2011-12 Oklahoma Arts Preview
The Who, What, When and Where in the A-R-T. Our draft picks and highlights for the upcoming arts season
Oklahoma’s arts groups, organizations and venues have the state covered and booked through the late spring.
American Theatre Company
ATC begins its 42nd season with The Full Monty, Oct. 21-29, in which a group of steel workers put on a ladies-only strip show. Men show their insecurities, and possibly more.
Also: Fully Committed, Dec. 2-10; A Christmas Carol, Dec. 8-23; The Bomb-itty of Errors, March 2-10; Lombardi, May 11-19. www.americantheatrecompany.org
In Edmond, theater, music and arts fans flock to Armstrong Auditorium for some of the finest acts anywhere, including The Gershwin Project, when award-winning star conductor/composer Marvin Hamlisch performs with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Sept. 8. Hamlisch has won every big award out there (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), which makes him tops in Armstrong’s new season. There’s more where that came from: Chanticleer, Oct. 25; Romeros Guitar Quartet, Nov. 3; Brian Stokes Mitchell, Nov. 10; soprano Dawn Upshaw, Jan. 19; cellist Lynn Harrell with the Miró String Quartet, Feb. 16; The Chieftains, Feb. 27; Moscow Festival Ballet performs Sleeping Beauty, Jan. 31; Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg State Orchestra, March 1; Doc Severinsen and His Big Band, March 8; StepCrew dance group, March 20; baritone Jubilant Sykes, March 27; Eugenia Zukerman, flute, and Yolanda Kondanassis, harp, April 15; Kuleshov-Mogilevsky Piano Duo, April 22; HWAC Choral Union playing Brahms’ Requiem and Handel’s Coronation Anthems, May 3. www.armstrongauditorium.org
Broadway in Bartlesville
The finest of Broadway shows return to the Bartlesville Community Center in the series, which this season features golden paths, love in paradise and a new musical just wrapping its Broadway run.
In the Heights, the 2008 Tony Award-winning musical, shows a Manhattan community bracing for change with exciting music and dance numbers. The tour stops for one performance March 11.
Also: The Wizard of Oz, Nov. 15; South Pacific, Jan. 17; Damn Yankees, March 27; Cirque: Pop Goes the Rock, April 20.
Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center
What a beginning – Broken Arrow’s first show of the season comes straight from the halls of artistic excellence. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis, Sept. 29, not only highlights one of the most famous trumpeters in the world, but also builds the reputation of this new local arts center.
Also: Cirque Mechanics: Boom Town, Oct. 27; Ernie Haas & Signature Sound, Dec. 17; Elvis Lives – The Ultimate Elvis Tribute, Jan. 31; Blast!, Feb. 26; In the Heights, March 10; In the Mood, April 2012. www.thepacba.com
Once again, Celebrity Attractions brings Broadway excellence to Oklahoma. We’re looking forward to a new musical adaptation, The Addams Family, based on the cult TV favorite, and the crowd-pleaser Jersey Boys, which tells the story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. Look for shows at Tulsa’s Performing Arts Center and at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall.
Tulsa: Memphis, Nov. 1-6; The Addams Family, Jan. 24-29; Stomp, March 6-11; Fiddler on the Roof, May 8-13; Jersey Boys, June 6-24.
Oklahoma City: Memphis, Nov. 8-13; The Addams Family, Jan. 17-22; Mamma Mia!, Feb. 15-18; Stomp, March 13-18; Fiddler on the Roof, May 1-6. www.celebrityattractions.com
Chamber Music Tulsa
Bringing the best chamber music ensembles to town requires serious focus and a stellar reputation for excellence and appreciation. This season is no different as CMT welcomes the Imani Winds, considered North America’s leading wind quintet, to Tulsa Oct. 1-2.
Also: Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Nov. 5-6; Miró Quartet, Jan. 28-29; Trio Solisti – Feb. 18-19; American String Quartet, March 17-18; Aviv Quartet, April 14-15. www.chambermusictulsa.org
For an organization that has been around but for a few years, Choregus Productions remains as committed as ever to bringing performances of the highest caliber to Tulsa.
South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jan. 22, is booked to bring music tradition and spiritual alchemy to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. A month later, look for The Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers, March 17, featuring original cast members from London’s West End run production bringing moments and songs from the classic comedy film.
Also: Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Sept. 16-17; Time for Three, Nov. 5; Keigwin + Company, Nov. 18-19 (dance); Mark Morris Dance Group, Feb. 3-4; Batsheva Dance Company, March 15; Music of the Son: ETHEL with Robert Mirabal, April 28;
Diavolo, May 19. www.choregus.org
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Norman’s been waiting since 2007, and the new Stuart Wing – future home to the Eugene B. Adkins Collection of fine art works – is almost ready for the public. The big celebration is set for Oct. 23 from noon-5 p.m. Also on that day, look for reinstallation of the Permanent Collection of Western and Native American art, the icons from the Permanent Collection and No Heaven Awaits Us: Contemporary Chinese Photography & Video.
