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FREE EVERY WEDNESDAY | METRO OKC’S INDEPENDENT WEEKLY | APRIL 17, 2019

Mimosa madness Oklahoma Gazette goes to brunch. By Jacob Threadgill, P. 13

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INSIDE COVER P. 13 People have said for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but brunch is its fun, late-sleeping, day-drinking sibling. Let the mimosas flow as Oklahoma Gazette celebrates the joys of a perfect metro brunch.

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By Jacob Threadgill Cover by Tiffany McKnight Photos by Alexa Ace

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NEWS

Hate history

Oklahomans have witnessed racism, bigotry and its consequences, but more education is needed to prevent future hate crimes. By Miguel Rios

Oklahoma residents woke up to find racist, neo-Nazi, white nationalist graffiti twice in the last month. Additionally, posters and stickers of a “white identity” organization have been found — and removed — from various parts of the state, particularly at universities and high-traffic locations. But extreme far-right ideologies are nothing new, and they are actually thought to be a motivator behind the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. As Oklahoma commemorates the 24th anniversary of the bombing this week, some feel it is important to remember that white separatist and supremacist ideology has existed and will continue to exist without community and political leaders shutting it down.

Modern hate

Norman Police Department arrested a woman for the April 3 hate-filled graffiti in Norman, which included Nazi and white supremacist symbols and threats of violence against non-white people at Cleveland County Democratic headquarters, two churches, two public schools, two homes and an art center. Allison Johnson, 45, was charged with one felony and four misdemeanor counts of malicious injury to property and malicious intimidation or harassment. And that is just for her alleged actions in Cleveland County. One week earlier, she allegedly committed a similar hate crime at the Oklahoma Democratic Party headquarters and nearby Chickasaw Nation offices, spray-painting derogatory slurs and violent threats. She is expected to face more charges in Oklahoma County. “The second incident was actually scarier to me than the first incident; the first incident was upsetting. I could hardly believe it,” said Anna Langthorn,

chair of Oklahoma Democratic Party. “But I figured at that point, because we didn’t have all the information, that it was an isolated incident; that somebody had gotten upset, had gotten into some Facebook fight or something and had taken it out on us. But the second incident at the Cleveland County party was upsetting and made it clear that it was a pattern of behavior that was going to persist until the person was caught. And then finding out … that there had been other incidents at churches and people’s homes, so yeah it’s a pattern of behavior and it can escalate. It’s really scary to think that that’s the America we live in right now.” According to the Cleveland County Court affidavit obtained by Oklahoma Gazette, Johnson told officials her intention was to scare Jewish and non-white people, and she “spoke at length about her racist beliefs and her efforts to ‘wake people up.’” “A big part of it is our political climate and the way that we interact with each other,” Langthorn said. “There’s a lot of blame to lay at the seat of politicians and leadership, arguably on both sides, but I certainly believe that one party has promoted this kind of vitriol more than the other at the national level and at the local level. … Both the people who were targeted in the speech itself and the locations were communities that have, for the most part, already been marginalized or victimized in Oklahoma. ... The GOP headquarters wasn’t attacked. You know, Devon Tower or the Chamber of Commerce, people in Oklahoma who have power, didn’t experience that. It was people in Oklahoma who don’t have power that were targeted and victimized.” Dennis Purifoy, an OKC bombing survivor, said he worries that incidents like this could happen more often. “My fear is that right-wing nuts are going to take this as normal. This is normal that you have this spray-painted graffiti, racist and anti-Semitic and everything; this is normal that somebody goes into a mosque and shoots people,” he said, referring to recent shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. “Frankly, I don’t think this is going to change until [President Donald] Trump is out of office because he unwittingly stirs the pot.”

Far-right ideologies

Some time after the bombing, in looking for what could have motivated Timothy Dennis Purifoy, a survivor of the bombing, always reminds museum visitors that there is a good ratio of good guys to bad guys. | Photo Miguel Rios 4

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McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Purifoy began learning about far-right ideologies and the attackers who bought into them. “As we went through the trials, some of McVeigh and Nichols’ ideology came out, but you didn’t really get the full depth of it unless you read The Turner Diaries. It came out in the trial how important that book was. He was trying to get all his friends to read it,” he said. “They had ties [to far-right ideologies]; that was very important, but unless you really looked a little bit deeper than what was on the surface, you didn’t really get the connection. And unless you really looked at what all we think he believed, you don’t get the connection between that ideology and how that ideology has continued to-date.” Published in 1978, The Turner Diaries is a novel written by white supremacist and neo-Nazi William Pierce under the pen name Andrew Macdonald. It depicts the overthrow of the federal government and a race war that leads to the extermination of non-white people. “The whole point of it was a guy bombs the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., to precipitate a race war,” Purifoy said. “McVeigh had something like that in mind when he did what he did. He did a truck bomb just like in the book; there were just so many similarities.” FBI has even dubbed it the “bible of the racist right,” according to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). “The Turner Diaries reached its pinnacle of popularity in 1995, after it was widely reported that pages of the novel were found in a plastic baggie in McVeigh’s car shortly after the bombing that killed 168 people in Oklahoma

Friday marks the 24th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. | Photo Alexa Ace

City,” according to SPLC. “McVeigh, who sold copies of his favorite novel at gun shows across the country, later said that while he didn’t subscribe to the book’s racism, he was inspired by its ‘pro-gun rights’ message.” Though McVeigh never owned up to being a member of a white power organization, even his choice to bomb the Murrah Building came from an earlier white power movement plot. “Members of The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord (CSA), closely affiliated with The Order and Aryan Nations, had cased the Murrah Building and attempted to blow it up with rocket launchers back in 1983 but failed,” wrote U.S. history professor Kathleen Belew in Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, which explores the history of the white power movement in America.

Making connections

Purifoy continues to educate himself about far-right conspiracies, a major one being that Jewish people are plotting world domination by eradicating the world’s white population. “It’s important for people to understand that McVeigh and Nichols’ ideology was more than just kind of what we thought on the surface,” he said. “So, for example, when I see in the news that this nut sends pipe bombs to a lot of Democratic figures but also to George Soros, instead of just thinking, ‘Well, he’s just sending them to Democratic continued on page 6


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figures,’ I think, ‘It’s not just that; it’s that George Soros is Jewish.’ … Soros is a big figurehead to all the right-wing conspiracy people. So when [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy does a tweet about George Soros and a couple of other Jewish bankers, that means something. If he doesn’t intend it to be dog whistles or code, it’s taken that way by the right-wing, conspiracy theory-minded people.” Far-right conspiracy theories and ideologies are more readily available than ever because of the internet. Purifoy thinks it is important to speak up and call people out when they say racist, homophobic or offensive things because it emphasizes that such language is not acceptable. “It’s important for people to know that there is this strain in American life that was there before Nichols and McVeigh and that they bought into and it’s still there. We need to know about it so when we see on TV they’re shouting, ‘Jews will not replace us,’ we know what the hell they’re talking about,” Purifoy said about the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, Unite the Right rally. “They didn’t make that up; they all knew what they meant. If you know what they mean, you don’t just say, ‘Oh, it’s a bunch of guys in polos and khakis upset about a Confederate statue.’ No, there’s a lot more than that. If you don’t make those connections, these things seem random, and they’re not. You don’t have to know everything about what they believe. … You just have to know enough to know they’re repeating some stuff that Timothy McVeigh thought. If you know that kind of stuff, we can be a little bit more effective as a society in hopefully preventing some of these events.” Some people believe the answer to dealing with this kind of hatred is to ignore it and not share it, while others believe shining a light on it will help fight against it. “I understand both of those ideas, but I fall on the side of the latter that we

need to shine a light on it,” Purifoy said. “I’ll call out our senators and our congressmen to know more about it and to help educate people. … It’s not just good old neo-Nazism when they spray-paint or post stickers and all that stuff; it’s part of an ideology that we need to be aware of. I think [Gov.] Kevin Stitt and mayor [David] Holt should say that because it’s not being said and people are not getting the message.” Arie Kruglanski, a social psychologist and distinguished University of Maryland professor, studies the processes behind radicalization and terrorism. He said the two methods are not mutually exclusive, but preventative practices are most effective. “They’re seeking glory, they’re seeking martyrdom, they’re seeking attention. If you deny attention, that is one step towards depriving them of what they really want,” he said. “But the question is, How effective can it be? Because they’re well-known on the internet and they can publicize their own video. … You’ve got to find a way to show them that it’s not going to lead to significance, that people are not going to be paying attention, that people are likely to feel you are the opposite of important.”

