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INSIDE COVER Get out the glitter guns and raise your glasses because Oklahoma Gazette is sending you into the new year with the best parties and events Oklahoma City has in store for the last day of 2018. With this issue, there’s no excuse for a quiet evening at home. By Gazette staff Cover by Tiffany McKnight


7 STATE inmate maternity

8 COMMENTARY eliminating

Medicaid for low-income pregnant women


THE HIGH CULTURE 12 MARIJUANA Life Organics Cannafé 14 MARIJUANA Rep. John Echols

EAT & DRINK 15 REVIEW Pearl’s Oyster Bar

16 FEATURE Cornish Smokehouse 17 FEATURE Magasin Table

18 GAZEDIBLES New Year’s Eve


Burlesque & Variety Show New Year’s Eve Bash

Down at Tower Theatre

90s-00s Dance Party at 51st Street Speakeasy

21 NEW YEAR’S EVE Uptown Get 22 NEW YEAR’S EVE Speakeasy


New Year’s Eve Guide

Alpacas at Magnolia Blossom Ranch

featuring My So Called Band at The Jones Assembly

RetroPub and The Sanctuary Barsilica

Years of Sculpture at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Symphonic Experience at Civic Center Music Hall

26 NEW YEAR’S EVE Wine, Carrots &

28 NEW YEAR’S EVE The Drop Party

29 NEW YEAR’S EVE FlashBack

30 ART Off the Wall: One Hundred

31 THEATER Revolution: The Beatles


MUSIC 35 EVENT American Aquarium at

Tower Theatre

Project at Opening Night

36 NEW YEAR’S EVE The Allie Lauren 37 LIVE MUSIC


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Keeping promises

Education advocates hope changes to the Oklahoma’s Promise program will give it new strength. By Nazarene Harris

Before 33-year-old Oklahoma State Rep. Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, made history in 2015 by becoming the first Asian-American woman elected to the state Legislature and the first Democrat to win representation in House District 85 and inspired a wave of female political newcomers in 2018, she was a starry-eyed middle school student in Lawton with a dream of becoming the first person in her family to earn a college degree. “I didn’t come from a political family or from wealth,” Munson said. “Neither of my parents went to college, but they wanted better for us, like all parents do, and they did everything they could to make sure we would become college graduates.” After Munson’s Korean-born mother and U.S. military father divorced when she was 13 years old, her father was left to raise Munson and her sister Sandra alone and navigate helping his daughters apply for college. “When it came to filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and submitting college applications, he had no clue,” she said. “He’d be the first one to tell you that. But he became highly involved in our classes and afterschool programs.” At an afterschool program, Munson’s father picked up a brochure about Oklahoma’s Promise, a college scholarship program created to help students from low-income families earn college degrees. With her father’s support, Munson began asking teachers and counselors about the program. She applied for the scholarship, was accepted and went on to earn a political science degree from University of Central Oklahoma before earning a master’s degree in leadership education, working for Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma and later, running for state Legislature. “Oklahoma’s Promise is the best investment we have in education,” Munson said. “Without it, college would not have been attainable for me.” Every year, on what the Legislature calls Oklahoma’s Promise Day, Munson shares her testimony at the Capitol in an effort to remind lawmakers of the value of legislation that was passed over two decades ago and show student visitors what is possible. “There are a few of us in the Legislature who were Oklahoma’s Promise recipients,” Munson said. “But there certainly weren’t any recipients in the Legislature when I was growing up. I always knew I wanted to run for office, but I didn’t know if that was possible for someone like me because most 4

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politicians I learned about had either political connections or wealth. I want students who come to the Capitol on Oklahoma’s Promise Day to know that it’s possible to go from low-income to House Representative. I always end my speech by telling them that someday, the governor of our state will be an Oklahoma’s Promise recipient, and I truly believe that will be the case.” Oklahoma’s Promise is administered by the state Regents for Higher Education, said vice chancellor for scholarships and grants Bryce Fair. The scholarship was created by the Legislature in 1992 and was originally called Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. Fair said Munson is one of 85,000 Oklahoman students who have received the scholarship since its inception. “We are proud of our success and of our students’ success,” Fair said. “Our data shows that the students who receive Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships outperform their peers in college and remain in Oklahoma where they attain jobs within the first year after graduation.” While Oklahoma’s Promise has a plethora of success stories, Fair said there’s always room for improvement in the system.

Fine print

Jenks Public Schools teacher Ann Schuh said she became aware of Oklahoma’s Promise through her inner circle of educator friends and colleagues. Shortly after her divorce, she jumped at the chance to send her two children to college with their tuition paid through the program. “I was a single mom and a public school teacher,” Schuh said. “I knew there was no way I could pay for them to go to college on my own, but I also knew that I didn’t want them to be drowning in debt from student loans after they graduated.” Schuh’s son Austin was awarded an Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship and made the decision to go to University of Tulsa. Shortly before the start of his senior year, Schuh said Austin was dropped from Oklahoma’s Promise based on the newly required annual income check. Schuh had remarried, and the couple’s combined income was barely above the maximum $100,000 threshold. “I understand why there is an income limit, but I think it’s only right to allow kids who started with the scholarship to finish with it regardless of whether

or not their parents’ income level changes while they are in school,” Schuh said. “My husband has two children of his own, and while it might appear on paper that we can afford tuition for all of our children, it’s not the case.” Austin applied for alternative scholarships this year and expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in energy management in May, Schuh said. Fair said the annual income update Schuh was asked to provide was due to changes legislators made last year to Oklahoma’s Promise in an effort to attract more applicants while also reducing costs. “When the scholarship launched, the maximum income that a family could earn to qualify their child for Oklahoma’s Promise was $24,000,” Fair said. “In 1999, the threshold became $32,000. In 2000, it became $50,000, and last year, it was changed to $55,000. After the income increase in 2000, we saw an increase in applicants for the first time in years and we are hoping with this latest change we’ll see an increase in applicants from low-income and middle-class families as well.” According to Oklahoma’s Promise 2017 Year End Report, the cost of all scholarships paid to students since 2012 has almost doubled from $59.5 million in 2012 to $68.3 million last year. During the same time, scholarship recipients dropped from 20,031 in 2012 to 17,749 last year. Fair said one explanation for the spike in scholarship costs despite the decrease in applicants is increases in tuition.

State Rep. Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, was an Oklahoma’s Promise recipient. | Photo Gazette / file

To offset costs, Fair said legislators also decided to drop payment of remedial courses and check recipients’ income every year instead of just once when applicants are required to first apply for the scholarship anytime between eighth and 10th grade. “A student’s family must make below $55,000 when the student first applies for the scholarship,” Fair said. “Once a student is enrolled in college, we check to see that the families’ income has not exceeded $100,000. While we encourage families to work towards increasing their incomes, we believe that those students whose families make less than $100,000 are the most in need of the scholarship.” To be eligible for Oklahoma’s Promise, high school students must apply for the scholarship between eighth and 10th grade, with the last day to apply being June 30 of a 10th-grader’s summer break. Additional requirements include living in a household with a combined income of less than $55,000; maintaining a cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher; and abstaining from criminal behavior. “My dad always said Oklahoma’s Promise is the best-kept secret in Oklahoma, but it shouldn’t be a secret at all,” Munson said. Visit


A student works with his teacher at a CareerTech center | Photo CareerTech / provided

Opportunity overlooked

Education advocates hope to raise awareness of career technology programs. By Nazarene Harris

During his three decades as an educator, Mid-America Technology Center administration superintendent Dusty Ricks said he has seen no educational opportunity in the state that is quite as

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valuable yet underrated as a local career technology center. “When I was growing up, my parents, teachers and counselors preached to us about the value of a college education,”

Ricks said. “We were taught that the only way to be successful was to go to college. I think now that we’re starting to see that college graduates are struggling to find work, it’s becoming clear that that’s not the case.” While a little less than 30 percent of Oklahomans have college degrees, according to the United States Census Bureau, state universities continue to see increases in enrollment. While Ricks said he supports Oklahoma’s colleges and universities, he believes students should be made aware of other options that are available. During a time when entry-level salaries are not enough to support a generation of college graduates with costly monthly student loan payments, Ricks said it is time parents and teachers have honest conversations with high school students about their future. Mid-America Technology Center is one of about 60 career technology programs across the state, said Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education spokeswoman Paula Bowles. All of the state’s high school students have the option to participate in a career technology program by electing to spend half of their day at school and the other half at the technology center.

“They can take classes in welding, pre-engineering, cosmetology, computer science and electrical work,” Bowles said. “The list goes on.” All courses offered to high school students are free. Ricks said the hours high school students earn while enrolled in a CareerTech program go toward earning a license or certificate in their chosen field. A high school student who wants to become an electrician and get a journeyman’s license, Ricks said, has the opportunity to earn some of the required hours it takes to earn that title while still in high school. Those hours qualify the high school student to work as an electrician apprentice immediately after high school graduation. The student can also take additional courses at CareerTech to earn the remaining hours needed to qualify him or her to sit for their journeyman’s exam. Electrician apprentices make an average $20,000 annual salary while their licensed journeymen colleagues make an annual $48,250. Ricks said salaries like that support the 25 percent of Mid-America Technology Center graduates who go on to attend college, where they experience higher graduation rates than their continued on page 6

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In “Drawing MAPS” in the Dec. 12 issue of Oklahoma Gazette (News, Nazarene Harris) it was incorrectly reported that $5 billion has been collected for MAPS projects. The amount of taxes collected since the inception of the MAPS initiative is less than $2 billion.

In Oklahoma Gazette’s Nov. 21st story “In session” (News, Nazarene Harris), it was incorrectly reported that Carrie Hicks would be a volunteer substitute teacher for Deer Creek Public Schools and previously discussed education funding with her legislator. Hicks will be a volunteer substitute teacher for Putnam City Schools. The legislator she spoke with is not from her district.




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peers. He wishes more high school students knew they could take advantage of the kind of free education career technology programs provide. “The opportunity for them to get involved is always there for them, but I don’t think schools do enough to make students aware of these opportunities,” he said. Bowles said it’s up to individual school administrators to determine how involved they want to be in their local career technology program. In addition to offering high school students the option to enroll for halfday classes at a local career technology center, career technology programs also offer school districts the option to incorporate career technology classes into their public school classrooms. Classes like home economics and agricultural studies, Bowles said, are commonly used. But with all opportunities, she said, the decision to get involved is made by the school.




Strong ties

With the aspiration to empower Oklahoma’s workforce, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education launched in 1929, 12 years after President Woodrow Wilson passed the Smith-Hughes Act, legislation that directed federal money toward vocational education, and 42 years before the inception of the state’s education department. State superintendent of public instruction Joy Hofmeister serves on the board of Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education Department and said she agrees that despite success stories and increases in enrollment, there is not enough awareness about the state’s career technology programs. “Many families are unaware of the opportunities available to their chil-

dren through CareerTech programs,” Hofmeister said. “We want to raise awareness so that students can start taking advantage of these opportunities early in their education.” Hofmeister said she hopes to raise awareness for both career technology opportunities and college dual credit opportunities through the Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP) that calls for changes in education to be made so lessons will include an element of career preparedness. House Bill 2155 was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin last year and requires all high school students in the state to complete an ICAP starting with high school freshman in 2019. Career technology centers currently operate classes in 393 of Oklahoma’s 520 public school districts. Hofmeister added that 49 percent of 11th-graders and 52 percent of 12thgraders are involved in career technology programs statewide. While high school students who spend half their days at their local career technology centers gain technical hours that can go toward earning a professional license or certificate, Ricks said the courses count only as electives on their high school records. Allowing certain career technology courses like applied mathematics to count as core classes would also increase awareness and interest in career technology programs, he said. The first thing high school students who are interested career technology should do, Bowles said, is ask their school’s academic counselor which technology center is in their district. Visit

A student works with his teacher at a CareerTech center | Photo CareerTech / provided


Labor pains

Criminal justice reform in Oklahoma sheds light on what life is like for female inmates. By Nazarene Harris

Twenty-six-year-old Kayla Jo Jeffries remembers the night she gave birth to her now 2-year-old daughter, Emersyn, the way most women do — as if it were yesterday. Her experience might have been memorable, she said, but it wasn’t enjoyable. Her partner wasn’t holding her hand, and the waiting room outside wasn’t filled with adoring family members waiting to don the new baby with infant onesies and handmade baby blankets. Instead, Jeffries said, she had never felt so alone in her life. “It was just me and the hospital staff in the room,” she said. “I had 48 hours with my baby. After she was born, I was taken to a dark room on the very bottom floor of the hospital.” Jeffries was an inmate of Mable Bassett Correctional Center when she went into labor. When she started having contractions before her daughter’s birth, she was transported to OU Medical Center by a security officer. After 18 hours of labor, she bonded with her daughter briefly over two days, given ibuprofen and transported back to prison. The silver lining, Jeffries said, was that her mother and sister were granted custody of Emersyn. Jeffries said her fellow inmates know they might never see their babies again. On Dec. 5, Gov. Mary Fallin granted Jeffries and two dozen other inmates commutation that erased her 20-year conviction and allowed her early release from prison. The commutations came a year after Oklahoma voters passed State Question 780, also known as The Oklahoma Reclassification of Some Drugs and Property Crimes as Misdemeanors Initiative. The new law lowered the charges of certain nonviolent drug- and theft-related crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, which carry a maximum penalty of a one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine. Under the new law, Jeffries’ methamphetamine possession wouldn’t have given her a 20-year prison sentence, a felony conviction and the experience of having delivered a child as a prisoner. “I know everything happens for a reason,” she said, “but I wish I could have had the chance to get to know her more back then.” Today, Jeffries said she sees her two children almost every day. While an earlier passage of SQ780 could have spared Jeffries the experience of delivering a baby as an inmate, House Bill 3393 could have made the process a little more comfortable.

In shackles

Fallin signed HB3393 into law in May, effectively making it illegal for correctional facility workers to shackle pregnant inmates who are in labor. The bill’s author, Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, said her motivation to pass the bill came after formerly incarcerated women shared stories of being shackled to hospital beds while they were in labor. “They told me the same story: that they were chained by their right ankle and right wrist during delivery,” she said. “Hearing their stories about how painful it is, how degrading it is, how they would have a male guard in the room while they are exposed — I just think these women are entitled to some decency and some privacy while they’re delivering a child, and also for the safety of the baby, the doctor needs to be able to have these women push without being chained to anything and having these obstructions.” Goodwin’s bill focuses on safety and states that the “least restrictive restraints on pregnant inmates” should be used. The law additionally states that jailers are prohibited from placing pregnant women in any kind of position that could harm the health of her unborn child, including facedown or being linked to another inmate. Most pleasing to Jeffries is that the law requires that correctional officers and hospital staff allow one supporting person to be in the delivery room with an inmate when she goes into labor. That supporting person can be a doula, a member of the clergy or a family member. “My mom is my best friend,” Jeffries said. “I would have loved to have had her with me.” The harm that can result from shackling a pregnant women became clear after a 2008 report filed by U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division revealed that a woman detainee of Oklahoma County Jail was in premature labor three months early when she was left handcuffed to a wall for 10 hours with no medical treatment or help despite crying out for it. The infant died shortly after it was born, the report said. While Oklahoma ranks first in the nation for the number of women incarcerated per capita, Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Elliott said most of those women are not pregnant. The Department of Corrections currently has 14 inmates who are pregnant. Pregnant inmates, Elliott said, are able to go to doctor’s appointments within a prison’s medical services unit. When the women go into labor, a correctional officer has to accompany them from jail cell to hospital room. “If it happens often, it puts quite a

strain on our resources,” he said. Oklahoma City certified doula Brittany Chavez said it’s imperative that inmates going into labor get the same level of quality treatment that other women receive. Good treatment, she said, ranges from access to medication to emotional support. “It’s horrific that nonviolent women were ever shackled to a bed while giving birth,” she said. “Studies have shown that giving birth while laying on your back is counterproductive. It limits the flexibility of the pelvis and actually makes the birthing process more difficult for the mother. That difficulty often translates to the mother needing additional medication and experiencing possible complications. Having freedom of motion is vital in the delivery process.”

After she was born, I was taken to a dark room on the very bottom floor of the hospital. Kayla Jo Jeffries

New laws make it illegal to shackle pregnant inmates while they are in labor. | Photo

to the hospital for doctor’s appointments. She’s thankful, she said, that women will not have to undergo the same experience moving forward.

Catching up

Oklahoma’s recent sweep of criminal justice reform is a reflection of a national movement. On Dec. 20, federal bill First Step Act was passed in the House and lists a number of criminal justice reform measures including a mandate that federal prisons provide feminine products, like pads and tampons, to female inmates for free. The Senate previously passed the measure, and it will become legal if signed by the president. Elliott said Oklahoma is one of several states that have joined the movement to provide women free feminine products. “We provide them for free,” he said. “However, feminine hygiene products are also sold on canteen if someone wants to buy a specific type or brand.” Prison might be a bit nicer since Jeffries left, but she’s still glad she’s out.

