Show Buzz by NANCY HERMANN
RINGO STARR: The legendary Beatle and his All Starr Band kick off a North American tour at the Hard Rock Sept. 1.
Tulsa continues its winning streak of solid entertainment with diverse and enticing options.
Prominent in the winner’s circle is Ringo Starr, who launches the U.S. leg of his current tour at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Sept. 1. A member of the most successful rock group of all time, Starr’s contributions to music helped define an era. So why is the Fab Four’s star drummer taking to the road for a multi-city tour? “Rolling Stone” rock critic David Wild wrote of the former Beatle, “Ultimately what’s most impressive about Ringo Starr isn’t what he’s been, but rather who he is.” Wild admires Starr’s “heart and soul, wit and wisdom.”
As a diehard Beatles fan, I find it heartwarming that Ringo Starr still finds joy in making music and sharing it with audiences. His All Starr Band showcases musicians who are famous in their own right: Colin Hay (“Who Can It Be Now,” “Land Down Under”), Steve Lukather (“Africa,” “Hold The Line,” “Roseanna”), Gregg Rolie (“Black Magic Woman,” “Evil Ways”) and Graham Gouldman of 10cc (“I’m Not In Love,” “Things We Do For Love”). Joining the band on percussion and sax is Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette on drums. The concert will feature hits by all the musicians.
Air Supply’s Graham Russell and Russel Hitchcock met in Sydney in 1975 when they were appearing in an Australian production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” They shared a love of Beatles music and grew a friendship that led to worldwide success as a rock music powerhouse. You might recognize their hit songs “All Out of Love” and “Every Woman in the World.” The Aussie duo performs at the Hard Rock, Sept. 13.
Tapping into fantastic local talent, Theatre Tulsa opens its 96th season with “Newsies,” running through Aug. 26 at the Tulsa . This is a colossal cast of 60 trained singers, dancers and actors headed by well-known performers Pete Brennan and Tabitha Littlefield. With music by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, “Newsies” is the turn-of-the-century story of New York’s newsboys who lead a strike in the wake of publisher Joseph Pulitzer’s wage cut. In addition to “Newsies,” the theatre organization Encore makes a return to the with the musical “The Wizard of Oz,” Aug. 17-26. This is a great show for kids.
Looking ahead to September at the , Choregus Productions hosts Broadway star and two-time Tony nominee Christine Andreas in “Piaf ? No Regrets,” Sept. 7. Andreas will channel the great Edith Piaf with music sung in both French and English. I’m looking forward to enjoying a performance in the recently renovated Doenges Theatre. The new configuration incorporates comfortable fixed seating along with cozy tables that effectively share the stage with the performer.
Dominating Chapman Music Hall in September is the return of “Wicked,” Sept. 5-23, presented by Celebrity Attractions. This is the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” that tells the story of two “witches,” their rivalry and friendship. The music by Stephen Schwartz soars and delights. Every cast I have seen perform the roles of Galinda and Elphaba has been excellent. This production is certain to provide a magical and transporting experience. “Wicked” can be scary in parts. It is recommended for ages eight and above.
At the River Spirit Casino, you can enjoy the charm and talent of country music superstar Vince Gill, Aug. 16. Gill is the most-awarded male country artist in Grammy history and one of the nicest people in the entertainment business. I guess that is partly because he’s a native Okie!
Gill will soon wrap his current tour as a band member with The Eagles. When Eagles’ frontman Glenn Frey passed away, the band brought in Gill and Frey’s son, Deacon, to perform the songs Glenn made famous. For his upcoming Tulsa show, he’ll perform his hits and songs from his “Down to My Last Bad Habit” album.
Also at River Spirit is the contemporary rock band from Seattle Candlebox, performing Aug. 25. Upcoming at the Brady Theater is Andrew Dice Clay, Aug. 26 and Alice in Chains, Sept. 10.
September will be an epic month for park activities. While including the Gathering Place on your must-do list, add a visit to River West Festival Park, Sept. 15, for MisFEST. This event focuses on empowering women and features an all-female lineup. Headliner for MisFEST is Nashville singer, songwriter, producer and Emmy-nominated Katie Herzig. The festival will include food trucks, interactive art installations and family activities, along with a special “Uncovering the Music” event with Herzig, Sept.14 at the Woody Guthrie Center.
You are always a winner with live entertainment. Sample and enjoy.