Also: Rauschenberg: Prints from Universal Limited Arts Editions, 1962-2008, Sept. 24-Dec. 30; Highlights from the Permanent Collection of Photography, Part I, Jan. 27-April 29; A Century of Magic: The Animation of Walt Disney Studios, March 2-Sept. 16, 2012; Oklahoma Clay: Frankoma Pottery, April 20-Sept. 16, 2012; Nineteenth-Century French Master Drawings from the National Gallery of Art, May 13-Sept. 16, 2012. www.ou.edu/content/fjjma
What would Woody Guthrie have thought of the world today? We’ll never know, yet the simple, plain message he heralded in the 1940s reverberates in the time of overt political spin and rampant celebrity excess. This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie at 100, Feb. 5-June 3, coincides with a national salute to the "Dust Bowl Troubadour" beginning with the Grammy Awards in March.
Also: Continuation of To Capture the Sun: Gold of Ancient Panama, thru Jan. 15; America: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Nation, thru Jan. 2; Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon, June 24-Sept. 23. www.gilcrease.org
Henthorne Performing Arts Center continues to illuminate as the resident Heller Theatre begins work on a new season that includes the contemporary work it’s well known for doing plus challenging, transcendent works, such as Bertold Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, Jan. 27-Feb. 4.
Also: Miss Witherspoon, Sept. 9-18; Becky’s New Car, Oct. 28-Nov. 6; Banished Children of Eve, May 11-20. www.hellertheatre.com
Living Arts of Tulsa
Watch for this glimpse into the future of art – Momentum: Art Doesn’t Stand Still features the work by Oklahoma artists 30 years and younger in film, performance and a variety of media. This Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition event opens in grand style Oct. 8 with a reception but stays open through Oct. 26.
Also: Cipher, Sept. 2-23; OK Electric Electronic Music Festival, Sept. 17; Indie Emporium, Sept. 30-Oct. 1; Brady Gallery Walk, Oct. 26; Altered Spaces, Nov. 1-5; The Four Elements, Dec. 2-22; Lucas Greco and Marty Coleman, Jan. 6-26; Hack Art Lab and Lindsey Allgood, Feb. 3-19; Erica Mott – Revised & Revisited (New Genre Festival), Feb. 24-25; Joe DalPra and Kate Rivers, April 6-26 (concurrent shows).
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Musicals just keep coming at Oklahoma City’s Lyric Theatre. We’re especially keen on what the troupe does with A Chorus Line, Aug. 2-6, the tale of young dancers with big, bright Broadway dreams.
Also: Altar Boyz, Oct. 12-22; A Christmas Carol, Dec. 9-31; Xanadu, Jan. 25-Feb. 11; Spring Awakening, March 28-April 14; Bye Bye Birdie, June 26-30; Sweet Charity, July 10-14; Call Me Madam, July 24-28; Chita Rivera: My Broadway, Aug. 7-11, 2012. www.lyrictheatreokc.com
The season is upon us, yes, even before Thanksgiving has been crossed off the calendar. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, Nov. 17, comes to the Mabee Center and brings plenty of acclaim with it, but audiences who love the traditional telling are sure to enjoy the lavish costumes, sets and dancing. www.mabeecenter.com
National Cowboy & Western Heritage
What do you get when you combine the opening weekend for the Cowboy Artists of America 46th Annual Exhibition and Sale (Oct. 14-Nov. 27), with the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 13th Annual Exhibition (Oct. 14-Jan. 8)? You get Cowboy Crossings, Oct. 14-15, an uncompromising collection of fine Western art in one location.
Also: Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby, Sept. 23-Jan. 8; Rodeo Historical Society Weekend, Sept. 23-24; Small Works, Great Wonders, Nov. 18. www.nationalcowboymuseum.org
Odeum Theatre Company
This original Tulsa theater group pushes to get contemporary and sometimes startling treasures to its audience. Last year, for instance, saw Tracy Letts’ Bug, Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie and Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Pretty. In November, the gang gets cozy with It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted to the stage by Joe Landry. Odeum will tour the show in Tulsa and through other parts of the state Nov. 18-Dec. 23.
Also: She Stoops to Conquer, Spring 2012; Alice & Dorothy, Summer 2012. www.odeumtheatrecompany.com
Oklahoma City Ballet
The 40th anniversary season of Oklahoma City Ballet promises a series of holiday tradition, romantic comedy and enchantment, but the stand-out production is sure to be The Firebird, Feb. 11-12, set to Stravinsky’s powerful composition. The piece accompanies the world premiere of In Between Dreams.