Social psychology

The dynamics of radicalization are similar between white supremacists,

neo-Nazis and other terrorist groups, Kruglanski said. It is understood through three major components: need for significance, narrative and network. “The basic underlying need for radicalization is what we call the need for significance, the quest for significance; the quest of mattering, being somebody, having respect,” he said. “So for example, the woman [who allegedly spray-painted hateful graffiti] may have been angered by the fact that she was bullied or disparaged or humiliated wherever she was. She didn’t feel good about herself. In other cases, she could be recruited by being told that, as a white person, she has been given the short end of the stick; she has been exploited by immigrants, people of color, ethnic minorities that are now taking over, and therefore, she is humiliated.” Through these things, one could feel a loss of significance. Though Kruglanski said everybody feels that need for significance, most channel that in socially constructive ways that provide a sense of meaning. “Most of the cases that we dealt with were either people who are bullied at school or suffered some kind of humiliation and then they are exposed to a narrative that tells you, ‘You are right. You are humiliated. These are your enemies, and these enemies have to be fought and have to be humiliated themselves. We have to show them who has the power,’” Kruglanski said. “The third component is what we call the network. You’re surrounded by like-minded people that support the narrative. They say, ‘This is right. You got to believe it. This is the truth.’ They support one another, especially with the deviant groups such as the white supremacists, neo-Nazis or what have you that is outside the mainstream of society.” It is easier than ever to find a network that supports your narrative due to internet websites and forums. “In all the cases that we’ve seen, these three components play an important part,” Kruglanski said. “When the three come together, you have a combustible mixture that can lead people Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum hosts a remembrance ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Friday. | Photo Alexa Ace

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Admission to Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is free 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. | Photo Alexa Ace

to radicalize, to be violent, to attack others no matter who they are — women, children, the elderly — it doesn’t matter, because the end justifies the means.” Again, Kruglanski emphasized the need for preventative measures and the responsibility of those with a bully pulpit. “You’ve got to be sensitive to people’s desire to matter and to be respected. Calling immigrants rapists and criminals is offending people and causing the loss of significance that makes them vulnerable to a radicalizing ideology of one type or another,” Kruglanski said, referencing one of Trump’s earliest political speeches. “That also legitimizes this [white supremacist] attitude and … if the cause is legitimate, maybe it’s okay to also be violent in the service of this cause. … This legitimation that is also happening all over Europe — the rightwing parties that are xenophobic, are anti-immigrant, anti-refugees — has to be fought tooth and nail because it polarizes society, it breeds violence, it breeds radicalization.” Purifoy commends leaders who have denounced acts of white supremacy and police departments for taking things seriously but believes more can be done. He hopes more people will educate themselves about far-right ideologies so Oklahoma can be better suited to identify and prevent more acts of hate from happening. “This strain is going to be in our American life for years and years and years. It’s been there for years and years and years. Its been made worse because of the internet and how people can find other people who are like-minded,” he said. “But on the other hand, the internet is also a tool that people can use. You can Google white nationalist, white supremacist, you can Google The Turner Diaries.” Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum hosts a remembrance ceremony 8:45 a.m. Friday; museum admission is also free 10 a.m.-5 p.m. “Remember this: There was one guy that walked away from the bombing,” Purifoy said, “but there were hundreds of people that went into the building. That’s a pretty good ratio of good guys to bad guys.”


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One OKC

Ward 2’s newest councilman is breaking barriers, making history and representing those who have not felt represented in the past. By Miguel Rios

One of the newest city council members is making history and giving a voice to people who have gone without representation at the city level. Ward 2 councilman James Cooper is the first openly gay member of the council, first biracial representative, first black representative outside Ward 7 and the first teacher on the council in a long time. “You all built me 25 years ago when you set in motion the first MAPS vote; I am the MAPS generation,” he told a crowd after walking to City Hall. “ As your next Ward 2 city councilperson, I am going to honor the legacy of MAPS by making sure that the next 25 years are even stronger.” Freedom Oklahoma helped organize a walk to City Hall from the site of Oklahoma’s first gay bar, paying homage to Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official who led a similar procession in San Francisco, California, for his swearing-in. Many community members, Ward 2 constituents and local leaders walked behind Cooper and mayor David Holt, chanting and holding campaign signs. “I’m very happy. James is going to make an excellent city council person,” Aaron Wilder, who served as Cooper’s campaign manager, told Oklahoma Gazette. “He’s been my friend for eight years, and I just couldn’t be more excited. And I couldn’t be more excited about what it means for young gay kids to see his name in the paper.”

‘Representation matters’

Wilder once believed LGBTQ+ people could not truly live happy, fulfilled lives. “I was a gay kid that, when I was growing up, for whatever reason ... I didn’t

think that gay people could live happy, successful lives,” he said. “I didn’t think that gay people could grow up to be professionals. I thought that being gay — at least coming out — was like co-signing your life to, like, something really sad.” But in 2007, Wilder’s outlook changed completely. “I had never picked up a paper, never looked at the news, but for some reason, the light was shining just right and I saw Jim Roth’s name in The Oklahoman,” Wilder said. “He had just been appointed by Gov. [Brad] Henry to be statewide [corporation] commissioner. And they were talking about how he was openly gay and it was being celebrated. It wasn’t being derided, and that absolutely just changed my entire life.” Wilder said witnessing Roth celebrated as an openly gay politician saved his life. “They gave me hope; representation gives kids hope,” he said. “It absolutely saved my life, and James’ name in the paper is going to save people’s lives. It’s going to save little queer kids living in rural America; they’re going to know that there’s a safe place for them and they’re going to be OK.” Allie Shin, Freedom Oklahoma executive director, told the crowd that leaders like Roth, [district judge] Richard Ogden and Sen. Kay Floyd, all of whom were present, paved the path for Cooper. “Representation matters. We want to have a government that really looks like the people that they’re representing, and for so long, Oklahoma City has not had an LGBTQ council person,” Shin told Oklahoma Gazette. “It’s really difficult to make decisions on behalf of the community when you don’t have

the real understanding of what it’s like to be a member of that community. The election of James Cooper has really been an important step forward to making sure that we’re adequately represented by somebody who fully understands what’s happening.” In a previous interview with Oklahoma Gazette, Cooper recounted the moment he found out he won the election. He was in his Paseo Arts District apartment with his mother. “I just heard the news and looked at her and just lost it because it was this moment where it became very clear this was not what was intended for her,” he said. “We don’t come from money, we don’t have a recognizable family name, we’re not particularly well-connected. And there it was, the result of years of my mother finishing her GED and putting herself through nursing school and making sure that my sister and me had the opportunities that she did not. … This is my victory. It’s the volunteers who knocked on doors on my behalf. It’s the people who voted for me. And it’s for people like my mother.” She went on to swear him in on his first day as a city councilman.

