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Taking a detour from his folk roots, Parker Millsap makes 'Other Arrangements.' By Ben Luschen P. 29


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inside COVER P. 29 Parker Millsap plugs in and turns

up on his new album, Other Arrangements, a record that could make the rising star go supernova. By Ben Luschen Photo David McClister / provided

NEWS 4 Marijuana What is legal now?

6 Education Oklahoma Education

Association post-walkout

Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs for Man UP

8 City OCPD teams up with

10 Chicken-Fried News

EAT & DRINK 12 Review Super Tortas El Chavo

13 Feature Chae Modern Korean


15 Feature local restaurants support


16 Gazedibles cheap meals

ARTS & CULTURE 19 Art Oklahoma Contemporary Arts

Center begins construction

20 Art Oklahoma School of Science

and Math fine art show at The Art Hall

22 Art Steamroller Print Fest at

[Artspace] at Untitled

Civic Center Music Hall

McClendon Whitewater Center

Festival at Mollie Spencer Farm

PieceWalk at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

23 Theater The Music of ABBA at 24 Theater Broadway & Brew at 25 Culture Iron Thistle Scottish 26 Community Autism Oklahoma

27 Calendar

MUSIC 29 Cover Parker Millsap at The

Sooner Theatre

Civic Center Music Hall

Music Festival

30 Event Ben Folds with OKC Phil at 32 Event Anna Burch at Norman 33 Live music

FUN 34 Puzzles Sudoku | crossword 35 Astrology OKG Classifieds 35

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8




CBD 101

Gazette looks back on how Oklahoma pushed the relaxation of laws restricting use of cannabidiol. By Laura Eastes

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series examining cannabis and cannabinoids in Oklahoma leading up to the June 26 medical marijuana referendum. Three years ago, when House Bill 2154, a piece of legislation known as “Katie and Cayman’s Law” allowing children with severe epilepsy to take cannabinoids as treatment through a medical trial, was moving through the Oklahoma Capitol with backing from the governor and members of both parties, Jimmy Shannon got to work. Shannon, a Colorado native who came to the Oklahoma City area in 2011 for a software position but later left to open Vapour Kingdom, a Norman vape shop, was a believer in the medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). The substance is derived from hemp and contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. Shannon’s revelation came after experiencing months of intense pain and worsening panic attacks that came following an elbow injury. With a diagnosis of anxiety and a prescription for Xanax, he believed there had to be another way to ease his pain than an opioid with serious side effects. When a friend from Colorado suggested CBD oil, Shannon’s only regret was not thinking about the cannabis extract earlier. “I’ve known about this my entire life — medical cannabidiol,” Shannon said. “I knew what they can do and what they could do.” Shannon followed HB2154 as it made its way through the legislative process and traveled to Denver for the High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup to learn more about CBD and how to bring the industry to Oklahoma. “I knew that anybody who was worth talking to about CBD would be there,” Shannon said. “I went up there … spe-

cifically to find a CBD manufacturer and distributor where I would be able to get it from the manufacturer and deliver it to the people of Oklahoma.” In 2015, Shannon registered his company, Ambary Health, with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office to manufacture and distribute CBD products. Katie and Cayman’s Law kickstarted CBD policy discussions, as Shannon predicted. Now, under Oklahoma law, certain CBD products are available for retail sale. Almost three years after Shannon attended the Cannabis Cup, Ambary Health’s product line contains more than 50 zero-THC CBD products. Those products are available in 37 Oklahoma retail shops as well as stores in California, Texas and Florida. The business’ bottom line is not what drives Shannon. CBD appeals to people who want to ease aches and pains, just like he once did. A major part of his business is CBD education. His advocacy efforts expanded from future customers to lawmakers and law enforcement officials.

I am very, very pleased by the efforts we put in to get us to this point. Not us as a company, but for us as a people, as a state. Jimmy Shannon “I can confidently say that without the work of Ambary Health, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in Oklahoma today,” Shannon said from inside Ambary Health’s headquarters off Main Street in Norman. “I am very, very pleased by the efforts we put in to get us to this point. Not us as a company, but for us as a people, as a state.”

Relaxation of laws

Revision of Oklahoma laws moved CBD from clinical trials to retail stores, where CBD products not exceeding .03 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance in marijuana, are for sale. The popularity of CBD products, which come in a variety of forms, from capsules and sprays to tinctures and vapes, revolves around the medical benefits. CBD contains the chemical compound in cannabis that can cause relief from issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, muscle aches and spasms. CBD does not get users high. When Oklahoma City Rep. Jon Echols began eyeing legalization of cannabidiol, the state was in a league of its own. Few states had such policies. The Republican representative was introduced to the issue by his niece Katie who suffers from Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy. He wrote the legislation, which found favor in both houses and earned Gov. Mary Fallin’s signature, as a unique policy solution for Oklahoma. In 2016, Echols authored the second piece of legislation that lifted age restrictions and opened up CBD oil to patients with spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting and appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases. Sen. Ervin Yen, an anesthesiologist,

The Ambary Health team from its Norman headquarters: from left Ryan Curtis, Jimmy Shannon, Justice Williamson, Odaira Arens and Shelly Lovelis | Photo Laura Eastes

served as House Bill 2835’s Senate author. “When we expanded it to adults and other diagnoses, what I did … was research into what diagnoses marijuana had been helpful with that we had at least some data that it worked,” said Yen, R-Oklahoma City. “That’s what we included in the bill.” In 2017, Yen and Echols carried legislation that amended Oklahoma’s definition of marijuana and further pushed for the relaxation of laws restricting the use of CBD oil. House Bill 1559 exempted cannabidiol products with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval from Oklahoma’s definition of marijuana. On Nov. 1, 2017, licensed health care practitioners began to administer CDB treatments as long as treatments received federal approval. Under Oklahoma law, Oklahomans can legally buy, sell or use cannabidiol as long as it has minimal THC — no more than .03 percent — or is THC-free. Yen said patients should consult a physician before pursuing CBD products. “I’ve talked to law enforcement in the state, and they’ve told me that if a patient is on CBD oil they should probably — just to be safe — get a note or a letter from a physician that the physician is recommending it,” Yen said. “I’ve also spoken with two people at the DEA who say technically, it is still illegal. But if someone is buying, selling or using cannabidiol in Oklahoma, is that a priority for the DEA to go after them? The answer is no.” Oklahoma is now one of 16 states allowing CBD use. Earlier this month, a bill expanding Oklahoma’s agricultural options to include hemp passed both chambers with only one “no” vote. House Bill 2913, which establishes an industrial hemp pilot program, awaits the governor’s signature.

Norman’s Ambary Health produces and distributes more than 50 zero-THC CBD products. | Photo Laura Eastes 4

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Walk, run

With the statewide teacher walkouts over, attention turns to elections, in which dozens of educators are candidates. By Laura Eastes

The moment Lauren Richter, a fifthgrade teacher in Shawnee, decided to run for office came during the fourth day of the statewide teacher walkout, when educators and their allies continued to demand additional funding for public schools. Educators filled the state Capitol to capacity. Thousands of teachers remained outside the building. “There was no one getting in, and very few people were leaving,” Richter said. “We would just be sitting on the lawn. I felt — and I hate to use this word — useless. The best that I could do was to sit on the lawn. I started to grade papers, but I thought there had to be something else I could do.” That thought took Richter back to conversations from months earlier in which she and her husband discussed the possibility of her campaign for Shawnee’s House seat. Richter decided to act. A Facebook post let her friends and family know that she was in. “I felt what it’s like to not have a voice,” Richter said of her experience outside the capitol. “I knew I could make a difference outside of my classroom. That has really been my motivation to try and make it better outside and inside the classroom.” Thirty-two other members of the state’s largest teacher union join Richter in seeking state legislative seats, according to Oklahoma Education Association (OEA). It’s clear the tides have turned in Oklahoma politics, especially since the Sooner State has faced some of the deepest cuts to public education in the nation, As president of Oklahoma Education Association, Alicia Priest center led the statewide teacher walkout. Now, OEA’s attention is on the election season. | Photo Laura Eastes


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leading to teacher layoffs, elimination of extracurricular programs, overcrowded classrooms and even some districts turning to four-day school weeks. For nine days, thousands of teachers walked away from their schools and gathered at the Capitol to advocate for additional classroom funding. When the walkout ended on April 12, $479 million was secured in education funding, short of the $506 million goal placed by OEA in March. The largest piece of the funding legislation — teacher and support staff raises — passed before the walkout. “We have members and entire locales that are now re-energized,” said OEA president Alicia Priest in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette six days after the end of the walkouts. “They understand they’ve been a sleeping giant in politics. Now awakened, they are ready to step into the power that they’ve always had, using their voices to advocate for themselves and their students.”

They are motivated by a teacher. Lauren Richter

Déjà vu

The 2016 election cycle produced an unofficial “teachers caucus” for legislative seats. The more than two-dozen education candidates were fueled largely by frustrations with multi-millions in state education cuts and a desire to represent the interests of public education at the Capitol. For the Oklahoma City metro alone,

Lauren Richter | Photo provided

education candidates included 2016 state Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan, Putnam City school board member Tammy West, former U.S. Grant teacher Mickey Dollens, Yukon middle school teacher Rhonda Baker and Edmond Memorial High School teacher Kevin McDonald, among others. Once the ballots were counted, few members of the teachers caucus were headed to the Capitol. Notable local winners included West and Baker, both Republicans, and Dollens, who is a Democrat. The 2018 election cycle feels different for education candidates. While many remain motivated by the same issues, teacher candidates are also energized from the walkout and teachers winning races in special elections in Oklahoma. Last summer, east Tulsa County voters elected retired teacher and Democrat Karen Gaddis, who had previously lost to Rep. Dan Kirby months earlier, to a House seat. In September, a Norman House seat went to middle school teacher Jacob Rosecrants, a Democrat who also had run before. OEA has 27 members running for House seats and six vying for Senate spots. There could be more education candidates running. Most likely, there will be candidates who push public education as a top issue. After asking candidates if they support education, voters who want to see public education funding restored need to keep asking candidates questions, Priest said. “You have to go beyond,” she said. “Everyone supports public education.

But what specifically do they support? Ask them what specifically they would do if elected. What is their view on public education?”

Never again

Within a week of announcing her campaign on Facebook and as the teacher walkout came to an end, Richter was heavily involved in her campaign, attending back-to-back training sessions, the first with Oklahoma Ethics Commission and the second with the Democratic Party. The following day, at her first candidate meet-and-greet at Shawnee Public Library, Richter listened as locals expressed frustration with various areas of state government. “Before they really get to know me, I think that it’s the first thing they see. They are motivated by a teacher,” Richter said. “They are motivated by someone who advocates for kids and fights for kids and is willing to do that at an adult level too.” Richter said her campaign goes beyond finding solutions to restore public education. She’s concerned about severe cuts to mental health services and holds an interest in criminal justice reform. In the June 26 primary, Richter faces two other Democrats vying for the House District 26 seat that encompasses all of Shawnee. Republicans have put up three candidates, including incumbent Rep. Dell Kerbs, a local business owner. It’s a long road to the June primaries and an even longer road to the November general election. OEA seeks to keep political momentum going among members. Now through the end of the legislative session, teacher lobbying teams are visiting with lawmakers to advocate for long-term solutions to public education funding. Back in their communities, members host forums and coffee talks to discuss legislative issues. These efforts could culminate in a voting-ready teacher block as well as teachers ready to advocate for an additional $230 million in education funding during the 2019 Legislative Session, the next step in OEA’s Together We’re Stronger campaign. “That was part of the focus from the beginning, to ensure that our legislators understood that the first year ask was the first of a three-year plan,” Priest said. “It took 10 years of cuts to get to where we were, and we cannot slide back. We can’t do that to our kids ever again. Our future depends on funding education.”

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True manhood

Oklahoma City police build strong relationships with local teenage boys, including those in the care of the state’s Office of Juvenile Affairs. By Laura Eastes

Brandon McDonald is motivated. The teenager who has his future mapped out with the hope of attending a welding trade school knows that he’s no longer the kid who grew up on the streets. “There are only two cards you are ever dealt,” said McDonald, whose cards are tied to his gender and his skin color. The other cards, like education, career, friends and hobbies, are controlled by himself. “At the end of the day, its what you did during that dash mark between when you were born and when you died,” McDonald said. He is currently in the care of the state’s Office of Juvenile Affairs and is dealing himself a whole new set of cards. His confidence is tied to Man UP, a youth outreach retreat of the FACT (Family Awareness and Community Teamwork) program at the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD). In this novel and ambitious initiative, Lt. Wayland Cubit and Sgt. Tony Escobar take about 20 inner-city male teenagers on a weekend of self-discovery, personal growth, manhood and mentorship. Police officers lead the activities and the discussions, which center on themes of integrity, compassion, confidence, self-control, perseverance, bravery, humility, authority and responsibility. Male mentors’ own experiences and perspectives provide a multidimensional understanding of the teens they will mentor during the

24-hour period and into the future. “To know that somebody from the same background can turn around [their life], … it has given me more hope that I can do it,” said McDonald of his mentor, a local college student. “I have motivation. I can relate to that.”

Lessons in labels

OCPD is by no means the first or only law enforcement agency to successfully run a youth mentor program. However, the fact that the program continues to evolve more than a decade after its start is a testament to the officers’ diligence to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. FACT began in 2007 as a gang prevention program under the premise that at-risk youth and achievement can go hand in hand when officers help facilitate that connection by introducing youth to positive societal and cultural values, holding high expectations for behavior and modeling those behaviors. Much of that is built into Man UP. OCPD hosted its seventh retreat the weekend of March 17, when 21 preselected young men, including two from the state’s Office of Juvenile Affairs, arrived. Officers handed out backpacks to the teenagers. Inside those backpacks were sand-filled bottles with white labels on which officers wrote characteristics like angry, lazy, selfish, mixed-breed and liar, among others.

a lesson in passing along the backpack. “Your manhood is not defined by how much you can carry alone but in admitting that you are going to have problems with the weight you are carrying and you will need a spotter from time to time,” Cubit said. “You’ve got guys who are willing to spot for you.”

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from left Lt. Wayland Cubit, Warren Pete, Steve Buck, Quavyon Durham, Brandon McDonald, Sgt. Tony Escobar and Tony Caldwell attended an Office of Juvenile Affairs Board meeting during which Durham and McDonald were honored for their participation in Man UP. | Photo provided

The participants were told to wear the backpacks at all times. “Society will sometimes label you without even knowing you,” said Escobar, an 11-year veteran of the police department who stepped into the role of Man UP organizer this spring. “[The participants] had to carry these labels for 24 hours. At first, it was awesome. They had full energy. By the end of 24 hours, it had to have hurt. … That’s when we told them even though society may label you, you don’t have to carry it. You can change your outcome.”

