September Brings Entertainment to Our Door

LES MIS: Celebrity Attractions presents the classic musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s landmark novel Sept. 24-29 at the PAC.

Is there life after “Hamilton?” The show lived up to every bit of hype and then exceeded it. What can we enjoy in the weeks ahead that will keep us energized with displays of heightened creativity and talent?
“Creations in Studio K” is a contemporary dance program of three works presented at Tulsa Ballet’s headquarters on South Peoria. In late August, former dancer and choreographer Garrett Smith graced Tulsa Ballet’s rehearsal studio to fashion a new piece, set to the music of Phillip Glass. I witnessed his thoughtful, skilled work with the dancers and later heard him discuss his passion for the creative process. That experience will add immensely to my enjoyment of his yet unnamed piece that will be performed Sept. 12-22 in Studio K.
Also on the program will be resident choreographer Ma Cong’s “Escaping the Weight of Darkness,” danced to the painterly, evocative music of contemporary Italian composer Ezio Bosso. I am such a fan of Cong’s work. His Tchaikovsky ballet last year was a highlight of the season. Completing the triple-bill program will be a dance-fan favorite, Val Caniparoli’s “Prawn-watching.”
Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, opens Tulsa Town Hall’s speaker series at the PAC, Sept 13. I interviewed Cousteau recently about her ocean and coastal conservation projects. The changes we can make in our lifestyles to ensure the health of the oceans, she suggested, are not sacrifices. “They are actually investments in our quality of life, in our health and in the future of our community,” she told me. I look forward to continuing our conversation during her Tulsa stay.
Tulsa Symphony launches its 2019-20 season, Sept. 14, with violinist Rachel Barton Pine. The “Washington Post” called her “exciting” and “boundary-defying.” On the evening’s program are Rossini’s “Barber of Seville,” Barber’s Violin Concerto, Op. 14 and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Daniel Hege conducts. The next Tulsa Symphony Concert is Oct 5, featuring compositions by Debussy and Rioult.
“Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” comedian Steve Martin’s first play, is about a 1904 exchange of ideas between two geniuses, Picasso and Einstein. At the height of their creative powers, they meet at a Parisian bar called the Lapin Agile and, along with bar mates and others, have witty and insightful conversations about the commonalities that fuel creativity in art and science. Theatre Tulsa presents the 90-minute play, featuring Juan Reinoso as Picasso and Thomas Hunt as Einstein, Sept. 14-22.
Portico Dance Theatre celebrates its 10-year anniversary with two evenings of dance, Sept. 20-21. The program, “Project Alice,” is based on the “Alice in Wonderland” story and incorporates jazz, ballet, modern dance, stage combat and aerial performance. There’s more contemporary dance at the PAC with the Rioult Dance Company New York, presented by Choregus Productions, on Oct. 5.
Chamber Music Tulsa kicks off its “66 Years on Route 66” season with the American Brass Quintet, Sept. 22. In previewing the Tulsa concert, the quintet wrote, “Audiences can expect the same brilliance and power one gets when listening to a great marching band section, just on a more intimate scale.”

The PAC September calendar wraps with a show that is in the top five favorite musicals of people who are musical freaks, “Les Misérables.” I relish hearing different voices have their way with “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and “I Dreamed a Dream.” Celebrity Attractions presents the Claude-Michel Schӧnberg/Alan Boublil take on Victor Hugo’s landmark novel, Sept. 24-29.
The Brady Theatre welcomes English rocker Jeff Beck, Sept. 18 and the enduring seven-member band Kansas, (“Carry on Wayward Son,” “Dust in the Wind,”) Sept. 27.

HEART: The BOK Center hosts two iconic classic rock bands as Heart joins Joan Jett and the Blackhearts for an Oct. 2 concert.

On Sept 20, the BOK Center hosts YouTube and reality TV singer and dancer JoJo Siwa, whose songs and stance on anti-bullying have found favor with young audiences. The former Disney Channel family band the Jonas Brothers entertains on Sept. 29. Looking ahead, Heart with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts comes to the BOK Center, Oct. 2, and the superstar reggaeton singer from Columbia, J. Balvin, is slated for Oct. 3. Contemporary Christian music singer Lauren Daigle performs on Oct 4, and Billie Eilish includes a Tulsa stop on her tour, Oct. 7. With her “When We All Fall Asleep” hit album, Eilish caught the crest of a wave and is riding high. Shoring up her popularity is her authentic persona, along with a distinctive voice and fresh style.

Among the many acts coming through at the casinos, look for comic Sebastian Maniscalo at River Spirit, Sept. 12, and Dwight Yoakum, Sept. 19. A darlin’ of country music, Yoakum has extensive film and TV credits. His musical and theatrical talents combine into a well-rounded evening of entertainment.
An audience favorite, “hot and fluffy” funnyman Gabriel Iglesius appears at the River Spirit on Sept. 20. The perennial Oakridge Boys perform there on Oct. 5. Across town, the English band that pioneered heavy metal, Deep Purple, appears at the Hard Rock Sept. 21.
For more entertainment options, check out the Tulsa State Fair at the Fairgrounds, Sept. 26 through Oct. 6, jazz master Branford Marsalis and his quartet at the PAC, Oct. 6, and jazz of all descriptions throughout the month at Tulsa’s jazz club, Duet.
We’re fortunate to live in a city where talent abounds and creativity runs high, and where organizers with resources and knowledge can bring in the world’s most sought-after entertainment to our door.

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