Changing times

Holt’s speech at the end of the walk touched on the fact that City Hall has steadily become more inclusive. “If you gaze above me, you will see that the building is dedicated ‘to the people of Oklahoma City,’” he said. “There are some among us here today who are old enough to remember eras when the exceptions to ‘the people of Oklahoma City’ were so strictly enforced that they might as well have been chiseled on the ground and walls of City Hall. And through the decades ... we have chipped away at many of those exceptions and welcomed more and more of God’s people to this City Hall.” He emphasized Cooper’s accomplishments and great civic record and said


he had “a great heart for the people of Oklahoma City.” “I couldn’t help but also point out that it wasn’t that long ago — and everyone here is old enough to remember — when the LGBTQ community was told that it could not even hang banners on the street poles of Oklahoma City,” Holt said. “But tomorrow, we swear in the first openly LGBTQ member of the Oklahoma City Council. … We celebrate that accomplishment and that moment in our city’s history when things just don’t quite feel like they did before in a very, very good way. We also celebrate — I think it is worth noting — that James is the first African American elected to city council outside of Ward 7. But I really think, most importantly, we celebrate James because he’s awesome and we love him.” On the day of the walk, Cooper asked his college prep students what they wanted him to say in his closing speech. “The lesbian, the gay, the bisexual and trans students, do you know what they want?” he asked. “They want to be able to walk down those sidewalks without fear of violence, without fear of harassment, without hearing the sort of words that I heard almost every day of my childhood — literally almost every day — because I walked a little bit differently, I spoke a little bit differently.” Cooper has hope for the future because of the leadership he is serving alongside and because he stood on the shoulders of giants. “If I did not mention your name today, please know you have been the voice in my head that has counteracted all the awfulness I heard growing up. You were the light, and now I hope to be that light for you,” he said. “One OKC. E pluribus unum — out of many, one. We will do this, stay engaged, stay involved. This is our city; this is our time.” Community members walked behind James Cooper as they paid homage to a similar procession led by the late Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official. | Photo Alexa Ace

Palm Sunday & Easter Holy Week Services Guide

Christ the King Catholic Church 8005 Dorset Drive (1 block north of Wilshire halfway between Penn & May) https://ckokc.org

Palm Sunday

April 13th at 5 pm April 14 at 8 am, 10 am, 12:15 pm Seder Meal: April 13th at 6:30pm th

visit https://ckokc.org/seder for tickets

Holy Thursday

Mass of the Lord’s Supper April 18th at 7 pm

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament follows Mass until 12 Midnight

Good Friday

Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion

April 19th at 3 pm & 7 pm

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Mass April 20th at 8 pm

Easter Sunday Masses April 21st at 8 am, 10 am & 12:15 pm


chicken

friedNEWS

Scrappy Don’t

It’s a scenario worthy of The Wire, except with, you know, way more actual wires. Oklahoma City utilities officials and police officers are, according to a report by KOCO anchor Evan Onstot, “pulling their hair out” over what mayor David Holt called an “epidemic” of copper wiring theft that has disabled streetlights along sections of local streets and highways. “On one stretch of I-235,” Onstot reported, “a whopping 25,000 feet of copper wire was ripped out of light poles,” most likely to be sold illegally for scrap. Detective Scott Pope from Oklahoma City Police Department’s Metal Theft Unit told Onstot that deterrents including barbed wire fencing, alarms and video surveillance do not appear to prevent theft. In another report by KOKH’s Erika Stanish, OG&E spokesman Brian Alford said that more than 70,000 feet of copper has been stolen across the metro, in some cases by people wearing safety vests and hats. “You may notice what looks like a maintenance crew in the center median doing some work,” Alford said. “Well, what they may be are thieves in the process of stealing copper." Are these the “streetlight people … hiding, somewhere in the night?” Journey tried to warn us about in “Don’t Stop Believin’”? OG&E is replacing copper wiring with less valuable aluminum, and KOCO’s Erin Beu reported that nine people were arrested in a police sting operation designed to ensure that metal recyclers are operating in compliance with laws preventing them from buying the kind of wiring used in streetlights and cellphone towers. Beu failed to mention whether any of these undercover officers were themselves wearing a wire.

Icarus Exotic

In the pantheon of weird Oklahoma news, no one has flown higher than Joseph Allen Maldonando-Passage — the man most everyone knows as Joe Exotic — the openly gay Libertarian presidential and gubernatorial candidate who founded the Wynnewood zoo famous for allowing guests to play with lion-tiger hybrid cubs. Exotic’s unique persona has led to plenty of mentions in Chicken-Fried News over the years, but also plenty of national outlets like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the BBC and fans of two online shows shot from his own studio. Like Icarus flying too close to the sun, all of the attention made Exotic think he was invincible and likely led to his conviction on 19 felony counts earlier this month, including two for murder-for-hire charges and killing five tigers with a shotgun. “Here’s the problems with kings: They start to believe they are above the law,” assistant U.S. attorney Amanda Green said

in her closing arguments about Exotic, according to The Oklahoman. Exotic’s zoo, Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, was a longtime target for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other groups for its numerous animal rights violations. Lawsuits from Big Cat Rescue led to Exotic filing for bankruptcy and ultimately selling his zoo to Jeff Lowe while he remained its public face. Exotic was convicted of attempting to hire people to kill Carole Baskin, Big Cat Rescue’s CEO, one of whom was an undercover FBI agent. At trial, Exotic accused Lowe of concocting the murder-for-hire plot, despite the fact he was on tape promising $10,000 to kill Baskin. As Exotic and his trademark mullet are going behind bars for the next 20 years to life, we likely haven’t heard the last of the saga. The Oklahoman reports producers for Dateline NBC and the popular Netflix documentary Blackfish were among those taking notes at the trial. At least all of the at-

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tention Exotic generates going forward won’t result in the killing of tiger cubs and the attempted murder of another person.

Help needed

University of Oklahoma (OU) is looking for a director of payroll and employee services, and they only want the best of the best. OU has not had the best semester, having faced scandals left and right. But the university wants to move past its milquetoast responses to racism, pay inequity, layoffs and bad finances by hiring an immensely qualified person to handle payroll and employee services. Like, extremely qualified. Unrealistically qualified even. An Indeed posting for the job lists requirements like a degree or equivalent combination of education or job experience, which is pretty common for this type of university position. But if you are looking for a job at an institution that will probably screw you over if you are not a specific type of white man, do not get too excited yet. The Indeed listing also states that you will need “79 years in progressive payroll and timekeeping management” and 46 years “managing payroll for

10,000+ employees.” Do your retired grandparents need jobs? Tell them to skip this one. Okay, to be completely fair to OU (not that it particularly deserves it), it seems like the issue might actually lie with Indeed. The job listing on OU’s website lists the requirements as 7-9 and 4-6 years respectively. But the inconsistency is an issue in and of itself, so we will keep going. The Chicken-Fried News staff hates to speculate, but if the board of regents had the same high expectations for the president, OU might be in a better place than it is right now. Actually, nevermind. Who are we kidding? It would take a whole lot more than that to fix the ingrained and systemic racism, misogyny, mismanagement, abuse of power, gaslighting, intimidation tactics and retaliation.

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COV E R

EAT & DRINK

Brunch bible

From hangover cures to finding something different, brunch is the answer. By Jacob Threadgill

In Bonfire of the Vanities, author Tom Wolfe accurately describes waking up with a hangover as feeling like being “inside an egg with the shell peeled away and only the membranous sac holding it intact … and the yolk was as heavy as mercury.” It only makes sense that a hangover’s best cure is a marathon brunch meal at one of the metro area’s many options. It’s pretty much the Olympics of eating between sweet and savory, but there’s nothing like the yolk of a runny egg enveloping a meal.