I was going about trying to be a man on my own, but I didn’t know I was doing the wrong things to get there. Quavyon Durham Warren Pete, the Man UP curriculum coordinator, shared that participants, officers and mentors spent significant time discussing the labels. “What are some of the things you’ve been labeled?” he recalled asking. “What are some of the things that people have called you? You haven’t been called this? Well, someone may call you this, and you have to be prepared to handle it.” When mentors noticed that the weight of the backpacks was taking its toll on the teenagers, they’d offer to wear it for a short period of time. There was

Along with building positive relationships, Man UP seeks to increase understanding between youth and police. Both McDonald and Quavyon Durham, another Office of Juvenile Affairs youth, explained how their perspectives changed about police. “You have this mentality if you’re young and you grew up in the streets [about police],” McDonald said. “They are doing their jobs. They are called to serve.” One of the officers who spoke to the teens explained that “he didn’t like the police but grew up to be one,” said Durham. Powerful messages came from the mentors and officers’ personal stories from their childhood and teenage years. Like the participants, the mentors and officers made mistakes, but unlike some of the teenagers in the room, they weren’t caught, Pete said. “We understand that people had to open up doors for us and help us,” Pete said. “We want them to know that they have the same support system. They have another chapter to write.” Four weeks had passed since McDonald and Durham graduated from the Man UP program; however, the two said the lessons are still with them as they work to complete their programs at Tecumseh’s Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, the state’s most secure juvenile detention facility. A handful of credits away from earning their high school diplomas through the center’s charter school, both see themselves seeking higher education when they return to their communities. For McDonald, that’s trade school, and for Durham, it’s a business degree from Rose State College followed by culinary school. As for their mentors, both said they are already becoming a big part of their lives through continued conversations on the phone. Durham sees his mentor as a big brother who’s teaching him the skills to be a man. “I am the big brother in the house; I’m the oldest,” said Durham, who has a younger brother and sister. “When I was getting into trouble, I didn’t know how to be a big brother. I grew up with just my mom, and she couldn’t teach me everything that my father would have. He passed when I was younger. I never got to meet him. It was hard. I was going about trying to be a man on my own, but I didn’t know I was doing the wrong things to get there. I was on the wrong path.”

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Weather jinx

So far this year, the only tornado siren that has been heard in Oklahoma City is during the weekly Saturday noon test. In fact, the entire state has yet to record a tornado this month, and The Weather Channel said it is unlikely one will develop this month for only the third time. According to scientists at The Weather Channel, cooler-than-average temperatures this month are caused by a consistent upper-level weather pattern that has sent the jet stream south and colder temperatures throughout the central U.S. That’s a funny way of thanking Chicken-Fried News’ Scott Pruitt voodoo doll. With every day without a tornado, we add another pin where his spine would be located if he had one. Oklahoma averages 11.7 tornados every April, according to The Weather Channel, but this is the longest the state has gone without a tornado since 1950, when data began being tracked. The state has received its fair share of wild weather this month. A megafire has burned over 300,000 across the western part of the state and was less than 20 percent contained as of April 20. The combination of high winds and dry temperatures even produced what AccuWeather deemed a “firenado” during the Rhea Fire, as if a regular tornado isn’t scary enough. In early April, Oklahoma City experienced snow and an earthquake on the same day, which we offer as Exhibit A for anyone doubting man’s impact on climate change. High risk of tornados continues through June. We’ll keep putting pins into our Pruitt voodoo doll until it looks like something out of Hellraiser to keep the weather gods happy, but everyone should stay vigilant and safe.

The law won

Tulsa World and former World editor Ziva Branstetter fought the governor and a state agency and won. Now, readers are learning that no one is above the law, not even the governor. According to Oklahoma County District Judge Lisa Tipping Davis, Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) violated the state’s Open Records Act by delaying release of records related to the 2014 botched execution of Clayton Lockett. Days after the execution on April 29, 2014, both the World and Frontier co-founder Branstetter filed separate open records requests at the governor’s office and later to DPS in May 2014. DPS received another request in September 2014. In December 2014, Branstetter, BH Media Group (the Warren Buffett-led media company that owns the World) and the World sued Fallin and Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson, alleging the violation of the Open Records Act, the World reported. Months later, in March 2015, DPS

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answered the World request. In May 2016, more records were given to the World by DPS. Meanwhile, it took the governor’s office 17 months to produce the records, according to the World. Davis took note of those release dates as well as the lawsuit filing. “It is uncontroverted that no documents were produced prior to the lawsuit being filed,” she wrote in her ruling. The plaintiffs were thrilled with the verdict. Fallin? Not so much. “The governor’s office believes that the amount of time it took to respond to the open records request in light of the 45,000 pages of response, the sensitive subject matter and the amount of staff available to deal with the request was reasonable,” Michael McNutt, Fallin’s communications director and a former Capitol reporter who should know better, told the World. Here’s the thing: the law says Oklahomans “are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government.” We, the people, expect the governor to follow the law.


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Fast one

Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine was not formally trained in science, is skeptical of climate change and has little large-scale administrative experience, but he gets excited when rockets go super-duper fast. Apparently, this was all President Donald Trump needed to choose the Republican and former U.S. Navy pilot to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Bridenstine loves rockets so much that he once owned a team in the nowdefunct Rocket Racing League (RRL), which pitted pilots of rocket-powered airplanes against each other on an aerial racecourse. RRL aspired to be NASCAR for rockets, but failed to take off. Bridenstine’s infatuation with rocket racing was so great that he sucked a nonprofit dry in an attempt to fuel the half-baked league. Bridenstine’s association with RRL has been no secret, but his use of money from the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, which he once led, to fund a one-off aerial exhibition for the league recently came to light through the congressman’s U.S. Senate vetting.

Bridenstine’s appointment to the position was confirmed April 19 on a party-line vote because #MAGA. According to The Daily Beast, the museum used its cash reserves to fund a 2010 air show. Billed as part of a World Exhibition Tour that never actually traveled, it was the first and only air show the museum held. The show cost the museum $20,000 more than it made. The museum was $308,000 in debt in 2010, despite usually posting around $1 million in revenues. Yeah, he shouldn’t have problems overseeing NASA’s $19.5 billion budget. Bridenstine was out as the museum’s executive director just months after the air show. RRL folded in 2012, the year Bridenstine was elected to Congress. Wow! What coincidental timing! If Bridenstine’s skepticism of climate change is not enough of a disqualifier for NASA’s head position, his dubious track record with finances should have made “run it like a business” Republicans wary, but Trumpers gonna Trump. Then again, who doesn’t love a little bread-and-circus pizzazz? With Bridenstine at the helm, Chicken-Fried News is sure the U.S. will be breaking the Millennium Falcon’s Kessel Run record in no time.

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A regular torta is enough to feed two people. The Cubana includes steak, chorizo, ham, bacon and a hot dog. | Photo Jacob Threadgill


Super Tortas El Chavo lives up to its namesake with giant sandwiches that pack flavor into each layer of meat. By Jacob Threadgill

Super Tortas El Chavo 721 SW 29th St. | 405-631-0100 What works: The meat in the tortas and tacos is flavorful and tender. What needs work: The fries needed to be refried for crispiness. Tip: One torta is big enough for two people.

For many Spanish speakers across the world, one of the most recognizable characters is El Chavo, from the uberpopular sitcom El Chavo del Ocho and subsequent spinoffs, including an animated series that began in the mid2000s. Take a trip down SW 29th Street near Western Avenue and the bright colors of the animated characters from El Chavo greet guests at Super Tortas El Chavo, 721 SW 29th St. There are more odes to El Chavo characters in the interior of the bright and clean restaurant. Founded by the Trejo family under 12

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patriarch Agustin in 2008, Super Tortas is its second restaurant, following Taquería Cárdena’s, 1233 SW 29th St., which stays open until 4 a.m. on the weekend to service the need for latenight tacos following a house party or a night at the club. As you can infer from the name, tortas are the focus at Super Tortas, and they really live up to the name. The restaurant offers nearly 30 types of sandwiches, each of which is large enough to feed at least two people. The soft bolillo bread is similar in texture to a baguette but is served in a round shape topped with sesame seeds and grilled on a flattop. The menu also includes breakfast items, tacos and regional favorites like gorditas, sopes and huaraches. “We try to make everything as authentic as possible,” said Jose Trejo, Agustin’s son. “The recipes are from my dad’s mom and other grandparents. A Super Tortas El Chavo is located at 721 SW 29th St. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

lot of the seasonings and ingredients come from Mexico. A lot of people, when they come [here], expect Tex-Mex, and they find something different. Sometimes they are scared to try it, but once they do, they’re definitely coming back.” It’s easy to miss Super Tortas El Chavo when traveling east on 29th Street because it’s hidden from view by another building until you’re right up on it, but have no fear — it is worth the trip, and you might want to fast before going because the portions are generous. A friendly wait staff greets customers in either English or Spanish, depending on your preferred tongue, and the meal begins with standard fresh chips and salsa, but I wasn’t expecting the nice surprise of a complimentary daily fideo soup. A chicken-and-tomato broth is served with vegetables and a noodle that changes each day. My version had vermicelli, and I liked the soup as almost an amuse-bouche of brightness before a heavy meal. The hardest part of the meal is the selection. With so many different sandwiches, how do you choose? I consulted with the waitress, who said the Cubana is one of El Chavo’s most popular sandwiches. It’s a Mexican ode to the popular Cuban that features steak, chorizo, ham, bacon and hot dog and cheese in the giant sandwich, in addition the dressing of avocado, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a smear of refried beans. Grilled onions and jalapeños and carrots escabèche, in addition to bottled rojo and avocado crème sauces, allow guests to kick up their sandwiches. Other popular tortas include the Acapulqueña, which has both a tilapia filet and shrimp for a seafood party. Some sandwiches include nopales (grilled cactus), and there is also a fried turkey tail torta. At $8.50, a torta is a steal of a price because it can easily feed two people. The sheer amount of meat on the sandwich is enough to give me meat sweats just thinking about it. Each cut of meat blends well with the fresh bread that

has a crunchy outside and soft interior. I split a torta with a dining partner, ordered a side of french fries and also ordered three tacos: two al pastor and one steak. The fries were my favorite kind of cut, sitting in the perfect medium between steak-cut and shoestring, but they were under-fried. They arrived with a texture more like a baked potato. I saved them in a box with nearly half of the torta that my dining partner tapped out on after five or six bites. “This is so good, but I’m already full,” they said, preferring to go for a second taco rather than continuing the good fight against the behemoth of a sandwich. I refried the french fries at home for three minutes and topped them with salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper for a fantastic evening snack. It’s a common misconception that fries can’t be saved — just don’t reheat them in a microwave.

The recipes are from my dad’s mom and other grandparents. Jose Trejo The tacos were very good. The steak was tender yet crispy, and the al pastor packed plenty of chili flavor on top of corn tortillas that had a crisp char from the flattop. It makes me want to try their tacos at Cárdena’s, where the selection increases by at least twofold. If you think the regular torta isn’t big enough for you, Super Tortas offers a $25 “mega hamburger planchet,” and if one person finishes it by themselves, it is on the house (no time limit required). Jose Trejo said it gets ordered about once every other day, but it’s usually split between two people. It should certainly vault to the top of Oklahoma City food challenges for anyone looking to tackle it alone. Super Tortas El Chavo is a mustvisit for anyone looking to try regional Mexican specialties or those looking to engage in a marathon meal that stretches your stomach capacity.


oWNed gourMet



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Bonjour or Bonsoir Bittersweet closing

(lunch or dinner)

Chae Modern Korean closes its doors, but its menu will live on. By Jacob Threadgill

Oklahoma City residents were shocked in early April when Daniel Chae announced that his popular restaurant Chae Modern Korean would be closing its doors at the end of the month. It’s a decision that was put into new context on April 11 when Chae announced that he is running for Oklahoma County treasurer, which only played a part in his decision to close the restaurant. Chae and his wife Shinane Yoon are expecting their third child this September, and he said that he was becoming spread too thin managing three restaurants. Many of Chae’s most popular recipes will be making their way onto menus at Ur/bun, 431 NW 23rd St., and his All About Cha location in Nichols Hills, 7300 N. Western Ave. Chae Modern Korean’s final day of service will be Saturday. The building is for sale by Chae, and he said it’s a turnkey operation for another restaurant to take over immediately.

Spread thin

“Most people will ask, ‘Why don’t you just get a manager?’ I think if you have any other restaurateur that has a smaller shop, it’s not always a viable option in keeping the team morale going. Even on the days that I’ve had to skip out to do other things, there are issues, and it became incumbent for my staff. My servers shouldn’t have to take the ire of a guest.” Chae grew up in Del City and Moore

Daniel Chae is the owner of Ur/bun and the All About Cha location in Nichols Hills. | Photo Gazette / file

and moved back to Oklahoma City five years ago after graduating from the University of Michigan, where he worked for AmeriCorps, securing federal grant funds for a local county government. While thinking of returning to a role in human services, Chae took on a role with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections last year, facilitating funding reviews. “I stepped down because the restaurants were ramping up,” Chae said. “It was our first test to see if a manager could run it, and ultimately, it was a test of being spread too thin.” With Chae Modern Korean serving its final meals at the end of the week, its two top chefs are moving over to Ur/ bun, and Chae said that every other member of the staff has received offers from other restaurants in the city. “We’ve been busy every day this month, but the weekends haven’t changed because we were always booked solid,” he said. “At least we’re going out on a high note.”

