<i>What Happens in Vegas… Stays in Tulsa</i>


THE CHOSEN: If a plane ticket to Vegas is too expensive, don’t worry: Tulsa has plenty of local theater to enjoy all summer, such as “The Chosen,??? a part of SummerStage, pictured above. The PAC’s annual Summerstage is going on through August. For more information on SummerStage, visit www.TulsaPACTrust.org.

Courtesy Tulsa PAC

As the saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Unless, of course, you are the Trendz columnist for GTR!
Recently I received an impromptu invitation to fly out to Vegas and experience Elton John’s latest foray into musical magic on the Coliseum stage at Caesar’s Palace. He is alternating performances this year with Cher, Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld. (Sort of sounds like the choices in a “which-one-doesn’t-fit” questions, doesn’t it?)

So naturally, I had to do a bit of speed shopping before leaving Tulsa and found a super comfy Gianni Bini sundress with layered tiers in bright chili pepper orange to complement any tan and figure. Coach was having a 40 percent off sale on my favorite flower-power-designed mules, so I had to have them. I passed on the denim patchwork satchel that looked “oh so marvy” with my jeans, however, as it was a bit too extravagant.

I’d seen Elton in concert twice before. The first time was on the eve of New Year’s Eve to welcome the new millennium with Tina Turner as his opening act. Can you imagine the amount of glitz and glitter left on that stage after their high-octane performances?

I don’t know how many copies of the famous “shimmy mini” the diva (Tina, not Elton) had made, but the vintage crystal dress appeared again when she shared the stage with Beyoncé singing “Proud Mary” at this year’s Grammy Awards.

For his millennium concert, Elton wore a red suit and played a black piano. This year, he wore a black suit and plays, of course, his red piano.

The second time I saw Elton was at the Brady Theater right here in Tulsa. A one-man show, with just the “Honky Cat” and his piano. WOW!

“The Red Piano” concert is dazzling stuff, featuring his best work, co-written with lyricist Bernie Taupin. “Rocket Man” and “Daniel” will knock you off your platformed feet. It’s director/designer David LaChapelle’s “maximalist” vision, however, that takes this old soul to new, uncharted territory. It’s like putting Elton on autopilot in a Bugatti and having him land on Mars. LaChapelle definitely adds wet paint to the old standards.

Sometimes you don’t know where to look. Sometimes you are afraid to look. Sometimes you are embarrassed to look, but, as with an eclipse of the sun at which you should never look, you look. It is a feast for the senses. Be forewarned, however, that “The Red Piano” is hot, hot, hot and not, not, not for children or the faint of heart. On the other hand, there will be an indelible red Ed Hardy tattoo engraved on yours.

Once in Vegas, of course, I had to do some more speed shopping. I came to Vegas with X amount of dollars to “lose.” I hate to lose, so I left the casino a winner, of sorts. I found myself in the Coach store purchasing the navy denim satchel that now looks “oh so marvy” with my jeans. Oops!

The guilty treasure no woman wants to be without this summer is, oddly enough, the Roman gladiator sandal, everything from flats and flip-flops to medium and high heels. Steve Madden provides the market with simple flats in an array of funky colors: lime green, raspberry and grape. Sam Edelman has a sassy strapped version in metallics and other leathers at around $90. Bebe and Christian Dior have gone Italian mad with their high-heeled, gold and silver strappy versions, replete with coins and ornate patterns. Some even have straps crisscrossing up the leg. Bebe and Dior check in at roughly $780, so I’ll be waiting for the 40 percent off sale there for sure. The mean, lean girls of summer you will see wearing them are Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Ritchie, Courtney Cox and Elle McPherson.

Now, if you’re boycotting the high cost of gasoline and transportation, put your trip to Vegas on the backburner and have yourself a “stay-cation” at SummerStage, our very own performing arts festival at the PAC! It takes place this June through August.

This year the festival features a variety of performances including mellifluous solo sets by musicians of the Tulsa Guitar Society previewing Guitars Gone Wild and the splendid cast of “Candide” from Light Opera Oklahoma.

Vanessa Adams-Harris delivers an inspiring performance in “Rosa Parks: A Simple Act of Courage,” while the energetic cast of “Footloose: The Musical” explodes like the Fourth of July with the title song and dance.

The cast of “Are We There Yet?” promises an innovative and funny musical journey. Nostalgic embers will be stirred not shaken with “Jeff Shadley’s Tribute to Frank Sinatra,” as he proves he will be doing it “his way.”

This is just a sample of the plethora of quality entertainment coming our way this summer in Tulsa. For tickets call (918) 596-7111 or visit www.myticketoffice.com. For more information visit www.tulsapactrust.org.

What will the well-dressed theatergoer wear this summer? A smile.

Updated 06-24-2008

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