Also: Coppelia, Oct. 22-23; The Nutcracker, Dec. 9-11, 16-18; The Wizard of Oz, April 20-22. www.okcballet.com
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Franco Mondini-Ruiz and his works have been called clever, nostalgic and exploratory of conceptions of art. Decide for yourself with the installation of more than 1,000 paintings of whimsical objects in Poodles and Pastries – and Other Important Matters, Sept. 8-Dec. 31.
Also: Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman, Sept. 8-Dec. 31; Dale Chihuly: The Collection, reopens January 2012; Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces, 1600-1800, Feb. 16-May 13; Reflections: Glass in Contemporary Culture, June 14-Sept. 9, 2012. www.okcmoa.com
Oklahoma City Philharmonic
Once again, the OKC Phil has outdone itself with a schedule of splendor booked through Spring 2012. Be sure to watch the classics series’ big Season Finale, May 19, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet, considered one of the world’s best pianists and a special Nov. 3 concert when rock musician Ben Folds joins the Phil for a sophisticated jam session.
Classics: Grand Opening Night, Sept. 24, featuring Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes; The Heart of Romanticism, Oct. 15, with pianist Jon Kimura Parker; Mahler 4 & Mozart, Nov. 19, featuring soprano Sari Gruber and pianist Shai Wosner; Commoners and Kings, Jan. 7, with pianist Louis Lortie; Great Moments in Opera, Feb. 4, with fearless soprano Sarah Coburn; Musical Surprises, March 3, with violinist Rachel Barton Pine; Sumptuous Strings, March 31, with violinist David Kim and cellist Carter Brey.
Pops: Mysterioso, Oct. 28-29, featuring illusions of David and Dania, Les Arnold and Dazzle and Joseph Gabriel set to electrifying music; The Christmas Show, Dec. 1-3, with Broadway’s Judy McLane; ABBA – the Concert, Jan. 27-28, with tribute band Waterloo; Cupid’s Wingman, Feb. 24-25, with Tony DeSare (Our Sinatra); Pink Martini, March 23-24, with Thomas Lauderdale and his orchestra; Wicked Divas, April 27-28, with concert hall showstoppers Julia Murney and Stephanie J. Block. www.okcphilharmonic.org
Oklahoma City Theatre Co.
The OKC group knows how to give its audience variety – a drama of the break-up of the nuclear family (Buried Child) is rarely followed by a light-hearted holiday comedy affirming it (The Best Christmas Pageant Ever). The Native American Play Festival, however, becomes an automatic stand-out for launching new works by rarely heard voices. Watch for it June 1-10 when Diane Glancy’s Salvage anchors the 2012 event.
Also: Quilters, Sept. 16-Oct. 2; Buried Child, Oct. 21-Nov. 6; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Dec. 2-18; Same Time, Next Year, Feb. 3-19; Gypsy, March 8-25; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, April 13-29. www.okctheatrecompany.org
Philbrook Museum of Art
The exhibit Rauschenberg at Gemini concludes Sept. 11, but Philbrook has more to offer in the months ahead, including a look at Southwest life and art. Black on Black & White: The Southwest of Laura Gilpin and Maria Martinez, Feb. 5-April 15, will exhibit Gilpin’s introspective photography along with Martinez’ signature Pueblo ceramic works.
Also: War and Rumors of War: Combat and Commemoration in Native Art, through Oct. 9; Magnificent Vision: Two Centuries of European Masterworks from the Speed Art Museum, Oct. 9-Jan. 8; About Face: Crafting the Modern Portrait, Oct. 16-Jan. 1; The Sinuous Line: Jacques Callot and the Rebirth of Printmaking in Early-Modern France, Jan. 8-April 8; Seeking the Sacred: Religious Ritual in Native American Art, April 1-June 3; This Great Land: Contemporary America on Paper, April 15-July 8. www.philbrook.org
The company just won top honors from TATE (Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence) for a stellar Macbeth last season. The new season, to us, looks like a stand out, as well: The Origins Project, Oct. 4-9; The Storm Repertory: William and Judith and The Tempest, Feb. 10-19; Urinetown, April 17-22; The Unmentionables, May 6-13. www.playhousetheatretulsa.com
Price Tower Arts Center
Swedish-American architect and designer Greta Magnusson Grossman set up shop during the Golden Age of Hollywood to design for Greta Garbo, Joan Fontaine and other celebrities. When she arrived, she said she would need a “car and some shorts” to fit in. The late designer’s concept of American living is the title of an upcoming exhibit at Bartlesville’s Price Tower Arts Center. Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts runs Jan. 20-May 6.