Fancy

Since opening in Nichols Hills Plaza last year, Osteria, the concept of local chef Jonathon Stranger and Fabio Viviani of Top Chef fame, has become one of the metro area’s breakout successes. Osteria added lunch and full weekend brunch service at the start of 2019 with dishes like Chelsea’s Cinnamon Roll Supreme that features macerated berries, caramel cream and pecan pralines and a breakfast pizza with eggs, potato and ’nduja, an Italian sausage. Stranger and Viviani will partner again with Bar Cicchetti in Deep Deuce later this year. Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge offers an Easter brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday with a three-course prix-fixe meal that includes a choice of appetizer like a warm ham and cheese scone or buttermilk panna cotta with an entrée like shrimp and grits, ham steak or avocado toast and dessert of angel food cake or flourless cake for $38. Reservations are encouraged. Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse 4923 N. Broadway Ave. broadway10okc.com | 405-212-3949 Café Cuvée 1200 N. Walker Ave. cafecuvee.com | 405-898-8120 Cheever’s Cafe 2409 N. Hudson Ave. cheeverscafe.com | 405-525-7007 Ember Modern American Tavern 6300 Waterford Blvd. embertavern.com | 405-858-2490 Kitchen No. 324 324 N. Robinson Ave. kitchen324.com | 405-763-5911

Flint 15 N. Robinson Ave. flintokc.com | 405-605-0657 The Drake Seafood & Oysterette 519 NW 23rd St., Suite 111 thedrakeokc.com | 405-605-3399 Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge 900 W. Main St. maryeddysokc.com | 405-982-6960 The Hutch on Avondale 6437 Avondale Drive, Nichols Hills hutchokc.com | 405-842-1000 Fancy That 215 E. Main St., Norman fancythat.us | 405-307-0541 La Baguette Bistro 7408 N. May Ave. labaguettebistro.com 405-840-3047 Osteria 6430 Avondale Drive, Nichols Hills osteriaokc.com | 405-254-5058 The Pritchard 1749 NW 16th St. pritchardokc.com | 405-601-4067 Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails 607 NW 28th St. eatatscratch.com | 405-602-2302 132 W. Main St., Norman 405-801-2900 Stella Modern Italian Cuisine 1201 N. Walker Ave. stella-okc.com | 405-235-2200 Redrock Canyon Grill 9221 Lake Hefner Parkway redrockcanyongrill.com 405-749-1995 Park Avenue Grill 1 Park Ave. skirvinhilton.com | 405-702-8444 Packard’s New American Kitchen 201 NW 10th St. packardsokc.com | 405-605-3771 West 6714 N. Western Ave., Nichols Hills westbar.com | 405-607-4072

Boozy

The Banquet Cinema Pub is becoming a gathering place, even if you don’t have tickets to a showing of one of its first-run major release, independent or classic movies. On weekends, it offers special cocktails and a brunch menu where the

Motor City Breakfast ($9.50) — a Detroitstyle pan pizza with bacon, sausage, egg and maple syrup — is its most popular item. Brunch is an everyday affair at Social Deck + Dining with a drink menu built around fun cocktails and plenty of sparkling wine. With a focus on local, organic and sustainable ingredients, it offers items like eggs Benny made with Ora King salmon cakes and chilaquiles with black beans, avocado and a sunny-side-up egg. Black Walnut 100 NE Fourth St. facebook.com/blackwalnutokc 405-445-6273 The Banquet Cinema Pub 800 NW Fourth St. banquetcinema.com Blu 201 S. Crawford Ave., Norman gldining.com/blu | 405-360-4258 The Boom! 2218 NW 39th St. theboomokc.com | 405-601-7200 Cafe 501 5825 NW Grand Blvd. cafe501.com | 405-844-1501 501 S. Boulevard, Edmond 405-359-1501 Eatery and Cocktail Office @ The Union 616 NW Fifth St. theunionokc.com | 405-601-2857 En Croûte 6460 Avondale Drive encrouteokc.com | 405-607-6100 Deep Deuce Grill 307 NE Second St. deepdeucebarandgrillokc.com 405-235-9100 Hatch Early Mood Food 1101 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 100 hatchokc.com | 405-609-8936 13230 Pawnee Drive 405-286-2974 Hefner Grill 9201 Lake Hefner Parkway hefnergrill.com | 405-748-6113 The Jones Assembly 901 W. Sheridan Ave. thejonesassembly.com | 405-212-2378 Lumpy’s Sports Grill 5909 Northwest Expressway lumpyssportsgrill.com 405-728-7000 12325 N. May Ave. | 405-286-3300 The Manhattan OKC 210 Park Ave., Suite 150 themanhattanokc.com 405-605-5300 McClintock’s Saloon & Chop House 2227 Exchange Ave. mcclintocksaloon.com 405-232-0151 The Mule 1630 N. Blackwelder Ave. themuleokc.com | 405-601-1400 Ned’s Starlite Lounge 7301 N. May Ave. nedsstarlitelounge.com 405-242-6100 Nic’s Place Diner and Lounge 1116 N. Robinson Ave. facebook.com/nicsplacediner andlounge | 405-601-9234

Oak & Ore 1732 NW 16th St. oakandore.com | 405-606-2030 Pearl’s Oyster Bar 5641 N. Classen Blvd. pearlsokc.com | 405-848-8008 Power House 1228 SW Second St. powerhouseokc.com | 405-702-0699 Pub W 3720 W. Robinson St., Norman pubdub.com | 405-701-5844 The Pump Bar 2425 N. Walker Ave. pumpbar.net | 405-702-8898 The R&J Lounge and Supper Club 320 NW 10th St. rjsupperclub.com | 405-602-5066 S&B’s Burger Joint multiple metro locations sandbburgers.com | 405-843-8777 Sergio’s Italian Bistro 104 E. Gray St., Norman sergiositalianbistro.com 405-573-7707 Social Deck + Dining 1933 NW 23rd St. besocialokc.com | 405-602-8705 Sunnyside Diner 916 NW Sixth St. eatatsunnyside.com | 405-778-8861 824 SW 89th St. | 405-703-0011 9148 N. MacArthur Blvd. 405-722-8262 VZD Restaurant & Bar 4200 N. Western Ave. vzds.com | 405-602-3006 Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar 1845 Northwest Expressway whiskeycake.com | 405-582-2253 Whiskey Biscuit Bar & Grill 322 NW Second St. whiskeybiscuitokc.com 405-673-7944

Relaxed

Now with two locations, one in Bricktown and another on Film Row, Stitch expands where Okay Yeah Co. left off by offering high-quality coffee and ethically sourced and sustainable food built around toasts, sandwiches, smoothies and full entrées for dinner. Aurora Breakfast, Bar & Backyard is expanding its hours to include dinner, but its early morning offerings like vegan tacos, overnight oats and a burger made with local beef are what put it on the map. If you’re in the mood for soul food, Bistro 46 offers a popular Sunday buffet that has a line that can extend for an hour, but it’s worth the wait.

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EAT & DRINK

Preservation Oklahoma is proud to advocate for the places where Oklahoma history lives.

continued from page 13

COV E R

Oklahoma City is full of rich history with iconic structures that are worth saving.

RJ Edwards House

First Christian Church

Fire Station #10

Help preserve Oklahoma City's historic structures by visiting preservationok.org/advocate @PreservationOK #PastToTheFuture

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Aurora Breakfast, Bar & Backyard 1704 NW 16th St. shinewithaurora.com 405-609-8854 Beverly’s Pancake House 3315 Northwest Expressway 405-848-5050 Bistro 46 Restaurant & Grille 2501 NE 23rd St. bistro46okc.com 405-595-3904 Bourbon Street Cafe 100 E. California Ave. bourbonstreetcafe.com 405-232-6666 Brielle’s Bistro 9205 NE 23rd St. briellesbistro.com | 405-259-8473 Brent’s Cajun Seafood & Oyster Bar 3005 S. Broadway Ave., Edmond brentscajunseafood.com 405-285-0911 Buttermilk 605 NW 28th St., Suite A buttermilkokc.com | 405-605-6660 Cattlemen’s Steakhouse 1309 S. Agnew Ave. cattlemensrestaurant.com 405-236-0416 Carol’s Kitchen 2620 Classen Blvd., Suite 101, Norman carolskitchennorman.com 405-310-3389 Classen Grill 5124 N. Classen Blvd. 405-842-0428 Coffee Slingers Roasters 1015 N. Broadway Ave. coffeeslingers.com 405-609-1662 The Diner 213 E. Main St., Norman 405-329-6642 Eggington’s 737 W. Danforth Road, Edmond eggingtons.com | 405-285-1580 Elemental Coffee Roasters 815 N. Hudson Ave. elementalcoffee.com | 405-633-1703 Falcone’s 6705 N. May Ave. bestpizzaokc.com | 405-242-2222 Florence’s Restaurant 1437 NE 23rd St. florences.restaurant | 405-427-3663 Good Gravy! Diner 8014 N. Western Ave. 405-761-8886 Guyutes 730 NW 23rd St. guyutes.com | 405-702-6960 The Hash Retro Diner 1149 E. Second St., Edmond facebook.com/hrdedmond 405-471-6747 Hungry Frog Restaurant 1101 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 405-524-0686 HunnyBunny Biscuit Co. 429 NW 23rd St. hunnybunnybiscuitco.com 405-605-4395