Just having a hand to hold during the process can significantly impact a woman’s delivery experience, Chavez said. Emotional support can reduce a laboring woman’s blood pressure and anxiety levels. Postpartum, Elliott said, women are given the same kind of treatment that noninmates receive, including being prescribed their necessary medication. “Controlled drugs like opioids can be prescribed as medically necessary, but they are prescribed in a tightly controlled and monitored fashion,” Elliott said. Despite Jeffries’ memories of isolation post-partum, Elliott said there is not a separate recovery area for women inmates within OU Medical Center. One thing Jeffries remembers vividly, she said, was being shackled while pregnant. Though correctional officers did not require her to be shackled during labor, Jeffries said she was shackled when she was taken from Oklahoma’s County Jail Regina Goodwin authored a bill that prohibits the shackling of pregnant inmates while they are in labor. | Photo provided

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Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

Legislative malpractice

A xenophobic Senate bill would take away prenatal care for all low-income women just to screw over undocumented immigrants and own the libs. By Rev. Lori Walke

One might think that legislation to end a program that provides vital services to thousands of Oklahoma’s poorest women and children would deserve the utmost care and discernment. But with all the assiduity of a third grader the day before summer break, Sen. Paul Scott, R-Duncan, threw together Senate Bill 40, which cuts the safety net out from under some of the most vulnerable in our state. Apologies to Oklahoma’s third-graders, who because of high-stakes testing know about devastating consequences better than most. Soon-To-Be-Sooners (STBS) provides limited services — ultrasounds, regular check-ups, and delivery — to pregnant women who qualify based on income. Citizens who earn between 138-185 percent of federal poverty level are eligible, although noncitizens only qualify at 185 percent of federal poverty level. Services provided to the mother end upon delivery or at the time of miscarriage.

The impact of the elimination of the program would be deep and harsh. STBS helped almost 10,000 women last year get the care they otherwise couldn’t afford. Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care. Prenatal care allows doctors to identify concerns with mother and baby early, reducing the chance of complications. Then there is the “small” matter of Oklahoma Healthcare Authority losing $90 million in federal funding, should STBS be eliminated. When news of SB40 broke last week, the senator was quick to deny that the intent of the bill was to affect low-income mothers or any Oklahomans for that matter. This is pretty hard to believe since he proposed the same legislation just last year. Senator Scott is either lying, too lazy to do the work or doesn’t care. Whatever the case, his neglect of due diligence before proposing a bill with

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such dramatic consequences is tantamount to legislative malpractice. Senator Scott is, however, delighted to wrap himself in the blanket of xenophobia, claiming his actual goal was to end “this attraction for illegals [sic] to make their way to Oklahoma.” Apparently, Scott is under the delusion that pregnant noncitizens are flocking to a state that competes year after year for the highest incarceration rate for women in the world, where we rank among the worst states in the nation for the rate of women killed by men, and from where our teachers are fleeing for lack of respect and funding for public education — all for the chance to get a free ultrasound. Given that Scott doesn’t spend his time thinking about the ripple effect of his mean-spirited and xenophobic legislation, he should have plenty of time to pencil in a few appointments with Oklahoma Healthcare Authority and women who use STBS to hear what they

have to say. He might consider asking a public school teacher to allow him to be a classroom observer so he can witness how important it is for children to get the best start possible. Giving children the best start possible is something Senator Scott should be particularly interested in, given his stated motivation for legislation he proposed in the past. Last year, he penned a bill that would have banned abortion after a fetus’ heartbeat becomes audible, explaining that children in the womb are human beings with the right to live. Evidently, Senator Scott believes that’s true only if they can show their papers.

Rev. Lori Walke, J.D., is associate minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church and a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law, Phillips Theological Seminary and Oklahoma State University. | Photo provided

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Dark haze

Street boss

The Rodgers and Hammerstein production of Oklahoma! is still one of the things most non-Okies associate with the state. It has no doubt made people think the state’s residents are liable to break into song at any moment and have colorful hoop skirts and overalls in their closets at all times. A new production of Oklahoma! by experimental director Daniel Fish making its Broadway debut in 2019 vows to do for Oklahoma! what Christopher Nolan did for the Batman franchise by infusing a campy concept with gritty realism. (Remember the ice dancing and bat nipples of Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin in 1997?) Fish’s interpretation made its debut at Bard College in 2015 as the cast prepared chili and cornbread during the opening act and shared it with the audience on long wooden tables. The production went to Off Broadway this fall and attracted celebrities like Frances McDormand and Stephen Sondheim to early stagings, and while the Fish version features a new ending and video interludes that might seem antithetical to the Broadway aesthetic, it comes at a time when classic revivals are gaining steam. South Pacific and The King and I have earned Tony Awards in recent years for their new interpretations. The new Oklahoma! takes the score written for an orchestra and condenses it into a more concise arrangement, with a small band on stage that features pedal steel guitar and banjo performing “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and “I Cain’t Say No.” The “not your mother’s Oklahoma!” will begin previews in March before opening April 7 at Circle in the Square, which is Broadway’s only theater-inthe-round, according to The New York Times. This version of Oklahoma! featuring a diverse cast, gritty realism and contemporary choreography is sure to more accurately depict Oklahoma than the original did.


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Downtown Oklahoma City was abuzz Dec. 14 when city officials debuted the city’s new streetcars courtesy of city taxpayers and the third Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) initiative. Weighing 80,000 pounds and stretching 67 feet long, a shiny pinkand-red streetcar rolled out in slow motion like a Rolls-Royce at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. Loud music played in the background, confetti fell from the sky and the crowd cheered in unanimity. The message was clear: Oklahoma City is a big-time city in the making. The city’s country roads are no more. Gone are the days of downtown Oklahoma City’s ghost town ambience. But while celebratory onlookers displayed excitement, fear of the unknown was hard to ignore, and many an Okie was left to wonder if a century’s worth of our hardwired Wild West ways could be changed overnight (cough — again; OKC’s original streetcar system was removed in 1947). “It has been decades since streetcars traveled through downtown Oklahoma City, and now city leaders are trying to make sure everyone




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knows how to interact with the new mode of transportation,” reads an online story from local news station KFOR Channel 4 titled “Tips for drivers trying to navigate new Oklahoma City streetcar system.” The story resembles others that local news outlets have recently published with the hope of educating the masses on how to coexist with the new giant and understandably intimidating transportation vehicles. The last time the city utilized streetcars, citizens also traveled by horse and buggy and a loud whistle was likely enough to make a streetcar halt so a cattle drive could resume. Today, it’s a whole new ball game. The city posted the following tips on its website: - Do not overtake or pass any streetcar, even if it isn’t moving. - Never park on the tracks. - Park your entire vehicle within the white lines of designated parking spaces to avoid damage to your vehicle. - Watch for approaching streetcars before turning or opening your car door if you are parked. - Always use your turn signal if you plan to drive along the tracks. - Never tailgate the streetcar. While the city’s tips are no doubt helpful, we at Chicken-Fried News have our own version:

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- Look both ways before crossing downtown streets, but also wear neon head to toe just to be sure you’ll be seen. - While the city urges residents not to tailgate streetcars, we do encourage you to follow them. We love our city just as much as the next guy, but trusting technology is another matter. Where do these streetcars really go and how safe are they really? There’s no way of knowing unless you find out for yourself. - While the city urges drivers to use their turn

signals when choosing to drive along the tracks, we recommend using your hazard lights during the entire duration of your drive. Nothing says “confused and ready to hit the breaks unnecessarily” like driving at 20 miles per hour with your hazards on while on streetcar tracks. Use this tactic and you’ll be more likely to scare a city streetcar than it ever would be likely to scare you. - While the city urges drivers not to overtake or pass any streetcar, we encourage readers to challenge streetcar drivers to some friendly street racing. Nothing says welcome to the Wild West more than nitro-burnin’ competition. (But be sure to watch out for pedestrians; we’re not condoning running people over.) Use the city’s tips to keep safe and ours to let those big city streetcars know who the real bosses are in OKC.

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Coffee plus


Norman now boasts the state’s only CBD cafe on Campus Corner. By Matt Dinger

Oklahoma University’s Campus Corner in Norman just got a lot more chill thanks to the new kid on the block. Life Organics Cannaf é, 588 Buchanan Ave., opened its doors in late October. The quiet cafe boasts of being the only CBD-infused cafe in the state, co-owner Jim Castor said. “When we came in, it looked exactly like The Grasshopper in Amsterdam. We were like, ‘This would be an awesome cafe,’” Castor said. “On-site consumption, everybody’s tried that all over the country, even in Vegas and LA. They just can’t get it done because of the THC, the on-site consumption. We were like, ‘The CBD consumption would be great.’ We started out on game days doing an infused slushie. “We just love the Old World Amsterdam theme. We were going to do it under the name Grasshopper at one point, then ‘Cannaf é’ popped up. Nobody knows what a Grasshopper is, but Cannafé is like, ‘I get it.’” The Grasshopper is a legendary

“coffee shop” that stopped serving cannabis in 2014 due to rezoning laws. “We just came up with some great flavors for the drinks, and said, ‘Man, you know, our extracted oils could go in coffees and lattes and got some snacks going,’” he said. “So we kind of go with a microdosing philosophy rather than it being really intense. We have several different kinds of cookies and brownies, and then we have an ice cream sandwich and ice cream with infused caramel or chocolate sauce on there. Those are kind of the dessert items. And then we have a pasta salad that we infuse the oil, a hemp butter and jelly sandwich that’s like the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich you’ve ever had. It’s got pumpkin seeds that are ground up. Everything is made from scratch as well. Our manager’s task is to craft a few new items on the actual food side, so we have a salad right now, we have an avocado toast. “Depending on who you are, there’s really no dramatic feeling, but you could, if you put it all in one and you had three,

it would be a lot. Nobody necessarily says ‘I feel that,’ but you get the cannabinoids into your system, which is really our goal, to replenish that starved endocannabinoid system.”

Scientific CBD

Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Castor has started several businesses and his area of study is criminology. His first master’s degree thesis was on the detection of cannabis by devices such as breathalyzers. He and partner Joel Jacobs attended the same high school. “My partner is a Harvard biochemist and taught at Harvard for a few years and then got into the cannabis space. We’re went to high school together and got together a couple years ago. And he’s like, ‘Yeah,’ you know, ‘Let’s do this, ’” Castor said. “I was in Boulder for the summer and saw that the law changed in Oklahoma — I actually live in Dallas — and came here and read the law on the plane and said, ‘Hey, Joel [Jacobs]. Why don’t you meet me in Norman?’ You know, it’s kind of a thought center in Oklahoma with OU and Oklahoma is offering a researcher’s license, which is cutting-edge. No one in the country, no state has done that. They haven’t actually released that yet, to actually allow anybody to do it, but they have it in the law that there will be a research license where a company can actually be li-

censed to research cannabis and its effects, and Joel is a PhD in biochemistry. He was like, ‘Oh, this is awesome. Let’s do it. So we’ve got a culivation, a

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The Marijuana Revolution processing, a lab license and then two medical dispensaries, and then the Cannafé here. Up until about five years ago, I was like he had medical marijuana; whatever, right? Good excuse to get high. And then they just kept doing study after study, and there have been more than 10,000 studies now.” There will be no on-site consumption of THC at the Cannafé. That still leaves a plethora of products like CBD pre-rolls and vapeable product, not to get you high, but to calm you down. And more products will be available from Life Organics as research and development continues. “I’ve heard it said that THC covers about the last 20 percent and the other cannabinoids including CBD cover the other 80 percent. Cannabis or marijuana has about 150 known cannabinoids in there, and THC is one of them, probably the most prevalent, then CBN, CBG, just a whole host of them that we know some things about but not very much about yet,” Castor said. “As hemp becomes legal this week, we believe, and as cannabis becomes legal this year, we believe more and more research will go that direction, where we can learn more and more about those other, lesserknown and less-plentiful cannabinoids that are in there. CBN, for example, will put you sleep like Valium puts you to sleep and so isolating that in the extraction process, when we extract, we can isolate specific cannabinoids.” Castor said that eating and drinking cannabis and its byproducts are the most efficient way of consumption. “That’s probably the best way of getting it into your system, as opposed to smoking it or vaping it,” he said. “Smoking, especially, a lot of it is

Life Organics Cannafe in Norman offers flavorful ways to take CBD. | Photo Alexa Ace

burning in the process and heating at such a high temperature that it degrades or it burns up completely, whereas when you ingest it, you’re taking that oil in and you’re using 100 percent of it basically. Very little of it is destroyed in the digestion process, and then it goes where it’s needed. The receptors and the endocannabinoid system is located all throughout your body.” Brightly lit during the day and awash in low green light at night, Cannaf é is also hosting live music. “There’s so much talent here in Norman,” Castor said. “The manager we hired was in a couple of bands here and knows everybody, so that really helped us facilitate a great atmosphere.” There is often live music on weekends, and midweek music on Wednesday nights. The shows start at 7 p.m. and are free. Lindsey Cox, Kate Carmichael, Cedar Micaelah and others will be performing in January. “It is a totally chill place to come and hang out for the students and for the town. We love it,” Castor said. Visit

COMING SOON! OKC • 13801 N Western Ave • Memorial & Western

405.252.4193 Coming soon - Midtown, OKC Campus Corner, Norman • S. 19th Street, Moore O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8




Compassionate minds

Oklahoma medical marijuana proponents have an unlikely ally at NE 23rd Street and Lincoln Boulevard. By Matt Dinger

Oklahoma State Rep. Jon Echols is a conservative Republican serving southwest Oklahoma and northwest Cleveland counties. He’s a Bible-thumping, bornagain Christian who serves as a deacon in his Southern Baptist church. He’s pro-life and pro-business. And Echols is the greatest ally to medical marijuana at the state Capitol. Echols, 39, R-Oklahoma City, is co-chair of the medical marijuana working group. In addition to being a politician, lawyer, entrepreneur, husband and father, he’s also Katie’s uncle. “My niece has a syndrome called Dravet,” Echols said. “Dravet is essentially a severe seizure disorder. And we tried everything with Katie. Katie’s had surgery, we got her a seizure dog, she has seen doctors from Oklahoma City to Dallas and everywhere in between. And really, I mean, we just couldn’t get it under control. And my brother called me one day and he said, ‘Hey I want you to see this report by Sanjay Gupta. I gotta tell ya, I think medical marijuana would help Katie.’ And I said, you know, my gut reaction was like, ‘You’re crazy. I’m a freshman member. Even if it would, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t even know how we do this.’ “I had my doubts. So I started doing some research on my own and discovered at the time something called Charlotte’s Web and then something called Haleigh’s Hope. They were high 14


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CBD strains with very low [tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)], .3 or below. They were actually considered hemp. Then I did some more research and realized one state in the union — one — has legalized .3 THC and high CBD strains, and that was the state of Utah, and they had done it the year before. And I figured, you know, if Utah can do it, we should be able to do it.” He put in for an interim study. “Normally what people do when they do interim studies like this is they lead with what I’ll call the story,” Echols said. “They lead with the family. ... I led with the science.” He brought in pediatric neurologists from Tulsa and Dallas and then let several children, including Katie, speak. “I also get frustrated when people call things anecdotal because they use it as a way to try to downplay their significance,” he said. “I mean, it’s anecdotal, but when it’s you, it’s 100 percent. ... Katie’s not an anecdote; she’s a person, and she deserves a shot, and there are thousands of Oklahoma children just like that.” Thanks to Katie and her uncle, CBD became legal in Oklahoma. She started treatment in May of 2015 and has been able to wean herself off several medicaCBD oil with less than .3% THC became legal in Oklahoma in 2015. | Photo

John Echols is majority floor leader in the Oklahoma Legislature and a major supporter of medical marijuana in the state. | Photo provided

tions since beginning to ingest the oil. “People are seeing amazing results,” Echols said. “It changed Katie’s life. Katie is a new person.” After being on CBD for about six months, she fell while running and suffered fractures. “I was so excited that my niece broke both her arms because before then, Katie couldn’t run,” Echols said. “She couldn’t do that. She didn’t have that ability. Broken bones will heal, but we gave her and several other kids a new quality of life, a new ability to do things they couldn’t have done.” But his work was just beginning. “What we did inside the bill, we legalized pure CBD, and then we legalized CBD with up to .3 THC for children with these certain conditions. ... I expanded on that bill every year. The very next year, when the program was wildly successful, I expanded it to include adults,” he said. “I know right now, it’s weird going back in time, it looks like no big deal because we just passed passed 788, but we were the second state in the union that actually did it. After that, Kansas copied our bill, Texas copied a version of our bill. There are 10 other states that basically did what Oklahoma did. If you would have asked me at that time, ‘Are you for medical marijuana?’ I probably would have said no. But I continued to educate myself and I kept expanding that law.” And then Echols’ mother, Eileen, was diagnosed with breast cancer that metastasized to her brain and lungs. She is a former Oklahoma County special district judge and sought-after family lawyer, and Echols saw the disease slowly devour a brilliant woman and his closest friend. Just before her death, she stopped eating and was prescribed Marinol, a synthetic form of THC. She regained her appetite and was able to live a while longer and with better quality of life. “How does letting my mom suffer at the hands of government jive with my Christian views?” he asked. “Well, it doesn’t. I can’t put those two together. It feels like the antithesis. How is letting my mom suffer at the hands of government

compatible with my conservative views?” There was the hemp bill, and then State Question 788 passed overwhelmingly. On election night, Echols did a live television interview. “What I said was, ‘The people have spoken, and we’re going to follow the will of the people at the Legislature.’ There was talk of delaying the implementation of 788, there was talk of just gutting it and moving on,” Echols said. “That’s not representative democracy. Do I think 788 needs some extra regulation around it? Absolutely. Of course it does, but so do the drafters of 788.” But Echols said that license price hikes, THC limits and qualifying conditions for patients are not part of the regulatory agenda for the legislative session that begins in February. Echols does, however, anticipate private lab testing for cannabinoids and heavy metals for smokeable and vapeable product and quality testing for edibles to begin in the spring. “I am by no means a marijuana expert. I don’t pretend to be an expert in this field. ... When it comes to marijuana, I’m doing the best that I can,” he said. “I’m not a legalization guy. I actually don’t believe in legalization, which is kind of this weird dichotomy. In fairness, I guess four years ago, I’m not sure I believed in medical, so some things change. If we have an open and accessible and robust medical program, something that doesn’t have qualifying conditions and these other things, then, honestly, that’s what’s needed. I don’t know that you need recreational at that point, if we get this program right, if we don’t overregulate it, if we don’t regulate it out of existence. “I don’t want to protect mom-and-pops against big business, and I don’t want to protect big business so that they can corner the market. I want the patient to have safe and secure products that they know what they’re getting and they’re getting at a reasonable price and we’re able to implement what the people told us to do. And if that gets me beat in my next election, that’s OK. I’ll have a career that was filled with some great pro-life legislation, some really good pro-business legislation and a bill that I know saved thousands of people. That’s okay. I can hang my hat on that.”



