Tulsa PAC Showcases Holiday Fun in December
From the PAC By ADAM J. FOREMAN
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: John Knippers, left, as The Spirit of Christmas Present and Karl Krause as Ebenezer Scrooge in a scene from American Theatre Company’s 40th Anniversary production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Dec. 8 – 23.
Photo by Kenneth Jones
Cue the bright lights, family gatherings and seasonal cheer as the holidays bring forth some of the best entertainment in the region at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
December shows kick off with Tulsa Symphony Pops’ “Home For The Holidays” concert. Tulsa’s newest holiday tradition unites Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and area high school choirs to bring families and the community together in a celebratory musical extravaganza. Conducted by Ron Spigelman, this uplifting showcase of nostalgic holiday favorites and joyous sing-a-longs is a delightful kick-off to a memorable holiday season. Concerts are Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2:30 p.m. in Chapman Music Hall.
American Theatre Company continues its 47th season with one of Tulsa’s favorite holiday family musicals, “A Christmas Carol.” Robert Odle and Richard Averill’s musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved novel celebrates its 40th anniversary! Watch miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s overnight journey to redemption – an annual reminder of the basic message of the holiday season. Karl Krause returns as Scrooge, accompanied by Brad Gemeinhart as Bob Cratchit, Brittany Wright as the Ghost of Christmas Past, John Knippers as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Matt Lindsey as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Rick Reiman as Marley, and Gigi Jenkins as Tiny Tim. The show runs Dec. 8-9, 14-16, 19-23 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 10-11, 17-18 at 2 p.m. in the John H. Williams Theatre.
Continuing another family holiday tradition, Tulsa Ballet presents “The Nutcracker.” Local children join professional dancers in this holiday classic about a young girl whose dreams are filled with enchanting characters. The Sugar Plum Fairy, Mother Ginger, and dancers from faraway lands entertain Marie and her Nutcracker Prince after he and his toy soldier brigade defeat the Mouse King and his rowdy rodent army. Tulsa Symphony performs Tchaikovsky’s beloved score in this annual production that mixes the visuals of a Broadway show with delightful dance and well-known melodies. Join the fun Dec. 10-11, 17-18 at 2 p.m. and Dec. 16-17, 22-23 at 7 p.m. in Chapman Music Hall.
Ready for a cozy night of Yuletide cheer? Join Sheridan Road for their “Christmas Cabaret” Dec. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kathleen P. Westby Pavilion for candlelight, nostalgia, a cappella carols and jazzy Christmas fun. With table seating for everyone, your ticket includes refreshments of wine, cheese, coffee and holiday desserts as you enjoy beautiful holiday harmonies. Call your friends and reserve a 10-seat table for a 20-percent discount and a fantastic evening of seasonal spirit and fun! Sheridan Road is a Tulsa vocal jazz ensemble founded in 2012 by Dr. Barry Epperley. This eclectic group of Tulsa vocalists can combine to create a lush a cappella sound or swing it with a great instrumental combo for jazz, blues, pops, international rhythms, and more.
Kids get in on the fun this season with Theatre Tulsa Family’s presentation of “Elf Jr.” This children’s version of the musical based on the movie is performed by youth from Theatre Tulsa’s Broadway Academy. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. In the process, he helps New Yorkers remember the true meaning of Christmas. “Elf Jr.” features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (“The Wedding Singer”) and a book by Tony Award winners Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) and Thomas Meehan (“Annie,” “The Producers,” “Hairspray”). Enjoy the show Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Liddy Doenges Theatre.
“The Voice” season 10 contestant Brian Nhira comes to Tulsa Dec. 22 at 7 and 9 p.m. with “Christmas at the with Brian Nhira and Friends.” The gifted vocalist from Tulsa will be joined on stage by fellow “The Voice” alumni Alaska and Madi (Season 6), Kristen Marie (Season 10), Chelsea Gann (Season 10) Malik Heard (Season 10) and local talent Jesse Graver, in addition to Nhira’s live band. The concert takes place in the Liddy Doenges Theatre. Part of the proceeds from this concert will go toward the collection of backpacks and school supplies for grade-school children in Zimbabwe, Africa.
Last but certainly not least, Celebrity Attractions presents a sight and sound spectacle with “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis.” Grammy Award winner Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from his groundbreaking “Fresh Aire” series, which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to America. The program celebrates the group’s recent anniversary of 30 years since the first Christmas album and 40 years since the first “Fresh Aire” album and includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller. The show closes out the month on Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Chapman Music Hall.
Several free events are also happening in December. The Tulsa Trust presents the Brown Bag It Series Dec. 7, featuring the Tulsa Festival Ringers, Tulsa’s only auditioned handbell choir. Shows are at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. in the John H. Williams Theatre. In the gallery, artist John Hammer will exhibit his pop impressionist paintings Dec. 2-30, M-F, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and during all Chapman Music Hall events.
Tickets for all shows are available by calling the Tulsa ticket office at 918-596-7111 or online at TulsaPAC.com.
Adam J. Foreman is the new Director of Marketing for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.