Tulsa Buzzes with Upcoming Entertainment


WICKED SHOW: Broadway’s Wicked will return this season to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The show will be only one of many entertainment events coming to the area in the upcoming weeks.

Okay, I confess, I bought Lady Gaga tickets. I couldn’t help myself. I’m not sure I get her music, and I wouldn’t want to see her wearing a family pack of porterhouse steaks, but she’s got an effusive energy that eats the air around her and makes you want to watch.

Thankfully, in Tulsa, not every concert or event ticket is hard to come by, and there are entertainment bargains and under-rated events out there to explore.
I would add Brown Bag It to my running list of entertainment worth your time and energy. Every fall and spring, the Trust hosts a series of concerts beginning at 12:10 p.m. in the Center’s Westby Pavilion. They last about 40 minutes, are free, and provide a chance to hear an assortment of music styles and performers. Bring your lunch and meet the music-makers. It’s all very friendly and low-key.

Appearing as part of the Brown Bag It series Council Oak Trio performs Nov. 3; Tulsa Rock Quartet is the series’ guest Nov. 10; and pianist Amy Cottingham, with vocalist Chris Middlebrook, performs Nov. 17. I hope Chris sings his On the Street Where You Live. Anything Amy plays is my new favorite piece.

People who enjoy a variety of music are ecstatic that Tulsa has a jazz room at Ciao in Brookside. There’s no cover, and the space is as warm and welcoming as its hot-red walls. Ciao’s Kathleen Kennedy, who is committed to presenting quality music in a club setting, has given performers work and exposure, and jazz lovers like my husband and me a home away from home.

Elsewhere around town in the next few weeks, there’s Julio Iglesias at the Spirit Bank Event Center Nov. 4; Loretta Lynn at the Osage Million Dollar Event Center Nov. 5; and John Prine at the Brady Theatre Nov. 6. I am a John Prine fan from way back. What a poet and consummate entertainer. He’s developed a young audience following.

On Nov. 12, pianos will be blazing when Elton John and Leon Russell perform at the Center. That same night, country star Gretchen Wilson appears down the road at the Osage Million Dollar Event Center, and an amazing singer/songwriter, Susan Werner, will be at the .

An entire column could not cover all the events coming up, but the most popular call-in topic at the concerns Wicked, Nov.17-28. It’s definitely one of those guaranteed-to-please shows, and “Gleeks” will be over-the-rainbow in love with this musical, as if they aren’t already.

Masked Marvels and Wondertales Nov. 5 showcases the mime and visual artistry of Michael Cooper. Kids in third grade and older will be entranced. Tickets, subsidized by the Trust, are only $8.

Another bargain at the , and for kids, are two 45-minute concerts on Nov. 7 designed especially to pique and keep the interest of children. Tulsa Youth Symphony recommends the music to kids aged preschool through elementary.

Also in the lineup is Theatre Tulsa’s The Day They Shot John Lennon Oct. 29-Nov. 6; Chamber Music Tulsa’s presentation of the Jupiter String Quartet Nov. 7; and the Trey McIntyre Dance Project Nov. 9-10.

Adults will be fascinated by Odeum Theatre Company’s production of After Miss Julie Nov. 11-21, conceived by Patrick Marber, the screenwriter for the steamy movie Closer and Notes on a Scandal. More family-friendly subject matter is covered in Crimes of the Heart Nov. 12-14, a drama about an eccentric family’s painful past, produced by the Theatre Department.

One show I’m totally intrigued about seeing is line Live. Picture the Booker T. Washington marching band on overdrive. Based on the movie Drumline, this high-stepping presentation celebrates the tradition of historically black college and university marching bands. The band will breathe some soul into original compositions and Top 40 hits. Be there Nov. 3-4 when the PAC’s Chapman Music Hall feels the beat.

There’s never been more live entertainment to choose from in Tulsa. Experiment. Spend a little or go gaga. We all deserve some fun.

Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 11-01-2010

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