Ingrid’s 3701 N. Youngs Blvd. ingridsok.com | 405-946-8444 Jeff’s Country Cafe 3401 N. Classen Blvd. 405-524-2023 Jimmy’s Round-Up Café 1301 SW 59th St. jimmysroundupcafe.com | 405-685-1177 Joey’s Cafe 12325 N. May Ave. joeyscafeok.com | 405-748-5878 Jim’s Diner 7950 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany 405-495-5105 Kamp’s 1910 Cafe 10 NE 10th St. kamps1910cafe.net | 405-230-1910 Katie’s Country Griddle 229 S. Santa Fe Ave., Edmond 405-359-6372 Kitchen at Commonplace Books 1325 N. Walker Ave., Suite 138 commonplacebooksokc.com 405-534-4540 La Baguette Deep Deuce 100 NE Fourth St. 405-445-6272 Louie’s Grill & Bar multiple metro locations louiesgrillandbar.com 405-348-2288 Legend’s Restaurant 1313 W. Lindsey St., Norman legendsrestaurant.com 405-329-8888 The Lokal Yukon 10 W. Main Street, Yukon thelokalyukon.com | 405-494-9870 Mama Carol’s Kitchen 636 N. Broadway St., Moore mamacarols.com | 405-735-1548 Miller Grill 326 Elm Ave., Yukon 405-265-2775 Neighborhood JA.M. 15124 Lleytons Court, Edmond thatsmyjamokc.com | 405-242-4161 102 W. Main St., Norman 405-310-2127 Old School Bagel Cafe multiple metro locations oldschoolbagelcafe.com 405-778-8938 The Press 1610 N. Gatewood Ave. thepressokc.com | 405-208-7739 Rise & Shine Café 1501 N. Santa Fe Ave., Suite 108, Edmond 405-285-5898 Stitch 229 E. Sheridan Ave. stitchokc.com | 405-652-1322 835 W. Sheridan Ave., Suite 100 405-212-2346 Sherri’s Diner 704 SW 59th St. 405-634-4796 Stray Dog Cafe 6722 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany 405-470-3747 syrup. 123 E. Main St., Norman syrupbreakfast.com | 405-701-1143


The Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities Division 1501 NW 23rd St. 405-601-1354 Sunny Side Up 110 SE 19th St., Moore ssuok.com | 405-793-2450 Shartel Cafe 5116 N. Shartel Ave. shartelcafeokc.com | 405-843-0900 Waffle Champion 1212 N. Walker Ave., Suite 100 wafflechampion.com 405-525-9235 The Winston 110 W. Main St., Norman thewinston.com | 405-561-7616

Something different

Chae Cafe & Eatery offers brunch all day every day as well as many of the items from popular and now-closed Chae Modern Korean. It blends the U.S. tradition of brunch with Korean flavors like the short rib Benedict that has the sweet and spicy notes of gochujang. OSO on Paseo has cornered the market on Baja tiki cocktails that are the perfect complement to its brunch menu that includes organic breakfast tacos, tater tot hash with sofrito hollandaise and churro French toast. Kwan’s Kitchen and Grand House each offer dim sum service on the weekends. Aja Bleu Café and Takeaway 2222 W. Hefner Road, Suite A 405-607-0553 Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes 1000 N. Hudson Ave. barriosmexicanokc.com 405-702-6922 Big Truck Tacos 530 NW 23rd St. bigtrucktacos.com | 405-525-8226 Birrieria Diaz 6700 NW 39th St., Bethany facebook.com/birriaok 405-603-1304 Bistro B 1620 SW 89th St. facebook.com/bistrobokc 405-735-6358 Cafe Antigua 1903 N. Classen Blvd. facebook.com/cafeantigua1 405-602-8984 Café do Brasil 440 NW 11th St. cafedobrazilokc.com | 405-525-9779 Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine 3325 N. Classen Blvd. cafekacao.com | 405-602-2883 Chae Cafe & Eatery 7300 N. Western Ave.

chaeokc.com | 405-840-7725 Creperie & European Café 2839 S. Douglas Boulevard, Midwest City 405-455-1474 Cultivar Mexican Kitchen 714 N. Broadway Ave. cultivarmexican.com 405-610-2676 Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria 5801 N. Western Ave. flipswinebar.com | 405-843-1527 Grand House Asian Bistro 2701 N. Classen Blvd. grandhouseokc.com | 405-524-7333 Green Chile Kitchen 12 E. Main St., Yukon greenchilekitchen.com 405-265-4346 Hacienda Tacos 12086 N. May Ave. haciendatacos.com | 405-254-3140 El Huevo Mexi-Diner 3522 24th Ave., Norman elhuevomexidiner.com 405-310-3157 Iguana Mexican Grill 9 NW Ninth St. iguanamexicangrill.com 405-606-7172 Kwan’s Kitchen 3031 W. Memorial Road kwans.kitchen | 405-607-8838 La Brasa 1310 NW 25th St. labrasaokc.com | 405-524-2251 La Oaxaqueña Bakery 741 SW 29th St. laoaxaquenabakeryokc.com 405-635-0442 The Loaded Bowl 1211 SW Second St. theloadedbowlokc.com 405-820-9599 Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen 9219 Lake Hefner Drive mamaroja.com | 405-302-6262 OSO on Paseo 603 NW 28th St. osopaseo.com | 405-309-8226 Picasso Cafe 3009 Paseo St. picassosonpaseo.com 405-602-2002 Pizzeria Gusto 2415 N. Walker Ave. pizzeria-gusto.com | 405-437-4992 The Red Cup 3122 N. Classen Blvd. theredcupokc.com | 405-525-3430 Revolucíon 916 NW Sixth St. revolucionokc.com | 405-606-6184 The Wedge Pizzeria 4709 N. Western Ave. thewedgepizzeria.com 405-602-3477 230 NE First St. | 405-270-0660

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REVIEW

EAT & DRINK

Breakfast breakout

Neighborhood JA.M. delivers on its breakout status as a popular breakfast and brunch destination. By Jacob Threadgill

Neighborhood JA.M. 15124 Lleytons Court thatsmyjamok.com | 405-242-4161

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WHAT WORKS: The hash browns are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

