in the film.
Also coming to the PAC is a Tulsa Symphony concert with pianist Robin Sutherland. Local classical music fans will know Sutherland from his performances at OK Mozart. The Nov. 16 concert will feature Sutherland performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, and the music of Berlioz and Lutoslawski. Gerhardt Zimmermann conducts.
Grady Nichols Christmas Show caps the PAC calendar, Nov. 30. Saxophonist Nichols is joined by Andy Chrisman, Kelly Ford and Donald Ryan, and the event will introduce the Tulsa Christmas Choir. This community-engaging presentation will benefit the ALS Patient Services, a non-profit organization that helps patients with ALS, and their families.
The popular rock group Twenty One Pilots stops at the BOK Center for their Bandito Tour, Nov. 9, and the hip-hop/rap act Bad Bunny, Latin music’s “King of Trap,” is up on Nov. 10. Country music lovers will want to check out the “Old Dominion Makes It Sweet Tour” coming to the BOK Center, Nov. 14, featuring the tenth winner of “American Idol,” country singer Scotty McCreery, and country music guitarist and composer Ryan Hurd. He has written number one hit singles for Blake Shelton and Luke Ryan. Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, from “Whose Line is It Anyway,” display their trademark brand of improv humor at the BOK Center on Nov. 24.
Head over to the Brady Theatre for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Nov. 12, and Indigo Girls, Nov. 16. At the Hard Rock, Nov. 15-16, is an encore presentation of the musical “Nanyehi,” starring Michelle Honaker and Travis Fite. Nancy Ward, Nanyehi’s English name, was a Cherokee who successfully crusaded for peace and justice. On Nov. 30, “Holiday Dreams,” a holiday-themed cirque, comes to the Hard Rock, followed by country music’s Travis Tritt, Dec. 5.
The River Spirit Casino hosts a show for people who long to revisit the 1990s. Vanilla Ice and Salt N’ Pepa team up for a lively gig, Nov. 14. Then, comic Jim Gaffigan returns Nov. 16 with his “Pale Tourist Tour.” Enjoying immense popularity, his albums are multi-platinum-selling hits. You can see Gaffigan providing commentary on “CBS Sunday Morning” and in two major feature films that open in 2020.
If you’re up for some vintage rock, get tickets now for Three Dog Night, appearing at River Spirit’s Paradise Cove, Nov. 21. They are the music mavericks behind “Joy to the World,” “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” and “One (is the Loneliest Number).”
Another event that will sell like crazy is Criss Angel’s “RAW—The MindFreak Unplugged,” hosted at the Osage Event Center, Dec. 8. This illusionist/musician has dominated magic for decades in Las Vegas and around the globe.
There’s more holiday entertainment ahead in the latter weeks of December. In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, spent with friends and family who put the “happy” into your holidays.