Menu evolution

Chae Modern Korean’s oxtail soup has earned many fans that can be seen in Yelp comments and a 2016 review published in Oklahoma Gazette. Chae balked at committing that the oxtail continued on page 14

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continued from page 13


soup will be on the menu fulltime at either the Nichols Hills All Bout Cha or Ur/bun, but he said it will appear quite often as a special, mostly likely at Ur/bun. Chae Modern Korean’s version of bibimbap will soon appear on the Ur/bun menu alongside a few other rice dishes that have recently been added. Ur/bun opened in May 2017 next to Tower Theatre with a streamlined menu of five steamed buns and french fries. The concept has expanded over the year to now include ten buns and eight rice-based dishes. “Ur/bun has always been a street food joint, and frankly, Chae [Modern Korean] was supposed to be a street food joint, but over the years, we kind of evolved,” Chae said. “I can’t tell you how many times we tried to fight back against the fine dining label. Ur/bun will bring us back to the fast-casual idea that you can do high-quality food without the pomp and circumstance. It’s nice to dress up and have a night out, but on a day-to-day basis, you should be able to eat healthy and eat clean in a comfortable atmosphere.” There are now 10 All About Cha locations across Oklahoma and one in Texas. Chae is the owner of the Nichols Hills location, and it became its first franchise location after the original in Edmond. Chae oversaw the brand’s expansion from just a coffee and teahouse by first

Chae Modern Korean’s final day of service is Saturday, and the building is for sale. | Photo Jacob Threadgill


A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

The bibimbap at Chae Modern Korean is making its way on the menu at Ur/bun in the coming months. | Photo Gazette / file

adding cafe options like breakfast and salads and eventually adding fresh sushi. Starting in mid-May, the Nichols Hill location will be the first All About Cha location to offer new breakfast items seven days a week that are inspired by Chae Modern Korean’s brunch menu. “Chae [Modern Korean] is Korean food that is slightly Americanized, but our brunch and breakfast line is the other way around,” he said. “It is American food that has been Koreanized.” Biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict and chicken and waffles are made with the same spices on Chae Modern Korean’s entrée menu. Chae said the same spices used in the popular oxtail soup are used to make pork belly gravy. Chae Modern Korean set a new standard for Korean food in Oklahoma City that had long been defined by family restaurants in the metro area like Seoul Garden, Korean House and B-Won. Over the last 15 months, Gogi Go!, operated by Chae’s childhood friend Kevin Lee; Ur/bun; and Taste of Korea have opened in Oklahoma City. “The most important thing people can continue to do is to continue to eat at these spots,” Chae said. “It’s exciting to see Korean food growing and becoming a regular part of everyone’s conversation in Oklahoma City. Every place that has opened is spot-on, polished and helping the reputation of Korean food.”


Teacher hospitality Empire Slice House gave away thousands of free meals in support of educators and joins businesses in continuing discounts. By Jacob Threadgill

Throughout the nine days of demonstrations at the Capitol during the Oklahoma teacher walkout, local businesses poured onto Lincoln Boulevard to offer free food and drinks to teachers and protesters in need. Other businesses followed suit, offering educators and public employees discounts. 84 Hospitality Group (Empire Slice House, Gorō Ramen, ¡Revolución!, Easy E Slice Shop and Ponyboy) CEO Rachel Cope began thinking about the educators in her life as the buildup to the walkout began. “I come from a family of educators, and I remember how hard they worked and seeing that growing up,” Cope told Oklahoma Gazette. “A lot of my family is still in the education field now, and this is for them and all of those people who made me who I am.” More than just a discount, Cope offered Oklahoma educators a free meal once per day at Empire Slice House, 1734 NW 16th St., on March 27, days before the walkout began on April 2, and continued through its end on April 12. It gives the “hospitality” in the restaurant group’s name a whole new meaning. In total, the Empire for Education

program lasted through April 15 and fed 2,636 teachers for a total of $39,246.75 in donated meals, according to a press release. “I never dreamed that it would be that many,” Cope said. “I don’t know if I had a figure in my head, but as the number kept climbing, we were committed and going to keep doing it. When you walk in during the middle of lunch during the walkout and you’re seeing these people that have been [at the Capitol] for multiple days and walked from Moore or from Yukon. Of all the things we’ve ever donated or gifted, this has been the most fulfilling without a doubt.” Cope will continue to offer a 25 percent discount at Empire to educators for the entire life of the restaurant, and it is something she will consider at other 84 Hospitality locations. The Empire for Education program led to a packed restaurant, especially during lunch, which is not usually Empire’s busiest time. It added shifts to the front and back of the house to accommodate the large crowds. Even after giving away nearly $40,000 in donations, Cope said that the giveaway did not have a major negative impact on 84 Hospitality’s bottom

left Hospitality 84 CEO Rachel Cope | Photo provided right Empire Slice House features 17 specialty pizzas on its menu. | Photo Gazette / file

line. The first week of the program saw $20,000 worth of donations. She said that enough people came to support the restaurant because of its program that it nearly covered the donations. “When we added the number back into our sales, everything was still doing well,” Cope said. “We weren’t that far off normal, and I was so surprised. I was relieved in a sense because I was concerned that I was going to cause damage for our costs. We’ve never done it before, and it’s something I hadn’t seen elsewhere, at least for that length of time, and not for free. I’m thankful for every business that did anything.”

Of all the things we’ve ever donated or gifted, this has been the most fulfilling without a doubt. Rachel Cope

Ongoing discounts

Empire Slice House was not alone in offering free meals to educators. Stars & Stripes Pizza gave away a free large pie to educators at its Oklahoma City, Edmond and Norman locations. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe, 3409 S. Broadway, in Edmond offered a free dine-in meal to teachers on April 2. Aly Clark, director of marketing for A Good Egg Dining Group (Iron Star,

Cheever’s Cafe, Red PrimeSteak, Republic Gastropub, Tucker’s Onion Burgers, Kitchen No. 324, The Drake Seafood & Oysterette, Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes), said that Iron Star donated catering to feed 45 teachers from Nichols Hills Elementary at a local home. “Additionally, if our servers noticed [guests] were teachers either by conversation or attire, we would give them an appetizer or dessert on the house as a token of our appreciation,” Clark said. At Hal Smith Restaurants, Louie’s Grill & Bar locations in Highland Park, 1201 NW 178th St., and Midtown, 1215 N. Walker Ave., are offering educators a 25 percent discount through the end of April. Big Truck Tacos, Billy Sims Barbecue, Pizzeria Gusto and Hurts Donut Company were among businesses along 23rd Street offering at least 30 percent discounts to teachers, according to News9. McNellie’s The Abner Ale House in Norman offered a 50 percent discount for teachers on April 9. Interurban locations, Packard’s New American Kitchen and HunnyBunny Biscuit Co. gave away free drip coffee in partnership with Eôté Coffee to teachers during the walkout. S&B’s Burger Joint and Sunnyside Diner locations will offer teacher discounts through the end of the school year, said Happy Plate Concepts owner Aly Cunningham. S&B’s is offering a 25 percent discount while Sunnyside is giving a 10 percent discount. “It was so cool that everyone gathered together and said, ‘What can we do to help?’” Cunningham said.

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


g a z e di b l e s

eat & DRINK

Affordably tasty

Are you looking for a quality meal without breaking the bank? These seven restaurants offer good food at reasonable prices. You can go to any of them and get an entrée for $10 or less. By Jacob Threadgill | Photos Gazette /file

Nic’s Grill

Cajun King

Café 7

National audiences have been introduced to the burger that many Oklahoma City residents already know and love. First, it was featured on Diners, DriveIns and Dives in 2009, and in November, actor Colin Farrell — a self-described cheeseburger junkie — said it is his favorite hamburger in the country on Jimmy Kimmel Live! You can get a cheeseburger, fries and drink for $9.92.

Cajun King’s lunch buffet is priced perfectly at $8.99. It’s not expensive enough that you’ll feel obligated to eat more than you should, but the food is good enough that you’ll want to do it. Keep in mind that freshly fried catfish and beignets are delivered to each table with every meal. The dinner buffet costs $10.99 and goes up to $11.99 on the weekend as the menu expands.

The seven in its name has a few meanings; both metro locations are open seven days a week, service should be on your table in seven minutes and all fixed menu items are a maximum of $7.99, with all seasonal menu items under $10. Choose from affordable entrée pizzas, sandwiches and pastas.

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A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m


Lang’s Bakery

Chelino’s Tortilla Factory

Yummy Mummy

Prices are so low at this venerable south OKC eatery (open since 1967) that one has to wonder if it adjusted for inflation. You can get an enchilada or tamale dinner, complete with rice, beans and chips, for $4.39. However, the best bang for your buck at Tacoville might be the Sancho ($3.49), its take on the classic beef burrito — it’s much better than its drive-thru counterparts.

Another Oklahoma City stalwart that has been open since 1991 keeps prices down thanks to low overhead and powerful word of mouth. Get one of the best banh mis in the city that only costs about $2.50 per sandwich or $4.75 if you want to get really fancy and get the bo kho (braised beef) variety. You can also get rice, noodles and soup dishes that are a maximum of $6.75.

Chelino’s recently added fresh tamales to its menu at its nine restaurant locations this year, but they’re made at its tortilla factory location, which includes a storefront and lunch counter. You can get fresh tamales with rice and beans for just $6, not including tax. You can also pick up some tortillas or snacks while you’re there.

Since opening its Pennsylvania Avenue location in 2016, Yummy Mummy has expanded to a second downtown location at 119 N. Robinson Ave., and everything on the Egyptian-inspired menu is under $10. Pair a beef or chicken wrap with spicy potatoes or get a half wrap and half salad for just $7.99 ($8.49 for beef).

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A rendering of Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center’s new Automobile Alley facility. Construction officially began in March and is expected to conclude in fall 2019. | Image provided

Making moves

Oklahoma Contemporary officially begins construction on its new art facility. By Ben Luschen

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center got a lot out of its State Fair Park headquarters since it moved in nearly 30 years ago as the first-year organization City Arts Center. But wear and tear — along with growing community usage — necessitated a move. “We’ve loved this place into disrepair,” said artistic director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. “We need a new roof; we need a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system). With the way we’ve been able to program, we’re unable to do anything more with our building. We’re really bursting at the seams.” Oklahoma Contemporary’s highly anticipated new Automobile Alley headquarters was originally scheduled to begin construction in January but was delayed as the organization secured a federal new markets tax credit as funding. The new art center at NW 11th Street and N. Broadway Avenue was designed by architect Rand Elliott and will be built by Smith & Pickel Construction. The new location expands Oklahoma Contemporary’s current exhibition space by more than 20,000 square feet, along with across-the-board structural and technological improvements. When complete, the facility will positively impact Oklahoma Contemporary’s ability to fulfill its art and community mission, which is to “encourage artistic expression in all of its forms through exhibitions, education and performance.” Davis said the new building does not fully alter its established mission, but it will grow it. “I think our mission is evolving or expanding,” he said. “It’s not necessarily changing or moving in a different direction.”

Good timing

Oklahoma Contemporary’s new art center will be the end result of a long process dating back to 2013. The organization then known as City Arts Center invited a consultant group to conduct a due-diligence study and give organizers a better idea of its future direction. Donna Rinehart-Keever, Oklahoma Contemporary’s executive director, said the consultant group concluded that a new home base was needed. “That’s when they figured out that we had outgrown our building,” she said. “It’s a building that’s old and not wired for new technology.” The organization announced its planned move to Automobile Alley in 2015 and officially broke ground on its proposed new site in 2016. But when Oklahoma Contemporary went to get its construction loan in January 2017, the bank told organizers it was in a census track that would qualify for a new markets tax credit. The federal tax credit essentially allows a percentage of a loan to be forgiven within seven years. RinehartKeever explained the credit by saying if a hypothetical $26 million had been requested, then $7.5 million might be

forgiven after seven years. Oklahoma Contemporary could then pump that money into other programs. Rinehart-Keever said the bank made it clear that they believed Oklahoma Contemporary would be eligible for such a credit. “They said, ‘The fact that you’re free to the public and you offer programming for some underprivileged populations, you could qualify for that,’” she said. Many organizations across the country apply for the new markets tax credit, and recipients are notified only once each year. Last year, Oklahoma Contemporary was waiting to see if one of the organizations might drop out of the program so it could move onto the list. Eventually, Oklahoma Contemporary was notified that someone was going to drop out and they would be able to secure a new markets tax credit. But it was advised to delay construction until it could absolutely confirm the funding. Rinehart-Keever and the rest of the organization patiently waited. “We were constantly in contact with them about whether something turned up,” she said. T h i s Ja nu a r y, Ok l a hom a Contemporary was finally cleared to start construction, which officially began in mid-March. The organization had the foresight to order the building’s new steel in advance, so construction work was able to begin quickly. Rinehart-Keever said Oklahoma Contemporary’s census track was recently removed from those eligible for the new markets tax credit. It got in at precisely the last moment. “If we didn’t get any this year,” she said, “there would never be another possibility again.” Oklahoma Contemporary has an ongoing capital campaign that is currently funded at 70 percent of its $26 million goal. The campaign would ideally be complete by the time the organization moves.

Mission enhancement

The new art facility is scheduled for completion in fall 2019. Employees are expected to begin working in the new headquarters by August or September of that year with a public opening planned for around November.

While the fairgrounds art center featured, at most, 30,000 square feet of usable exhibition space, the Automobile Alley facility includes 55,000 square feet of programming space. The ceiling will also be over 18 feet high, which Davis said will have a big impact on the types of installations and sculptures Oklahoma Contemporary is able to display in the showspace. “Currently, there are certain works that we wouldn’t be able to exhibit at the fairgrounds because we don’t have the space for them,” he said. The new building will include a loading dock to better facilitate the load-in and load-out of large installations. The lighting system inside the building will be state-of-the-art and a significant improvement on what it can do at its current home. “That’s just the half of it,” Davis said. “Everything that we’re doing really is going to help support furthering our mission.” With years of experience displaying large touring exhibitions and installations, Oklahoma Contemporary has proved itself more than capable of stewarding artists’ work. But its current facility just isn’t up to the standard that most institutions look for when loaning out their pieces. The new building’s exhibit space will better fit that exacting standard, with state-of-the art gallery lighting and climate-control technology. “When you’re talking about getting a loan from a place like the Metropolitan Museum of Art [in New York] or even the Philbrook [Museum of Art in Tulsa], you need to be able to demonstrate condition reports for your building,” Davis said. “In the new space, we’ll be able to do that.” From 2015 to 2017, Oklahoma Contemporary’s attendance increased by nearly 700 percent. In the past few years, the organization has focused on programming that draws in audiences outside the typical art gallery crowd. Its Not for Sale graffiti art installation paid tribute to hip-hop culture. Its Comix OK exhibition concluded with ContempCon, a free comic and pop culture convention. All of this programming success has occurred at its State Fair Park location. Davis said one can only imagine the effect increased visibility at the Automobile Alley facility would have on attendance. The organization has a conservative goal of 100,000 visitors in its first full year in the new location. It might potentially draw many more than that. “We hope we’re able to engage many more people,” Davis said, “and as word spreads about the building and all the new programs we’ll have there, we know more and more Oklahomans will be excited to come to Oklahoma Contemporary and see what all the fuss is about.” Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center’s new facility will include vast space, lighting and other gallery improvements over its current headquarters at State Fair Park. | Image provided O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8




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Hall monitors

OSSM partners with The Art Hall to bring its annual student art show uptown. By Ben Luschen

Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) has held student art shows in the past, but always in the confines of the large, residential school campus. Though the fenced-in public high school grounds are open to visitation, there is not much reason for community members to go through the area without an existing connection to the school. That’s why OSSM professor of art and history Kelly Chaves wanted this year’s show to move a few minutes north on Interstate 235 from the school grounds at 1141 N. Lincoln Blvd. to The Art Hall gallery space in the highly trafficked Uptown 23rd District. “We thought it would be nice to have a bigger audience,” Chaves said. A diverse range of pieces by more than 20 OSSM students will be on display 6-10 p.m. May 4 during an opening reception at The Art Hall, 519 NW 23rd St., located in The Rise retail building between The Drake Seafood & Oysterette and Urban Teahouse.