Seafood staple

Pearl’s Oyster Bar is an Oklahoma City institution that delivers on its Cajun roots and speedy lunch but hits a few bumps outside its comfort zone. By Jacob Threadgill

Pearl’s Oyster Bar 5641 N. Classen Blvd. |405-848-8008 WHAT WORKS: Crawfish étouffée had plenty of spice and depth of seafood flavor. WHAT NEEDS WORK: The seared tuna was not prepared correctly. TIP: Lunch service is faster than most counterservice restaurants.

Since moving to Oklahoma City from Mississippi last year, I’ve been on a quest to find a great version of étouffée. I’ve previously had solid, but not-exactly-what-I-was-searching-for experiences at Brent’s Cajun Kitchen and Cajun Corner in this review space. My quest took me recently to Pearl’s Oyster Bar, which is one of the longeststanding seafood restaurants in Oklahoma City, and I was happy to find a great bowl of crawfish étouffée under redfish Pontchartrain ($25), which highlights the restaurant’s beginnings as a Cajun-focused establishment. The restaurant debuted in 1983 at the corner of NW 63rd Street and Classen Boulevard with a Cajun tilt, but it has expanded over the years to add Asian and Mediterranean influences and moved to its current 5641 N. Classen Blvd. location in 2007. The concept was so successful that it expanded into Texas only a year after opening, but now Pearl’s Restaurant Group includes Trapper’s Fishcamp & Grill, 4300 W. Reno Ave., and Pearl’s Crabtown, 303 E. Sheridan Ave. Pearl’s Oyster Bar positions itself at a different tier than the other two establishments, where some dishes get gourmet treatment and some take on international flavors. Recent additions to Pearl’s menu include appetizers like crabby guacamole ($14) and blackened scallops with a green chili beurre blanc ($13) and ahi tuna poke ($10). Its entrée

menu has recently added Japanese sea bass with spicy ramen, mushrooms, broccoli, boiled egg, pickled carrots and scallions ($20), camarones verdes — shrimp with chimichurri sauce, green rice and vegetables ($19) — and their take on cioppino, the classic San Francisco tomato-based stew ($20). Many readers, I’m sure, have plenty of fond memories eating at Pearl’s Oyster Bar, but for me, a recent Sunday dinner with the in-laws was my first visit. The restaurant offers a robust champagne brunch menu, but we made our way in around 7 p.m. and found Pearl’s around half-full. It has one of the best patio areas in the city, and the décor is contemporary and fun, if not dimly lit during dinner. Our meal began with an appetizer of blackened scallops. A blackened preparation of the scallop is risky business because you’ve got to get a good char on it without overcooking the center. The chef achieved that on the exterior, but the interior was slightly overcooked while still enjoyable, especially paired with the excellent take on a classic French beurre blanc sauce that was equal parts spicy and buttery. I would order the appetizer again just for the chance to dip the complimentary bread in the sauce. The green chili beurre blanc also makes an appearance on the entrée portion of red chili seared mahi mahi ($20), which was our server’s favorite entrée.

I would order the appetizer again just for the chance to dip the complimentary bread in the sauce. I should’ve taken his suggestion. I ordered the peppered ponzu ahi tuna ($21), which covers the pepper-crusted sushigrade tuna in a soy-ginger glaze and is served with seasonal vegetables. I ordered the tuna seared, which is the only way to eat tuna unless it’s sashimi or canned. The kitchen delivered a medium-rare piece of tuna that had no discernible sear on the outside, which indicates to me that it wasn’t cooked on a high enough temperature in a quick enough period. The result was a tough piece of fish. It happens to the best of us. Management apologized and offered a replacement while taking it off the final bill, which is A lunch portion of salmon tacos with fries at Pearl’s Oyster Bar | Photo Jacob Threadgill

a sign of great customer service. Everything else in our dinner order was very well seasoned and cooked. The redfish Pontchartrain — blackened red fish on top of spicy crawfish étouffée with rice — was the star of the meal. The étouffée was thick, but you could tell that it was cooked with seafood stock, which is a must for me. The crawfish enchiladas ($17) are an interesting addition to the menu, and they deliver if you’re looking for a cheesy and indulgent entrée. The interior of the enchilada is crawfish with cream cheese and spices. Blue corn tortillas are then covered in loads of extra cheese and broiled bubbly brown. The blue corn provided a nice component to the dish, but I thought it was somewhat one-note: cheesy. If that’s what you’re in the mood for, by all means, but I thought it needed an acidic sauce of some sort to break through the grease. A side Caesar salad came out with the crawfish enchiladas, and the dressing was good, but I couldn’t help but notice what looked like Parmesan cheese from a can topping the salad. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the bits of cheese that look and taste like sawdust. Maybe the kitchen was low on fresh Parmesan — not a critique, just an observation. We finished the meal with chocolate love cake ($6.50) and blackberry cobbler ($5). The table was unanimous in praise for the cake over the cobbler, but both were worth the calories. I returned to Pearl’s the following

Peppered ponzu ahi tuna with vegetables and rice | Photo Jacob Threadgill

day for lunch and was surprised to see it was packed around 12:30 p.m. I’m not used to seeing such a lively crowd for a weekday lunch, but I guess its position in an office complex near the Chesapeake campus makes it a popular lunch location, especially when I saw how quickly the food came out. I ordered a cup of gumbo ($5) that included chicken, Andouille sausage, okra, tomatoes and small shrimp. It hit the spot on a cold day and arrived at my seat at the bar less than four minutes after I ordered. I also got a lunch order of the salmon tacos ($13) with french fries. I wasn’t surprised with the gumbo came out quickly because it’s soup that has been prepared, but the salmon tacos arrived before I finished my soup. The tacos were solid if somewhat unspectacular. They delivered what the menu said they would be and more than made up for the previous night’s misstep with the tuna. I’ll definitely remember Pearl’s the next time I need a quick lunch because it delivered food from the kitchen faster than most counterservice places. I’m also happy to know I found a place that delivers the étouffée for which I’ve been searching. After more than three decades of service, it’s easy to see why Pearl’s is an Oklahoma City institution.

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Signature smoke

Cornish Smokehouse made the leap from food truck to brick-and-mortar thanks to a creative menu that includes jerk sauce. By Jacob Threadgill

The journey to opening the brick-andmortar location of Cornish Smokehouse began six years ago as a trail of hickory and pecan smoke enticed people from Chris and Nicole Cornish’s neighborhood out of their homes and to their front door to place an order. After encouragement from friends and family, Chris took his hobby of cooking and started smoking in the backyard. They gained enough interest from taking orders out of the home that they were able to get a food truck. The couple opened Cornish Smokehouse at 801 SW 119th St. in October. “Once we started smoking in the backyard, all of the neighborhood was like, ‘Who is that?’” Chris Cornish said. “They would come over, say they followed the trail of smoke, and ask to put in an order.” The Cornishes built their business by word of mouth and going to local barbershops and retail stores to establish a following. Once they got a food truck, they set up shop at Midtown’s The Bleu Garten and corporate office locations. They said they were diligent in looking for events across Oklahoma to bring the truck. “The food truck was fun and adventurous because we went to a lot of events we wouldn’t have otherwise engage in and traveled around the state,” Nicole Cornish said. As much fun as they had going to towns like Tuttle and Durant, Chris said there was always a common refrain among customers: “When are you going to get a brick-and-mortar in the city so that we know where to find you?” A two-year process brought them close to moving in at one location, only to see the deal fall through at the last minute. Chris and Nicole both said that it was a blessing in disguise. They’re happy with the community support and opportunity to stand out at their location, which is in the Cleveland County section of Oklahoma City, near the Moore border. The family moved from Yukon to Cleveland County to be closer to the store. “The community has been awesome,” Nicole Cornish said. “That has been our support since day one. We’re between OKC and Moore, and there’s not a lot of barbecue here. Most of the food [in the area] is on 19th Chris and Nicole Cornish are the owners of Cornish Smokehouse. | Photo Alexa Ace


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[Street], so the community was very excited. There’s a ton of housing, schools and two new apartments.” For Chris Cornish, his impetus for entering into barbecue was to retake the barbecue standard in Oklahoma City away from chains that use small electric smokers, like Billy Sims Barbecue, which occupied Cornish Smokehouse’s current location before they took over. “The enjoyment comes when someone comes up and says, ‘That right there was amazing.’ I hear it a lot, and it feels like barbecue is back. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, we had great barbecue,” Chris Cornish said. “I’m a local kid born and raised in Oklahoma, been here all my life, and we want to bring it back.”

Smokehouse standouts

The Cornishes drove to Nebraska to purchase a custom-built large indirect smoker that they lovingly refer to as Samantha, a play on the fact it’s used to “smoke all the meats (SAM).” Standbys like beef brisket and pork ribs, the latter of which sell out most days, have transitioned from successful food truck items to the brick-and-mortar, but the menu has expanded along with the kitchen size. They’ve added beef ribs and more applications for the restaurant’s

signature jerk sauce that include meatballs, jerk fried chicken and pulled pork. On Sundays, they offer an expanded menu that includes smoked fried chicken, smoked ham and other meat specials along with side dishes like sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, dressing with gravy and greens. Wednesdays mean chicken wings that are available smoked or smoked and then fried. Chris Cornish is excited about a recent invention: jerk fried chicken served with French toast and spiced butter. “It knocks it out of the park,” he said. The jerk sauce is a key element for Cornish Smokehouse, and Nicole said it was important for marketing because it allowed them to stand out from standard barbecue restaurants. The inspiration came from Chris’ sisterin-law, who is Jamaican, and got her father to send the Cornishes ingredients to make the sauce every month. “I started putting it on the pulled pork, then the chicken, and once I put it on the ribs, that was it. It’s

top Cornish Smokehouse’s restaurant and food truck feature Mizz Stuffins, which Cornish drew himself. bottom Pork ribs with jerk sauce at Cornish Smokehouse | Photo provided

been a huge seller,” he said as Nicole mentioned that they hoped to be able to bottle and sell the jerk sauce in 2019. Chris plans to use Samantha in the early part of 2019 to smoke whole hog and half a beef calf and even try his hand at smoked goat, which is indicative of his personality to push his boundaries as a chef and business owner. “If you believe in yourself and you believe in your product, then you should try to push yourself out there to see what becomes of it,” Chris Cornish said. “A lot of people are afraid and they like to sit back because they don’t want the failure or the potential criticism. As long as you believe in yourself and focus on customer service, you can make it.” It’s also personified in Cornish Smokehouse’s mascot, Mizz Stuffins, an anthropomorphic pig serving a plate of ribs. Chris Cornish drew the character, despite no formal training, in a desire to stand out from the crowd. “At first, I had a pig that everyone else had and I didn’t know that until I started looking up barbecue places,” he said. “I wanted my own pig, and just picked up a pencil and started drawing. I got the neck wrong a few times and then the shoulders right, and eventually, it came right.”


Market fresh

Magasin Table brings the first food concept to 8th Street Market by putting a twist on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. By Jacob Threadgill

8th Street Market got its first full-time food vendor last month with the opening of Magasin Table, the sister restaurant to a successful New Orleans concept that aims to bring traditional Vietnamese food with a twist to downtown and Automobile Alley. Oklahoma City native Leon Hoang met Kim Nguyen in Dallas, where he was working as a day trader, after she fled Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The two stayed in touch, and he visited her Magasin Café concept a few years ago. “I wasn’t even thinking of opening a concept until I went to her restaurant,” Hoang said. “She gave Vietnamese food a modern twist.” Hoang moved back to Oklahoma to work in the oil industry, but he kept thinking about the freedom of being his own boss and opening a restaurant. He contacted Nguyen about expanding the Magasin brand to OKC. The original Magasin Café is located on Magazine Street in New Orleans, so the name is her way of paying homage to the street and is pronounced similarly, Hoang said. “She loves Oklahoma City, and she and her husband might even consider moving here,” Hoang said. “She sees great people that are friendly, and she loves that everything is so close. She saw so many developments here that she fell in love with.” One of the developments specifically is 8th Street Market, 3 NE 8th Street, which is a renovated former storage facility bought by developers Patrick Murnan, Brandon Lodge and Cale Coulter in 2016. The space has been turned into a market hall retail center that is home to Prairie Artisan Ales taproom, Key Construction and Balance Yoga Barre. A coffee shop is in the planning stages, Hoang said, and there is still a portion of the market available for rent that Hoang hopes will bring more food concepts. “I’ve been to food halls in other states and know about the ones coming here like The Collective,” Hoang said. “When [my real estate broker] took me here, I knew I wanted to be here. … Most of the Vietnamese restaurants are around Classen [Boulevard], and here in the downtown area, there wasn’t a concept. A lot of business people don’t have time to go over to 23rd Street to order food, wait and eat. Why don’t we bring that to them? Our food is comparable to authentic food in the Asian District, but with a little twist.” Hoang went to New Orleans to train for the Magasin menu, which is modeled

after Magasin Kitchen in comparison to a high-end Magasin Café. They went to a counter-service model in an attempt to build off the relaxed atmosphere of 8th Street Market, allowing diners to eat in Magasin Table’s hip décor complete with Sriracha bottle wallpaper or wander over to Prairie Artisan Ales or throughout Automobile Alley. Magasin Table’s menu is offering what Hoang referred to as its first phase of the menu. Customers can choose proteins to go with bun (vermicelli noodle bowls), com (rice bowls), pho (noodle soup) or banh mi (sandwiches made with La Baguette rolls baked at Super Cao Nguyen). Customers can choose from grilled pork, lemongrass chicken or beef, grilled eggplant, garlic fried tofu, pork roll, Chinese sausage or braised pork belly with quail eggs, grilled shrimp and salmon.

Tofu pho at Magasin Table at 8th Street Market | Photo Alexa Ace

Our food is comparable to authentic food in the Asian District, but with a little twist. Leon Hoang It also offers noodle stir-fry made with egg noodles similar to ramen, but thinner and flavored with sesame oil. Bao bao (steamed buns) will make their debut on the full-time menu soon, and they’re trying to add spring rolls to the menu fulltime, but Hoang said they need their own station in what is already a limited kitchen space. Magasin Table will add beer and wine to its offerings, which Hoang said is hopefully a precursor to other Magasin Table locations in the Oklahoma City metro area that will be full-service. “This is the food I grew up on,” Hoang said. “People have told me it’s like mom’s cooking. Some people have come in and been pleasantly surprised because the flavors are there; they were expecting it to be bland and catered to a different demographic.” In the restaurant’s first month of operation, Hoang said they will add menu options and services. He has spoken with his head chef, a Louisiana native, about potentially adding fusion items like a cross between a po-boy and a banh mi. He’d like to eventually have late night

service on Friday and Saturdays to pair with the crowd at the taproom and will add Sunday service once they find the right personnel. They are currently open 11 a.m. -9 p.m. Monday-Friday and open at noon on Saturday. Even as Hoang has traded an office cubicle for long hours in the kitchen, he feels rejuvenated. “I’ve gone to the opposite end of the spectrum,” he said. “I was more tired working in an office from 9 to 5 than I am after standing on my feet for 13 hours and moving around in the kitchen. At my old job, friends would ask me to come out after work, and I’d tell them I was in bed by 7 because I was so tired. Now, I close up shop around 9 and we’ll go have a beer next door.”

above Bao bao (steamed buns) will be on Magasin Table’s full-time menu soon. below Salmon bun bowl from Magasin Table | Photos provided

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Poppin’ bottles

Celebrating the New Year can be done with the masses on New Year’s Eve or even a few days before (we won’t tell anyone), and while champagne is the traditional celebratory drink of choice, we realize it’s not for everyone. Here are seven restaurants with good drinks and great environments. By Jacob Threadgill with photos by Alexa Ace and provided

The Jones Assembly

901 W. Sheridan Ave. | 405-212-2378

The Jones Assembly is offering a prixfixe dinner menu available by reservation and a concert with My So Called Band and midnight champagne toast to ring in the New Year. Of course, The Jones offers an extensive craft cocktail list full of originals and classics, like an amaretto sour.

Open 11 am for


Dining & Drinks in a Modern Retro Atmosphere

7301 N May, OKC 405-242-6100

7 18

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a Week

Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar

1100 N. Broadway Ave. 405-421-0203

The environment at either Sidecar location is fun due to its rooftop patio setting with plenty of heaters, and you might be able to sneak a peek of the action around Automobile Alley or Chisholm Creek. Sidecar is serving the Old Cuban cocktail, which is rum, lime juice, simple syrup, mint, bitters and topped with prosecco to get your requisite bubbly for the new year.

Kwan’s Kitchen

3031 W. Memorial Road | 405-607-8838

Do you want to get a little champagne, but maybe you don’t like to drink or are underage? Kwan’s Kitchen showcases owner Pak Kwan’s experience training in Belgium, and it’s showcased in Kwan’s version of sweet and sour chicken, which comes with a champagne reduction.

O Bar

1200 N. Walker Ave. (seventh floor) | 405-898-8170

O Bar is the reigning winner of Oklahoma Gazette’s Best of OKC readers’ poll for the best rooftop patio. What better way to enjoy what 2019 has to offer by taking in the ever-expanding Midtown district with a great downtown skyline in the background? O Bar has an extensive wine list, and cocktails are divided by mood: sweet and seductive, shaken and tart or long and bubbly.

