Romance, Dance, Music and Theatre at the PAC in February


CHICAGO: Blythe Nelson and Sara Wilemon fill out the roles of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly in Theatre Tulsa’s “Chicago: The Musical,” Feb. 13-22.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

Downtown Tulsa was alive with an observable energy during those January nights when Garth Brooks was at the Center, and “Once,” “August Osage County” and “The Giver” were playing at the . The economic impact from entertainment is substantial and is no doubt a factor in Tulsa being named to the New York Times “52 Places to Go in 2015” list. Yes, Tulsa took the number 47 spot, right between Shanghai and Rome!

Every month, events bring the world to Tulsa with entertainment like the Danish String Quartet, Feb. 8. The Washington Post commented on this chamber music group, noting they are “in full artistic flower.” I look forward to hearing them play a bit of Bartók and some traditional Scandinavian folk music at Chamber Music Tulsa’s next Sunday afternoon concert.

Even when they don’t end so well, the stories of love, fairy tales or not, are always among my favorites. This month both Tulsa Opera and Tulsa Ballet stage major productions. “Romeo and Juliet,” composed by Charles Gounod, and presented by Tulsa Opera, features the handsome Daniel Montenegro and Oklahoma’s Sarah Coburn in the title roles. Montenegro has performed with Placido Domingo and opposite Coburn before. Take your Valentine, and a hanky, Feb. 13 and 15.

Tulsa Ballet’s “The Sleeping Beauty” will be a feast for the eyes with sumptuous palace sets and royal court costumes. And then there is Sleeping Beauty’s infamous Rose Adagio, one of the most technically challenging pieces in all of classical dance. Newcomer Jennifer Grace and Principal Dancer Youhee Son take turns (many of them!) with the role of Aurora, Feb. 20-22.

Following on the heels of Theatre Tulsa’s wildly popular last musical, “Les Misérables,” “Chicago: The Musical” runs Feb. 13-22, starring Blythe Nelson as Roxie Hart and Sara Wilemon Velma Kelly. Scott Gaffen worked as a house manager for several years, making it difficult for him to do theatre. It will be fun to see him in the role of Billy Flynn. Chicago has many good tunes. I also love the amoeba-like ensemble dancing numbers, invented by the guy who gave us “jazz hands,” Bob Fosse. He created this sultry show, which comments on corruption and the idea of celebrity.

Theatre North returns to the with the play “Talking Bones,” Feb. 21-28. Written by Shay Youngblood, this piece is about a woman on her deathbed who hears voices and interprets them in a way that eventually heals family and brings unity and hope to three generations.

If you caught the performance of the hallowed Kronos Quartet when the group performed at the , you will remember cellist Jeffrey Zeigler. He has mounted a solo career that is drawing international praise. Choregus Productions presents “Zeigler” Feb. 20 in a performance that incorporates projected images. Choregus also brings back dance in February with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. Choreographer Chen is an artist who is hard to categorize because she pulls ideas for her choreography from many places and combines those with an Asian art aesthetic. Poetry, martial arts and contemporary dance mesh in interesting and dramatic presentations over two evenings, Feb. 24-25.

Author of four books, and counting, James Bradley speaks next for Tulsa Town Hall, Feb. 27. I gladly read three of his books getting ready to interview him for the PAC’s magazine, and I learned so much about not only World War II but about everything that led up to it. Bradley is most famous, to date, for his first novel Flags of Our Fathers, which became a Clint Eastwood-directed film. Bradley’s father was a corpsman on Iwo Jima and is one of the men pictured in the iconic flag-raising photo. James will talk about what propelled him to tell his father’s and the other flag-raisers’ stories and also how to surmount obstacles. His talk is titled “Doing the Impossible.”

During the week if you have time, or while you are attending shows in Chapman Music Hall, stop by the PAC’s Gallery throughout February. The Tulsa Historical Society is displaying an exhibit that complements the James Bradley talk. “On the Home Front Tulsa During WW II” shows what was taking place in Tulsa during the Second World War through a series of 1940s photographs.
Have a warm and loving February. I’ll see you at the !

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

Updated 02-02-2015

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