We thought it would be nice to have a bigger audience. Kelly Chaves The free, all-ages event coincides with the monthly First Friday Paseo Art Walk. The opening also launches a new exhibition by travel photographer Donald Nevard, who will be displaying recent nature shots from photo safaris in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. While student art will only be on display for about a week, Nevard’s exhibit will occupy the space for the length of Art Hall’s quarterly term. All of the student work — ranging from pen-and-ink sketches to watercol20

A p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

from left The Art Hall’s independent curator Helen Opper, OSSM art and history professor Kelly Chaves and gallery owner Anna Russell pose for a photo inside the Uptown 23rd District art space. | Photo Ben Luschen

ors and woodblock prints — will be for sale. The art show is a primary fundraiser for OSSM’s fine arts program, a lesser-known but vital component of the school’s education mission. Chaves said each semester, every OSSM visual art student is required to create pieces for exhibition. “Students throughout the semester will either donate work or I’ll tell them I like it and I’ll take it,” she said.

Funding futures

When OSSM was founded in 1992, its fine arts budget was $100,000. The recession and a downturn in the state’s overall economy has led to a current school arts budget of $23,000. The OSSM arts department is almost entirely funded through grants, with Kilpatrick Foundation being its largest grant agency. This year, the department also secured a grant from Visionary Oklahoma Women. But the grants are not enough to cover all of OSSM’s needs. Chaves decided to hold the first public OSSM art show two years ago so the school could raise more money for art supplies and teachers. Past shows have been held in the school’s on-campus library. In the show’s first year, OSSM’s development director invited some presidents of local nonprofit organizations to look at the work. Ronald McDonald House Charities purchased several pieces, with some additional private and parent sales. In total, they made $685. They followed that up the next year with $870 in total sales. “It doesn’t sound like a lot of money,”

above The May 4 opening reception will also function as the opening of a new Art Hall solo exhibition by travel photographer Donald Nevard. | Image provided right Artwork by more than 20 students will be featured in OSSM’s student art show reception at The Art Hall. | Photo provided

Chaves said, “but it is, in fact, a lot of money to us.” While encouraged by the previous sales figures, Chaves thought this year’s show might benefit from an offcampus location where people unaffiliated with OSSM would be more likely to encounter the work. “It wasn’t very visible to outside people,” she said. “You had to have a connection with the school to know [about it].” Chaves reached out to The Art Hall, which was enthusiastic about hosting the show, in part because of an ongoing mission to partner with more local groups and organizations. Their anticipation for the show increased even more when they saw the level of work being entered. “The quality of the work is amazing,” said Helen Opper, Art Hall’s independent curator.

Curriculum balance

All OSSM students are required to take at least two semesters of fine art classes before they can graduate from the twoyear high school that accepts promising math- and science-focused applicants from across the state. Those classes can include visual art, dance, music and other forms of creative expression. The school’s first fine arts director was literature teacher and founding faculty member Dorothy Dodd, who Chaves said has a deep passion for the arts. “Before students ever came on into classes, [Dodd] said, ‘We’re going to have art in this school,’” Chaves said. “She’s the one who conceived the fine arts program and made it a graduation requirement and got all the various music and art teachers in the program.” According to Chaves, Dodd strongly believed that students needed to exercise the creative side of their brains, not just the math and science parts. Dodd retired from OSSM three years ago but personally asked Chaves

to be her successor before she left. Chaves believes the fine arts program gives many students something to look forward to other than their more straightforward studies. “It is class,” she said, “but it’s more stress-relieving than just math and science all the time.” In addition to its existing arts faculty, OSSM tries to regularly bring in local practicing artists to instruct its students. The fine arts program also sponsors student trips to local arts institutions like Carpenter Square Theatre or Oklahoma City Philharmonic performances. However, the fine arts program is much more than a distraction from more stressful homework. Chaves said there are many students who would not even consider going to OSSM if the school had no arts programming. It’s fine to have a math and science focus, but the school acknowledges that many of its students have more diverse interests. “It does a lot for kids who used to engage with arts and music back at their old schools,” she said. “They don’t have to give that up when they come here.”

OSSM fine art show opening reception 6-10 p.m. May 4

Twister Alley Film Festival Wes Studi Proudly Presents the Legendary

Woodward Arts Theatre in Woodward, OK

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The Art Hall | 519 NW 23rd St. arthallokc.com | 405-626-0191 Free

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | A p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8




Rolling art

An [Artspace] at Untitled event allows local artists to dream bigger. By Jeremy Martin

Soon, several local artists will get the chance to watch their work publicly run over by a steamroller. A free event Saturday, [Artspace] at Untitled’s Steamroller Print Fest will feature live music and dance performances, family-friendly crafting activities, food trucks and the main attraction the name suggests: a five-ton steamroller used to press prints from woodblocks carved by local artists. Alexa Healey, education director at [Artspace], said the festival is a way for the arts collective to give printmakers an opportunity to work on a grander scale than they typically use. “We wanted to print on larger surfaces than the indoor printing presses have the capacity to print, so that led us to moving it outdoors, and with a steamroller, it acts in the same way as a normal etching press because of the barrel on the steamroller,” Healey said. Holly Hodge, director of program operations, said the outdoor event gives [Artspace] a chance to engage with the public on a larger scale. “It’s just like a really big way for us to get more involved with the community,” Hodge said, “because we do a lot of small events indoors, but we want to introduce people to our printmaking program and our print studio and this is just a really fun way to get local artists involved and get people to know more about what all we do.” The idea to press woodblock prints with a steamroller, Healey said, was popularized several years ago by James Bailey at University of Montana, and it quickly spread. “It kind of caught on fire because you can use any type of wood or anything that you can carve out of for the relief printing process and take it outside,” Healey said. “You can use Tyvek, bed sheets, any cheap material that’s big enough to cover it and print in a way that isn’t as highbrow as what you would see indoors on, like, a large piece of paper that would cost a lot more money. So it really is a way to engage the community and talk about printmaking as an art form. We are definitely not the first people to do it, but we are the only ones doing it in Oklahoma City.” [Artspace] held its first steamrolling event in 2013, but Healey said it was much smaller in scope and none of the collective’s current staff were around to attend. This year’s fest will be the third. “Last year, we brought it back because we thought it was a really fun activity, and it really tied in to all of our programming and our mission as an organization,” Healey said. “Pretty much everyone on staff was here last year, so this is really our second go22

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round, and we think it’s going to be a whole lot better.”

Adaptive technique

Artists including Adrienne Day, Richard McKown and Untitled’s current artistin-residence Emma Difani have contributed woodblocks for printing. Healey said the method for pressing the blocks is similar to traditional printers, but the prospect of having their prints displayed outside might inspire some artists to adapt their techniques. “I think what would change their process would be the fact that it will be seen on the street by people driving by,” Healey said. “So instead of maybe using tiny mark-making lines that they would for something to be viewed one to two feet away, you know you could walk up to it, they’ll be making it for people actually driving down the road and seeing it from maybe 50 to 100 feet away. It’s the same process. It’s more pressure than what would be actually on top of the woodblock for a printing press, but the process and the idea is still the same.” Participating artists could submit blocks with dimensions between 2 feet by 4 feet and 4 feet by 8 feet, which Healey said is “a really, really large print.” Hodge added that giving artists the opportunity to submit such large works allows them the freedom to think in terms that might not be practical in a more traditional setting. “Pretty much, I think the big thing that changes is that they get to do it on so much of a larger scale,” Hodge said. “So any big idea that they had before that they couldn’t do because they’re limited to smaller presses, and this is one of their only chances to maybe carve that really big work that they wanted to do.” Bryan Boone, for example, submitted an intricate laser-cut woodblock, which Hodge described as “super precise, which usually is totally opposite from what you’ll see on a woodblock.” Younger artists enrolled in the collective’s mentorship program are also using the opportunity to expand their creative palettes. “We have our high school students; a lot of them are going to be participating,” Hodge said, “and they just always do really cool and amazing work.” Children attending the festival can create artworks of their own at a T-shirt printing workshop where they’re invited to paint their own designs on pieces of polystyrene. They’ll also be encouraged to paint on scraps of wood to “feed” into a large transparent cat sculpture designed for filling with smaller original artworks. Oklahoma City Thunder mascot Rumble the Bison

and Dental Depot’s train will be on-site, and adult beverages will be available for purchase from The Big Friendly Craft Beer Bus. The prints created will also be for sale along with other artworks from 10 vendors. Live music and performances from local dance companies including Sweet Yield Studio will provide entertainment, and the festival will culminate in the monthly Deep Deuce Sessions concert at 7 p.m. Call 405-815-9995 or visit 1ne3.org.

top and middle [Artspace] at Untitled’s Steamroller Print Fest returns for a third event April 28. | Photo [Artspace] at Untitled / provided bottom At [Artspace] at Untitled’s Steamroller Print Fest, artists use a steamroller to press art onto various surfaces. | Photo [Artspace] at Untitled / provided

Steamroller Print Fest 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday [Artspace] at Untitled | 1 NE Third St. 1ne3.org | 405-815-9995 Free

t h eater



More popular than ever, ABBA’s music is performed alongside Oklahoma City Philharmonic May 4-5. By Jacob Threadgill

With over 400 million albums sold and a bevy of Billboard Hot 100 hits, ABBA is quite often referenced as one of Sweden’s greatest exports, and it is a legacy that has aged finer than wine. During ABBA’s active career that began with a 1974 victory at the starmaking Eurovision Song Contest and continued through 1982, the band often split American critics and received scorn from hard rock fans, despite immense popular success. During much of the 1980s, ABBA’s music fell out of print and largely disappeared from airwaves. The release of the compilation album Gold: Greatest Hits in 1992, which sold over 30 million copies, reignited interest in the band that has continued to new generations thanks to the hit Broadway musical and movie Mamma Mia!, which will produce a film sequel this July. Swedish-born singer Victoria Norbäck has led the ABBA show band ARRIVAL since 1995, touring over 60 countries and playing with just as many symphony orchestras around the world. ARRIVAL will play ABBA’s catalog of hits from 1974’s “Waterloo” through 1981’s When All Is Said and Done with Oklahoma City Philharmonic May 4 and 5. “ABBA is bigger in America today, and they were big there during the ’70s,” Norbäck told Oklahoma Gazette by phone from her home in Sweden. “ABBA got bigger with the release of [Gold: Greatest Hits] but it got bigger and bigger with Mamma Mia! It has been an explosion with a new generation of fans, and there will be even more when the sequel is released this summer.” Although ABBA is now considered the progenitor of Sweden’s huge music scene (the country is the world’s third largest exporter of music after the U.S. and United Kingdom) and got its own

museum dedicated in Stockholm in 2013, the band was not well-received by its home country until a decade after its breakup. “There were a lot of groups [in Sweden] against capitalistic thinking and music,” Norbäck said. “The only thing they talked about ABBA in Sweden was how much money they made; it was really nasty.” ABBA got its name after the first letter of each of the member’s names. The group comprised of real-life couples Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Ani-Frid Lyngstad.

Cultural tribute

Norbäck said she grew up enamored with Lyngstad and Fältskog’s vocal style and performance. She wanted to pursue pop music even as her mother — a trained opera singer — pushed her to more classical genres. Norbäck was inspired to start ARRIVAL after watching an Australian ABBA tribute band tour in Sweden.

ABBA is bigger in America today, and they were big there during the ’70s. Victoria Norbäck “It was so bad that I got so mad,” she said. “There were only six people on stage, and they had fake Swedish clogs. I wanted to do a proper ABBA show; they deserve it.” ARRIVAL tours as a 12-piece stage band with support from local orchestras and features musicians that toured with ABBA during their heyday. “In the 1970s, if you were a musician that worked with ABBA, they were on

ARRIVAL will perform ABBA’s catalog with Oklahoma City Philharmonic May 4-5 at Civic Center Music Hall. | Photo provided

a blacklist and not allowed to play at certain clubs in Sweden because they had played with ABBA,” she said. “The older generation still doesn’t think ABBA is ‘culture.’ I had a meeting with a director of an orchestra here, and he said, ‘No, we don’t want to book your show because I don’t like ABBA.’ So I told him, ‘OK; you don’t like ABBA, but how about the audience?’” She said that a December run of ARRIVAL shows in Sweden received so much interest that dates are being added even though there are already 16 scheduled shows. “We see how the audience reacts,” she said. “Some people are sitting and laughing. Some people are crying because it’s so beautiful. People start to dance and go crazy. There is something magical about ABBA’s music because everyone loves it.”

Since touring in the United States since 2005, ARRIVAL has visited 48 states. Norbäck said that she has felt a home in the U.S., relating to its culture, which promotes individuality, she said. Norbäck remembers being taught by her grandmother to lower her voice in public so she wouldn’t stand out in a crowd. “You probably think I say this about every country after every show, but I do not. The American audiences are the best in the world,” she said. “They give us so much energy when we’re on stage and are a part of the show.” Visit okcphil.org.

The Music of ABBA May 4-5 Civic Center Music Hall 201 N. Walker Ave. okcphil.org | 405-297-2264 $19-$73

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ARTS & CULTURE Broadway & Brew began as a Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma fundraiser geared toward young professionals. | Photo Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma / provided

Those who attend the event will also have a chance to win a variety of gift packages through Broadway & Brew’s prize raffle. Prize packages are provided by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kendra Scott, Topgolf, Schlegel Bicycles, Tower Theatre and more.

