Red-Hot Venues Abound This Summer


CELTIC WOMEN: Coming to the BOK Center Aug. 6.

August is comparatively quiet at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. While we’re installing some much-needed carpet in Chapman Music Hall, numerous venues in Tulsa are rolling out the red carpet for a variety of buzzable shows.

Down at the Center, Tulsa Shock games keep the place jumping, and the Center will also host Celtic Woman on Aug. 6 and the American Idol Live tour show on Aug. 8.

Celtic Woman is actually five gorgeous women with voices to match. The ensemble was put together by the former musical director for Riverdance and has been called, “Riverdance for the voice.”

Seven American Idol Live concert dates for the current tour have been canceled, but not the upcoming performance at the . I’d attend this show just to hear runner-up Crystal Bowersox sing Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” I told my husband during this year’s American Idol final that if Lee DeWyze triumphed over Bowersox, I’d never tune into AI again. And, I guess I’m still grumpy about Adam Lambert losing to Kris Allen in 2009. The show may have peaked during the David Cook era – drawing a phenomenal TV audience and helping me discover my own inner cougar. My Idol picks aside, reviewers of American Idol Live say it’s fast-moving and fun.

American Idol fans have stayed tuned to for another show that exposes young talent – Glee. If you love Broadway, show tunes in general and theatre, you will adore Glee. But, enough TV. This column is about getting everyone out of the house and into theaters.

The Brady Theater hosts outstanding artists this month with Jackson Browne on Aug. 11, the alt metal band DefTones on Aug. 19 and Sheryl Crow on Aug. 24. Browne has been around since the 1960s. He played with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and back-up with one of my all-time favorite poet/singers, Tim Buckley. We know Browne best through his “Doctor My Eyes,” “Somebody’s Baby” and, most of all, “Running on Empty.” He was in the news during the last election for suing John McCain and the because they used “Running on Empty” without permission in an anti-Obama ad.

I admire Sheryl Crow not only for her talent, “All I Wanna Do,” “If It Makes You Happy,” “Soak Up the Sun,” but for her out-of-the-limelight bravery and decency. She’s lived through a high-profile break-up with Lance Armstrong, fought breast cancer and became a late-in-life mom through adopting two babies. This engaging performer always puts on an awesome show.

The has three performances in August. On the 7th, the hosts a dancing and music-making date that benefits Tulsa Parks with Tulsa Fest, presented by the Oklahoma All-Black Towns Foundation. And on Aug. 21, we have two shows: Song of the Swimming Sun and Robbie Fulks with Robbie Gjersoe and The Trishas.

Song of the Swimming Sun is shepherded by former Tulsa Ballet dancer Megan McKown-Miller. This is experimental work from the Soluna Performing Arts Group showcasing regional artists, dancers and performers.

Also on the 21st is a presentation of the National Fiddlers Hall of Fame featuring two Robbies: alternative country artist Robbie Fulks and guitarist/vocalist Robbie Gjersoe. The New York Times said of a Fulks show, “… It’s sort of country meets David Lynch,” and the Chicago Tribune wrote that Fulks was “Chicago’s most fertile musical mind,” and “He’s so good, it’s scary.” Among his most well-known songs are “Let’s Kill Saturday Night” and “She Took a Lot of Pills (and Died).” Sounds like a lot of not-so-serious fun and expertly played music. Joining the Robbies is a quartet of women, The Trishas, who trot out “rambunctious Texas country laced with Gospel,” and have been compared to the Dixie Chicks.

On Aug. 25, Tulsa’s own Hanson performs at the Cain’s. I remember when they appeared at the during their “MMMBop” years. We’d never had legions of screaming girls in the Center before. If you haven’t seen the “Thinking About Somethin’” video Hanson recently made in Tulsa’s Greenwood district, check out the familiar landmarks on YouTube. Isaac, Taylor and Zac, Tulsa is proud of your enduring success.

Speaking of pride, the new ONEOK Stadium is such a plus. Make some time during August to attend “the big show” in downtown Tulsa.

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

Updated 07-29-2010

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