Start the night off at one of our restaurants,

The Hutch on Avondale

6437 Avondale Drive, Nichols Hills | 405-842-1000

The Hutch hasn’t finalized New Year’s plans, but why wait? It hosts a bird and bottle night where you can enjoy a whole fried chicken for $26 and a bottle of Gloria Ferrer for $32. It’s a huge step up from Andre and KFC and well worth the price.

then make your way to the hottest NYE party around, after you can’t dance anymore, move the party upstairs to our luxirous hotel resort.

The R&J Supper Club and Lounge

320 NW 10th St. | 405-602-5066

For New Year’s Eve, The R&J is offering a four-course surf-and-turf meal and guests can dine on either or both halves of the duo. Of course there will be a champagne toast at midnight, but R&J’s bar also offers a few champagne cocktails, including the classic French 75, which is gin, champagne and lemon juice.


The Pritchard

1749 NW 16th St. | 405-601-4067

It’s hard to beat the duo of bar manager Mindy Magers and chef Shelby Sieg, and they’ve got you covered on New Year’s Eve. You can pursue The Pritchard’s extensive wine list or dig into a delectable plate like the short rib pasta.





$60 Per Person




Includes champagne & balloon drop at midnight, party favors and lighted dance floor.


Includes all of package (1) plus one room for two at our beautiful hotel (based on 2 guests) Suites not included.


Kaiser’s Grateful Bean Café N Walker & 10th • 236-3503

Mon – Thurs 11a-6p • Fri – Sat 11a–8p O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8




Burlesque resolutions

Adèle Wolf’s Burlesque & Variety Show returns for its seventh annual New Year’s Eve Bash. By Jo Light

Adèle Wolf is deep into preparations for her annual New Year’s Eve Burlesque & Variety show, recently returning to Oklahoma City from performances in Berlin to run one of the many local productions she stages every year. The long-running shows are a testament to her determination and creativity as a driving force of burlesque in OKC. A native Oklahoman, Wolf always knew she wanted to be a performer, starting with a childhood in dance and theater. “I was in a high school play when I was 16 that was set in the ’50s,” Wolf said. “So in researching hair and makeup styles of the ’50s, I stumbled upon vintage burlesque on YouTube, and I just thought, ‘Wow!’” She was living in Texarkana, Texas, at the time, so unfortunately there weren’t many opportunities for burlesque. Wolf went to college in Georgia and eventually moved back to Oklahoma City. She still had a burgeoning interest in burlesque and started searching for classes or anything burlesque-related. “I was like, ‘Maybe there’s something!’” she said. “There was not.” So she sought out other opportunities. A friend asked her to perform in a show in 2010. After four months of preparation, she finally made her burlesque debut. Not only is she currently a full-time performer, but she also created a nd r u ns Adèle Wolf Productions. Every year, she produces themed shows around the holidays, including the upcoming New Year’s Eve Bash and Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival. “I ended up with my production company because there were Lady Lola LeStrange is a no professional member of shows here,” she The Jigglewatts said. “And if I Burlesque Revue in wanted to see Austin, Texas. any of the per| Photo provided 20

D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M

formers that I admired and wanted to learn from, I had to travel elsewhere, which is also why I started my school.” Wolf is also an instructor at Oklahoma School of Burlesque, 2520 N. Meridian Ave., where she holds several workshops throughout the year. Wolf’s extensive touring schedule, especially recent stints in Paris and Berlin, means the classes are limited. Workshops are typically given in conjunction with her productions, especially during Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival. Lessons can also be given at private events like bachelorette parties. “I had to create an industry here for myself, basically, if I wanted to work,” she said. So far, she has performed in 11 countries and tours year-round, and she said she hopes to add more countries to her list next year. She is constantly working to elevate and share the art of burlesque with wider audiences, providing entertainment that is available nowhere else in Oklahoma. “I have my productions, and I do private and corporate work, but I would like more opportunities for the public to see professional entertainment on a regular basis,” she said.

Pure fantasy

Wolf explained that there are many different types of burlesque. Traditional burlesque is one of the oldest forms of theater and had a satirical, political slant. Now, most people associate burlesque with what she called “the American striptease.” Modern burlesques can still be variety shows, like a more adult version of its vaudeville relative, but the striptease is front and center. “Back in the height of the burlesque industry, ‘burlesque’ was an all-encompassing word for a show that had comedians, variety acts, circus [acts],” Wolf said. “The burlesque strip-teasers were just the highlight.” Wolf said the New Year’s Eve Bash has that same vintage variety feel but also incorporates modern elements. “So you might see someone performing to a big band track or someone performing to Nine Inch Nails,” she said. This year’s bash, held in Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., promises to explore burlesque through the decades. The show starts 10 p.m. Monday. Doors open 9 p.m., and attendees must be at least 18 years old or older. The event also includes prizes, games, a photo booth and a midnight toast for attendees age 21 and older. Guests are

encouraged to come in costume. Wolf said she draws from her own experiences and from celebrated shows like those at Moulin Rouge for inspiration in her own productions. She said she doesn’t want to just be an echo of a Las Vegas production — she wants to match that level of professionalism and exceed audience expectations. “I’m like, ‘Let’s bring the actual Las Vegas showgirls,’” she said. “That’s what we’re doing.” One of those headliners is Hazel Honeysuckle, who currently performs in Absinthe, a cabaret and variety show held in Caesars Palace. Wolf and Honeysuckle met at Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival and became close friends. Another featured performer is Texas-based Lady Lola LeStrange, who also participated in the 2018 Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival, where she was named Most Classic. She is a member of The Jigglewatts Burlesque Revue. “She’s really an amazing dancer,” Wolf said. “Really super energetic, amazing musicality.” Belly dancing by Kata Maya will also be featured. Maya is a member of Aalim Belly Dance Academy, 2520 N. Meridian Ave., and was named the winner at the international 2017 Belly Dancer of the Year Competition. Wolf’s expertise extends to an exceptional attention to detail for every show. “There are a lot people that just book talent,” she said, “but I work really hard to curate a show. So everything from the color of somebody’s costume to the tempo of their music, what props they’re using, all those things are in the process.” Among the set pieces included in this year’s bash is Wolf’s “largest and most

Adèle Wolf is a burlesque performer and producer. Her New Year’s Eve Bash starts 10 p.m. Monday at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. | Photo Thomas Koy

expensive prop yet,” which will be debuted in her new act. She pulled up a picture on her phone of a particularly impressive custom piece of glassware. “It’s a 5-foot-tall champagne coupe,” she said. The prop is currently housed in her garage and will need a team for transport to the venue. It’s so tall, she’ll have to climb into it via a ladder during her number. Wolf’s shows have a dedicated fan base, and she said some audience members even plan their vacations around her schedule. So it might be no surprise that VIP tickets to the New Year’s Eve Bash sold out quickly in early December. Wolf said the rest of the event’s tickets usually go just as fast. For those who miss out on the New Year’s Eve Bash, the annual Valentine’s Affair will be coming up on Feb. 16, 2019. “My goal with these shows is to completely take people out of the everyday humdrum of life and give them pure fantasy,” Wolf said. “Just transport them somewhere else for a while. And I really think that type of energy is a great way to start the New Year.” Visit

Adèle Wolf’s Burlesque & Variety Show New Year’s Eve Bash 10 p.m. Monday Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center 3000 General Pershing Blvd. | 405-673-6162 $25-$40


Beats won

DK the Drummer dons a disco ball suit and rings in the new year at Tower Theatre’s Uptown Get Down. By Jeremy Martin

While many will gather this New Year’s Eve to watch a shiny ball drop, Darren King’s new tradition is to — à la Chevy Chase’s character in Caddyshack — be the ball. “I have this disco ball helmet that I created and wore the last time I was at the Tower Theatre,” said King, aka DK the Drummer, “but this show will be the first one that I will be able to use my full disco-mirror suit. I’m going full regalia. I’m having a … I believe the term is unitard made that is covered in disco ball glass, so from head to toe, I will be luminous. We’ll see what it feels like to drum in that outfit. It’s going to be ridiculous.” King, Kanye West and Jabee collaborator and former drummer for Mutemath, is scheduled to headline Uptown Get Down Monday at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. He said he ordered his custom-made suit for the performance from a company in Eastern Europe after a failed attempt to make one himself.

music,” King explained. “Some of it’s original; some of it’s popular music. Probably the closest thing you could compare it to is Girl Talk mashups, vocals and instrumentals from different places that fit together in kind of a mosaic. It’s supposed to be a dance party, but I’m trying to find some sort of hybrid between what happens when you see a DJ and the audience is into what they themselves are doing. It’s a crowd-centric dance party, but then I want to find a balance between that DJ set and what happens when you go see an artist and they play an instrument and they’re really proficient at the instrument; they’re passionate. “So it’s not just a guy twiddling knobs, not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s a cool thing about getting together and it not necessarily being about the performance of the guy onstage, but then a cool thing happens when you do go see someone play and they go off with an instrument. They go somewhere; they go on a journey, and you transcend. It can become a pretty powerful experience.”

What I’m trying to achieve is, I think, nothing more than probably what used to happen hundreds of years ago whenever you’d build a fire and somebody would drum and everybody would dance. That’s really it. That’s the goal here, except without the fire.

Basketball beats

Darren King

“I think they have some type of reflective plastic that essentially does the job,” King said. “I attempted to fashion my own mirror-ball jacket out of actual pieces, little squares of glass, and you just cut yourself. You rub up against it while you’re drumming. You’d cut your arms or your hand. That was a thing. I think I found a solution. We’ll see, because this is beta-testing. This will be the first show with that outfit, so we’ll see how it goes.” King calls his solo performances “drum jockey” sets. “I’m mixing together lots of different

While it might sound complicated and requires modern technology, including drum triggers and a sample pad, to pull off, King said his goal is to create something primitive feeling. “What I’m trying to achieve is, I think, nothing more than probably what used to happen hundreds of years ago whenever you’d build a fire and somebody would drum and everybody would dance,” King said. “That’s really it. That’s the goal here, except without the fire.” In lieu of creating a fire hazard, King uses an audio/video sampler triggered by his drum kit to provide the audience with visuals. “Whenever I hit a drum, it actually makes short little one-second video sample,” King said. “So I could chop up, like, Beyoncé, and remix it live, or throw something from the ’80s in there like some ALF or some Muppets.” It’s a multimedia recreation of the DJ Shadow-inspired mashups King used to make by mixing his own instrumentation with samples before he found a band to join, but his original drum kit was significantly lower-tech than his latest. “I grew up in a small town,” King said. “I was born in 1982, and everybody my age wanted to be Michael Jordan, so I had about four or five basketballs, and it just so happened that they each lost a different amount of air so they had a descending tone. I set them up with highest-sounding tone on the left,

and they got lower to the right, and I would just sit on the ground by my bed. I would push the mattress to the side and use the metal edge of the frame and I would play along to my CD collection … for hours, until my parents finally bought me my first drum set.” In hindsight, King said he would recommend a different method for any aspiring bedroom drummers. “Basketballs are not the best thing to practice on because they give you too much rebound,” King said. “The stick bounces off the basketball. It’s better for the strength of your wrists as a drummer to practice on pillows. …That builds your speed and builds your muscles. It’s sort of the same thing as running with weights. A basketball is the opposite of that. It does all the work for you.” A youth spent drumming along to Weezer and Gene Krupa albums might have helped King develop his eclectic style, but his DK the Drummer shows are about creating an experience he feels he missed out on in his youth. “It’s something that I think was suppressed in my childhood and adolescence,” King said. “I didn’t get to go have as many dance parties as I would have

Darren King, aka DK the Drummer, is scheduled to headline Uptown Get Down New Year’s Eve at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. | Photo Ryan Magnani / provided

liked to, and I think I’m trying to make up for lost time with this — get a little ridiculous, get a bit absurd, wear something crazy. It gets silly.” But if he takes things more seriously, King, who also plays in Sucré with his wife Stacy King, might have another project lined up in the future. “My 6-year-old daughter told me yesterday that someday I could play in her band, so long as I don’t play so crazy,” King said. “She told me I need to tone it down a little bit if I’m going to play in her band. I respect that.” The show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., and The Bright Light Social Hour, The Robinson Brothers and Helen Kelter Skelter are also on the bill. Tickets are $20-$50. Visit

Uptown Get Down 8 p.m. Monday Tower Theatre 425 NW 23rd St. | 405-708-6937 $20-$50

O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8






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D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M


12 pm Sunday, Dec 30 6 pm Monday, Dec 31 9 am Tuesday, Jan 1

Bye 2018

51st Street Speakeasy rings in the new year to the sounds of the ’90s and 2000s. By Matthew Price

DJ Ryan Drake uses “the 1990s” as shorthand to promote his monthly parties, including this month’s New Year’s Eve Dance Party, at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. But if you ask him about it, he thinks the decade from 1995-2005 was actually what influences music today. “There was something special about that era, as far as everything is concerned,” he said. “I don’t think it’s just that we grew up then is what is special about it. I think it actually was a little different.” Drake said he considers 1995-2005 to be “its own decade” that showcased hip-hop as a dominant force and brought in some acts that still top the charts. “The big rise of pop and hip-hop that we are now experiencing ... that kind of started back then,” he said. “It was the beginning of Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, and those are two of the most iconic musical people that we have, and they started in the late ’90s.” Drake said he believes the somewhat-democratic process of MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL) and young listeners’ access to cable TV started shifting power out of decision-makers’ hands and into the people’s, a trend that has only continued with the growth of the internet. However, all of that is a little complex for a flyer. “I’ve learned that if you put the word ’90s on the flyer and on the event description, people come out in droves,” he said. “Way more than if you just wrote like, a nostalgia party.” Drake said if he can lure people in with the allure of the 1990s, he’s confident his song selection will keep the crowd dancing. “I put ‘’90s/2000s,’ which basically gives me free rein to play anything I want from the last 30 years,” Drake

said. “People see that very specific thing, and they think they know what they’re getting into, and I know that once I get them there, I can get them to stay there.” So even if the song dates themselves are fungible, the vibe is very 1990s, as is the price — it’s just $5 to get into the New Year’s Eve party at the Speakeasy 8-10 p.m., and only $10 afterward. There will be complimentary food 6-9 p.m. Even if you don’t want to get your 1990s groove on, the Speakeasy offers other amenities for the holiday evening, including the Thunder game on the big-screen, free parking and coat checks, a look back at 2018’s best music videos from 9-10:30 p.m. and a champagne toast at midnight. The dance party is 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Drake encouraged people to come early, as last year the Speakeasy was at capacity for much of the evening. He has taken over the logistics for the monthly dance parties, working in close conjunction with his friends at the Speakeasy. “I kind of made it my own thing, and we tried to make it as much of a music festival vibe as possible,” he said. Over the past three years, Drake said he has learned about marketing the Speakeasy events and drawing a crowd. He doesn’t think people show up to hear his technical prowess as a DJ but said he is “really good at throwing parties.” One of the key elements is to keep the music and the people moving. “There are X number of iconic songs that you have to play every month. There’s like 30 songs — and I don’t play full songs, that’s the thing, which one person has greatly complained about. I try to make it as much of a party, kind of like a Girl Talk vibe if possible,” Drake said, referencing the mashup



A recent party hosted by Ryan Drake at 51st Street Speakeasy. The next, the year’s biggest, is set for New Year’s Eve. | Photo Alexandra Dugan

specialist DJ also known as Gregg Gillis. “[There are a] ton of glowsticks and balloons and people dancing on stage, and we don’t stay in a song for more than like 90 seconds before we move on to the next song.” Since it’s New Year’s Eve, Drake will be prepared with extra glowsticks — nearly 1,000. Drake said there are 30-40 songs that are a regular part of the rotation, but he also works in some surprises. Still, if you show up, you’ll probably hear Britney Spears, *NSync, Backstreet Boys and Ginuwine. “It’s big hooks and sing-alongs and the songs people know … like ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time,’ or ‘Bye Bye Bye’ or ‘I Want It That Way,’ or ‘Pony,’” Drake said. “So songs like that you’re going to hear every month, and then the rest I kind of fill in with stuff you don’t hear every month so it’s just not the same three-hour playlist every month.” While he uses 1990s nostalgia as a selling point, Drake emphasizes the fun to be had at the Speakeasy as well. “I know just getting people there is the problem; once they’re there, I’m confident I can make them have a good time and get them to stay there,” he said. “But getting them there is like the thing. And writing the word ’90s, I noticed, has really … [when] I changed it to Speakeasy 90s-00s Dance Party, that’s when it really took off. ... As long as I give them those songs, as long as my music selection’s good, then they’re going to stick around.” Visit


A New Musical Love Story

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The Press vs. The President September 4 - 22, 2019 • Plaza Theatre

July 23 - 28, 2019 • Civic Center

6 Shows for the Price of 5! Prices start at only $37 per show! Speakeasy 90s-00s Dance Party 8 p.m. Monday 51st Street Speakeasy 1114 NW 51st St. | 405-463-0470 $5-$10

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O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8




Send 2018 Out in style!

Make your reservations for NYE today!

New Y ear’s Eve Guide



Dine at Cafe do Brasil and take the streetcar to Opening Night

DQE 405-525-9779 440 NW 11th & Walker






D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M

1613 N MAY, OKC 405.601.5605 LIKE US

Sunday Dec. 30th - Open 8pm

New Years Eve Eve Party! Featuring

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General Admission Tickets: $20 Reserve Seating Tickets: $35

Complimentary valet service, coat check, glass of champagne in midnight toast, an elegant dinner and a LIVE variety show.

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Celebrate The New Year In OKC’s Newest Nightclub & Lounge Address - 12000 N. May Ave. Phone - 405-882-1898 The Shoppes At Northpark

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Food and drinks are available at a variety of price points, and are not included in the admission fee.

Balloon Drop at Midnight!

