Show Fun for the Sunshine of Our Lives


No one’s ever claimed that Oklahoma weather is boring, but I don’t know that anyone was anticipating those last trying days in May. With the drama of spring behind us and recovery work for many to do, take a break and seek out some sunshine. The upcoming month offers a variety of entertainment with engaging shows and concerts, some of which are free.
Hats are off to River Spirit Casino for surviving the flood. That’s a huge operation to have to suspend. At this writing, a re-opening date was approaching. With luck, they’ll be all set for the Steve Miller Band, and country music’s Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives. We know Steve Miller’s music from “Fly Like an Eagle,” and “Living in the USA,” among other hits. Stuart launched his career on TV’s “Hee Haw” when he was only 14. A longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry, the singer/songwriter was recently highlighted by documentary guru Ken Burns in an upcoming country music series that debuts in September. The two bands will perform the second concert in their 34-city tour at River Spirit June 15.
There’s much to choose from on June 15 with singer Kenny Loggins performing at Osage Casino’s newly remodeled facility that evening and Eddy Izzard in concert at the Brady Theatre. Loggins is widely known for his association with Jim Messina. Winner of Grammys and platinum-selling albums, Loggins turned down the role that Kris Kristofferson ended up owning opposite Barbra Streisand in “A Star is Born.” Recently, the man behind “Danger Zone,” “I’m Alright” and “Footloose,” has been making new fans playing country music. I interviewed him several years ago and recall his graciousness and peaceful spirit. John Cusack will be in Town the evening of June 15 as well. The Cox Business Center hosts “A Conversation with John Cusack” following a screening of the film “Say Anything.”
Also appearing at River Spirit in June is “Real Housewives of New York” star and cabaret singer Luann de Lesseps June 22, and comedian/country singer Rodney Carrington June 29.
At the BOK Center on June 29 is Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and Father John Misty. Four-time Grammy winner Isbell is a roots singer and acclaimed songwriter with an affinity for storytelling songs. He and his 400 Unit band will play a 60-minute set before singer Father John Misty (Josh Tillman) performs another hour of music. Nashville indie folk singer Erin Rae opens. This is the last stop on the gig’s 18-city concert tour.
The Hard Rock has a strong lineup of headliners this month, with country music mega-star Trace Adkins June 13, the incomparable Peter Frampton June 18, a sold-out Hank Williams Jr. concert June 21, and stand-up comic Tom Segura June 27. Frampton’s show is part of a farewell tour.
Seasoned actors and musicians and newbies to the big stage perform together June 8-9 for a musical adaptation of “The Tempest,” directed by Sara Phoenix and created through the Orbit arts program. This presentation is free and open to the public. You only need to reserve your seats in advance. Tulsa well-knowns in cameo roles are part of the big cast. This is the initial project of Orbit, based at the Tulsa PAC. I love the idea of a community collaboration featuring people who have a passion for the stage and have longed to participate.
You won’t want to miss the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Tulsa PAC. “Sunrise Sunset,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Tradition,” and more all are from this tender, uplifting musical about family and loving one another. This version of the 1965 Tony Award-winning musical is choreographed by celebrated Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, inspired by the original choreography by Jerome Robbins. It is directed by Tony Award-winner Barlett Sher (“South Pacific,” “The King and I”). Celebrity Attractions presents this eight-show run June 18-23.
Outdoor entertainment on summer nights is particularly enjoyable when the weather cooperates. Concerts are free! Set up your lawn chair at the Gardens at LaFortune Park June 7 for the blues/rock group Groves Blues Machine. Guthrie Green is the place to be on Tuesday nights. Coming in June are “American Review” June 11, “Broadway Highlights” June 18, and “Midsummer Night’s Jazz” June 23. Guthrie Green also hosts free concerts every Sunday afternoon.
Head to Utica Square on Thursday evenings throughout the summer for pop, rock and jazz, and enjoy music and food in Broken Arrow’s downtown Rose District every Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m.
Our community has weathered rough times. I am hoping all those affected will be able to set aside some time for respite and find that source of sunshine.