Tulsa Welcomes in the Fall with Performances


TALENT SHOWS: North America’s leading wind quintet, Imani Winds, opens Chamber Music Tulsa’s 2011-12 season Oct. 2.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

Many people believe that fall is the best time of the year to showcase Tulsa. The weather is gorgeous and, between the Tulsa State Fair and what’s happening on the gridiron and on stages across town, Tulsa offers the max in entertainment options.
As is often the case when the performance season at the opens, our theaters are packed with events. Here are a few, most presented in our smaller theaters that are worth your time and money.

Chamber Music Tulsa, each and every concert, never disappoints. If classical music is your thing, and even if it’s not, there is much to enjoy when a small group of music lovers come together to hear the works of genius composers performed by mind-blowing musicians. CMT’s six-concert series opened Oct. 2 with Imani Winds. This young, Grammy–nominated ensemble from New York, deemed to be the nation’s leading wind quintet, has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center. In Tulsa you can hear them in a 430-seat theater performing contemporary, genre blurring works like “Kites,” and a piece by Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla. Contrabajissimo was the only Piazzolla composition played at his funeral, and is rarely performed. Among other pieces on the program is Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” Tickets are $25, and if you’re a student, you can get in for $5.

Another Carnegie Hall alum, Sounds and Rhythms of Afghanistan, performs Oct. 8, also in our intimate Williams Theatre. I have never heard a doyra or rubab instrument live, and when I learned that this foursome, who also sing, had collaborated with the amazing Kronos Quartet, I knew this show was going to be unconventional and interesting. These tickets are $25, with $12 tickets for seniors and students available in some sections.

Tulsa Opera opens its season on the big stage with The Barber of Seville Oct. 8, 14 and 16. Oklahoma soprano Sarah Coburn – yes, she’s the senator’s daughter; also gorgeous, and extremely talented – returns to the Tulsa Opera to star in Rossini’s comic opera. This is one of those operas that easily makes friends, so if you were thinking about sampling opera, this would be a good one. If you aren’t new to opera, you already know this much-loved classic could be the highlight of your October calendar.

Theatre comes in many forms and genres this month with The Playhouse Tulsa’s Origins Project Oct. 6-8. This weekend festival of staged readings of new American plays offers a special experience for people who enjoy all facets of theatre, including the process involved in creating it. Later in the month, Oct. 22, new plays by young local playwrights will be the focus of the Trust’s “Brain Storms.” And No Child…, staged by Theatre North Oct. 29 is a one-woman show and extraordinary theatre that we’re delighted to have back for one more performance.

It wouldn’t be October without shows that register on the spooky-creepy scale. Include in that Encore Theatre Arts’ Wait Until Dark, Oct. 14-16 and Theatre Tulsa’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Oct. 28-30. If you recall a blind Audrey Hepburn trying to fend off villains in the Wait Until Dark movie classic, you will want to take in this Halloween-time thriller.

The weekend before Halloween, revisit the internal torture of Dr. Jekyll as he battles a salacious Mr. Hyde for control of his life and the destiny of a lovely woman. This Robert Louis Stevenson tale, retold by noted playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, features four actors, one a woman, playing the vile Mr. Hyde.

Tulsa never saw the Broadway tour version of the 1997 hit movie The Full Monty, but American Theatre Company brings this heartwarming show to the Oct. 21-29. It’s the story of six out-of-work steelworkers who form a Chippendales-style act to make money and impress their wives and girlfriends. Playwright extraordinaire Terrence McNally put his stamp on this one, with music by David Yazbek. The musical stars familiar local actors baring their souls, and more (all with discretion), and singers we know and love, like Janet Rutland and Mike Pryor.

In addition to Tulsa Opera, our 2,365-seat Chapman Music Hall hosts Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Town Hall this month with writer Anna Quindlen, speaking for Town Hall Oct. 7, the second concert of Tulsa Symphony’s season, “Larger Than Life,” Oct. 22 and Tulsa Ballet’s first triple bill of the season, “Nine Sinatra Songs” Oct. 28-30.

Take advantage of the best that Tulsa has to offer. Check out the entire 35th anniversary season at the by downloading the Center’s new brochure at TulsaPAC.com.

Nancy Hermann is director of marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 10-04-2011

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