Come for the evening or join us after dinner for late-night fun. O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8




Alpaca party

Magnolia Blossom Ranch in Newcastle will ring in the new year with Wine, Carrots & Alpacas. By Jo Light

Where local news gets their news 26

D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M

In the wide open fields near Newcastle, there is a ranch where dozens of alpacas roam under the watchful eyes of loping guard dogs, and chickens and ducks wander around their pen. At Magnolia Blossom Ranch, 2901 NW 16th St., in Newcastle, guests will soon celebrate the last day of the year with this friendly menagerie. The ranch is hosting its first New Year’s Eve event called Wine, Carrots & Alpacas starting at noon. Guests are welcome to relax in the pasture among the herd, sipping local wine while feeding the alpacas carrots. Guests will be able to buy wine by the bottle or glass. La Luna Taco Taxi will provide food. The event is limited to 150 guests age 21 and over, and reservations are required. Alpaca treats are provided. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs for seating. The event is a joint effort between two local ranches, Magnolia Blossom Ranch in Newcastle and Answered Prayers Alpaca Ranch in Tuttle. Terri and Kerry Bates own Magnolia, while Gail Stymerski and her brother, Al Boyce, own Answered Prayers. They all cooperate and share responsibilities for raising the animals and maintaining their businesses. Terri Bates first learned about alpacas (which are not to be confused with their larger relative, the llama) from her veterinarian 12 years ago. After retiring from her position as an investment consultant, she and her

husband decided to start raising a herd of their own. They began with a few alpacas in 2013. Stymerski has been ranching since 2011. She and Terri Bates met while attending trade shows with alpaca-related products. They partnered in 2017. Now the two ranches have a combined 41 animals, and they operate a store at Magnolia Blossom Ranch that carries a wide variety of alpaca clothing, raw and spun fleece, rugs, blankets, stuffed animals and handmade goods, including felted jewelry, from Stymerski. Terri Bates and Stymerski continue to sell at trade shows and allow customers to visit the ranch for private shopping appointments. The store is open during events like the wine tasting, as well. Terri Bates and the group also helped to start a nonprofit, Alpacas of Oklahoma, to promote the state’s alpaca industry and educate the public on the animal. The organization holds an alpaca livestock show called Alpaca Blastoff each November. They estimated that 260 animals competed in 2018. Whenever they’re asked about alpacas, the ranchers’ love for the animals is evident. “They’re serene,” Terri Bates said. “They’re just so relaxing to be around.” “They’re amazing,” Stymerski added. “They’re just totally amazing animals.” “And then, of course, their fiber is extremely soft and luxurious,” Terri Bates said. “You just won’t find anything like it.”

Gazette School1.8.pdf

Magnolia Blossom Ranch will welcome guests for a New Year’s Eve afternoon of Wine, Carrots & Alpacas. | Photo Alexa Ace



12:06 PM



when provoked or when fighting over food. So there is a slight risk of spit for guests who are feeding the animals. “If you get in the line of fire, it sucks to be you,” she said. However, each event at Magnolia Blossom Ranch includes a spitting contest. Any guest who happens to get spit on should show Terri Bates. “Whoever has the best spit experience wins a $40 gift from the store,” she said. The prizes are soft, velvety scarves. In addition to wine tastings, the ranch’s events include Wine and Palette art classes, during which guests spend time painting portraits of alpacas while sitting with the herd. Alpaca yoga is another popular event they have just started for smaller groups. Children are welcome at the Wine and Palette and yoga events. They also participated in Alpaca Owners Association National Alpaca Farm Days, opening the ranch to the public in September. Terri Bates said the New Year’s Eve event is perfect for those who don’t want to go out late to celebrate the last day of the year, and it also provides an adult family outing. At this event and others, guests who are interested can also view the ranch’s nearby fiber mill, where the fleece is sheared and cleaned. Terri Bates explained that alpaca fibers have hollow cores, which is what makes their fleece exceptionally lightweight, soft and warm. Near the fleecing room and barn is a site in the early stages of construction, where they plan to build an enclosed deck so they can someday hold events like Wine, Carrots & Alpacas or private parties even in inclement weather. Terri Bates said the ranch is always in need of volunteers, and those who are interested in working with the animals should contact her. Their main goal is always to help the public learn about the alpacas and the products the animals produce. “We do love seeing the look on people’s faces when they interact with them,” Terri Bates said. “It just makes our day.” “We love people, we love alpacas, and we want to get them both together,” Kerry Bates said. “And that’s pretty much it.” Visit







Fleece peace

Kerry Bates has a theory about alpaca fleece’s therapeutic properties, which he believes is related to the animals’ natural positively charged energy, also in their fleece. “My hypothesis is why everybody falls in love with the animal and relaxes, and why it’s ‘fiber of the gods,’ and everything else,” Kerry Bates said, “is due to the fact that they have this polarity field to them. And it transfers to everybody.” He admitted there is not much supporting research for his hypothesis at the moment, but he and Terri Bates said they have seen that many visitors to the ranch respond to the alpacas’ positive energy. “Plus they have [their] own personalities,” Kerry Bates said of the alpacas. “They’ve got eyelashes. They have facial expressions. They’ve got big, large eyes. People just love that. And they just melt.” Terri Bates said she and a couple of alpacas recently made a visit to a local assisted living facility where the residents were enlivened when they were able to pet and interact with the animals. They consider their ranch events important educational and social opportunities, a chance to share the animals on a larger scale. “We thought, ‘Why not make it more of a social event where people can really get in here and socialize with each other among the alpacas?’” Terri Bates said. Their first wine tasting event was limited to 50 people and sold out quickly. They said the alpacas were perfectly behaved — especially since their new visitors gave them delicious treats. “They’ll do anything for a carrot,” Stymerski said. While both llamas and alpacas have a tendency to spit at each other or people, Terri Bates said it’s usually only

Wine, Carrots & Alpacas noon-2 p.m. Monday Magnolia Blossom Ranch 2901 NW 16th St., Newcastle | 405-412-4845 $15

O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8




Semi-charmed 2019

My So Called Band and The Jones Assembly want to save you from another disappointing New Year’s Eve with The Drop. By Charles Martin

New Year’s Eve is an important part of our modern mythology as a night when all is possible and a better life is only three … two … one away. It is a night for the world to be reborn, for the sins of the previous 365 days to be purged and a new you, a new me and a new us to finally be realized. Or so goes the myth. “Believing ‘My life is going to turn around, this is the night it all changes’ is the key mistake,” said J Kyle Davis of My So Called Band, the headliner of The Jones Assembly’s The Drop New Year’s Eve celebration. “But if you just want to have a good time, shake your ass, have a few drinks and a good time, we can help you with that. Maybe you’ll get lucky and kiss the girl, but maybe not. Either way, you’ll have fun.” Also featuring Zach Nedbalek, Ricky Salthouse, Carly Gwin and Arash Davari, My So Called Band has cross-pollinated with notable indie rock acts such as The Evangelicals, Berwanger and Carly Gwin and the Sin. In addition to a solid band pedigree, My So Called Band also possesses a deep catalog of ’90’s covers it has cobbled together over the last seven years, making it a go-to for parties. At last count, Davis said the band knew around 175 songs, some woven into its current set list and others that just need a rehearsal or two to lock in. “You rarely see a cover band that is this talented and authentic, and I know that’s funny to say but they are so authentic and energetic that you lose yourself in their performance,” said The Jones Assembly co-owner Graham Colton. “They are one of the best bands, talent-wise, in Oklahoma. They really put their heart and soul into the perfor-


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mance. There should be another word other than ‘cover band’ or ‘tribute band’ because they are something different.” This will be the second year for My So Called Band to play The Drop and its eighth consecutive New Year’s Eve show. As Oklahomans will be scrambling to stage the perfect closeout for 2018 with varying degrees of success, Davis is happy to instead spend the night working. “It’s a different kind of excitement,” Davis said. “As a performer, it’s a night with so much built-in anticipation that you really don’t have to pace it out like a normal show where you are almost building it like a well-thought-out meal. You start off with something that makes a statement and hits hard, then maybe you want to play some Mazzy Star to chill the crowd out in the middle of a show. New Year’s Eve is less like that because the crowd is excited and you can just keep taking them higher. There’s really not a place for Mazzy Star on New Year’s Eve.” Because of the band’s energy and familiarity, Davis said it has played about once a month since its inception and finding a gig on the last night of the year hasn’t ever been difficult. Because of the high expectations for the evening, the parties can be fun to play but also spectacular train wrecks if not handled correctly. “Someone hired us for a private party four or five years ago that, by the end of the night, it was sad because the place was so outrageously wrecked,” Davis said. “The light-up dance floor was bashed in, and there were people passed out all around like we were in some college movie. Another year, we were at The Blue Note, and when we played ‘The

My So Called Band plays at The Jones Assembly’s The Drop on New Year’s Eve. | Photo provided

Sweater Song’ by Weezer, the crowd forcefully pulled off this guy’s designer sweater, which then got demolished. It was pretty funny.” Of all the previous parties, Davis said last year’s The Drop was the biggest in scale. “Last year, the crowd was amazing. They had The Flaming Lips’ confetti cannons going — it was a sight to see,” David said. “When the cannons were going off, we were playing ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ the only non-’90s song we’ve ever performed. I was in awe. It’s a great show to play because we know it’s going to sound good and we know it’s going to look cool.” Colton’s own music career had him onstage during numerous New Year’s Eve parties, including a memorable performance in New Orleans where he got to perform Rolling Stones covers with Better Than Ezra after the clock struck midnight. “New Year’s Eve can have a tendency to overpromise and under-deliver,” Colton said. “We just want to make sure we put as much heart into it as possible and do everything we can do to make it special, from food service to our cocktail program to all things music.”

The Drop also won’t be just a show, according to Colton. There will be floor booth seating available starting at 8 p.m. that includes dinner service leading up to the show. Davis said My So Called Band will perform three 50-minute sets. For Colton, this is an opportunity for The Jones Assembly to highlight what makes the venue stand out. “It’s fun to put together an event like this,” Colton said. “Like making a song, you get to create this thing and then watch people experience it. We’re all in it together. When we started The Jones Assembly, we wanted to create the heartbeat of the city. We really did talk about doing that, to build something that was diverse, a place for everyone.” Visit

The Drop featuring My So Called Band 9:30 p.m. Monday The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. | 405-212-2378 $35



Jose Rodriguez owns both FlashBack RetroPub and The Sanctuary Barsilica. | Photo Alexa Ace

Time warp

Party like it’s 1999 — or 1599 — this New Year’s Eve. By Matthew Price

Regardless of which of Jose Rodriguez’s bars you enter on New Year’s Eve, you might feel like you’re stepping into a different time. The entrepreneur behind FlashBack RetroPub, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite A, and Sanctuary Barsilica, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite F, has New Year’s Eve events planned at both locations. At the videogame bar FlashBack RetroPub, a 1980s-themed party will be in full swing, while at Sanctuary Barsilica just a few doors down, guests will be transported to the heyday of the European masquerade ball.

It’s 1999

FlashBack RetroPub, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite A, hosts a Party Like It’s 1999 New Year’s Eve Bash with doors opening at 7 p.m. and DJ’d music starting at 8:30 p.m. The “1999” is a not-so-subtle reference to Prince, the electrifying singersongwriter whose tunes supercharged the 1980s, and the ’80s theme is in full force both in the New Year’s Eve Party and the decor of FlashBack. While the song “1999” was a look ahead at a potentially devastating future, this year, guests will ring in the 20th anniversary of the titular year with the apocalypse as-yet averted. DJ Sirok will provide the music, as he has in past years. “This is our fourth New Year’s Eve, and we have a lot of returning groups that choose to spend New Year’s Eve with us,” said Rodriguez. “One of the main things they enjoy is how laid-back it is. They can dress nice but don’t have to dress up. And of course they love the ’80s music.” At FlashBack’s New Year’s Eve, the pub will provide party favors for attendees, and table reservations for 10 are $200, subject to availability. All table reservations include free admission and a bottle of champagne. To inquire about renting a table, email The cover charge for the evening is $15 per person, and casual dress is recommended. No coat check is available for the party.

Church service

As you might expect at church, the dress code is a little more formal at The Sanctuary Barsilica, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite F. The church-themed bar will host a masquerade ball for masked attendees awaiting the stroke of midnight. “People can bring their own mask, or we will have masks available to give away,” Rodriguez said. With the stained-glass surroundings, the masquerade ball hearkens back to an even earlier era than the 1980s; the themed parties date back to 14th- and 15th-century Europe, remaining popular in some format for hundreds of years. And the music, as you might expect, is slightly different from the ’80s hits prevalent at FlashBack. “At Sanctuary, the music is completely different; it’s upbeat, more pop, funk, soul music,” Rodriguez said. The Sanctuary Barsilica also features organ music on occasion, and on karaoke nights, it offers choir robes. On New Year’s Eve, The Sanctuary offers a front and back patio, named The Garden of Eden, from which guests can watch the OKC fireworks. The bar will also have a $15 cover on New Year’s Eve. For information about table rates, email A table for four on New Year’s Eve at Sanctuary is $75; reservations include admission for four and a bottle of wine. One must-have at both concepts is craft beer. But each bar will approach it slightly differently. “FlashBack offers over 100 different beers from Oklahoma and surrounding states, and Sanctuary will carry around 50-60 craft beers from national and international breweries,” Rodriguez said.

Expanding game

While The Sanctuary Barsilica just opened this month, FlashBack RetroPub opened in 2015 and is about to get bigger. The 1980s have been good for Rodriguez, who is expanding FlashBack

RetroPub in 2019. “FlashBack is expanding next door into the old photography studio,” he said. “We are adding 1,500 square feet to our space, bumping us up to 5,000 square feet.” The pub currently offers visitors more than 65 classic stand-up arcade video games, including Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede and NBA Jam. Those who want to try their hand at a home Nintendo console can slide up to the bar and grab a controller. Nintendo NES, Super Nintendo, Sega and N64 gaming consoles can all be found at the bar. Everything from the decor to the fluorescent mixed drinks — including, naturally, Purple Rain — could make a visitor think they have temporarily slipped back into the Me Decade, as TVs play ’80s videos or films like Pretty in Pink and Top Gun. With the additional space, Rodriguez plans more focus on the pub’s USER Lounge, which provides a specialty selection of rare arcade games for members who pay the annual $99 membership fee. “We will add more games and tables for people to sit at. We will also move the USER Lounge from the back to the front, doubling it in size.” Games currently featured in the lounge include Tron, Spy Hunter, Tempest, Paperboy, Contra, Joust and Punch-Out, among others. The rare Tron game, which took Rodriguez years to find, is the inspiration for the name of the lounge, from the film. “With the added space in the USER Lounge, we will also add pinball machines,” Rodriguez said. But before all that, the bar will ring in 2019 with its annual bash. And whether you want to spend your New Year’s Eve going back to the ’80s or back to church, Rodriguez has a concept for you. “Both concepts are unique in their own right, FlashBack being the first arcade bar in OKC and now Sanctuary being the first church-themed bar,” Rodriguez said. “Both draw attention for different reasons, but at the end of the day, they are just concepts and we have to provide great customer service to keep people coming back.” Visit and

Party Like It’s 1999 New Year’s Eve Bash 7 p.m. Monday FlashBack RetroPub 814 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite A $15

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball



200 N. HARVEY | 405.600.7575

Vegetable biryani 4621 N. May | OKC | 778-8469


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7 p.m. Monday The Sanctuary Barsilica 814 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite F $15

8503 N. ROCKWELL 239-HAHA(4242)





Categorizing art

An exhibit at Oklahoma City Museum of Art explores the definition and diversity of sculpture art. By Jeremy Martin

The newest exhibition at Oklahoma City Museum of Art offers more questions than answers, even for its curator. Off the Wall: One Hundred Years of Sculpture, on display through May 12, 2019, at OKCMOA, 415 Couch Drive, features more than 20 works from the museum’s permanent collection. Curator Roja Najafi said the exhibit is intended to prompt inquiries, some of which seem, at first, to have basic answers. “What makes a sculpture a sculpture?” Najafi said. “In textbooks, we often say, ‘A sculpture is a three-dimensional artwork, and that’s it.’ So what is a painting? … The goal of the exhibition is to show the many ways in which the artists in the 20th and 21st century have addressed the issues of sculpture and also medium specificity. … What is a sculpture and what is a painting and how do these boundaries get blurred?” Seeking the answers, if there are any, to these questions of classification takes art criticism into prehistory. “When you go through these categories from the beginning of art history and think about the wall paintings of prehistoric times, we think of them as paintings,” Najafi said. “We consider them two-dimensional, but many people have seen the wonderful movie by Werner Herzog Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and we know that these cave walls were not all flat.” Herzog’s 2010 documentary captures some of humanity’s oldest known surviving paintings in the Chauvet caves of southern France. The film was originally released in 3-D, a necessity, wrote IndieWire film critic Daniel Walber, because a “simple print of a horse or lion from Chauvet would not begin to replicate the effect of its original location … to attain the full artistic impact one needs to walk through the cave itself, watching the paintings seem to shift in the darkness.” When art becomes interdimensional and medium specificity becomes blurry, Najafi said, critics and historians are forced to question past assumptions. “How do we make a medium of art?” Najafi asked. “How do we decide on this? Art historians and artists and art experts and art critics decide these things based on the space these works occupy. … The most sincere form of art is a sculpture, in a way, because it 30

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alters a space that we occupy as humans, the three-dimensional space that we see. Because if you think about it, any work that is two-dimensional, when it alters a space, it is an illusion, right? … That’s the issue that the artists in the 20th century are really tackling at the beginning of modernism, that we need to be sincere to the medium and we need to be medium-specific, that paintings need to be two-dimensional and flat. By the middle of the century, every single art medium had been basically boiled down to its pure qualities, and now we are questioning what’s next. Maybe those boundaries were wrong.” Artists, meanwhile, can draw inspiration from uncertainty. “For an artist, this is all a playground for them to question these boundaries,” Najafi said. “We use them as teachers, as art historians and art critics, to get into these things, but really, at the end of the day, they’re arbitrary.”