Also: look for From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden, May 18-Sept. 2, 2012, which looks at the prolific artist’s work in a variety of media. www.pricetower.org
Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art continues its exhibit Building the Land: Jewish National Fund Zionist Posters, through Sept. 24, but wait until you see what follows: Andy Warhol: Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, Oct. 23-Dec. 19, brings depictions of Jewish icons Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Golda Meir, the Marx Brothers and others by the Pop Art idol. Marc Chagall: Drawings for the Bible, Oct. 23-January, examines the Russian-born expressionist artists’ ethereal touch.
Also: Out of a Dark Cabinet: Rarely Viewed Treasures from the Permanent Collection, Feb. 15-Sept. 25; Annual Purim Mask Competition, Spring 2012. www.jewishmuseum.net
Prominent musicians join the symphony in a season giving patrons the Manhattan Transfer on Jan. 21 plus a dinner and concert event, Titanic: The 100th Anniversary. First experience sumptuous dining (April 13) and hear a musical salute to the people aboard on April 14.
Classics: Tchaikovsky Piano Competition 2011 Winner concert, Oct. 1; Signature Symphony and Chorale, Nov. 5, performing new piece by University of Tulsa’s Joseph Rivers about figures from Oklahoma history; Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Cellist concert, Feb. 11, winner from the 2011 competition; violinist Bella Hristova, March 10; Gustav Holst’s The Planets, April 21.
Pops: Cirque de la Symphonie, Sept. 23-24; Donald & Barron Ryan, Oct. 14-15; Christmas with Sarah Coburn, Dec. 9-10; Signature Big Band, Feb. 24-25; Signature Symphony Reflections, March 16-17. www.signaturesymphony.org
Sure, Urinetown, Sept. 16-24, has been done before, but it’ll be interesting to see how the oldest community theater group west of the Mississippi River stages this irreverent comedy of the God-given right to use the loo – without paying a toll.
Also: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Oct. 28-Nov. 5; Waiting for Lefty, Jan. 13-21; Effects of Gamma Rays on the Man On the Moon Marigolds, March 9-17; Arsenic & Old Lace, May 11-19. www.theatretulsa.org
Whether its classic or modern, Tulsa Ballet is always contemporary in its approach to dance, meaning stories such as Romeo and Juliet are as timeless as ever in a world premiere event (Feb. 23-25) choreographed by Edwaard Liang.
Also: The Merry Widow, Sept. 23-25; Nine Sinatra Songs, Oct. 28-30; The Nutcracker, Dec. 10-23; A Ballets Russes Evening, March 30-April 1; Off the Floor: Creations in Studio K, April 27-May 6. www.tulsaballet.org
It’s a theater show. It’s a music hall performance. With Tulsa Opera, you get both in addition to a wonderful time spent with other opera fans ready to shout, “bravo!” Oklahoma’s favorite soprano Sarah Coburn opens the season in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Oct. 8, 14, 16.
Also: The Oklahoma premiere of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, Feb. 25, March 2 and 4; Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, April 21, 27, 29. www.tulsaopera.com
Tulsa Oratorio Chorus
It’s "All About Bach" this season, well, almost as the TOC schedules programs heavy on Johann with a touch of other influential composers.
Concert 1, Oct. 15, Trinity Episcopal Church; Concert 2, Pirates of the Caribbean performance, Nov. 12, with Tulsa Symphony Orchestra; Concert 3, Dec. 3, at Holy Family Cathedral; Concert 4, March 24, at Tulsa Performing Arts Center, part of TSO’s season; Concert 5, May 12 at Boston Avenue Methodist Church. www.toconline.org
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
As if there wasn’t enough happening at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center with resident arts groups, the PAC and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust bring in an array of special guests to play T-Town. Steve Martin will be on stage Aug. 24, with his banjo, some awesome musicians and, we hope, a few punch lines. Steve Martin: An Evening of Bluegrass and Banjo kicks off the season.
Also: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, Sept. 30-Oct. 1; The Borrowers, Nov. 4-5; An Evening with Buddy Valastro: The Cake Boss, Nov. 8; Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group, Nov. 19; Tinkle, Twonkle, March 23-24; Are You My Mother?, April 20-21; Zorro, April 27-28. www.tulsapac.com
Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
Most know the Tulsa Symphony has the classics covered, but look closer, and you’ll see much more.
Classics: Fate & Folklore, Sept. 10; Larger Than Life, Oct. 22, featuring Crescendo Award-winning violinist Siwoo Kim; Musical Migrations, Jan. 7; The American West, Feb. 4; The Universe in 90 Minutes, March 24, (Mahler’s Symphony No. 3); Musical Fireworks, May 5.
Rock ‘n’ Adventure Series: Beatles Tribute, Oct. 29, with the Classical Mystery Tour band at SpiritBank Event Center; Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl, Nov. 12, with the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus.
Flavors of Europe Chamber Series: Germany, Nov. 18, at the German-American Society Building; Russia and More, Jan. 13, at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame; France, March 9, at Philbrook Museum. www.tulsasymphony.org