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Season sampler

Lyric Theatre’s Broadway & Brew moves to the Boathouse District for its sixth year. By Ben Luschen

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma’s annual Broadway & Brew event is set to return for its sixth year with a format that will feel familiar for those who have been to past editions of the fundraiser aimed at young professionals. “It’s nice, and hopefully the weather will cooperate,” said Broadway & Brew event chair Brent Moss. “In past years, it’s been a fun night out.” While the successful formula of local food plus local beer with live musical entertainment from Lyric Theatre is the same, a few things have changed, including the location. Broadway & Brew is 7-11 p.m. May 4 at McClendon Whitewater Center, 800 Riversport Drive. The event was held at Myriad Botanical Gardens for the past five years. “I know the committee is really excited about the new location, and from what I can tell, the Lyric folks are really excited about it,” Moss said. “I think it will give new life to an event people have grown to love over the last few years.” Moss said the location change came out of the committee’s desire to change things up and keep the event fresh. The Boathouse District is a newer area of the city, and the event’s planning committee wanted to highlight a new area of Oklahoma City. “The city’s growing and changing, and I think that our event should grow and change with it,” he said. Lyric Theatre’s Broadway Ball is its largest annual fundraiser, but Broadway & Brew also plays a major role in raising money for the professional theater company. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased either through the Lyric box office or online at broadwayandbrew. com. VIP packages starting at $250 are also available. Those packages include two tickets and access to a VIP area with a full bar.

In addition to raising funds for Lyric, the event is also an official kickoff of the theater’s summer programming at Civic Center Music Hall. This summer, Lyric will present the musicals Disney’s Freaky Friday (which opens June 26); Hello, Dolly! (July 10); and Mamma Mia! (July 24). In a special preview program, Lyric cast members will perform songs from the shows for those who attend. “They’re always usually songs that people know and love,” he said. “They’re usually capped off with some audience participation, singing along and having a good time.”

The city’s growing and changing, and I think that our event should grow and change with it. Brent Moss Broadway & Brew drink partners include returning favorites like COOP Ale Works, Anthem Brewing Company, Prairie Wolf Spirits and Vanessa House Beer Co. Event newcomers include Black Mesa Brewing Company, Iron Monk Brewing Company and Kansas’ Tallgrass Brewing Co. The list of local restaurants providing food for the night is still growing but currently includes Yokozuna; Stone Sisters Pizza Bar; Yuzo Sushi Tapas; Pub W; and Aurora Breakfast, Bar & Backyard. Food in the VIP area will be catered by Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse. “The committee is pretty excited because most of those restaurants haven’t joined us in the past,” Moss said. “It’s kind of continuing our theme of shaking things up a little bit.”

Years ago, Lyric Theatre put together a young professionals group that it later tasked with developing a less formal fundraising event than Broadway Ball with a special focus on attracting a younger crowd. That group held the first edition of Broadway & Brew six years ago. It was on a smaller scale than what the event has become now but was still successful. Moss said while Lyric’s young professionals group has informally dissolved over time, many of the people in that group are still involved on the Broadway & Brew planning committee. “The spirit of that group lives on through this,” he said, “and over the years, it’s grown and grown.” This is Moss’ first year as chair of the Broadway & Brew event, but it is his fifth overall year on the planning committee. Every year, he gets an email asking if he would like to be a part of the team, and he has never had a reason not to commit. “I was always like, ‘Yeah, sure; I’ll do it another year,’” he said.

Established tradition

Broadway & Brew raises money for Lyric. That money goes toward building sets and props, designing costumes and bringing in new shows. Ticket funds also go toward funding Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy, which operates musical camps and classes for children ages 5-18. “Those kids that go to the academy then end up in Lyric shows years later,” Moss said. “It’s cool to see the progression of that.” Moss said Broadway & Brew has become an event that a lot of people in the community look forward to. “The people I’ve talked to have either inquired about when it’s going to be or asked for more details about it,” he said. “I think it’s something that people look forward to every year.” Moss knows he looks forward to the night every year and believes Broadway & Brew has earned a reputation as consistent fun. “I think over time, it has evolved into one of those things that people know they’re going to have a good time at,” he said.

Broadway & Brew 7-11 p.m. May 4 McClendon Whitewater Center 800 Riversport Drive broadwayandbrew.com | 405-524-9312 $75


Iron tradition

United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma keep history alive with an annual festival. By Jeremy Martin

Billed as “Family fun – Celtic style,” Iron Thistle Scottish Festival features enough events and activities to keep visitors occupied all weekend and the people running things running. “It takes a lot of energy to do this,” said Jonathan Irvin, president of United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma and Iron Thistle’s athletic director and festival chairman. “There’s food vendors, merchandise vendors, a dance tent, acoustic tent, main-stage tent, kids’ area, sheep herding. The Boy Scouts do all kinds of different stuff. There’s just so much stuff going on all the time. Just imagine the state fair and put everybody in a kilt.” The festival, now in its 12th year, starts 7 p.m. Friday at Mollie Spencer Farm (formerly Kirkpatrick Family Farm) in Yukon with a traditional cèilidh. “It’s a warm-up party, get-together kind of thing,” Irvin explained. Pronounced “kaylee,” the cèilidh features a fire ceremony and live music by Flowers of Edinburgh, an Oklahoma Citybased band specializing in Scottish and Irish folk and dance music. The festival officially opens that evening with the calling of the clans, or families. “Someone representing a Scottish clan, even if just by their last name, they usually have their motto,” Irvin said. “And whenever their clan is called to come up, they will announce their family’s saying and that clan will be welcomed to participate in the festival. It’s kind of an old way. It’s kind of like ‘Pomp and Circumstance.’” Clan Henderson is the honored family this year, but many clans will be in attendance, offering genealogical information to people interested in researching their possible Scottish roots. The opening cèilidh is free to attend. Tickets for Saturday and Sunday’s festivities are available before the event on United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma’s website. Tickets are free-$15. Children age 9 and younger are admitted for free.

Family event

Festival activities highlight traditional Scottish cultures and ways of life. Athletes can compete in nine events including the caber toss, hammer and Braemar stone throw and weight over bar. Sheep- and cattle-herding demonstrations are scheduled (Highland cattle are often called “coos”), and live music from bands including OKC’s Ravens Three and dance performances can be viewed on several stages. Vendors will sell traditional food and more conventional American fare and Scottish crafts and wares such as jewelry, clothing, weapons and toys.

It needs to perpetuate Scottish activity to try to put some longevity to it, to pass it on, to remember where we came from. Jonathan Irvin “We really try to push a Celtic in general festival,” Irvin said. “We don’t have garage sale people out there or people that want to sell you windows, all that sort of stuff. We really try to keep a more Celtic feel overall. And we really push the traditional family event. We’re sponsored by Guinness this year, so we do have beer and food for all ages, entertainment for all ages and a kid’s area, but we really stress the family event. That really allows us full range in the spectrum, a good gradient of people that could be there.” Iron Thistle’s main purpose is to get more people and younger people interested in Celtic history and customs. “It needs to perpetuate Scottish activity to try to put some longevity to it, to pass it on, to remember where we came from, remember the old traditions, try to keep them alive, because everything that we’re

above In Iron Thistle’s Scottish games competition, athletes perform the caber toss, hammer throw, weight over bar and more. right Iron Thistle feature music by Flowers of Edinburgh, Ravens Three and traditional drum and pipe bands. | Photos Heather Robertson

doing now that has any kind of sentiment, you know, ‘Mind your Ps and Qs,’ little sayings and stuff like that, all that came from back in the day,” Irvin said. “So that’s most important because if you didn’t have that, then some people wouldn’t know where they came from and wouldn’t have a clue about what their name means or what their ancestors did or what they went through to reach this point here. That’s what we do.”

Resurrecting history

Before United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma could hold a festival of this scope and size, the group had to be reorganized. “We kind of breathed life back into it several years ago,” Irvin said. “When I joined the USCO 14 years ago, the USCO hadn’t had a festival in a few years. Being a nonprofit, a lot of times you have no profit, so therefore you can’t have a festival. So whenever I came on, I kind of started working with members to get stuff going.” They christened their new festival Iron Thistle. “The thistle is the national flower of Scotland,” Irvin said, “even though technically over here, it’s a weed. There’s iron, the iron is tough, so we thought, ‘Hey, Iron Thistle.’” Despite conditions that Irvin described as “pretty terrible, because it rained all weekend,” last year’s festival took place as

planned, but Irvin said he would like to see this year’s crowds return to the sizes reached in 2016, when he estimated between 7,000 and 8,000 people attended, so that the organization can afford to keep the tradition going. “That’ll keep us in underwear,” Irvin said, “and we’ll be able to do it again next year.”

Iron Thistle Scottish Festival 7-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday Mollie Spencer Farm 1001 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon unitedscotsok.com Free-$15

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co m m u n it y

Runners at Autism Oklahoma’s PieceWalk cross the starting line at last year’s event. | Photo provided

Gaining acceptance

Thousands gather for an annual PieceWalk to raise awareness for autism. By Laura Eastes

When his son Max was diagnosed with autism in the first grade, Phil Inzinga didn’t know where to turn. Luckily, a friend told him about Autism Oklahoma and its parent support groups. After attending one meeting, Inzinga joined a unique community of parents uniting around a common goal to help their children. Books, the names of therapists and the personal experiences of other parents were shared. “It is really great to find a community when you have a child diagnosed with autism,” Inzinga said. “It can be very isolating. You don’t want to go out because what if he has a meltdown? People wouldn’t understand. But then you find a group like Autism Oklahoma and that changes everything. You find there are a lot of people going through the same thing.” The advice Inzinga and his family gleaned from the parents’ group has been extremely helpful over the years. Max, who is now 14, is thriving. Each spring, when Autism Oklahoma’s signature event, PieceWalk, rolls around,

the Inzinga family gets ready to celebrate. While the event is a fundraiser for families and individuals affected by autism, it is a day to celebrate differences and foster awareness and acceptance. “The vibe is pure joy,” Inzinga said. “It is people coming together from all different walks of life who have this one thing in common: They all know someone with autism. They have been touched by it in one way or another. It really is a celebration.”

Reach potential

PieceWalk enters its 10th year May 5 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive. The event features a 5K run beginning at 8 a.m. and a 9 a.m. walk. This year’s theme is Jurassic Dash. In addition to the run and the walk, games, activities and a resource fair are offered on the ballpark grounds. While there is no cost to register for the walk, participating teams raise money by asking for donations from friends and family months and days before the event.

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There is a $35-$40 registration fee for 5K runners. PieceWalk supports about half of the annual operating budget of Autism Oklahoma, a nonprofit offering free and low-cost programming to individuals with autism and their families. Programming includes family support groups that meet in 13 locations across Oklahoma and 42 outreach programs — art, filmmaking, Minecraft, music and more — for individuals with autism. Last year, Autism Oklahoma served 4,500 Oklahomans, said Stacey Weddington, the organization’s director of community impact. “I think one of the most exciting things for us is how we so uniquely fulfill our mission every day,” Weddington said. “We believe that every person with autism is unique and important and has something to offer. We help individuals with autism reach their potential. We help families thrive and help the community understand and embrace the difference.”

The vibe is pure joy. Phil Inzinga Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that one in 68 children have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. A development disability that affects communication and behavior, autism encompasses a wide range of symptoms from social awkwardness to the inability to interact and communicate. Living with a loved one who has autism spectrum disorder is challenging, said Weddington. That’s why Autism Oklahoma provides support to families and programs to those with autism and raises community awareness about what autism is and isn’t. With PieceWalk, all efforts are combined. “This is a chance for people to see individuals with autism from 2-year-olds all the way through adulthood who are celebrating who they are,” Weddington

DiGital MeDia anD calenDar coorDinator A perfect job for a person that enjoys interaction with the public, compiling information on events, entertainment and activities in Central Oklahoma, and engaging with Oklahoma Gazette readers and the public through social media. Light reception duties are a part of this job.

said. “They are not ashamed of who they are; instead, they are talking about their interests and their talents while letting their community surround them with that joy and acceptance. We hope to expand that to the other 364 days of the year in other ways.”

Ready to walk

About 8,000 people are expected to fill Bricktown on the morning of PieceWalk. For the seventh year, the Inzinga family and members of their team, The Freckled Avenger, will be part of the crowd. Inzinga, who co-hosts The Morning Animal on 98.1 FM WWLS The Sports Animal and an afternoon show on 96.9 BOB FM, said that colleague Ron “Spinozi” Benton came up with the team’s name. “Max loves superhero movies, and Max has freckles,” said Inzinga, who serves on Autism Oklahoma’s board of directors. “Max can be really cantankerous. He has a profound sense of justice, or what he believes to be justice. We were talking about it one day, and he called him The Freckled Avenger. We liked it so much that we named our team after that.” Teams tend to get creative with T-shirts and activities as well as their names leading up to the walk to raise money, said Weddington. While PieceWalk shines a spotlight on people with autism, the event is one for the entire community. “You don’t have to have someone in your family with autism to be a part of this event,” Weddington said. “We welcome every and anybody. A neighborhood association can have a team. A family can make a team. Anyone can make a donation to be supportive of that one in 68 people who live in our community and are impacted by autism.”