Defining sculpture

Many of the works on display in Off the Wall prompt questions about not only what a sculpture is but what it can do. “The materials that artists use go beyond the traditional methods,” Najafi said. “We have sculptures from bronze and marble, of course. Those are very traditional materials that artists have used for centuries since ancient GrecoRoman art, and you will see sculptures that are using the same material but they are doing something else. They are making a sound. They are meant to move around. And then you will see sculptures that are assemblages that bring together various found objects. Artists walk around and find these objects in garage sales or discarded by the side of the street. Or we have an amazing artist, Lisa Hoke, who uses packing material like cardboard. Cardboard and packing materials in their nature are t h r e e- d i men sion a l , right, because they are boxes? But she flattens them, and then she revolumizes the whole thing.” Despite the name of the exhibition, Hoke’s work “Come on Down, O k l a h om a ” is mounted on the wall. Another asabove “Torso” by David Smith right “Divided Head” by Henry Moore | Photo Joseph Mills / provided

semblage sculpture, Alfonso Ossorio’s “INXIT,” is partially constructed from animal bones. “If you look at it, it has horns and a skull, found objects like plastic handles,” Najafi said. “Everything is visible to you. Your eyes won’t be able to rest on this work.” A kinetic mobile sculpture created by Alexander Calder also refuses to rest; its colorful abstract shapes are constantly reconfiguring to offer each individual viewer a unique experience. The creation of subjective viewpoints and the obfuscation of 2- and 3-D has implications for modern technology as well as modern art. “Virtual reality, when you think about it, is a very internal sense of space,” Najafi said. “You put goggles on your head, and you are looking at a screen and you are sort of imagining this three-dimensional space that does not exist. So I think it is, in a way, a continuation of the surrealist view of space, that space exists within our subconscious.” Museum visitors, via inperson and online voting, chose one sculpture, “Icarus” by Charles Umlauf, for display in the exhibit, blurring the division between patron and curator. Najafi said she thinks the work proved popular because it offers a new angle on a classic theme. “It is a sculpture that is doing something interesting with a very traditional subject matter,”

“INXIT” by Alfonso Ossorio | Photo Joseph Mills / provided

Najafi said. “The subject is from Greek and Roman mythology, and we see the body of a man who is trying to fly, falling, so it is very much an upsidedown sculpture, and it is beautiful, a fallen angel. … I think it appeals to people because in all of us, there is an Icarus. We all want to try to get closer to our ideals, to try the impossible, and we all have experienced disappointment, a fall.” Ultimately, while historians, curators and critics find it useful to divide art into categories, for many artists, creation supersedes, and even defies, classification. “One thing we should keep in mind is that these things are tools,” Najafi said. “Medium, material, shape, form — these are tools for the artists to tell us their stories, to tell us what’s important to them. And sometimes what is important to them is the form, is the material, but many times we are actually telling a personal story or we are telling a story about the world.” Visit

Off the Wall: One Hundred Years of Sculpture through May 12, 2019 Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive | 405-236-3100 Free-$12

Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience begins 8 p.m. Jan. 4 and 5 in Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre in Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. | Photo Beatles Book Photo Library (BBPL) / provided


Getting better

Come together

Oklahoma City Philharmonic gets fab with Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience. By Jeremy Martin

Maybe orchestras aren’t for everyone. Asked to name other acts that might merit similar tributes, Robert Thompson — president of Schirmer Theatrical, the company bringing Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience to Oklahoma City Jan. 4-5 — can only name a few. “There’s probably, I could rattle off six. David Bowie, yes; Queen, yes; Led Zeppelin, yes … Stevie Wonder, yes, absolutely, um…,” Thompson said, laughing, realizing he had only listed four. “There’s others I’ve passed on, other projects I’ve passed on and said, ‘No, this just won’t work.’ … Orchestras don’t lend themselves to everything. I don’t think Beyoncé for symphony orchestra is necessarily something that works.” Thompson, who also has a doctorate in music from Eastman School of Music and taught a graduate seminar in the songwriting techniques of The Beatles, said the band’s music works with full orchestral arrangements because it features elements comparable to classical compositions. “My big thing about The Beatles is ‘Yesterday’ is a seven-bar phrase, and not even Bach and Mozart could write seven-bar phrases,” Thompson said. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, in his book This Is Your Brain on Music, explains the significance of Paul McCartney’s musical accomplishment. “In ‘Yesterday,’ the main melodic phrase is seven measures long,” Levitin wrote. “The Beatles surprise us by violating one of the most basic assumptions in popular music, the four- or eightmeasure phrase unit.” In The Beatles as Musicians, music theorist Walter Everett elaborates. “The irregular phrase length results from a doubling of the tempo,” Everett Accompanying orchestral arrangements of Beatles songs, Revolution features a multimedia presentation including hundreds of rarely seen photos of the band. | Photo Beatles Book Photo Library (BBPL) / provided

wrote. “In the verse’s first four bars, one clearly feels strong measures alternating with weak. At the same level, the next three bars alternate strong and weak half measures, breathlessly plunging into ‘Suddenly’ and abruptly ending the desired 4+4 pattern one bar into the second verse, where the strings enter unexpectedly.” In other words, there’s a lot going on, even in some of the band’s seemingly simpler songs. Producer George Martin’s knowledge of classical music encouraged further experimentation, Thompson said. “There was that integration of classical music in The Beatles early on, even before you got to Sgt. Pepper or Magical Mystery Tour,” Thompson said. “In ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ they thought of using string players, they thought of using piccolo trumpet on ‘Penny Lane.’ That was actually Paul McCartney, but that was an instrument that you only heard in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.”

Revolution, pairing vocalists and rock musicians with Oklahoma City Philharmonic (OKC Phil), presents 25 of The Beatles’ best-known songs (“Here Comes the Sun,” “Hey Jude,” “All You Need Is Love,” etc.) in orchestra-augmented arrangements while avoiding the tribute-band route. “Most of the live performances of The Beatles’ [music] that you hear are basically four guys in a cover band impersonating John, Paul, George and Ringo,” Thompson said. “That’s not what we try to do here. … The Beatles were ostensibly four guys singing about girls, and what we wanted to do in this project was to authentically and creatively embody the music.” The Beatles quit touring in 1966, letting the music they released stand on its own. Removed of a faux-Fab Four, Thompson said, the songs can take on new meanings in new contexts. “One of the things that was important to me at the beginning of the process was to bring the lyrics a little bit closer to the audience,” Thompson said. “So for a song like ‘She’s Leaving Home,’ to have a female voice sing, that changes the whole perspective of the song. It now becomes autobiographical in a way. So we did little things like that, in terms of approaching the lyrics and music to kind of get the audience to maybe hear these songs in a different way.” However, McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr remain present. Hundreds of rarely seen candid photos of the band, taken from the archives of official fan magazine The Beatles Book Monthly, are included in the multimedia presentation accompanying the concert. Even longtime fans will have the chance to see something new, Thompson said. “One of the things people will be sur-

prised to see is the behind-the-scenes in the dressing rooms before the performances, the camaraderie of the four of them,” Thompson said. “I think the audience will get a sense, especially early on in The Beatles’ trajectory, of just how close-knit they were.” Thompson said he found one photo, taken the day after The Beatles’ 1964 mania-inducing American introduction on The Ed Sullivan Show, particularly shocking for a different reason. “The next day, the Beatles were given a tour, a little brief tour of New York before they met with the press,” Thompson said. “So that Monday morning, there’s a photo taken of Ringo and John and Paul in Central Park, and you can see the lake behind them, and over the top of John’s head is the Dakota, where John eventually lived with Yoko. When I first saw that photo, I got in touch with the people that own the archives and I said, ‘Are you aware what this photo is?’ and they said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘John had been in the United States for less than 72 hours, and here it is, the beginning of The Beatles, the beginning of John Lennon’s career and the end of it, it’s all right there in that one photo.’” Lennon died in 1980 after Mark David Chapman shot him in the archway of the Dakota Apartments in New York’s Upper West Side. The 1964 photo of the three lads from Liverpool in front of that now-infamous landmark appears in Revolution during the song “Carry That Weight.” Audience members with little knowledge of The Beatles’ history can still enjoy the show, Thompson said. “If you don’t know anything about The Beatles — I can’t imagine there are people out there that don’t, but — I think it’s a wonderful introduction,” Thompson said. “What we have attempted to create in Revolution was an immersive concert experience.” While it might be hard for him to imagine people unfamiliar with The Beatles, Thompson said he wants Revolution to help pass the music on to new fans. “The singers and the musicians onstage, they’re all young; they’re all in their 20s and early 30s,” Thompson said. “What we set about was to find a new generation of artists who would be able to perform The Beatles’ repertoire at an extraordinarily high level. That was our mission. … What we wanted to do was to remind people that yeah, John and George have passed. Paul and Ringo are still out there performing, but at some point, this music lives on, and it lives on through young artists who embody and understand the significance of The Beatles.” Visit

Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience 8 p.m. Jan. 4-5 Civic Center Music Hall 201 N. Walker Ave. | 405-842-5387 $19-$73

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CALENDAR are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to

FILM My Man Godfrey (1936, USA, Gregory La Cava) a socialite (Carole Lombard) hires a vagrant (William Powell) to be her butler, and romance ensues in this classic film aired on OETA as part of the TV station’s Movie Club, 9 p.m. Dec. 29. SAT Red OKCtober (2018, USA, Jacob Schram and Reggie Lee Jr.) a group of friends makes desperate decisions in the face of difficulty in this film shot in Oklahoma City and starring local actors, 8-9:30 p.m. Dec. 27. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-2314747, THU


The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, USA, Jim Sharman) a young couple’s car trouble strands them at mad Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s castle in this cult classic science fiction musical, 10 p.m. Dec. 29. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave, 405-235-3456. SAT

HAPPENINGS All-Star Pro: Battlerite the Oklahoma pro wrestling promotion returns with several matches, 3-6:30 p.m. Dec. 30. I & N Rockwell Events Center, 7250 Northwest Expressway, 405-593-1833, facebook. com/INREventCenter. SUN Board Game Brunch play board games while enjoying a variety of food and beverage options, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. last Sunday of the month. The R & J Lounge and Supper Club, 320 NW 10th St., 405602-5066, SUN




Board Game Day enjoy local craft beer while playing old-school board and arcade games with friends, 5-8 p.m. Sundays. FlashBack RetroPub, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-633-3604, SUN The Carnival at Midnight celebrate the arrival of 2019 with a photo booth, dancing and live music from The Time Machine, 8 p.m.-midnight Dec. 31. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, 405322-6000, MON


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Fuzzy Friday a monthly happy hour meet-andgreet hosted by the Bears of Central Oklahoma, 5:30 p.m. Fridays. Apothecary 39, 2125 NW 39th St., 405-605-4100. FRI

Music Industry Networking Night a meetup for local artists, promoters and fans with boardgames and drink specials, 7-11 p.m. Dec. 26. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, WED New Year’s Eve at the Museum Cafe enjoy fireworks, champagne, a six-course meal and live music from The Music Makers, 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, MON New Year’s Eve Party dance in the New Year at this celebration culminating in a midnight champagne toast, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. The Liszt, 12100 N. May Ave., 405-205-0807, MON

Bowl game

M-F 7am-6:30pm • Sat 9:30am-4pm 2310 N Western 524-0887

Christmas in the Park drive or walk through through nearly three miles of lighted Christmas displays featuring more than 4 million twinkling lights and ride the Santa Express Train at this annual event, 6-11 p.m. through Dec. 31. Yukon City Park, 2200 Holly Ave., Yukon, 405-354-1895,

Illuminations: A Northern Lights Experience a high-tech light show in the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, through Jan. 2. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, TUE-WED

cater your NYE & with party trays, party subs, cookie trays, pastries & more

Chicago Steppin Class learn how to do the popular dance at this free weekly class, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays. L & G’s on the BLVD, 4801 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-5242001, THU

Historic Train Car Tours see the inside of a 1929 Pullman parlor car on a guided tour offered for a limited time, through Jan. 1, 2019. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, TUE

Let us


BEYOND Burlesque Billed as “an immersive experience in seduction and space,” this collaboration between the Factory Obscura performance art collective, A Mirage Dance Company and Terra Rouge burlesque performers Bessie Bouttè, Mariah Webb, Piccadilly Porter, Panhandle Perle and Apple Angel promises to stimulate your, um … imagination with interactive entertainment including fire and belly dancing and an LED lightshow. Choose your own adventure 7-10 p.m. Monday at Factory Obscura, 1522 S. Robinson Ave. Tickets are $30-$38. Visit MONDAY Photo provided

Philadelphia’s Mummers — Struttin’ Their Stuff A 120-year-old New Year’s Day tradition, the annual Mummers Parade features more than 10,000 adults and children dressed in colorful costumes strutting down Broad Street in Philadelphia. If you can’t make the trip to the City of Brotherly Love this year, you can still learn about the lengthy history of mummery and see some of the costumes worn in parades past at this exhibition right here in OKC. Then treat yourself to a chicken-fried cheesesteak. The exhibit is on view through April at American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Ave. Admission is free-$8. Call 405-6042793 or visit americanbanjomuseum. com. THROUGH APRIL Photo provided

New Year’s Eve Party ring in the new year at this party with a midnight champagne toast, black and gold attire suggested, 9 p.m. Dec. 31. Chisholm’s Saloon, 401 S. Meridian Ave., 405-949-0423, facebook. com/chisholmssaloon. MON New Year’s Promenade commemorate the arrival of 2019 with live jazz, street magicians, comedians, karaoke, dancing and more; must be 21 or older to attend, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. Firelake Arena, 18145 Rangeline road, 405-273-1637, MON NYE Adult Event celebrate the New Year with arcade games, drinks and a dinner buffet, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. Dave & Buster’s, 5501 N. May Ave., 405254-9900, MON Open Fiber Night a weekly crafting meet-up for knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers, 5-8 p.m. Thursdays. Yarnatopia, 8407 S. Western Ave., 405601-9995, THU Paper Sack Project prepare sack lunches to pass out to people on the streets at this event hosted by Debate Night OKC, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. last Sunday of the month. NE OKC Community & Cultural Center, 3815 N. Kelley Ave., 405-401-3350. SUN Practical Magick: The Art of Letting Go and Clearing Out learn to release things that aren’t helpful to you in the New Year at this workshop, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 29. Labyrinth Temple, 417 NW 25th St., 405-406-8318. SAT

The Pump Bar New Year’s Eve celebrate the arrival of 2019 with live DJ sets from JP Lovecraft and Emcee Dermid and a midnight champagne toast, 8 p.m. Dec. 31. The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave., 405-702-8898, MON Reiki/ Energy Share learn about reiki healing and share good vibes at this community get-together, 6 p.m. Fridays. Beautifully Connected, 13524 Railway Drive, Suite J, 262-753-6852, FRI RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 Watch Party meet up with other fans to watch the popular reality show paired with a live drag show featuring local performers, 7-9 p.m. Fridays. The Boom, 2218 NW 39th St., 405-601-7200, FRI Skydance Brewing Co Launch Party enjoy live music, food, craft beer and football on big screen TVs, noon-midnight Dec. 29. Brewers Union, 520 N. Meridian Ave, 405-604-8989, SAT Toastmasters Meeting hone public speaking and leadership skills in a move-at-your own pace environment, 7-8:30 p.m. Thursdays. McFarlin United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Drive, 623-810-0295. THU The Ultimate All White NYE Soirée ring in 2019 with party favors, a ball drop, DJs and champagne; all white attire required, must be 25 or older to attend, 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Dec. 31. The Queen Lounge, 2306 N. MacArthur, 405-606-8616. MON Wednesday Night Trivia test your knowledge on various subjects for the chance to win prizes, 8 p.m. Wednesdays. The Garage Burgers and Beer, 1117 N. Robinson Ave., 405-602-6880, WED What Are You Doing New Years Eve? enjoy dinner, live jazz music, a champagne toast and a variety show inspired by lounge acts from the 1940s and ‘50s, 8 p.m.-midnight Dec. 31. Will Rogers Theatre, 4322 N. Western Ave., 405-604-3015, MON

FOOD New Years Day Brunch hear live music, brunch fare and a preview of the gallery’s Contemporary Impulses exhibition, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Jan. 1. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, TUE Surf and Turf this weekly all-you-can-eat feast in the Bricktown Brewery features prime rib, snow crab legs, shrimp and more, 4-10 p.m. Thursdays. Remington Park, 1 Remington Place, 405-424-9000, THU

YOUTH The Disgusting Human Body learn about the digestive system by creating a model of the human stomach out of household items and ready to get messy, 2-3 p.m. Jan. 2. Almonte Library, 2914 SW 59th St., 405-606-3575, WED Early Explorers toddlers and preschoolers can participate in fun scientific activities they can repeat later at home, Thursdays, 10-11 a.m. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, THU Explore It! get your questions answered of what, why and how about the natural world we live in, 11:30 a.m -noon Saturdays., Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.noon through Dec. 29. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum. SAT


Reading Wednesdays a weekly story time with hands-on activities, goody bags and reading-themed photo ops, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, WED Storytime Science the museum invites children age 6 and younger to hear a story and participate in a related scientific activity, 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, TUE Trey Hays book signing the Tishomingo author and elementary school teacher will read from his children’s book Little Loksi (Little Turtle), which includes a glossary of Chickasaw names for animals, 3 p.m. Dec. 29. SAT

PERFORMING ARTS Comedy Open Mic Night try doing standup and/ or watch other aspiring comics hone their acts, 10 p.m. Tuesdays. Othello’s Italian Restaurant, 434 Buchanan Ave., Norman, 405-701-4900, TUE The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Theater eat a four-course dinner while attempting to solve an interactive murder mystery, 6-9 p.m. Saturdays. Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave., 405-272-3040, SAT Divine Comedy a weekly local showcase featuring a variety of comedians from OKC and elsewhere, 9 p.m. Wednesdays. 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., 405-463-0470, WED Jazz & Blues Mondays a weekly showcase for musicians and vocalists, 8:30 p.m. Mondays. Ice Event Center & Grill, 1148 NE 36th St., 405-208-4240, MON Lumpy’s Open Mic Night play a song of your own or just listen to the performers at this weekly show hosted by John Riley Willingham, 9 p.m. Wednesdays, Lumpy’s Sports Grill, 12325 N. May Ave., 405-286-3300, WED NYE at The Loony Bin a New Year’s Eve celebration with a champagne toast, party favors, snacks and standup comedy from Jersey, Nate Abshire and Micah Medina, 7 p.m. to midnight, Dec. 31. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, MON Open Mic a weekly comedy show followed by karaoke, 7:30-9 p.m. Fridays. Don Quixote Club, 3030 N. Portland Ave., 405-947-0011. FRI Open Mic hosted by Elecktra, this open mic has an open-stage, almost-anything-goes policy and a booked feature act, 6-11:30 p.m. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, MON

New Year’s Eve Choose 1 item from each course, just $59 per person.

