SummerStage Brings a Variety of Entertainment to the PAC
By NANCY HERMANN
DANCE THEATER: A charismatic new patient at an Alzheimer’s hospital brings life and verve to those around her in A Night at Saint Dementia, June 14-16, presented by Tulsa Folkloric Dance Theater.
Courtesy Tulsa PAC
Are you looking for good deals on summer fun or wishing to find entertainment that is simply satisfying and enjoyable? What if you could find all of that in one place?
SummerStage at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center has been around for the majority of the PAC’s 35 years and has been particularly expansive the last few summers due to the involvement of the Trust. Taking on an administrative role as well as underwriting many expenses, the Trust has focused on excellent local talent and on drawing audiences to the Center’s three Second Street performance spaces: Williams, Doenges and Norman Theatres. Each year the SummerStage lineup includes original plays by local playwrights, dance, chamber music and children’s shows.
In addition, under the umbrella of SummerStage is Musical Theatre, which pulls talent from across the nation to stage shows such as last summer’s Evita and The Light in the Piazza.
This year, under the banner of SummerStage Tulsa, the Trust has put together its usual great mix of entertainment, and expanded to a fourth location, the LaFortune Studio, located on the PAC’s Promenade level. A series of cabaret performances are scheduled for that intimate space.
SummerStage takes off in mid-June. Opening the weekend of June 15-17 are four shows. While we can’t discuss in-depth each of the 16 different events that take the stage from mid-June to the first part of July, you can get an idea of the breadth of entertainment available from that first weekend’s offerings.
Presented by Tulsa Folkloric Dance Theatre, A Night at Saint Dementia is a show performed by a SummerStage favorite. Incorporating skilled and beautiful belly dancing, Tulsa Folkloric Dance Theatre delivers a dance experience that is presented through an involving story. In this piece, a new, charismatic and somewhat eccentric patient at Santa Dominga, a hospital for Alzheimer’s patients, elevates the colorless existence of the other patients into something vibrant. Tickets are $18, and less for children, students and seniors. There are two performances, June 15-16.
The Syringa Tree is a production of the Center for Racial Justice. If you remember Vanessa Adams-Harris in her role as the execution-bound young woman in Who Will Sing for Lena?, you will not let this three-show run (June 15-17) pass you by. Adams-Harris performs 24 characters in a play that covers four generations. Beginning in the days of early apartheid, The Syringa Tree, written by South Africa’s Pamela Gien, examines the lives of a white and a black family and the children born into their shared household. Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors.
Musical Theatre presents an outstanding roster of productions during SummerStage. Everyone knows and loves Gypsy. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Let Me Entertain You” are only two of the songs that you will enjoy seeing performed by LOOK’s always-excellent cast. Gypsy plays June 15 through July 8, and you can see the risqué and super-hilarious Avenue Q, presented by , June 16 through July 3.
Avenue Q is about a group of new grads who can’t afford a place in New York on any of the A-P Streets. They end up on Avenue Q dealing with where they are in their lives and whether or not things will ever get better. Yes, there are actors onstage with puppets, but Avenue Q is far from Sesame Street. This 2004 Tony Award-winning musical satire is strongly recommended for mature audiences.
Also staged by this summer is A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, June 23 through July 6. I can’t get enough Sondheim, ever, so I’m looking forward to this show in particular. The last time I saw veteran Ron Lloyd in a Sondheim musical was his turn in Sweeney Todd a few years back, and that was one of my all-time favorite SummerStage experiences. Tickets for events run $32, with seniors ($27) and students ($20) catching a break.
Please check out TulsaPAC.com for a complete list of SummerStage shows. I think the one-man show Camp is Not Sexy (June 21) will be a hoot, and Hank The Cowdog and Monkey Business, (June 21-23) presented by Tulsa Repertory Musicals, will be perfect summertime fun. And so much more.
In our big theatre, Chapman Music Hall, Jersey Boys will be packing the house June 6-24 for 24 performances. I met someone who thought this show had something to do with Snooki and the Jersey Shore bunch! Oh, no! This is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and is filled with their many, many hits. I bet you’ll remember them all. It’s a musical for mature audiences, so please keep that in mind. Jersey Boys gets a Show Buzz guarantee, and tickets are available! They range in price from $25 to $75.
Yes, we have it all, and we’re saving you a seat! See you at the theatre.
Nancy Hermann is the Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.