PieceWalk 7:30 a.m. May 5 Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive piecewalk.org | 405-315-6337 Free-$40

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

Film The Green Fog (2017, USA, Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson), an alternate-universe interpretation of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. April 26. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THU Ismael’s Ghosts (2017, France, Arnaud Desplechin), a filmmaker struggles with his new screenplay when a former lover shows up, 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. April 27-28, 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. April 29, 8 p.m. May 3. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRI-THU Projector Club: Princess Mononoke a screening about a prince in a struggle with a princess and the encroachment of mechanization for film enthusiasts to have a discussion with a local podcast, 7 p.m. April 30. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, towertheatreokc.com. MON

Happenings 2018 Oklahoma History Conference features presentations on topics devoted to Oklahoma history with the theme of collecting, preserving and sharing for the next generation, April 25-27. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. WED-FRI

Paul Sechrist Signature Lecture Series: Bob Woodward Wondering what to expect with Trump in the White House? Bob Woodward, journalist and associate editor of The Washington Post, presents The Age of the American Presidency contextualizing the current situation in politics. The free lecture and reception begin 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater at Oklahoma City Community College, 7777 S. May Ave. Call 405-6827590 or visit tickets.occc.edu. THURSDAY Photo bobwoodward.com/provided

Books Doodle & Peck Publishing Book Launch a signing and party with authors Barbara Shepherd, Susan York Meyers and Sandra Byrd Lawson launching their books, 6-8 p.m. May 1. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. TUE Reading Wednesdays a story time with naturethemed books along with an interactive song and craft making, 10 a.m. Wednesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. WED Taxonomy of the Missing Lisa Lewis signs her sixth collection of poetry about complex women and violence in America, 6:30-8 p.m. April 26. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-8422900, fullcirclebooks.com. THU

Brewing Beer 101 a free class for beginner brewers to learn how to brew beer at home with the “mini-mash” method, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. April 28. The Brew Shop, 2916 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 405-528-5193, thebrewshopokc.com. SAT Cannas in the Garden a how-to with experts on properly thinning and transplanting canna rhizomes, 9 a.m.-10:30 p.m. April 28. Will Rogers Garden Center, 3400 NW 36th St., 405-943-0827, okc.gov. SAT Dog Day Afternoon a day of music and food with a dog adoption in memory of dog-lover Maureen McMullen-Rodriguez, 3-7 p.m. April 25. Oklahoma Skin Care, 11011 Hefner Pointe Drive, 405-749-2273, okskinandveincare.com. WED Festival of the Arts a community celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts, bringing a variety of talented artists together, a tradition since 1967, April 24-29. Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch drive, 405-2973882, facebook.com/pages/Bicentennial. TUE-SUN Reclaiming the Lakou: A Movement & Writing Workshop work in a group, or lakou, and master telling your own stories with Marie Casimir, a Haitian/American performer and educator, 2 p.m. April 28. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, sixtwelve.org. SAT Rhythm Restoration Food Drive donate groceries to help fill the shelves of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Through May 11. Caliber Collision, 8216 Northwest Expressway, 405-621-1613, calibercollision.com. THU-FRI Safari Soirée an evening of adventure with sea lions, giraffes, music, a silent auction and more, 7-11 p.m. April 27. The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington place, 405-425-0618, zoofriends.com. FRI Spring Fling for Brighter Foster Futures Allen Welch, Oklahoma County Special Judge, District 7, shares his experience as a foster child and how it impacted his life; proceeds go to those living in foster care, 5:30 p.m. April 30. The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-212-2378, thejonesassembly. com. MON The Washington Color Painters and the Legacy of Paul Reed a panel discussion with Jean Reed Roberts and Deedee Wigmore exploring

FOI Oklahoma Gubernatorial Debate Candidates planning on filing for governor participate in a debate focusing on government transparency and the First Amendment at University of Central Oklahoma. Candidates include Democrat Drew Edmondson, Republicans Gary Jones and Dan Fisher and Libertarians Chris Powell and Joseph Maldonado. The event is open to the public 5-7 p.m. Saturday at Constitution Hall in Nigh University Center on UCO’s campus, 100 N. University Drive. Call 405-974-2000 or visit foioklahoma.org. SATURDAY Photos provided a group of artists active in Washington D.C. in the 1950s and 1960s, 6 p.m. May 2. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. WED

Food Cheesemaking Workshop a hands-on workshop with dairy product specialist Dr. Steve Zeng including breakfast, snacks and lunch consisting of goat meat, sausages, jerky, goat milk ice cream and cheeses, April 27. Langston University, Oklahoma City Campus, 4205 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-962-1620, langston.edu. FRI Not the Music Festival escape the festival crowd with some local craft beer and live music, 2-9 p.m. April 28. Lazy Circles Brewing, 422 E. Main St., 405310-5364, lazycirclesbrewing.com. SAT Run OKC Marathon After Party with Taco Nation Food Truck, beer, discounts and a Twisted Run OKC pint glass, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. April 29. Twisted Spike Brewing Co., 1 NW 10th St., 405-301-3467, twistedspike.com. SUN

Celebrating ‘Oklahoma!’ at 75 marks the 75th anniversary of the Broadway debut of Oklahoma! with students from the OCU Wanda L. Bass School of Music will performing songs from the musical6:30 p.m. April 26. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org/historycenter. THU Fun Home a musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir as she navigates her childhood, Wednesdays-Sundays. through April 29. Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16th St., 405-524-9312, LyricTheatreOKC.com. WED-SUN The Little Mermaid this performance is reimagining the classic tale of a young mermaid who dreams of living above the waves, through May 5. The Pollard Theatre, 120 W. Harrison Ave., 405-2822800, thepollard.org. FRI-SAT

Turkish Food and Arts Festival enjoy Turkish food such as gyro kebab, Turkish ravioli (manti), baklava, kofte (Kibbeh), stuffed grape leaves (sarma), Turkish tea and more, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 28. Raindrop Turkish House, 4444 N. Classen Blvd., 405-702-0222, raindropturkishhouse.org. SAT

A Midsummer Night’s Dream a performance of Shakespeare’s comedy about the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons, 7:30 p.m. April 26-28. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-682-7579, tickets.occc.edu. THU-SAT

Youth Drop-In Art: Geometric Mobiles use fun papers, stencils, embroidery hoops and more to create colorful geometric mobiles, perfect for hanging anywhere, 1-4 p.m. April 28. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. SAT

Sprouting Chefs: Pasta Primavera learn about different vegetables and how to prepare them as the class creates a fresh and flavorful pasta primavera, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 28. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com. SAT Summer Camp Contemporary keep kids creative and learning in camps featuring visual arts, music, hip-hop, fiber, clay, performance, robotics and more, through August 10. $100-$215 per camp. Go green and save $5 by enrolling online., Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through Aug. 10. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. WED-FRI

Performing Arts

MONDAY Photo Oklahoma History Center/provided

The Book of Mormon a musical comedy about two Mormon missionaries who travel to Africa, 7:30 p.m. April 24-26, 8 p.m. April 27-28. 2 p.m. April 28, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 29. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com. TUE-SUN

Scotch, Whiskey and Bourbon a come-and-go event for ages 21 and up to enjoy Whiskey pours and food, 6-8 p.m. May 1. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. TUE

Jackson Pollock Seed Bomb Garden young artists will make their own color explosion flower gardens using homemade seed bombs like Jackson Pollack’s canvasses, 1-3 p.m. April 28. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/. SAT

Music of the Big Band Era Enjoy musical harmony by Ken Double as he plays on the Kilgen Organ with local University of Oklahoma music professor Irv Wagner on the trombone. The performance is 7 p.m. Monday at Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive. Tickets are $20. Call 405-522-0765 or visit okhistory.org.

presented by some of OKC’s finest musicians and performers. 8-10 p.m. April 26-28. 25.00. NOIR Bistro & Bar, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-208-4233, thecitycabaretokc.com. THU-SAT

Alice in Wonderland travel down the rabbit hole into Lewis Carroll’s classic works, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. 8 p.m. April 27-28 and 3 p.m. April 29. University Theatre, 500 W. Boyd St., 405-325-4101, theatre.ou.edu. FRI-SUN Backwards Broadway an evening of gender-bending, ethnicity-twisting, mind-blowing takes on Broadway hits,

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

Norman Music Festival a free, three-day, 350 band event full of music, music and more music, April 26-28. Sooner Theatre, 101 E. Main St., 405-3219600, soonertheatre.com. THU-SAT Theatre Arts: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) UCO Department of Theatre Arts and Penny Stinkers Touring Company perform a free production, 8 p.m. April 27-28. theatrearts.uco.edu. Mitchell Hall Theatre, 100 N. University Drive, 405-974-2000, theatrearts.uco. edu. FRI-SAT

Active Beer + Yoga bring your mat for some yoga with Fusion Fitness and get your first beer free, 2 p.m. Saturday. Lazy Circles Brewing, 422 E. Main St., 405310-5364, lazycirclesbrewing.com. SAT Groove National Danve Competition features three levels of competition, online music uploads and great studio incentives, April 27-29. Douglas High School, 900 N. Martin Luther King Ave. FRI-SUN Harry Potter Yoga hosted by Amber Webster with butter beer and Hogwarts themes, 5:45-7:15 p.m. April 27. This Land Yoga, 600 NW 23rd St., 405-5296428, thislandyoga.com. FRI Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Expo showcases more than 60 exhibitors featuring a wide array of products and services geared toward runners, walkers, health-minded consumers, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. April 27, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 28. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-602-8500, coxconventioncenter.com. FRI-SAT Yoga Series in the Gardens bring your mat for an all-levels class with Lisa Woodard from This Land yoga, 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com/. TUE

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


A SeASonAl Guide to CentrAl oklAhomA

Summer never seems long enough so Gazette is giving its readers the go-to guide for filling every second with fun across the state. FeAturinG A 3 month CAlendAr inCludinG: Fairs and Festivals Concerts museums Art exhibits theater

day trips Classes Workshops Summer Camps

Along with expanded editorial content PubliSheS mAy 23 Ad deAdlineS mAy 16

Attention publicity seekers! Submit calendar events at okgazette.com or email to listings@okgazette. com

Please be sure to indicate ‘Summer Guide’ in the subject line. We do no accept calendar items via phone.

Deadline to submit items for our Summer Guide calendar is Wednesday May 2nd by 5pm.

Call 405.528.6000 today to reserve your space.


Family Sleepover Go on an adventure after dark in National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s galleries! Then create crafts and enjoy goodies, and don’t forget to bring something for show and tell! The mystery night is 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the museum, 1700 NE 63rd St. Admission is $20-$35. Call 405478-2250 or visit nationalcowboymuseum.org. SATURDAY Photo National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum/provided Yoga with Art Relax and stretch in contemporary art-filled spaces with yoga instructed by This Land Yoga, 10 a.m. Saturdays. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. SAT

Visual Arts Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness features films by award-winning artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul who was born in Thailand and earned a master of fine arts degree in Chicago., Through June 10. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. Chromatic Ritual features paintings and fused glass creations by Fringe: Women Artists of Oklahoma with a portion of sales to The Homeless Alliance, Through June 1. Verbode, 415 N. Broadway Ave., 405-757-7001, fringeokc.com. Collage Collective with $5 admission you get collage supplies, snacks, drinks and more for a fun night of collages, 6-8 p.m. April 25. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. WED Divided an exhibit featuring abstract paintings by Oklahoma artist Janice Mathews-Gordon and pots and murals by Mexico native Carlos Tello, Through April 29. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. Dylan Bradway graphic designer and co-owner of DNA Galleries displays his artwork, through May 6. DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St., 405-525-3499, dnagalleries.com. Have Your Cake and Eat It, too! view the culinary creations pastry chefs inspired by the thick, impasto-style works of Theodore Waddell, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 28. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT Hidden Treasures: Seeing into the Unseen features photographs by Jim Reznicek in his first solo exhibition including art works of landscapes, macro and still life images influenced by his Christian faith, Through April 28. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.com. In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student Learn the principles of art as Tom Ryan did with his instruction on “general illustration” with famed teacher Frank Reilly, Through Nov. 11. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. My Wildest Dreams Features Broken Arrow artist Micheal W. Jones; an artist from a young age, his paintings are created using water media, MondaysFridays. through April 27. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. Optical Delusions Hilary Black Waltrip’s exhibit that displays the interplay of technique and expression combined elegantly to lead the viewer through a spiritual journey, Through May 5. Sandalwood & Sage, 322 E. Main St., 405-366-7243. OU School of Visual Arts Student Exhibition features student works in multiple mediums, including photography, drawing, video, sculpture


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and painting. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. Photoproxy Oklahoma artist Jordan Vinyard uses performers by situating them as caricatures of humans interacting with technology to examine current culture and human behavior, through May 13. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. Pop Stars! opening reception an opening celebration with introductory remarks on the exhibition by Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites and a special lecture by featured artist Fahamu Pecou, 6-8 p.m. April 26. Free and open to the public. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. Porcelain Art Exhibit World Organization of China Painters presents a free tour for the member porcelain art exhibit, through June 22. Porcelain Art Museum, 2700 N. Portland Ave., 405-521-1234, wocp.org. Puzzling: MFA Thesis Exhibition showcases experimental letterpress work by Jesse Warne including printed work available for purchase, free giveaways and interactive happenings, 5-8 p.m. April 2. FREE. UCO Letterpress Lab, 1020 Waterwood Parkway, 405-974-5770, ucodesign.com. THU Sandwich Baggie an exhibit of ceramics that can fit in a sandwich bag that were created by OU ceramic students over the last three semesters, Through April 28. The Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval, 405-325-2691, art.ou.edu. Sportopia Paul W. Waddell looks at Oklahoma’s sports culture and its contributions on art culture and the community, through May 13. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org

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 listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

For okg live music

see page 33

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

cov e r


Static sensation

Parker Millsap | Photo Scott Newton / provided

Sparks fly on Parker Millsap’s new amped-up album Other Arrangements. By Ben Luschen

There is an anxious limbo period many artists go through between recording an album and releasing it to the public months or even more than a year after the fact. It’s more than adequate time for the mind to stress and second-guess every detail. Even prodigious talents like Parker Millsap are not totally immune to the angst. Though fans and critics gleefully lapped up the Purcell-born singersongwriter’s honey-gold vocals and lyrics on past albums, there is always room for worry. But 24-year-old Millsap is missing the pre-release nerves this time around. “On this one, I haven’t had that,” Millsap said in a recent interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “With this one, I can put it on and be like, ‘Yeah; that’s a jam.’” It would be easy to chalk up Millsap’s confidence to the maturity that comes with age or increased experience with the recording and touring process, and those attributes certainly play a factor in it. But Other Arrangements — Millsap’s fourth studio album set for a May 4 release under the Okrahoma Records and Nashvillebased Thirty Tigers independent labels — also happens to be a literally electric 12-song foray that might well launch him into the musical stratosphere. Millsap, who has lived in Nashville for the past three years, will mark the new record’s release with homecoming shows 8 p.m. May 4-5 at The Sooner Theatre, 101 E. Main St., in Norman. The first Sooner Theatre date is sold out, but tickets are still available for Millsap’s second night. A third show May 6 at The Old Church in Perkins is also sold out. The Very Last Day, Millsap’s 2016 gloriously apocalyptic Americana record, was peppered with accenting hints of electric guitar but still carried an appropriately vintage acoustic feel. Other Arrangements, on the other hand, is plugged in almost all the way through, further amplifying Millsap’s natural exuberance. Millsap said the transition was logical, but that doesn’t make it feel any less stark. Other Arrangements might prompt comparisons to Bob Dylan’s turn to electric sound in the ’60s, but

Millsap is not expecting any cries of betrayal from his fan base. “Dylan went electric a long time ago,” he said. “It’s not a radical move, you know? My past two records have had electric guitar all over them; it’s just that this record is a little more electric guitar-heavy than previous ones. ... It feels like a natural progression.”

