SummerStage Highlights a Busy June at the PAC


THE RACK PACK: Vintage Vegas: Janet Rutland and Cindy Cain sing the music of Frank, Dean, Sammy and more, June 19-20.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

Summer is here! It’s time to play. Take a look at the entertainment lineup at the Tulsa .

SummerStage returns for four weekends in June. Great variety at affordable prices makes this festival an attractive option for everyone. If you love a good musical, check out Tulsa Project Theatre’s “West Side Story,” June 5-14, Theatre Tulsa’s “Next to Normal,” June 19-21, and Sand Springs Community Theatre’s “Into the Woods,” June 25-28.

You are probably familiar with “West Side Story” and “Into the Woods,” two of my favorites, but perhaps not the excellent “Next to Normal.” It’s about a family confronting mental illness. How can one sing about bipolar disorder? I wondered the same thing, but it won a trio of Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. I’m sorry I missed this on Broadway because it was praised by audiences and critics for having so much heart. A Tulsa premiere, the rock musical was created by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt. Vern Stefanic directs an outstanding cast.

Inventive performances are always a part of SummerStage. On June 12-13, Tulsa Portico Dans Theatre presents “Pagliacci Project,” incorporating the drama of opera and making use of aerial silks and trapeze. Also in the dance realm is “Fractured Eye” (June 26-27), presented by the Oklahoma City-based Perpetual Motion Dance and Tulsa’s Bell House dance and art cooperative. Film technology and aerial apparatuses come into play in this original, modern work.

I hope you are a fan of the cabaret format that the Trust has developed into its own art form for SummerStage. Held in our snug Norman and Doenges Theaters, and also the LaFortune Studio, cabaret shows can have you thinking that you’re in a cool nightclub somewhere, relaxing with a glass of wine at your own table with entertainment within reach.

You can enjoy seven cabaret performances this year at SummerStage. “The Way Bent Revue” (June 18-21) is Rebecca Ungerman’s musical variety show featuring actors and singers you know and love, like Lisa Cole, Machele Miller Dill, Tabitha Littlefield, John Orsulak, Seth Paden, Dionne White and Ungerman.

Speaking of local celebs and people we love, Janet Rutland and Cindy Cain turn on the charm and Vegas glam in “The Rack Pack: Vintage Vegas,” June 19-20. Hear the music of Frank, Dean and Sammy, along with other singers who left their mark on Vegas, like Bobby Darin.

Also in cabaret is “Pat Hobbs – Firsts!” This is Pat’s first cabaret, but he’s been singing and acting around town, and a great supporter of performing arts, for decades. It’s been a good life, and he shares it with us on June 26. Also in LaFortune Studio is “Thomas Williams: Holding Out for a Hero,” June 27. Thomas reveals, through song, what it means to be a hero. Rebecca Ungerman directs.
Check out the full roster of SummerStage events on the SummerStage website or at

Three different events are coming to Chapman Music Hall in June. The first is a children’s musical, “Chuggington Live! The Great Rescue Adventure,” June 5. This is engaging, fast-paced fun with trains and the “Chuggington” TV series characters on stage before a giant video wall. Celebrity Attractions, our Broadway presenter, presents the show, and also “Gimme Abbey” on June 12. Two celebrated tribute bands, The Return and Satisfaction, come together to revisit 1969 and all the groovy Beatles and Stones tunes.

One more Chapman Music Hall event to add to your must-see list is Choregus Productions’ presentation of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet, June 14. Alonzo King is an incredibly versatile choreographer who has danced with and choreographed for many of the world’s most celebrated companies. “Biophony,” his latest work, will be performed at the along with a piece danced to Bach’s Concerto in D Minor and “Men’s Quintet.” For 40 years, bio acoustician Bernie Krause journeyed to places like Borneo’s rainforest and Rwanda to record the sounds of animals and their habitats. 15,000 species were recorded. Augmented with the music from composer Richard Blackford, “Biophony” incorporates the sounds of killer whales, tree frogs and more. King says the work “takes place not at the threshold of the civilized and primal but at the rejoining of two worlds never meant to be apart.”

June is a lively time at Tulsa’s home to the arts. We’ll try to save you a seat.
Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 05-26-2015

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