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Lines out the door on a weekend can be a common sight, especially at some of the metro’s most popular brunch concepts like Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine, Hatch Early Mood Food and Sunnyside Diner, and having to put your name on the waitlist at Neighborhood JA.M. is becoming a near-certainty, even during the week. Since opening the initial concept in 2017, Neighborhood JA.M. has become a breakout success for Hal Smith Restaurant Group with a second location in Norman, a Tulsa location opening in April and a Midtown Oklahoma City spot tentatively slated for early 2020. “This past Sunday, we had 203 names on the wait list,” said Michael Kraft, general manager at the original 15124 Lleytons Court location and the son of Hal Smith COO Hank Kraft. “We seat about 30 names per hour, so that’s about a five-and-a-half-hour wait. It’s kind of ridiculous, honestly.” The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but Yelp users are able to virtually stand in line through its mobile app. “You can be at home, at church, and by the time you get out, your table will be close to ready,” Kraft said, who noted that the restaurant has used its waitlist every day since opening. The inspiration for the popular ev-

eryday breakfast concept came from Kraft while he was a student at University of Mississippi. He left for school before Oklahoma City had dedicated breakfast restaurants like Hatch and Sunnyside, and fell in love with Big, Bad, Breakfast (BBB) in Oxford, Mississippi. “I told [my dad] that we haven’t done breakfast and I think we should do a breakfast place,” Kraft said. “BBB has a diner feel, but everything is made from scratch; they make their own meats and locally source everything. [Oklahoma City] didn’t have anything like that Monday through Friday. BBB was a massive influence foodwise, but we like to travel to places like Denver, Los Angeles or Asheville and see brunch places like BBB. The food wasn’t as good, but they were big and vibrant. We needed to put the two together.” It just so happens that both Kraft and I are both Ole Miss graduates. BBB holds a special place in my heart, and I was recently sitting at Neighborhood JA.M. thinking that it reminded me a lot of BBB, but brighter and with a more balanced menu that includes both healthy and indulgent options. Kraft said JA.M.’s most popular items include the hot jam biscuit ($9.75), which puts jalapeño peach jam, fried chicken, bacon and cheese on a housemade biscuit. They have a dedicated kitchen spot to turn out biscuits for 10 hours each day just to keep up with demand. Another popular item is The Heap ($10.75), two orders of hash browns covered in cheese and your choice of meat, eggs, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, cilantro and biscuits or toast. “I think that’s one of the best values


A Third Wheel order at Neighborhood JA.M. with Looney Cakes, lemon poppy and Prom Cakes and an order of hash browns. | Photo Jacob Threadgill

on the menu because you’re getting a lot for what you’re paying,” Kraft said. JA.M.’s hash browns are perfect. It can be easy to burn them or turn them into mush, but they have a soft, almost mashed potato-like interior and are crisped in clarified butter on each side and well-seasoned with garlic and other spices. I understand why The Heap is one of its most popular items.

We see people habitually; we see some people three or four times per week. Michael Kraft The menu also includes six types of eggs Benedict, eight types of sandwiches, steak and eggs, breakfast tacos and burritos, omelets, pancakes and a section that includes six health-conscious items. BBB is one my favorite restaurants in Oxford, a town with a lot of good restaurants, but outside granola and oatmeal, it doesn’t offer many items packed with nutrients. It makes it hard to go very often. I think JA.M.’s well-executed Neighborhood Watch portion of the menu is key to its popularity. “We see people habitually; we see some people three or four times per week,” Kraft said. “They might be coming in on business meetings and then bring family on the weekend. You’re likely only going to go to Redrock [Canyon Grill, another Hal Smith property] once per week if you a big fan, and that’s a lot. You can get granola and orange juice and be on your way.” On a recent visit to Neighborhood JA.M. on a Monday around 10:30 a.m., hoping to avoid a huge crowd between

peak breakfast and lunch hours, I still arrived to find a near-capacity restaurant. I started my meal with a chai latte, which delivered the cardamom, allspice and cinnamon notes for which I was looking. Kraft takes pride in the fact that every JA.M. employee goes through extensive coffee training and said he recently returned from El Salvador to check out the restaurant’s upcoming coffee crop for the season. I ordered the Third Wheel ($12), which allows you to mix and match three of its varieties of pancakes. I got the Looney Cakes, which are a version of carrot cake topped with candied pecans, cream cheese frosting and powdered sugar. I rounded it out with lemon poppy cakes and Prom Cakes, which are granola and oatmeal pancakes topped with bananas, more granola and nuts. My favorite of the bunch were the Looney Cakes because I felt it had the most to offer from texture and flavor profile standpoint, but the lemon poppy cakes were refreshing and the Prom Cakes had a nice crunch. JA.M. also offers a special pancake feature each week. After an indulgent breakfast, I ordered the quinoa power bowl ($12.50) to-go to balance out the day. I thought it was a very nice salad packed with a ton of nutritious items like roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, green apples, roasted Campari tomatoes, red bell pepper, kale and avocado. Fresh mint really brought the dish together when paired with the honey yogurt vinaigrette. I was skeptical of anyone waiting for hours to eat at Neighborhood JA.M., but after finally getting a chance to check it out, I’ll be checking in from Yelp just to secure a table on the weekend.

Neighborhood JA.M. opened its first location in October 2017. | Photo Josh McCullock / provided

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GAZEDIBLES

EAT & DRINK

Bold Benedicts

Eggs Benedict traces its origins to the request of a Wall Street broker at New York City’s famous Waldorf Astoria hotel in the late 19th century. A lot has changed for this traditional brunch staple, and these seven restaurants offer their take on a classic. By Jacob Threadgill with photos provided and file

Cheever’s Cafe

Pizzeria Gusto

Rococo Restaurant & Bar

In a city full of fantastic chicken-fried steaks, Cheever’s has one of the best, and it comes topped with a fried egg, red chile hollandaise and avocado on the Cowgirl Benedict. You can also get a different kind of Benedict with a masa vallo con huevos, which puts shrimp risotto on crispy masa cakes, poached eggs, pico de gallo, salsa verde and ancho chile cream.

Sit out in Gusto’s nice patio area and enjoy its Benedict, which substitutes the classic English muffin for a vibrant focaccia. Choose between smoked salmon, crispy pork belly, fried chicken or roasted mushrooms with spinach, hollandaise and poached eggs and a side of rosemary potatoes.

Rococo offers offer a brunch buffet at its Northpark location, but you’ll get a much more intimate affair at the original location on Pennsylvania Avenue, which offers traditional Benedict, a version with its famous crab cake and another that serves house-cured salmon in a brine of molasses, salt, pepper and basil before it’s cold-smoked and put on an English muffin.

2409 N. Hudson Ave. cheeverscafe.com | 405-525-7007

LUNCH & DINNER ON THE PATIO

WEDNESDAY BURGER NIGHT

2415 N. Walker Ave. pizzeria-gusto.com | 405-437-4992

2824 N. Pennsylvania Ave. loverococo.com | 405-528-2824

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Hefner Grill

Hatch Early Mood Food

9201 Lake Hefner Parkway hefnergrill.com | 405-748-6113

With a nice view of Lake Hefner and a mimosa in hand, there are few better brunch settings than Hefner Grill. They offer traditional eggs Benedict on housemade biscuits, but the Southern Benedict tops corn cakes with fried green tomatoes, smoked ham, hollandaise and guacamole.

Benedicts occupy an entire section on Hatch’s menu with six options from which to choose. The Tuscan Anne features prosciutto, cream cheese hollandaise and balsamic glaze. The Southwest Royale tops sourdough with ham, chorizo, peppers, onions, smoked cheddar hollandaise and pepper jelly. The Benedict Jonny uses a crispy griddle cake as a base for braised pork, chipotle hollandaise and chorizo.

Sunnyside Diner

Golf Club Diner

Sunnyside offers three versions of Benedict, including a green chili and chorizo version over a biscuit that will wake you up in the morning, but if you’re looking for something a little less spicy but just as flavorful, go with the California variety that puts roasted turkey, spinach and tomatoes on a biscuit.

The only traditional Benedict on the list is also one of the city’s best deals where you can get a full breakfast for $9, and on Wednesdays, it is served with a side and a drink for $5.95. Even with such a good deal, the hollandaise is made from scratch with the perfect blend of white wine and lemon juice. The diner offers other variations on the Benedict, but it’s hard to beat the original.