Mountain peaks

Other Arrangements was primarily recorded in fall 2017 during a two-week session at Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, North Carolina. They added overdubs and mixed the record that winter in Nashville, Tennessee. Millsap enunciates with care as he distinguishes between the rhyming cities. “I always try to be really clear,” he said, “because it’s always like, ‘Wait, wait, wait; which one was which?’” Asheville’s Echo Mountain is a stateof-the-art studio located in an old church building. Its stained glass windows are still intact. The control room features a vintage Neve 8068 recording console. The studio has full analog and digital capabilities. Millsap never set out to make Other Arrangements his electric record. The sound developed as a natural extension of his band’s live show, which began consistently incorporating electric guitars when Millsap started touring with a drummer several years ago. The album’s first single “Fine Line,” which also functions as Other Arrangements’ firecracker opener, was recorded on a 5-watt amplifier. Much of the album was recorded on smaller amps, with none measuring more than 12 watts. That was done to replicate the sound of his live show, where Millsap’s band seeks to reduce its overall stage volume and minimize microphone feedback that could overshadow the fiddle. But Millsap can make 12 watts sound as impactful as 50 or more. That dynamism comes, in part, from a searing singing voice with the potential to reach otherworldly howls. Millsap first cultivated that voice as a young child while singing in the Pentecostal church his family attended. He builds a lot of his songs around key dramatic moments, spending a lot of time on optimizing his impact. “If anything is really going to make it dramatic,” he said, “it’s going to be the voice.”

Building up

Other Arrangements | Image provided

Millsap and his band had a lot of fun recording at Echo Mountain, but not just because of their fine studio equipment. In the old church basement, there is a lounge area stocked with arcade machines and pool tables. Of particular interest to the band was a Golden Tee

Golf virtual golf game. “We definitely put some hours into that Golden Tee,” said bassist Michael Rose. “I mean, you can’t just wear yourself out recording.” Rose and Millsap became friends as teenagers in Purcell. He has been playing bass with Millsap’s band for the past 10 years. Fiddler Daniel Foulks is also a longtime Millsap bandmate, playing with him for the past six years. Though Millsap, Foulks and Rose have been known as an acoustic trio in the past, those who have closely followed the band should not be surprised by Other Arrangements’ sound. “We never had any intention in the beginning to stay acoustic,” Foulks said. “I don’t think any of us are sticklers in any way to one sound.” Rose sees Other Arrangements as a natural progression from The Very Last Day to even bluesier sounds they enjoy from personal favorites like Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones. “Each record we make, we try to make a better one than the last,” he said. “On this one, I think we did that.”

Easy stroll

Aside from its amped-up sound, Other Arrangements might be making history as the first rock ’n’ roll record to clearly advocate for defensive driving habits. On “Some People,” Millsap sings about highway drivers intent on zipping past every car in front of them, no matter how fast those other cars might be going. “I’m going 63 [mph],” the lyrics go. “I think that’s plenty fast.” Millsap uses highway rage as a meta-

phor for the win-at-all-costs lifestyle that is so far removed from the songwriter’s usual, levelheaded nature. But while the song might have symbolic meaning, it does accurately sum Millsap’s general road philosophy. “When I’m driving, my method is like, ‘Stick with the truckers in the right lane unless they’re exiting or trying to maneuver or something.’” he said. “You can get around them, but just chill the hell out, yo!” Tour life is often associated with wild nights of partying and substance use. Rose said Millsap’s crew most often partakes in little more than a nightcap. “After the show, our normal night is just heading straight for the hotel, catching Z’s,” he said. Most conversations with Millsap involve at least one good laugh. Rose said he has never encountered anyone as jovial. “He has a golden heart,” he said. “Everybody in our group just kind of rubs off on each other.” Nashville, like the rest of the world, has its fair share of supremely talented creatives and even-tempered souls. But to find pure forms of both in the same person is generationally rare. “[Millsap] is absolutely doing something that he loves to do,” Foulks said. “I think he was meant to do it.”

Parker Millsap 8-10 p.m. May 4-5 The Sooner Theatre | 101 E. Main St., Norman soonertheatre.org | 405-321-9600 $20-$25

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


OKC’s Newest NightClub & lOuNge thur-sat 8pm tO 2am



May 10th

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The Weekend all Stars


Happy HoUr Check out our FB or website for details CoMIng 12000 North may ave. OKC, OK In May 73120 the shoppes at Northpark SMokE-frEE! 30

a p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m



Back in black

Ben Folds reunites with OKC Phil as the orchestra prepares to enter its next chapter. By Ben Luschen

A sold-out concert nearly seven years ago with superbly talented pianist and suburban poet laureate Ben Folds proved an important moment for Oklahoma City Philharmonic, which gained citywide pop cred overnight through the collaboration. As Folds prepares for round two with the orchestra, OKC Phil is hoping lightning strikes twice. The former Ben Folds Five frontman and solo songsmith is scheduled to perform with the city’s orchestra 7:30-10 p.m. Tuesday at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. Alexander Mickelthwate, who will succeed founding OKC Phil conductor and music director Joel Levine full-time next season, will conduct the concert. Tickets are $29-$283. The program, which was added to OKC Phil’s scheduled season just a few months ago, comes at a transitional time for the orchestra. OKC Phil started in 1988 on the foundation set by the former Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra. It has known no musical leadership other than Levine in its 30-year history. Levine is expected to retire at the end of this year. A return to one of the orchestra’s most memorable recent concerts will

be a good start as OKC Phil readies its next chapter. Folds earned the adoration of many music fans through wry lyrical songwriting and a charming, unfiltered public persona. The North Carolina native went to music school for percussion (though he eventually dropped out) and is widely known for his proficiency on piano. Time has proven his 2001 solo debut Rockin’ the Suburbs as a landmark recording of turn-of-thecentury alt-rock and a lasting testament to his instrumental aptitude. But Folds’ frequent orchestral appearances are no novelty act. Orchestra was among his first musical loves, and as Folds’ career has progressed, classical work has taken an increasingly large role in his output. Last year, he was named artistic director of the National Symphony Orchestra, which makes its primary residence at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The position is just the most recent development in a long relationship between Folds and the national orchestra. Folds debuted a three-movement piano concerto with the Nashville

ing is not only his songs over the years, but also his piano concerto. It’s for full symphony orchestra and it’s its own style — it’s not really jazz. It’s really cool. I’m thrilled to play with him.

left Ben Folds | Photo Allan Amato / provided above Alexander Mickelthwate will take over as OKC Phil’s full-time music director at the end of its current season. | Photo provided

Symphony Orchestra in 2014. The piece is featured on his 2015 album So There, a collaborative release with the New York-based chamber sextet ensemble yMusic. So There was Billboard’s No. 1-selling classical album for several weeks after its initial release. There are a number of other projects keeping Folds busy outside orchestral work. He is currently wrapping up years of off-and-on writing on a to-bepublished memoir. Last month, Folds announced a co-headlining tour with the eclectic alternative rock band Cake, set to begin its national jaunt in August. Oklahoma Gazette recently caught up with OKC Phil’s incoming musical lead Mickelthwate ahead of his biggest concert in the city yet. Mickelthwate, who is moving to Oklahoma from his role as music director of Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, hopes this concert is just one of many ways OKC Phil will overlap with popular culture under his watch.

It helps us put out a new face to the community, to be Beethoven but also 21st century. Alexander Mickelthwate Oklahoma Gazette: When did you hear that Ben Folds would be performing with OKC Phil and that you would get a chance to conduct the show? Alexander Mickelthwate: I heard in maybe autumn that they were adding another concert. The whole season was already booked, and then this one special came up with Ben. It was great, and I’m very excited for it. It is a great honor to work with him. OKG: Are you a fan of Folds? Mickelthwate: Well, now I am. I’m very classical, but I really love his music. One thing I really find interest-

OKG: What does a show like this do for OKC Phil and the kind of crowd it can attract to see the orchestra? Mickelthwate: Well, I’ve done this a lot now with really creative artists working with symphonies. I love it — I think it opens up the classical world to a whole bunch of new audiences. It’s very exciting to connect with a crowd that is younger, but also not younger. I mean, a lot of people love him. It’s a really cool thing to have an artist like Ben come in to work with the orchestra. It helps us put out a new face to the community, to be Beethoven but also 21st century.

Thurs - sIN NIghT DrINk specIals jam sessIoNs w/ BreNT kruger & joN murchIsoN (No cover) Fri & Sat - $10 bucketS during gameS

apr 27Th Tyler wIlhelm Home oF tHe true country weStern 401 S. Meridian like uS


OKG: Do you see other ways that classical and orchestral music have intertwined or connected with pop culture? Are there other areas where those two worlds are colliding? Mickelthwate: Yeah, lots of them. For me, there’s been lots of crossover in the last 10-12 years. I actually hear orchestras performing music from video games and music from different films and with live accompaniment by film. But also performing with, like, really cool indie bands. The live orchestra sound enhances the experience. It’s really cool, and it’s really changed in the last 10 years where the orchestra has more front in those crossover genres and creates these really cool experiences — something that one might not realize. In film, you have John Williams, but you also have orchestral soundtracks in all sorts of amazing indie films. It changes the way one feels about the film. It’s awesome. OKG: Are you excited to take over at OKC Phil full-time next year? Mickelthwate: Oh yeah; it’s really cool. It’s amazing to have Joel [Levine] here for like 30 years. He’s like this institution almost. We get along really well, and it’s great to have someone like that to talk to here in Oklahoma. OKG: Hopefully you’ll build your own epic legacy here. Mickelthwate: Hopefully. It’s a great place to move to right now. There’s so much happening here. It’s a young place. People are moving back, it seems. Something is happening.

April 27 CHiCAnO bATMAn April 28 My sO CAllEd bAnd May 17 ApOCAlypTiCA May 22 FREnsHip May 25 AMERiCAn AquARiuM

Ben Folds w/ OKC Phil 7:30-10 p.m. Tuesday Civic Center Music Hall 201 N. Walker Ave. okcphil.org | 405-842-5387 $29-$283

Tickets and Info TOWERTHEATREOKC.COM @towertheaterokc 405-70-TOWER | 425 NW 23rd St. OKC O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8




Breaking spells

Detroit singer-songwriter Anna Burch brings her newfound sense of self-reliance to Norman Music Fest. By Ben Luschen

Editor’s note: Oklahoma Gazette is featuring Norman Music Festival performers each week leading up to its 2018 event Thursday-Saturday in Norman. Though much of Quit the Curse is built around the idea of incommunicative lovers and the dysfunction within modern dating dynamics, Michigan singer-songwriter Anna Burch now feels a little distant from the album’s subject matter. Burch, most known as a vocalist in the Detroit-based folk-rock band Frontier Ruckus alongside Matthew Milia, released her debut solo record Quit the Curse in February. Much of the indie-rock album’s material was written long before she entered into a stable relationship with her current boyfriend three years ago. But there was a time she had a more cynical view of the way many people approach romance in the modern day. “At the time I was writing the record, it all felt pretty unhealthy,” Burch said in a recent Oklahoma Gazette interview. “Not just my own situation, but in talking to other friends and hearing nightmare Tinder stories.” Burch is set to play 9:30 p.m. Friday at Norman Music Festival’s Winston Gray Street Stage, performing just before the day’s main headliner Parquet Courts hits the same downtown Norman stage at 10:30 p.m. She has played with a number of other bands in the past, but this album is Burch’s first experience as a solo artist. It all still feels a bit new. A few years ago, Burch had more or less removed herself from music. She was living in Chicago, working for both a local bar and Illinois Humanities Council. She had tried songwriting a few times but was discouraged. Her life needed new direction. “I was feeling like there was a bit of a void,” she said. Burch dreamed of one day releasing her own solo album — a dream many other young people share. But she had left the idea in her

Quit the Curse | Image provided 32

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past, content to play a smaller role in other, larger creative visions. However, one snowy Chicago winter helped set the stage for that goal to live again. She had a reason to write her story. “The conditions were all right,” Burch said. “It came together rather quickly — the writing part, anyway. It felt like a dream at the time, just the first stages of getting songs I’d just written arranged. It was pretty incredible.”

Being able to write the songs helped me process what I really was looking for, which was honesty and communication. Anna Burch

New look

While attending graduate school in Chicago, Burch befriended music student, songwriter and home recorder Paul Cherry. They were bored hanging out together one winter when Cherry asked Burch if she had any songs that they could record. Burch did have one — something she had written years before. She brought the song to Cherry, and they put together a demo version with harmony vocals and lead guitar. Hearing it all come together was magical for Burch, and she felt compelled to record a lot more. Burch graduated from grad school around that time and decided to move back to Detroit and work with Frontier Ruckus again. But her rekindled desire to record her own material did not die. “That’s when I started really writing,” she said. “It was concurrent with getting back into that band and deciding that music was going to be the center of what I was doing.” She began commuting back and forth between Detroit and Chicago to record more songs with Cherry. At first, they just set out to make an EP, but Burch did not want to stop with just a few songs. She was getting close to completing her record in 2016 when she heard St. Louis, Missouri-born singer-songwriter Angel Olsen’s My Woman. She loved Olsen’s direct songwriting and poppy style. “I think listening to that record made me feel kind of inadequate because I had been working on my own record and I was really happy with it,” Burch said. “Then that record came out and I thought, ‘Man, this is a record. This is a record, and I don’t know what I have right now.’”

Burch began to develop a new sonic vision for her album. By coincidence, the drummer she had been playing with for the project was able to set her up with Collin Dupuis, who had mixed and produced My Woman with Olsen. At first, they had just agreed for Dupuis to mix Burch’s existing record, but as the two began to discuss her new vision for the album, Dupuis decided to help Burch retrack her songs. She was thrilled with the end result. “It was a little fortuitous that I got linked up with Collin,” she said. “It was so exciting; I was like, ‘Oh my God! I’ve been obsessing over that [Olsen] record so much.’”

Writing ways

The first words on Quit the Curse’s lead single “Tea-Soaked Letter” present listeners with an ironic reality to love of all kinds. “Isn’t it strange the ones you love,” Burch sings, “could bury your body underground.” That standout line, placed on a song with an overall theme of feeling neglected or spurned, is just one place on the album in which Burch shows off a good degree of lyrical promise, even if it was not clear to her at the time she originally wrote it. “I wrote that song really quickly, and that almost seemed like a placeholder lyric to me because it’s very odd and almost doesn’t fit,” she said. “It’s very surreal — more than a lot of my other lyrics because they’re pretty straightforward.” Burch, who has developed her songwriting skill relatively recently, partially credited her creative progress to the time she spent living with Milia in

Anna Burch | Photo Ebru Yildiz / provided

her move back to Detroit. Though he was not giving Burch direct songwriting instruction, she said just sharing a creative space with a talented songwriter like Milia was a huge help. “The two of us would be separately working on songs,” she said. “Like, he’d be in his bedroom and I’d be in the living room or on the balcony. Sonically, we’d kind of seep into the other room, and I think the creative energy there was really good.”

