Tulsa PAC Gets Into the Holiday Spirit in December
By NANCY HERMANN
DICKENS CLASSIC: Karl Krause returns as Scrooge, and John Knippers reprises his role as the Spirit of Christmas Present in American Theatre Company’s annual A Christmas Carol Dec.12-23.
Courtesy Tulsa PAC
Many people don’t realize that the Tulsa Performing Arts Center is owned and operated by the City of Tulsa. As a city facility, we are happy that election time is over and that a degree of certainty about most things has returned. Congratulations, Mayor Bartlett!
Christmas arrived early in Tulsa for city entities like the , our park and recreation department and zoo. The alone will receive $5.5 million due to the Improve our Tulsa vote. Our building will be 37 years old soon and needs basic repair and some cosmetic rehab, too. On behalf of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, thank you, voters. We will make sure your investment is returned back to the community in numerous ways for years to come.
As always, the arts organizations that book the for their events year round, want to make sure that you and your family and friends aren’t bored over the holiday season. Our lineup of shows is sweet, saucy, salty and all low-cal. And to start the month, there’s even entertainment that’s free!
If you’ve not experienced the Tulsa Festival Ringers performing their Brown Bag It concert on the Victorian set of A Christmas Carol, you’re missing something special. The Trust stages two free performances on Dec. 4 — one at 11:30 and the other at 12:45 in Williams Theatre.
There’s a new Christmastime show you’ll want to check out. The Playhouse Tulsa stages the world premiere of Tulsa! A Radio Christmas Spectacular Dec. 5-8. Playwright Cody Daigle set the play in a fictitious Tulsa radio station, , and developed the characters with popular local entertainers in mind. Rebecca Ungerman and Janet Rutland star in this 1940s-era play, and this is where “saucy” comes into play! Of course, with popular singers/performers like Rebecca and Janet in the mix, there has to be music. The play will be directed by Playhouse’s Courtneay Sanders, and also features actors Grace Stump and Tony Schneider.
Another show that is new this year is Theatre Tulsa’s Disney’s Aladdin Jr., Dec. 13-15. The musical, presented in one act (seven scenes), showcases the work that Theatre Tulsa’s Broadway Bootcamp for kids has been doing. The young cast, ages 8-18, takes on the Disney classic complete with genies in the bottle, magic carpet rides and songs from the 1992 film, like Alan Menken’s Academy Award-winning “A Whole New World.”
A Christmas Carol has been performed at the every year since the opened, and it never loses its power to captivate and charm. Although the Dickens piece is a ghost story with some not-too-scary moments, the musical is perfect for the younger set. A couple dozen children are included in the cast. The costumes are beautiful, the set is impressive, and at the end, you’ll feel so warmhearted, you’ll want to give away a turkey! Catch it Dec. 12-23.
If you are looking for something that’s more naughty than nice —- maybe for date night —-Theatre Pops’ The Eight: Reindeer Monologues would be the ticket. In this play, Santa is accused of a variety of indiscretions and his reindeer come to the fore loaded for bear. This show is staged in our very intimate Norman Theatre Dec. 12-21.
For many people, no holiday is complete without taking in Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Dec. 13-22. The painted backdrops, evoking 1920s Paris are works of art, as are the costumes. You have Tulsa Symphony performing the Tchaikovsky score live, and Tulsa Ballet’s exquisite dancing. Downtown will be full of sparkle and energy. It’s a beautiful time of year for a family outing or to spend some extra time with those people you don’t see often enough.
Even if you will be out of town during much of December, remember that you can purchase gift certificates for performances. Holiday shows abound, but there are also shows in January to choose from, like two Broadway blockbusters, Chicago and Beauty and the Beast, a Tulsa Symphony concert, theatre, more dance, and a concert from an American treasure, Tony Bennett.
Here’s wishing you a joyous holiday season. We hope to share at least a small part of it with you at the !
Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.