916 NW Sixth St. eatatsunnyside.com | 405-778-8861

4491 S. Lake Hefner Drive 405-843-1565

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ART

ARTS & CULTURE

Bison rising

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum explores the story of America’s official mammal. By Matthew Price

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Ancient. Massive. Wild. — The Bison Exhibit tells the story of the bison in a 7,000 square-foot exhibit that chronicles both the animal’s near-extinction and its recovery. “We talk about conservation — why is it important to exist in a symbiotic world?” said Eric Singleton, curator of ethnology at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. “Once you overpopulate or once you destroy a certain creature, you don’t understand, like walking on a razor’s edge, how finetuned our environment is. When you disrupt one thing, it can have pretty significant ramifications, so that’s a point of discussion in the exhibition.” The bison exhibit is an expansion of a National Buffalo Foundation exhibit, which updated a traveling exhibit by National Endow ment for the Humanities that toured from 2010 to 2015. Singleton said the museum’s expansion of its bison content was essential to its education efforts. “What we saw was a bigger opportunity to enhance that exhibition,” Singleton said. “The bison is an American icon and a staple of our community and the American West, so we added a very significant and large art component to

depicting bison show the creature’s power and majesty. Artists featured in this exhibit include Robert Macfie Scriver, John Ford Clymer, Karl Ferdinand Wimar and Frederic Remington. “This is a show that is about bison, not necessarily people,” Singleton said. But people’s use of the bison and artistic representation of the bison are part of how the story is told. “I think 95 percent of the rest of the show comes from our own collection,” he said. “We started diving into the collection and started saying, ‘What stories are we going to tell?’”

The destruction of the bison didn’t just impact the Native people. It impacted the Great Plains. Eric Singleton Those stories are a fully integrated part of the American West, according to museum president and CEO Natalie Shirley. “No creature more thoroughly embodies the West than the American

the bison as a food source and source of supplies and shelter.

Decline and fall

“There is a big headline that just talks about the destruction of the bison,” Singleton said. “[The decline] happened so quickly that you have the loss of millions upon millions of bison in the late 1800s, which is a really sad tale.” The bison’s fate was nearly sealed permanently by the desire of many in power to rid the plains of the animal, which they thought would force Native Americans onto reservations. An 1873 economic depression did even more to drive up the mortality rate of bison. “A lot of that is wrapped up in the government’s Indian policy and how the government, point-blank, said, ‘The faster we get rid of the bison, the sooner we’ll tie off the Native American problem,’ is how they phrased it,” Singleton said. “So it’s really rooted to commercialism, economics, but also just the attempt to destroy Native people.” The drop in population of the bison was precipitous. It went from 30 million to 1,000 in a 30- to 40-year period, Singleton said. “That story is told. We don’t shy away from it, but we also talk … conservation efforts and attempts to bring the bison back,” he said. Some people at the time pointed out the potential problems with killing off bison in such large numbers. “There were people at the time, even in the 1880s, saying, ‘This is a bad thing. This is not good,’” Singleton said. “But as we all know, once the government and the population gets running, it’s just hard to stop that. But there were conservation efforts back in the day.”

Bison return “Buffalo Hunt” by Bear’s Heart | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided

this as well as a children’s gallery and educational suite. And then we partnered with the Oklahoma City Thunder to incorporate Rumble into the exhibition as mascot and icon for our local community. So it has a lot of depth to it.” Paintings, photographs and sculptures

bison,” Shirley said in a news release about the exhibition. It showcases that embodiment in many forms. “It’s talking about how much the bison and buffalo impacted the United States,” Singleton said, noting that Native Americans and those who came from Europe and other lands relied on

In 1894, the first federal legislation was enacted protecting the bison. Both conservation groups and private ranchers have worked since then to increase the number of bison. There are now approximately 500,000 bison in North America. In 2016, President Barack Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act, making the American bison the national mammal. “A lot of it is understanding that we live in a symbiotic relationship with ev-

“The Sign of the Buffalo Scout” by Frederic Remington | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided

erything around us,” Singleton said. “The destruction of the bison didn’t just impact the Native people. It impacted the Great Plains. You see the invasiveness of new grasses; the bison had basically tempered that and kept certain aspects of the environment in check. That’s why the Great Plains were the Great Plains.” One of the most famous bison, albeit an anthropomorphic one, is Oklahoma City Thunder’s mascot, Rumble. The museum and the sports organization were able to build a partnership to benefit the bison exhibit. Items celebrating Oklahoma City Thunder and Rumble the Bison, including a Thunder drum, T-shirt cannon and a wall-sized comic book titled The Story of Rumble, are on display. Singleton said the Thunder organization has been wonderful to work with. “They’re so community-oriented, and they’ve been so friendly and hospitable. It’s just been great to work with them,” Singleton said. “It came about as a natural evolution of two organizations within a community. … They’ve been so gracious, it’s been unbelievable.” Rumble appeared at the opening of the exhibition Feb. 9 and is set to visit or be part of other activities slated for the exhibition’s run. More than 40 bison-related programs are scheduled to enhance the learning opportunities in connection with the exhibition. Handson features include the ability to touch bison hides and feel beadwork. “[The exhibit explores] the various themes and ways in which they’ve been incorporated as symbol and mascot and icon,” Singleton said. “So I think there’s a little something for everyone. It’s kidfriendly and it’s adult-friendly. It’s art and it’s history.” Visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Ancient. Massive. Wild. — The Bison Exhibit through May 12 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St. nationalcowboymuseum.org | 405-478-2250 Free-$12.50

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T H E AT E R

ARTS & CULTURE

Romantic subtext

OU theater students explore the intricate subtext of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. By Jeremy Martin

William Shakespeare, scholars estimate, wrote Twelfth Night, or What You Will between 1601 and 1602. Drama students at University of Oklahoma will soon help him finish it. “A play as written on the page is not a finished product,” said associate performance professor Alissa Mortimer, who serves as director for the university’s upcoming production, “because whatever time period you’re living in and whatever company that brings the play to life has to find their own sensibility about the material anyway, whether it’s Shakespeare, whether it’s been around 500 years, whether it was just written last year. And so I think we just enjoyed being able to bring out the possible other layers that may or may not have been intended originally but seem like they spring easily from the text and can add additional layers to the story without distracting from its original intention.” The university’s production of Twelfth Night runs April 26-May 4 at Weitzenhoffer Theatre, 563 Elm Ave., in Norman. Some of the possible layers suggested in Shakespeare’s romantic comedy seem strikingly modern. Shipwrecked in a strange land, the play’s protagonist Viola decides to disguise herself as a man, setting off a series of misunderstandings and creating confrom left University of Oklahoma students Alexis Pudvan and Bryan Lewis rehearse for Twelfth Night, scheduled to run April 26-May 4 at OU’s Weitzenhoffer Theatre in Norman. | Photo Sandra Bent / provided

fused love triangles for male and female characters. “I think there are several elements that people relate to,” Mortimer said. “It is about unrequited love and the sort of foibles in the way humans handle love, and I think that’s pretty relatable, even to a modern audience. I think the idea of pining for someone that you can’t have for variety of reasons is relatable. The idea of how fickle people can be about love, that their passions go one direction for a while and then turn and go another direction, in this play often to comic effect, is something that I think audiences enjoy.”

The layers of complication are pretty fun. Alissa Mortimer Thinking that her twin brother Sebastian was killed in the shipwreck, Viola attempts to navigate the unfamiliar territory of Illyria disguised as a young man named Cesario. Orsino, the duke of Illyria, enlists Cesario/Viola to romance Olivia on the duke’s behalf, but Olivia falls in love with Cesario instead. Mortimer said Viola is one of her favor-

ite characters in Shakespeare. The director considered several factors when she cast junior performance major Alexis Pudvan in the role. “Viola has a lot of heart,” Mortimer said. “She’s very smart, and she’s very quick. I think people enjoy watching her, especially in disguise. … I felt like I needed an actor who was witty and quick and also balanced that out by having a lot of emotional availability, so I needed an actress who could who could access emotional vulnerability as well as sharp wit.” While unsuccessfully romancing Olivia for the duke, Viola falls in love with Orsino. If that sounds confusing, consider that the all-male acting companies that would have been performing the play when it was written added a further level of obfuscation. “In Shakespeare’s day, you would have had a boy playing a female role that’s dressing up like a boy, so the layers of complication are pretty fun,” Mortimer said. In the present day, Olivia’s attraction to Viola disguised as Cesario and Viola’s relationship with the duke — as well as the close friendship between Viola’s brother Sebastian and Antonio, the sea captain who rescues him — can suggest other layers, as well. “I have several students who are nonbinary or gender-fluid, and I think they’re interested in the exploration,” Mortimer said. “I think there’s also the possibility of same-sex romance in the play that is implied, or at least a modern audience hears the implication, whether it was originally intended or not, between Sebastian and Antonio. And so that’s generated some interesting conversation with the actors. … There are two theories about these kinds of characters in Shakespeare where you have two, in this case, male characters expressing what sounds like passionate love for each other. One of the theories is that in Elizabethan times and earlier, male, platonic friendship was actually prized as the highest and perhaps the purest form of love, and so some scholars argue that there wasn’t meant to be a sexual connotation to that love. But when Antonio says, ‘But come what may, I do adore thee so,’ that sounds to a modern audience like romantic love or sexual love.