Open Mic a music and comedy open mic hosted by Amanda Howle, 7:30 p.m. every other Wednesday. Triple’s, 8023 NW 23rd St., 405-789-3031. WED Public Access Open Mic read poetry, do standup comedy, play music or just watch as an audience member, 7 p.m. Sundays. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo Plunge, 405-315-6224, SUN Red Dirt Open Mic a weekly open mic for comedy and poetry, hosted by Red Dirt Poetry, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo St., 405-5219800, WED The Skirvin Jazz Club a weekly live jazz show presented by OK Sessions, 7:30 p.m. Fridays. Park Avenue Grill, 1 Park Avenue, 405-702-8444, FRI

ACTIVE Candlelight Yin Yoga employ passive stretching to relax deep connective tissues, ligaments, tendons and fascia, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 28. 405 Yoga, 1004 N. Hudson Ave., 405-778-8905, FRI Co-ed Open Adult Volleyball enjoy a game of friendly yet competitive volleyball while making new friends, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., 405-350-8920, WED First Day Hike start the New Year off by taking a hike along one of three trails of varying difficulty and accessibility; leashed pets and strollers welcome, 11 a.m. Jan. 1. Lake Thunderbird State Park, 13101 Alameda Drive, 405-360-3572. TUE Learn-to-Swim Program Giving residents of all ages and financial situations the opportunity to learn to swim with proper technique and basic water safety at their own pace offered by the King Marlin Swim Club, ongoing, through Dec. 31. Lighthouse Fitness (Front), 3333 W. Hefner Road, 405-845-5672, SAT-MON

Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles per hour through East Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-7655. MON Open Badminton hit some birdies in some morning pick-up games of badminton with friends, 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., Yukon, 405-350-8920, SAT Opening Night Finale 5K a New Year’s Eve race featuring appearances from the Thunder Girls, Thunder

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FIRST COURSE Caesar Salad Union Salad

Pimento Cheese Dip & Chips Truffle Fries

SEC OND C OURSE 5oz Filet Steel Head Salmon

Whipped potatoes, fire roasted corn salsa

Ginger jasmine rice, fire roasted corn salsa

Boneless Short Ribs

Vermicelli Bowl

Guajillo sauce, pickled jalapenos, corn salsa, elotes, tortillas

Cedar Plank Sea Bass

Honey mustard glaze, black bean cassoulet

Bread Pudding Caramel sauce

Vegetarian/Vegan Caramelized soy, enoki mushrooms, Japanese eggplant, peppers, garlic

DESSERT Flourless Chocolate Cake

Chocolate sauce, whipped cream, berries

Reservations call 405-608-8866



continued from page 33


List your event in

CALENDAR Drummers, Storm Chasers and Rumble the Bison, 3 p.m. Dec. 31. Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive, 405-297-3882, pages/Bicentennial. MON Restore and Reset for the New Year a guided candlelight practice incorporating aromatherapy, restorative and yin postures, controlled breathing and more, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 31. This Land Yoga, 600 NW 23rd St., 405-529-6428, MON

Thunder Run participate in a 5K race or a 1-mile family fun run presented by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the University of Oklahoma’s School of Medicine, 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 29. Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave., 405-602-8700, SAT Wheeler Criterium a weekly nighttime cycling event with criterium races, food trucks and family activities, 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays. Wheeler Park, 1120 S. Western Ave., 405-297-2211, TUE Yoga Tuesdays an all-levels class; bring your own water and yoga mat, 5:45 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405445-7080, TUE

VISUAL ARTS American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters an exhibition of Native art from the Kiowa Six, Harrison Begay, Tonita Peña and more, through May 12, 2019. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, SAT-SUN Beautiful Minds: Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage an exhibition of artworks created by people with dyslexia including students from Oklahoma City’s Trinity School, through July 14, 2019. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, FRI-SUN Cowboys in Khaki: Westerners in the Great War learn about the ways Westerners contributed to the US effort in World War I at this exhibit featuring military, rodeo and other historical memorabilia from the time period, through May 12, 2019. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, SAT-SUN

Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam In December, the Trump administration renewed efforts to deport thousands of Vietnamese immigrants from the United States, many of whom came to this country seeking asylum decades ago during the Vietnam War. If you’d like to know more about the rich history of Vietnamese immigrants here in Oklahoma, this exhibit offers information about their contributions and continued struggles and highlights the achievements and sacrifices of the Oklahomans who served in the military during the war instead of, say, getting a medical deferment for bone spurs. The exhibition is on view through November at Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. Admission is free-$7. Call 405-521-2491 or visit THROUGH NOVEMBER Photo provided Daren Kendall: Threshold With Me view seven sculptural thresholds based on the seven terraces of Dante’s purgatory, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-3253272, FRI-SUN Greg Burns: A Collection of Contemporary Watercolors the Oklahoma artist displays works inspired by trips to New Mexico and Florida, through Jan. 19, 2019. [Artspace] at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-6665, THU-SAT Ink & Draw a weekly meet-up for illustrators, artists and comic book creators, 4-6 p.m. Sundays. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo St., 405-315-6224, SUN

Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible.

Submit your listings online at or e-mail them to Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

Inspirations from Nature an exhibition of abstract paintings by Anthony Dyke and Susan Morrison-Dyke celebrating the beauty of nature and architecture, through Jan. 31, 2019. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, TUE-THU Into the Fold: The Art and Science of Origami features origami artists from around the world and displays the techniques of artful paper folding and other unique applications of origami, through Jan. 13, 2019. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, FRI-SUN John Brand view works by painter/photographer John Brand, through Dec. 31. 50 Penn Place Gallery, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-848-5567, SUN-MON

Horseplay Of course a horse is a horse, but in the works of artist Tom Lovell — whose paintings and drawings appeared on the covers and in the pages of pulp magazines during the 1920s and ’30s — a horse is also an iconic symbol of the American West. View many of his sketches and studies in various sizes and stages from pencils to pastels as he attempted to capture the movement, personality and anatomy of the noble equine while trying to keep the Mister Ed theme song out of your head. The exhibition is on view through July 14 at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St. Admission is free-$12.50. Call 405478-2250 or visit THROUGH JULY 14 Image provided


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Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, fjjma. TUE-SUN Studio Sunday: Radical Tile Designs decorate a 4-inch-by-4-inch ceramic tile square with markers paint and stamps, inspired by the museum’s Victorian Radicals exhibition, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 30. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SUN Ticket to Ride: Artists, Designers, And Western Railways Exhibition view some of the paintings, studies, posters, and graphics that resulted from collaborations between artists and commercial designers with Western rail companies between the late 1880s and early 1930s, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, FRI-SUN Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement an exhibit exploring the revolutionary artworks of Victorian England featuring many works not previously seen outside the UK, through Jan. 6, 2019. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SAT-SUN Whiteout at Campbell Art Park an outdoor artwork made by hundreds of transparent white spheres embedded with white LED lights and animated in large-scale patterns, through March 31, 2019. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-000, WED-SUN

Josette Simon-Gestin view paintings by the French artist alongside works by Oklahoma artist Marc Baker, through Dec. 30. Nault Gallery, 816 N. Walker Ave., 405-642-4414, FRI-SUN

The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later an exhibition including longstanding highlights and rarely seen works celebrating the museum’s purchase of a 154-piece contemporary art collection in 1968, through Dec. 30. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, SUN Pop Stars! Popular Culture and Contemporary Art an exploration of contemporary pop art inspired by Andy Warhol, Nick Cave, R. Luke DuBois and others, through Feb. 28, 2019. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, SUN-THU Seeds of Being curated by students enrolled in the university’s Native American Art & Museum Studies Seminar, this exhibition examines the impact of art in indigenous communities, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, TUE-SUN

Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail them to Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

Still Looking: The Photography Collection of Carol Beesley Hennagin an exhibition of selections from Hennagin’s extensive collection, including works by Edward Weston, Frederick Sommer and more, through Dec. 30. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of


For OKG live music

see page 37



Clear views

American Aquarium explores the personal and political on Things Change. By Jeremy Martin

Sometimes, the more things change, the more they keep on changing. Between recording 2015’s Wolves and this year’s aptly titled Things Change, hardly any aspect of American Aquarium frontman BJ Barham’s life has stayed the same. “Since the last record, I got sober, I got married, I had a kid, I had a band quit, I had a band join, the presidential election happened,” Barham said. “It’s the understated title of the year, but I couldn’t think of anything better or simpler. Take my personal stuff away from it and it’s just one of those inevitable facts. … It’s just a universal concept, and it doesn’t need much explaining.” American Aquarium is scheduled to play 8 p.m. Sunday at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. On the band’s latest album, Barham’s lyrics address the breakup of the best-known incarnation of his band to date (“When We Were Younger Men”), getting sober for his wife (“I Gave Up the Drinking Before She Gave Up on Me”) and the despair he felt on election night in 2016 (“The World Is on Fire”) but his infant daughter Josephine Pearl’s influence might have had the biggest impact on the songwriting. “I started off writing this record from a pretty negative standpoint, just kind of bitter, not knowing,” Barham said. “I just had a band quit. I was watching our country go through the election. I was watching this hatred bubble up, this dark underbelly of America that we thought we’d put to bed 30 years ago. People thought they could say anything they wanted to in public, being hateful, being rude, just being plain-out evil. So it’s hard to keep positive during those situations, but a kid forces you to stay positive. A kid forces you to be optimistic because you have to. Because if you stop being positive and you stop being optimistic, what is your child’s future going to look like?”

Things Change, recorded in Tulsa’s 3CG studios with an almost entirely new band lineup, was released in June. | Image provided

On album opener “The World Is on Fire,” Barham asks, “When did the land of the free become the home of the afraid — afraid of the world, afraid of the truth, afraid of each other?” And though the questions initially leave him speechless, he resolves by the chorus that “we just can’t give in; we just can’t give up. We must go boldly into the darkness and be the light.” It’s a sentiment not everyone wants to hear. “There’s some people that just really don’t like the record because they couldn’t get past the first song,” Barham said. “I tried to write a record with empathy. I tried to write a record without insulting someone else’s perspective, but if you’re making a record in 2018 and you’re not addressing the political climate, are you really writing a record about 2018? It encapsulates so much of what our culture is based around now. … A lot of people play it safe and sing songs about trucks and cold beer and pretty girls. That’s not the songs that I’m interested in writing. I’m interested in writing songs that touch into the human condition right now. … I’m not saying everybody should go out and make a political record because some people are just going to come out and say, ‘I’m right. You’re wrong. Fuck you.’ And that’s not how we’re going to have any kind of political discourse. That was the biggest struggle with this record, making sure I said things in a way that didn’t offend anybody, that didn’t call anyone’s beliefs wrong.” The restraint needed to address those who disagree with him with respect has come with time. Barham, whose most popular song is quarterlife-crisis anthem “Losing Side of 25,” said he’s thankful for the perspective he has at the age of 34. “I don’t know if the 25-year-old version of me could’ve handled the subject matter on this record,” Barham said. “I would’ve fell short. I would’ve been crushed just by the sheer pressure of writing about this kind of stuff.” While he has the wisdom of an older man, Barham said playing with the band’s new lineup — lead guitarist Shane Boeker, drummer Joey Bybee, bassist Ben Hussey and pedal-steel player Adam Kurtz — has been rejuvenating. “They breathe a certain kind of life into these songs that hadn’t been there since the songs were recorded,” Barham said. “I was with the same band for eight years. … Everybody was getting tired and everybody was getting bored. They weren’t as inspired as they were when we recorded these songs, so it’s nice to surround myself

with a bunch of musicians that were excited, that want to be here, that want to play these songs for people. I feel like a 21-year-old kid again.”

Fullbright scholars

Things Change was recorded at Tulsa’s Hanson-owned 3CG studios and produced by Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Fullbright. Having his “dear friend” Fullbright at the controls gave Barham more confidence to be vulnerable and honest in his lyrics.

A kid forces you to be optimistic because you have to. Because if you stop being positive and you stop being optimistic, what is your child’s future going to look like? BJ Barham “As a songwriter, I was very, very comfortable turning my songs over and letting him produce this record,” Barham said. “It takes a lot of trust because songs are basically like this really intimate snapshot of your personal life, and you’re turning them over to someone else and going, ‘OK, you can make changes to it. … I’m turning over some really serious, sensitive stuff. Be careful. Be gentle.’ He was fantastic. He took all of these ideas and turned them into kind of these grandiose arrangements that we absolutely love.” Though Barham is based in North Carolina, he said he has always had a “core fan base” in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Texas. “I think anybody in that part of the country can get behind the work ethic

American Aquarium is scheduled to play 8 p.m. Sunday at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. | Photo Cal Quinn / provided

this band has,” Barham said. “We play between 250 and 300 shows a year, so we work pretty hard for what we got. We write honest songs about regular people.” Barham celebrates that common work ethic in “Work Conquers All” a song based on Oklahoma’s state motto, labor omnia vincit. “Working your way out of any situation, I think that’s something that not only people from Oklahoma can get behind, but that’s something that Americans can get behind, especially in 2018,” he said. “The idea of perseverance, taking a situation and changing it to the way you want it to be through hard work, is part of the American ethos, I think.” Evolution requires change, and change, for the better at least, requires work. “As a writer, the goal is to progress, not just as a writer but as a person and learn to open up more and learn how to look yourself in the mirror and see those really dark, ugly truths, stare them in the face and write about them,” Barham said. “That’s hopefully what people are getting out of this record — a guy who’s doing a lot of searching of self and just putting pen to paper.” Texas singer-songwriter Jamie Lin Wilson is scheduled to open. Visit

American Aquarium 8 p.m. Sunday Tower Theatre 425 NW 23rd St. | 405-708-6937 $17-$33

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Opening Echo The Allie Lauren Project brings its lush melodies to Opening Night 2019. By Joshua Blanco

This month, The Allie Lauren Project returns to Oklahoma City, staging a musical performance like none other. Accompanied by an eclectic ensemble of musicians, founder and brainchild of the project Lauren Nicole Clare will deliver a performance brimming with passion and melody. Having lived with her grandmother Birdie for most of her adolescence, Clare was inspired by her talents as a church organist and pianist as well as her ability to sing. Her grandfather, Harold “Hal” Roberts, was something of a musical prodigy himself, hitting the road at age 19 to tour as a trombonist for Lionel Hampton in the 1950s. Shortly before he died, he restored an upright piano for his granddaughter, an instrument on which she would practice regularly. Clare’s mother recalls him as the first person to tell her that she too would grow up to become a musician one day. Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Clare enrolled as a vocal major at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. After graduation, she decided to continue her education at Oklahoma City University, where she earned her master’s degree in vocal performance. Shortly after finishing her coursework, she decided to focus on coming up with material she could call her own, officially launching her career as a musician in 2011. It turns out Grandpa was right after all. When naming her newfound project, Clare sought to encompass her entire family background. Referring to her maternal great-grandmother as the matriarch for the musical side of her family, she combined Allie’s first name with her own. The Allie Lauren Project was born. In September, the ensemble released its first album, titled The Lace Which Sailed and Bore Us Well Across the Epic Echo. Though at times it might seem like a compilation of et herea l soundscapes, the tracks are inter woven with eclectic melodies hovering in a state of vibrancy dominated by multi-instrumental innovation, effectively suiting her description of the album as a true avant-garde production. “The lace is representative of the fragility of life … and the epic echo stands for life itself, ever repeating what has come The Allie Lauren Project performs 7 p.m. at Arts Council Oklahoma City’s Opening Night 2019. | Photo provided 36

