Star-Studded Lineup Slated for Spring


JERRY SEINFELD: The comedian returns to the Tulsa PAC for an evening of comedy June 1.

Courtesy photo

Our Tulsa area enjoys its best weather in the spring and fall, prompting venues and promoters to come up with events that are enticing enough to draw an audience inside. Are Willie Nelson and Tom Jones tempting enough? Perhaps ZZ Top and Speedwagon? Maybe Jerry Seinfeld on the comic side or a penetrating performance related to Black Wall Street.

Those shows at local venues are likely to attract concert and theatre fans, but there’s also superb entertainment offered under the stars or a big tent, and the outdoor gigs are free!

Check out Summer’s Fifth Night at Utica Square beginning with Weston Horn and the Hush May 31, and continuing with the popular Mid-Life Crisis Band June 7. Get your groove on in downtown Tulsa with the Starlight Band concert series at Guthrie Green. “Women of Music” is the featured event June 12, and various concerts are presented on the Green during First Friday. In South Tulsa, LaFortune Park has its own first Friday concert series held in The Garden, May through September.

Jenks and Broken Arrow also offer free outdoor events over the spring and summer months. Attend family films at Jenks’ RiverWalk Crossing beginning with a showing of Disney/Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” May 28 and “Emperor’s New Groove” June 4. Tuesdays in downtown Broken Arrow’s Central Park showcase a range of local talent.

For stimulation and enjoyment of a different kind, check out Chautauqua, June 5-9, under the tent and on the grounds of the Tulsa Historical Society. History is brought to life once again at the 27th annual Chautauqua, showcasing personalities and events that shaped post-World War I. Actors will portray General ”Black Jack” Pershing, sculptor and collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Native American artist Acee Blue Eagle, entertainer and French Resistance agent Josephine Baker, and author Ernest Hemingway. The Chautauqua series includes noontime presentations related to the evening’s featured program.

You have to admire the stamina and staying power of a band or entertainer that has survived a competitive business for almost 50 years. River Spirit Casino Resort hosts ZZ Top, May 17; Tom Jones, May 19; and Speedwagon, June 1. Did you know that Gillette once offered ZZ Top’s sharp-dressed band $1 million to shave their beards? Band members Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard turned down the offer. Formed in 1969, ZZ Top turns up the heat with tunes like “Tush” and “La Grange.”
Sir Tom Jones was recently featured at Queen Elizabeth’s birthday bash concert at Albert Hall. Her Majesty no doubt would be familiar with Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual,” What’s New Pussycat” and “Delilah,” among countless hits from the 1960s forward. I’ve always liked Jones’ “Thunderball.”

Speedwagon, also from the ‘60s, had five U.S. Top 40 hits in one year. You’ll remember their “Keep on Loving You,” “I Can’t Fight This Feeling,” and “Wheels Are Turnin’.”

The Center has booked a phenomenal May lineup, leading with the back-to-back mega concerts of U2 and Justin Timberlake (both were fantastic) and continuing with Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss, May 16. Nelson is 85, but his concerts still deliver. Joining him is bluegrass country singer and musician Alison Krauss, the most awarded singer and female in Grammy history. She has earned an astonishing 27 Grammys!
On May 29, Depeche Mode brings its Global Spirit Tour to the Center. An English electronic band formed in 1980, they released a new CD, “Spirit,” in 2017.

Prior to launching its annual SummerStage round of shows, the hosts “Las Arpias” (The Harpies) May 17. This is a comedy, performed in Spanish, featuring the Spanish-speaking world’s favorite telenovela stars. The plot involves eight women who are suspects in the murder of a millionaire.

Drama and music mesh with mezzo-soprano “Alicia Hall Moran – Black Wall Street,” presented at the Tulsa by Choregus Productions, May 24. Hall Moran lives in New York with her husband, acclaimed jazz pianist Jason Moran (Artistic Director of Jazz at the John F. Kennedy Center) and is the daughter of an Oklahoman. A native of Muskogee, her father once worked on New York’s Wall Street. Hall Moran’s Black Wall Street chamber piece reconsiders the greed, violence and rebirth connected to Tulsa’s 1921 Race Riot. Two guitarists, Jason Moran on piano, and an historian are part of the presentation. Jazz, rock, classical and Indian Carnatic music combine with Hall Moran’s exceptional talent. She toured with the Broadway revival of “Porgy and Bess,” among her many credits.

Jerry Seinfeld returns to the , June 1, with comic Mark Schiff as the warm-up act. Seinfeld’s anti-talk-show talk show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” has become so popular that it is moving from the web-streaming Crackle to Netflix. His comedy is tasteful, light-hearted and smart. Launch into summer with Seinfeld and a chuckle.

Enjoy the stars in the weeks ahead, either on stage or outdoors underneath a spring sky. It’s the perfect season to take advantage of all Greater Tulsa has to offer.

Updated 05-22-2018

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