Open book

A recurring theme on Quit the Curse is the importance of communication in love and dating. “I was not getting a lot of that in real life,” she said. “That was a frustrating thing to me, and being able to write the songs helped me process what I really was looking for, which was honesty and communication.” Through the process of recording her solo debut, Burch said she realized that in the past, she had contributed a lot to her own unhappiness. She is glad she had an outlet like an album in order to revisit and process a lot of the things that had happened earlier in life. “Not even the current situations that I found myself in, but a lot of the patterned behavior that had been plaguing me through my 20s,” she said. “It was nice to have an outlet to think about those things.” The end result has gifted her the kind of confidence that only ever comes with the fulfillment of forgotten dreams. “It’s a very different feeling,” she said. “I like it.”

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

Wednesday, Apr. 25 Amarillo Junction, JJ’s Alley Bricktown Pub. COUNTRY

David Byrne, The Criterion. POP Hemlock/SevidemiC, Kendells. METAL North By North/Duane Mark, Red Brick Bar. ROCK Sushii, Farmers Public Market. ELECTRONIC

Thursday, Apr. 26 Hail the Sun, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Joel T. Mosman & Oklahoma Uprising, Red Brick Bar. ROCK Jonathan Davis, Diamond Ballroom. METAL

Friday, Apr. 27 Atlantis Aquarius, Grady’s 66 Pub. ROCK The Blend, Remington Park. ROCK Buddy South, McClintock Saloon & Chop House. COUNTRY

Chicano Batman/Amasa Hines, Tower Theatre. ROCK

Erick Taylor, Newcastle Casino. ACOUSTIC Foreigner, Riverwind Casino. ROCK Jimmy Lee Jordan Band, JR’s Pub & Grill. COUNTRY Jon Wolfe, Graham’s Central Station. COUNTRY Kestrel & Kite, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Raina Cobb/Ben Brock, Belle Isle Brewery. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Randall Coyne, Grand House. JAZZ Saint Monroe, The Root. ROCK

Rev. Sekou Social activist and musician Rev. Sekou’s album In Times Like These, released last year, addresses important civil rights issues. He performs a concoction of blues, jazz and rock 8 p.m. Friday at The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley Ave. Tickets are $20. Call 405-524-0738 or visit bluedoorokc.com. FRIDAY Photo Lucky Bird Media/provided

Sunday, Apr. 29 Ciara Brooke/ONE TWO TEN/Skel, Sauced on Paseo. POP Direct Connect Band, Elmer’s Uptown. BLUES

Tyler Lee Band, Iron Horse Bar & Grill. COVER

Hosty, The Deli. BLUES

Tyler Wilhelm, Chisholm’s Saloon. ROCK

Saturday, Apr. 28 Bishop Gunn/Blackberry Smoke, The Criterion. ROCK

Brandi Reloaded, Okie Tonk Café. ROCK The Damn Quails, The Blue Door. FOLK The Fonts, Anthem Brewing Company. ROCK Glen Templeton, Whiskey Barrel Saloon. COUNTRY

Steve Poltz, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER Vance Joy, The Criterion. INDIE

Monday, Apr. 30 The Cake Eaters, The Deli. ROCK

Tuesday, May. 1 Acid Mothers Temple/Yoo Doo Right, Opolis. ROCK Patty Griffin, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Gregg Standridge/Terry Buffalo Ware, Bluebonnet Bar. FOLK

Souvenirs, 89th Street Collective. ROCK

Hexheart/Station 5150/Sensitiv Southside Boy, The Root. INDIE

Wednesday, May. 2

Hog Feed, Lazy Circles Brewing. BLUES

Blake Lankford, Bluebonnet Bar. ROCK

The Indigos/Felina and the Feels, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar. INDIE

Carly Pearce/Walker Hayes/Danielle Bradberry and more, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY

Joel T. Mosman & Oklahoma Uprising, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. FOLK

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Newcastle Casino. BLUES

My So Called Band, Tower Theatre. COVER Oklahoma Uprising, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. FOLK S.I.N. Shame In Nothing, Oklahoma City Limits. METAL

Stars, Newcastle Casino. POP Stone Tide/Benjamin Carters, Bison Witches Bar & Deli. ROCK Tim Easton, The Blue Door. ROCK Tyler Lee Band, Iron Horse Bar & Grill. COVER Wicked Shimmies, Red Brick Bar. ROCK

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 listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | a p r i l 2 5 , 2 0 1 8


puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle PREPOSITION PROPOSITION

By Alex Bajcz | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0415

ACROSS 1 Sound of a dud 5 Personnel overhaul 12 End of the block? 15 Pitcher’s feat, slangily 19 Peace activist Wiesel 20 Rear seating compartment in old automobiles 21 Replaced someone on a base 23 Wagers for a gym exercise? 25 Big name in luxury SUVs 26 Successfully persuades 27 At the most 28 Sub 30 Opposite of stiff 31 Figures on slots 33 Bad thing to see under a truck’s hood? 35 Small breather? 38 Customer-service worker 40 Man and Superman playwright 41 Anxious feeling 42 Wastebasket or folder, maybe 43 Avoided trans fats and refined sugars, say 47 Part of NASA: Abbr. 48 Unrecruited athlete’s bottleful? 52 ____ al-Hussein (Jordanian royal) 53 Private eye 55 Word after flight or credit 56 “Zounds!” 57 ____ dish 58 It’s not in the bag 61 Intake in many an eating contest 62 Makes drunk 63 Certain note passer, for short 64 Timely entrance? 69 Kitty 70 “Here’s the thing …” 72 Lawn coating 73 Grueling workplace, so to speak 75 Man first mentioned in Exodus 2 76 Something removed at a TSA checkpoint 78 Purple smoothie flavorer 80 German “you” 81 Caught in ____ 82 Understudy’s delivery? 85 Nonsense singing 88 Closet rackful 90 Suffer from a lockup

91 Zeros 93 “Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!” singer, familiarly 94 Duke of ____, character in The Two Gentlemen of Verona 96 Reaches by plane 97 Scam alert? 101 Paragons 103 Hoppy brew 104 Info provider 105 Optimist’s credo 106 What an AP class likely isn’t 110 Throws at 112 Fight clubs? 115 Serving to quell violent protests 116 Free, as a seat 117 Web links, briefly 118 Trickle 119 Certain baseball positions: Abbr. 120 Lunchtime errands, e.g. 121 ____ Classic (cable channel) DOWN 1 Juices (up) 2 Something a chimney sweep sweeps 3 Permeate 4 Gossips 5 Pennzoil competitor 6 Low-cost lodging 7 Playwright Chekhov 8 Bags that might have drawstrings 9 Startled squeals 10 Neighbor of Oman, for short 11 Press, as a button 12 Vertical, to a sailor 13 Saying “Eww!,” say 14 Make hard to read 15 Org. that’s nearly one-fourth Canadian 16 Speak before Parliament, e.g. 17 Comaneci of Olympics fame 18 Time in Tokyo when it’s midnight in New York 22 ____ salad 24 App customers 29 10/ 32 Scene 33 Founder of Philadelphia 34 Strong strings 35 Sister 36 Man ____ mission













32 38

48 54












95 101




37 Soundtrack for a brawl? 39 Proceed well enough 42 Story featuring divine intervention 43 ____ premium 44 Compositions often chosen for encores? 45 Seuss title character 46 Sad, in San Juan 49 Department 50 Small dam 51 Smoking or stress 54 Forfeits 57 Hits with snowballs 58 Nonexpert 59 Portrayer of Mr. Chips 60 Ball support 61 Something “shaken” in a trick 62 The Ravens, on scoreboards





102 106










65 Take too much of, briefly 66 Call for 67 “To repeat …” 68 Self-absorbed 71 Hope that one may 74 Doesn’t go on at the right time 76 Exit 77 Gives birth to 78 “Eso Beso” singer 79 Doctor treating patients 82 GI reply 83 Any of the Galápagos 84 Singer known for her 85-Across 86 Skill 87 Chinese menu name 89 More likely to escalate 92 Member of a four-time Stanley Cup-winning

team in the 1980s 94 Emcee’s item 95 Spring river breakup 96 Certain Summer Olympian 97 Gyro holders 98 Barely ahead, scorewise 99 Interior decorator’s asset 100 Brisk paces 102 Gracias : Spanish :: ____ : German 105 Avid about 107 Some Nikons, for short 108 Go, “Ow, ow, OW!” 109 Professional grp. 111 Apt rhyme of “nip” 113 Card-game cry 114 Some doorways

C R A B C A H N 34

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free will astrology Homework: Choose two ancestors with whom you’d like to have closer relationships. Contact their spirits in your dreams. Testify at Freewillastrology.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19) Imagine you’re one of

four porcupines caught in frigid weather. To keep warm, you all have the urge to huddle together and pool your body heat. But whenever you try to get close, you prick each other with your quills. The only solution to that problem is to move away from each other, even though it means you can’t quell your chill as well. This scenario was used by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud as a parable for the human dilemma. We want to be intimate with each other, Freud said, but we hurt each other when we try. The oft-chosen solution is to be partially intimate: not as close as we would like to be, but only as much as we can bear. Now everything I just said, Aries, is a preface for better news: In the coming weeks, neither your own quills nor those of the people you care about will be as sharp or as long as usual.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) The Simpsons is the

longest-running American TV sitcom and animated series. But it had a rough start. In the fall of 1989, when producers staged a private pre-release screening of the first episode, they realized the animation was mediocre. They worked hard to redo it, replacing 70 percent of the original content. After that slow start, the process got easier and the results got better. When the program completes its thirtieth season in 2019, it will have aired 669 episodes. I don’t know if your own burgeoning project will ultimately have as enduring a presence, Taurus, but I’m pretty sure that, like The Simpsons, it will eventually become better than it is in the early going. Stick with it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) The coming weeks

might be an interesting time to resurrect a frustrated dream you abandoned in a wasteland; or rescue and restore a moldering treasure you stopped taking care of a while back; or revive a faltering commitment you’ve been ignoring for reasons that aren’t very high-minded. Is there a secret joy you’ve been denying yourself

without good cause? Renew your relationship with it. Is there a rough prize you received before you were ready to make smart use of it? Maybe you’re finally ready. Are you brave enough to dismantle a bad habit that hampers your self-mastery? I suspect you are.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) The Hollywood film industry relies heavily on recycled ideas. In 2014, for example, only one of the ten top-grossing movies -- Interstellar -- was not a sequel, remake, reboot, or episode in a franchise. In the coming weeks and months, Cancerian, you’ll generate maximum health and wisdom for yourself by being more like Interstellar than like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and the six other top-ten rehashes of 2014. Be original! LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Long ago, in the land we now

call Italy, humans regarded Mars as the divine protector of fields. He was the fertility god who ripened the food crops. Farmers said prayers to him before planting seeds, asking for his blessings. But as the Roman Empire arose, and warriors began to outnumber farmers, the deity who once served as a kind benefactor evolved into a militant champion, even a fierce and belligerent conqueror. In accordance with current astrological omens, Leo, I encourage you to evolve in the opposite direction. Now is an excellent time to transmute aggressiveness and combativeness into fecundity and tenderness.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) You sometimes get

superstitious when life is going well. You worry about growing overconfident. You’re afraid that if you enjoy yourself too much, you will anger the gods and jinx your good fortune. Is any of that noise clouding your mood these days? I hope not; it shouldn’t be. The truth, as I see it, is that your intuition is extra-strong and your decision-making is especially adroit. More luck than usual is flowing in your vicinity, and you have an enhanced knack for capitalizing on it. In my estimation, therefore, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to build up your hunger for vivid adventures and bring your fantasies at least one step closer to becoming

concrete realities. Whisper the following to yourself as you drop off to sleep each night: “I will allow myself to think bigger and bolder than usual.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The bad news is that 60 percent of Nevada’s Lake Mead has dried up. The good news -- at least for historians, tourists, and hikers -- is that the Old West town of St. Thomas has re-emerged. It had sunk beneath the water in 1936, when the government built the dam that created the lake. But as the lake has shrunk in recent years, old buildings and roads have reappeared. I foresee a comparable resurfacing in your life, Libra: the return of a lost resource or vanished possibility or departed influence. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I hope the next seven weeks will be a time of renaissance for your most engaging alliances. The astrological omens suggest it can be. Would you like to take advantage of this cosmic invitation? If so, try the following strategies. 1. Arrange for you and each of your close companions to relive the time when you first met. Recall and revitalize the dispensation that originally brought you together. 2. Talk about the influences you’ve had on each other and the ways your relationship has evolved. 3. Fantasize about the inspirations and help you’d like to offer each other in the future. 4. Brainstorm about the benefits your connection has provided and will provide for the rest of the world. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Now is one of the rare times when you should be alert for the potential downsides of blessings that usually sustain you. Even the best things in life could require adjustments. Even your most enlightened attitudes and mature beliefs may have pockets of ignorance. So don’t be a prisoner of your own success or a slave of good habits. Your ability to adjust and make corrections will be key to the most interesting kind of progress you can achieve in the coming weeks. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Capricorn author

Simone de Beauvoir was a French feminist and activist. In her book A Transatlantic Love Affair, she

cial Early BreirupdyoSurpsyestem,



We will fi flow valve, check the back d s an adjust the head x. bo l ro nt co e th set




made a surprising confession: Thanks to the assistance of a new lover, Nelson Algren, she finally had her first orgasm at age 39. Better late than never, right? I suspect that you, too, are currently a good candidate to be transported to a higher octave of pleasure. Even if you’re an old pro at sexual climax, there may be a new level of bliss awaiting you in some other way. Ask for it! Seek it out! Solicit it!

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Can you afford to

hire someone to do your busy work for a while? If so, do it. If not, see if you can avoid the busy work for a while. In my astrological opinion, you need to deepen and refine your skills at lounging around and doing nothing. The cosmic omens strongly and loudly and energetically suggest that you should be soft and quiet and placid. It’s time for you to recharge your psychospiritual batteries as you dream up new approaches to making love, making money, and making sweet nonsense. Please say a demure “no, thanks” to the strident demands of the status quo, my dear. Trust the stars in your own eyes.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) I believe it’s a favorable time for you to add a new mentor to your entourage. If you don’t have a mentor, go exploring until you find one. In the next five weeks, you might even consider mustering a host of fresh teachers, guides, trainers, coaches, and initiators. My reading of the astrological omens suggests that you’re primed to learn twice as much and twice as fast about every subject that will be important for you during the next two years. Your future educational needs require your full attention.

Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.



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