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before,” Clare said. “If you just breathe, you can make it through this journey we call life. The album itself is a journey meant to be listened to as one complete song of 11 tracks, just as life is one complete song with many chapters in between.” Though her style is not so easily put into words, she describes it as “more of a collection of everything I’m inspired by,” where she tends to “gravitate more toward mood and emotion.” Now hard at work in the studio planning her next release, Clare seems to balance recording, tours and family life with ease. With a 2-year-old son and a husband who works full-time, you might think she’s some kind of superhero. In reality, she’s just passionate about what she does. In recent years, touring has almost become a way of life. Thriving off audience reactions to her performances, the best way for her to gauge a show is to feel out whether her energy is being reciprocated, and vice versa. “I think the energy from show to show changes so much just depending on who’s there, and it really is kind of like a group effort of bringing the show to life because I do feed a lot off of not only the environment that we’re in, but also who’s there as well,” Clare said. Oklahoma shows are no exception. However, she appears to anticipate a

well-received set. erage will be in luck this year thanks to “I think just the holiday really makes New Year’s Cheers, a brand-new addiit special,” she said. “Typically, it’s hard tion serving up beer, wine and, of course, to get people out in the winter and in the champagne for seekers of warmth and drink as 2019 comes in with a bang. cold in the middle of the night, you know? So because of the holiday, there’s Holly Hodge, communications direcjust a different mood in the air even tor at Arts Council Oklahoma City, said though it’s freezing. I think that kind of the night ends with $10,000 worth of changes everything.” fireworks set off in the span of about 8 Now living in minutes, making the entire Arkansas, Clare is present at ion seem like a looking forward to g rand finale returning to her home state for her from beginning New Year’s Eve to end. Due to the size performance. “It feels so of the display, it’s warm because likely anyone living it’s home,” she within city limits said. “I was will have the chance born and to catch a glimpse of raised and the beaming spectalived there cle. For those unable until my midto attend the event or 20s, so it will see the fireworks from always hold a a distance, there’s special place in The Lace Which Sailed and Bore Us Well always next year. my heart. So I Across the Epic Echo | Image provided “There are no plans think when I for stopping,” Hodge come home to play, it’s just extra-special said. “We love this event, and we love because it almost feels full-circle just how it brings people together to see the because I’m home. It’s always so differlife of downtown. We’re doing it for the ent when you live in a different place community, and if they still love it, then and not everybody has the same roots we still want to provide it.” that you grew up with. So whenever I It appears that so far everything has come home, it always feels good being been running smoothly. With a network huddled up in the warmth with fellow of volunteers and sponsors, it’s likely Oklahomans. Celebrating and walking operations will only become more efinto the New Year and leaving the old ficient with time. year is just really special.” “The ball never fell off the crane or anything like that that I know of, so fingers crossed we don’t have anything Hello 2019 like that this year,” she said. Wristbands can be purchased at the Ring in the New Year with The Allie Lauren Project alongside 10,000 of your event for $10 or in advance for $8 at parclosest friends from across the state in ticipating 7-Eleven stores in Oklahoma an unforgettable celebration unique to City. Wristbands are also available for Oklahoma City. Those planning to advance purchase at any MidFirst Bank attend the Dec. 31 event will be guarand through Arts Council. Children age anteed a night of revelry, delivering a 5 and under will be granted free admistaste of the illustrious Manhattan sion. Doors open at 7 p.m. The fifth annual Finale 5K will also celebration straight out of New York be held that afternoon at 3 p.m. and into OKC. “I feel like I grew up just Ticketholders planning to attend The watching the ball in New Allie Lauren Project will be able to find York drop, you know, and her 7 p.m. at City Hall. “I really want people with this parso it’s nice to have something in your hometicular show that I’ve put together to town where you can basically have the courage to leave whatactually go out ever they need to leave in 2018 in 2018 and have a and just feel really encouraged to walk similar exinto 2019 feeling more empowered than perience ever,” Clare said. minus the Visit m i l l ions of people,” Clare said. Since its debut in The Allie Lauren Project 1987, Arts Opening Night 2019 Council Oklahoma City’s Opening 7 p.m. Monday Night has continued to grow. The event, Oklahoma City Hall presented by MidFirst Bank in partner200 N. Walker Ave. ship with Devon Energy, will offer | 405-270-4848 erything from food trucks to live music. Those hoping to enjoy an alcoholic bev$8-$10

LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to

MONDAY, DEC. 31 Confunkshun/Midnight Star/Lakeside, The Criterion. FUNK Full Tilt, Landing Zone. ROCK

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26 Elizabeth Speegle Band, The R & J Lounge and Supper Club. JAZZ

THURSDAY, DEC. 27 Hot House Band, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. JAZZ

FRIDAY, DEC. 28 Brad Fielder, Lazy Circles Brewing. FOLK Brett Young, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY Charley Crockett/Jaime Wyatt, Tower Theatre. BLUES/ROCK

Jackson Tillman, The Weekend Saloon. COUNTRY Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK Jim the Elephant, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company. COVER Labrys/Black Magnet/Laine, Opolis. ROCK/ELEC-


Life of the Party, Newcastle Casino. COVER Midas 13, Lumpy’s. COVER The New Tribe, The Blue Door. ROCK Next Halen/Classic Rewind, Oklahoma City Limits.


OmaleyB, L & G’s on the BLVD. R&B

Gum When the Water Hits the Moon, the latest album by Gum, was recorded at Norman’s Bell Labs and Oklahoma City’s 16th Street Studios and released in October. A shimmering bouquet of psych-tinged, pathos-laden indie rock in the tradition of Ariel Pink and MGMT, the album is easily among the best local releases of the year and chock full of shiny hooks as hard to get out of your head as pre-chewed Juicy Fruit is to get out of your hair. (Try peanut butter.) Jose Hernandez and Chelsey Cope, playing with a full band, are scheduled to open. The show starts 8 p.m. Saturday at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. Admission is $3. Call 405-463-0470 or visit SATURDAY Photo Bryan Ellison / provided Ciara Brooke/Kauri/All For More, The Root. POP/ FOLK

Orquesta D’Calle, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. LATIN

The Damn Quails/BC & the Big Rig, Main Street Event Center. ROCK/COUNTRY

Unchain the Rebel/Stealing Saturn/Black Out Bob, Brewskey’s. COVER

Hosty, 51st Street Speakeasy. SINGER/SONGWRITER


Kestrel & Kite, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC

Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club.

Mike Walker’s Fab 4, UCO Jazz Lab. JAZZ




The Chad Todd Band, Fuel Bar & Grill. COUNTRY Jamie Bramble, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Tower Theatre.

Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 2 Maurice Johnson, The R & J Lounge and Supper Club. JAZZ


Layken Urie, Newcastle Casino. SINGER/SONG-


Me Oh My/Kat Lock/Elecktra, The Root. ROCK The So Longs/The Feel Spectres, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. ROCK Teasing Weasel, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company. COVER Third Eye Blind, Riverwind Casino. POP

SUNDAY, DEC. 30 Superfreak, The Liszt. COVER They Act Human/Mutant, The Root. METAL

Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.


O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 8










By David Alfred Bywaters | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 1230





1 English guy 5 Partner in indecision with 5-Down 8 Alternative to pavement 14 What leads many people to say, “Let’s face it”? 19 Spanish greeting 20 GI’s address 21 California’s motto 22 Like a truck descending a steep hill 23 Sources of Manchego cheese 24 How polka bands get their start? 27 Org. with an annual Help a Horse Day 29 Big suit 30 Harvard University Press’s ____ Classical Library 31 Hundredths: Abbr. 32 Pontiff’s gold treasure? 37 Performed creditably 39 Word with store or sign 40 Value 43 Like powwows 46 Register things 48 Star bursts 49 Summer hat 50 Enthrones 53 Query about the Freedom Caucus or Berniecrats? 56 Noted beauty-contest loser 57 Most remote of the Near Islands 59 Irish port, county or bay 60 “Shame!” 61 Sushi eel 63 Improvised 67 Some refuges 69 Figure in Jewish folklore 70 Like some factories … or, in a different sense, like 90-, 109- and 119-Across (but not 24-, 32- and 53-Across)? 73 Potentially unhelpful answer to “Who’s there?” 77 Speed 79 The 21st Amendment, e.g. 80 Biblical spy 81 Wonder 84 Dutch cheese 87 Pas sans 89 Awestruck 90 Nickname for a hard-to-please girl? 95 Room to maneuver

97 Certifiable, so to speak 98 Bygone office position 99 Unctuousness 101 White part of pearly whites 102 Offshore sight, maybe 104 Vexes 107 Arabic name that sounds like a polite affirmative 109 Data maintained by competitive dentists? 112 Envelope abbr. 114 That’s right! 117 Italian article 118 Intentionally lost 119 Speakers’ searches for just the right words? 125 Halliburton of the Halliburton Company 126 Buckwheat cereal 127 Restroom sign 128 Antidiscriminatory abbr. 129 Iago or Othello 130 It notably has two bridges 131 Bleachers 132 “x” in 5x = x2 ÷ 2 133 Tit for tat?

DOWN 1 Shoddy 2 “Alas!” 3 War-torn Syrian city 4 Philosophical argument for belief in God 5 Partner in indecision with 5-Across 6 Connoisseur of food and drink 7 One might be found near a cloverleaf 8 Modern prefix with tag 9 Series 10 Word with you but not me 11 Main ingredient in Wiener schnitzel 12 Kitchenware brand 13 Like corsets 14 Russian “peace” 15 Terminus 16 Online enticement 17 Codger 18 Botanical bristles 25 Evidence left by a moth 26 Dead reckoning? 28 ____ Alcorn, creator of Pong 33 Wood for a raft 34 “And who ____?” 35 Texter’s transition 36 St. Petersburg’s river






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PUBLISHER Peter J. Brzycki



Please address all unsolicited news items (non-returnable) to the editor. First-class mail subscriptions are $119 for one year, and most issues at this rate will arrive 1-2 days after publication.







VOL. XL NO. 52 Oklahoma Gazette is circulated at its designated distribution points free of charge to readers for their individual use and by mail to subscribers. The cash value of this copy is $1. Persons taking copies of the Oklahoma Gazette from its distribution points for any reason other than their or others’ individual use for reading purposes are subject to prosecution.


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38 Unduly harsh 41 Has a 42-Down 42 See 41-Down 44 ____ Lee, singer with the 2011 No. 1 album “Mission Bell” 45 All limbs 47 Audit a class, say 50 Move slowly (along) 51 City near the Sierras 52 What comes before “B”? 54 Islamic mystic 55 Tinker (with) 58 Align 62 Doesn’t really see 64 Gift-tag word 65 Lansing-to-Flint dir. 66 Brief swim 68 Protective sorts in showbiz 71 Fervor 72 Some runoff sites 74 BBQ side

75 What can go before watt 76 Rare success story from the dot-com bubble 78 More pulchritudinous 81 Beau’s girl 82 ____-Dixie (grocery chain) 83 It’s not as simple as a), b), c) 85 “Go ahead!” 86 Italian wine city 88 Trolley sound 91 Bee, e.g. 92 Introvert’s focus 93 Cross inscription 94 Seethe 96 Max at the MoMA 100 Sea cow 103 Need for a model 105 Flowering herb also known as devil’s nettle 106 Woman’s name that means “star”

ADVERTISING 405-528-6000 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Saundra Rinearson Godwin Christy Duane Chris White EDITOR-IN-CHIEF George Lang

108 Banisters 110 Not loose, as a diamond 111 4-0 series, say 112 Some refuges 113 Like panang curry 115 “Git!” 116 “I did it!” 120 It fits in a lock 121 Architect Maya 122 Mathematician’s 116-Down 123 Inits. before many state names 124 Jesus Christ, with “the”

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Brittany Pickering STAFF REPORTERS Jacob Threadgill Jeremy Martin Nazarene Harris CALENDAR COORDINATOR Jeremy Martin PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER Alexa Ace CONTRIBUTORS Joshua Blanco, Matt Dinger Jo Light, Charles Martin, Matthew Price CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kimberly Lynch ILLUSTRATOR/GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ingvard Ashby GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tiffany McKnight

Stumped? Call 1-900-285-5656 to get the answers to any three clues by phone ($1.20 a minute).

SUDOKU VERY HARD | N°324195323 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9.

NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS Puzzle No. 1223, which appeared in the December 19 issue.

F I S C A L L I B R A S I N C A P S 38

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3701 N. Shartel Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73118-7102 PHONE (405) 528-6000 FAX (405) 528-4600 Copyright © 2018 Tierra Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Homework: Forget what *Time* magazine thinks. Who is your “Person of the Year”? Tell me at; click on “Email Rob.” ARIES (March 21-April 19)

I suspect that in 2019 you’ll be able to blend a knack for creating more stability with an urge to explore and seek greater freedom. How might this unusual confluence be expressed in practical ways? Maybe you’ll travel to reconnect with your ancestral roots. Or perhaps a faraway ally or influence will help you feel more at home in the world. It’s possible you’ll establish a stronger foundation, which will in turn bolster your courage and inspire you to break free of a limitation. What do you think?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

On the average, a total eclipse of the sun happens every 18 months. And how often is a total solar eclipse visible from a specific location on the planet? Typically, once every 375 years. In 2019, the magic moment will occur on July 2 for people living in Chile and Argentina. But I believe that throughout the coming year, Tauruses all over the world will experience other kinds of rare and wonderful events at a higher rate than usual. Not eclipses, but rather divine interventions, mysterious miracles, catalytic epiphanies, unexpected breakthroughs, and amazing graces. Expect more of the marvelous than you’re accustomed to.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

“The world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves,” wrote mythologist Joseph Campbell. It’s imperative that you NOT be one of those folks. 2019 should be the Year of Listening Deeply to Yourself. That means being on high alert for your inner inklings, your unconscious longings, and the still, small voice at the heart of your destiny. If you do that, you’ll discover I’m right when I say that you’re smarter than you realize. CANCER (June 21-July 22) Jackson Pollock is regarded as a pioneer in the technique of drip painting, which involves drizzling and splashing paint on canvases that lie on the floor. It made him famous.



But the truth is, Pollock got inspired to pursue what became known as his signature style only after he saw an exhibit by the artist Janet Sobel, who was the real pioneer. I bring this to your attention, because I see 2019 as a year when the Janet Sobel-like aspects of your life will get their due. Overdue appreciation will arrive. Credit you have deserved but haven’t fully garnered will finally come your way. You’ll be acknowledged and recognized in surprising ways.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

As the crow flies, Wyoming is almost a thousand miles from the Pacific Ocean and more than a thousand miles from the Gulf of Mexico, which is part of the Atlantic Ocean. Now here’s a surprise: in the northwest corner of Wyoming, the North Two Ocean Creek divides into two tributaries, one of which ultimately flows to the Pacific and one that reaches the Gulf. So an enterprising fish could conceivably swim from one ocean to the other via this waterway. I propose that we make North Two Ocean Creek your official metaphor for 2019. It will symbolize the turning point you’ll be at in your life; it will remind you that you’ll have the power to launch an epic journey in one of two directions.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

I have come to the conclusion that softening your relationship with perfectionism will be a key assignment in 2019. With this in mind, I offer you observations from wise people who have studied the subject. 1. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” —Voltaire 2. “Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.” —Rebecca Solnit 3. Perfectionism is “the high-end version of fear.” — Elizabeth Gilbert 4. “Nothing is less efficient than perfectionism.” —Elizabeth Gilbert 4. “It’s better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.” —Elizabeth Gilbert

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

In 1682, Peter Alexeyevich became co-Tsar of Russia. He was ten years old. His 24-year-old half-sister Sophia had a hole cut in the back of his side of the dual throne. That way she could sit behind him, out of sight, and whisper guidance as he discussed political matters with allies. I’d



love it if you could wangle a comparable arrangement for yourself in 2019. Are there wise confidants or mentors or helpers from whom you could draw continuous counsel? Seek them out.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

The body of the violin has two f-shaped holes on either side of the strings. They enable the sound that resonates inside the instrument to be projected outwardly. A thousand years ago, the earliest ancestor of the modern violin had round holes. Later they became half-moons, then c-shaped, and finally evolved into the f-shape. Why the change? Scientific analysis reveals that the modern form allows more air to be pushed out from inside the instrument, thereby producing a more powerful sound. My analysis of your life in 2019 suggests it will be a time to make an upgrade from your metaphorical equivalent of the c-shaped holes to the f-shaped holes. A small shift like that will enable you to generate more power and resonance.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

over the latter because it doesn’t darken the sky as much or cause the inconvenience of rain. But the truth is, the cumulonimbus is a blessing; a substantial source of moisture; a gift to growing things. I mention this because I suspect that for you, 2019 will have more metaphorical resemblances to the cumulonimbus than the cumulus.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

A hundred years ago, most astronomers thought there was just one galaxy in the universe: our Milky Way. Other models for the structure of the universe were virtually heretical. But in the 1920s, astronomer Edwin Hubble produced research that proved the existence of many more galaxies. Today the estimate is that there are at least 400 billion. I wonder what currently unimaginable possibilities will be obvious to our ancestors a hundred years from now. Likewise, I wonder what currently unforeseen truths will be fully available to you by the end of 2019. My guess: more than in any other previous year of your life.

Sagittarian singer-songwriter Sia has achieved great success, garnering nine Grammy nominations and amassing a $20 million fortune. Among the superstars for whom she has composed hit tunes are Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Flo Rida. But she has also had failures. Top recording artists like Adele and Shakira have commissioned her to write songs for them only to subsequently turn down what she created. In 2016, Sia got sweet revenge. She released an album in which she herself sang many of those rejected songs. It has sold more than two million copies. Do you, too, know what it’s like to have your gifts and skills ignored or unused or rebuffed, Sagittarius? If so, the coming months will be an excellent time to express them for your own benefit, as Sia did.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Go to to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes.

A typical fluffy white cumulus cloud weighs 216,000 pounds. A dark cumulonimbus storm cloud is 106 million pounds, almost 490 times heavier. Why? Because it’s filled with far more water than the white cloud. So which is better, the fluffy cumulus or the stormy cumolonimbus? Neither, of course. We might sometimes prefer the former



Author Elizabeth Gilbert offers advice for those who long for a closer relationship with the Supreme Being: “Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.” I’ll expand that approach so it applies to you when you’re in quest of any crucial life-enhancing experience. If you genuinely believe that a particular adventure or relationship or transformation is key to your central purpose, it’s not enough to be mildly enthusiastic about it. You really do need to seek your heart’s desire in the way people with their heads on fire look for water. 2019 will be prime time for you to embody this understanding.

The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.



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