Some people think that perhaps that was a nod or a wink towards same-sex romance, and some people do not. That’s up for debate.” For this production, Mortimer said she and the students decided to play these scenes with a romantic subtext. “We did, I think, essentially decide that same sex-romance exists,” Mortimer said. “It exists, and it’s a topic that people talk about and deal with in modern society and in our own departments, and so we incorporated that possibility into our production.”

Balancing act

While Mortimer has long admired Twelfth Night and taught it in classes, this production is the first time she has staged the play, and she said she is even more impressed with it now. “I find that it is structurally even better than I thought it was,” Mortimer said, “that the balancing of the romantic story that we’re meant to maybe feel some poigniancy about and the silliness of the clowns ... that the balance between those two forces is really beautiful in the script. And I didn’t realize how perfect that balance might be until I started rehearsing.” Searching for their own balance between the play’s dramatic and comedic elements led Mortimer and the students in her cast and crew to discover the fantastic possibilities in its setting. “Illyria, the land that Viola shipwrecks on, is a bit of a mystery even on the page, in terms of where it’s meant to be and how realistic it’s meant to be,” Mortimer said, “and so we got interested in the idea of the shipwreck, which starts the play, and interested in all of the water imagery, which is explored throughout the play. So we are staging it in a way that might appear to be postshipwreck in a sort of magical place that might appear a little bit exaggerated or heightened, almost as though it could be a dream that came out of a shipwreck as much as a real place. … There’s a little bit of a fantasy element to it, which can heighten the comedy, I think. Perhaps when you’re speaking in heightened Elizabethan language, you’re speaking in iambic pentameter, people don’t expect for you to have pool toys or a martini glass. So there’s a contrast between people’s preconceived ideas about what Shakespeare looks like and sounds like and then what they might see in front of them.” Tickets are $10-$35. Visit theatre. ou.edu.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will April 26-May 4 Weitzenhoffer Theatre University of Oklahoma 563 Elm Ave., Norman theatre.ou.edu | 405-325-4101 $10-$35

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FILM

Motion emotion

Nicole Emmons’ filmmaking incorporates several techniques to tell meaningful stories. By Jeremy Martin

Watching Heat Miser control the weather from his volcano headquarters in The Year Without a Santa Claus, Nicole Emmons fell in love. The 1974 Rankin/ Bass Christmas Productions special, along with the studio’s better-known Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, inspired the Oklahoma City-based animator to make stop-motion films, but explaining her intended career path to an advisor at Chicago’s Columbia College was not so simple. “They were like, ‘We have an animation program; we have a film program; we have an art program,’” Emmons said. “And I was like, ‘OK. That’s it. I want to do all of those things.’ And they were like, ‘OK, well you’ll have to pick eventually.’ And I was like, ‘No. I want to do all of them.’” Emmons — a member of artist collective Factory Obscura who worked as an animator on the 2015 feature Hell and Back and music videos for Faith Hill, TV on the Radio and Sheryl Crow — is scheduled to screen several of her animated short films 7-9 p.m. April 26 at Little D Gallery, 3003 Paseo St. At Columbia, Emmons said her experimental work, which often combines live-action and stop-motion elements and rarely features dialogue, also led to confusion when it was screened alongside films made by her classmates. “There’d be a lot of violence and fart jokes and stuff like that, and then mine would go on and there’s total silence in the theater because it wasn’t a comedy,” Emmons said. “Also there were a lot of guys in my program; there was only a A still from Nicole Emmons’ Domesti City, OK | Image Nicole Emmons / provided

couple of girls. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.” After graduating from Columbia College and receiving her Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts’ (CalArts) experimental animation program, Emmons worked for Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken. Though many people associate stop-motion with crude comedy, Emmons said she wants her own films to be more sincere and personally meaningful. “Obviously, I don’t mind doing comedy,” Emmons said. “I’m a huge comedy fan in general, but personally, for my own work, I don’t write comedy. I write from the heart. … I don’t think there’s a need to be misogynist or a need to be racist or a need to be a total asshole, basically, to make people laugh.” Emmons’ screening at Little D will include her short films The Wing Eater; Herstory; Domesti City, OK; and a promo she made for Her Flag, Oklahoma artist Marilyn Artus’ collaborative project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The screening, which Emmons said might also include “a few surprises,” will run about 25 minutes and be repeated three times. Herstory, which runs less than a minute, is a “very fast history lesson about women activists and leaders from the 1800s to the present, just kind of showing the trajectory from tribal leaders and tribal fighters to abolitionists, going up through suffragists to women taking office,” Emmons said. Longer films Domesti City, OK and The Wing Eater explore themes suggested by her own personal history.

“Domesti City is about the conflicts between me wanting to just be an artist, to be free and trying to be in a partnership and settle down, and it’s also about how I got caught up in this idea of women being stuck with all the domestic chores and things like that,” Emmons said. The five-minute film, featured at deadCenter Film Festival in 2018, interchanges live actresses with an animated doll-like housewife figure and introduces fantastic and surrealist elements into the isolated tedium of housework as she transitions from sweeping the floor to singing along with Kitty Wells and swimming with a mermaid. “There’s country music because when I came back to Oklahoma, I started freaking out that I was going to become like a country song,” Emmons said. “And then I also was really into mermaids, so that’s how the mermaid thing came about.” The Wing Eater — which also combines live-action and stop-motion as well as digital and film photography and features a 9-foot-tall puppet — is possibly even more thematically complex. “Wing Eater is about a sexual assault I experienced as a teenager,” Emmons said. “It’s a winged creature in the forest, but it starts with a woman. It’s her imagination. … It’s impossible to explain.”

Ancestral influence

Emmons is currently seeking crowdfunding for an upcoming film with the working title Potawatomi Stories, which will explore her Native heritage. “It’s part genealogical project and part historical project,” she said. “I want to talk about my ancestors and how they came down from the Great Lakes region. I’ve been doing tons of research and just getting way more involved in the community and learning more about the spirituality.” After moving back to Oklahoma in 2014, Emmons connected with other members of Citizen Potawatomi Nation through its headquarters in Shawnee. “This is the first time that I’ve been around a bunch of adults that are kind of in my age range that I can talk to and go to ceremonies with and really feel like I’m getting to be a part of it, so it’s been super exciting,” she said. Emmons said the film is currently in its research phase but she plans to

A still from Nicole Emmons’ The Wing Eater | Image Nicole Emmons / provided

combine traditional stories with moments from the lives of four of her ancestors, and it might include scenes set in the present. “Native culture is a living culture,” she said. “It’s not something that happened in the past. It’s happening right now, today. It’s very vibrant.” When Emmons enrolled in Columbia College in 1994, she began shooting her films on 16-millimeter film, but by the time she graduated in 1998, almost everyone was going digital. While advanced technology has made animating and editing easier, she said, the polished look computers can create sometimes detracts from the handmade charm that originally attracted her to the art form. “[With film,] there was no way for anyone to check back and see if there was a hand in the frame or if they made some mistakes,” Emmons said. “Now we can play everything back instantly, so you can ideally fix everything in the editing. …. The style is getting more and more slick. That’s kind of the trend, but I’m not a fan of total slickness. I feel like it makes it feel more like CGI, and the whole reason I like to do stop-motion is because you can see the human hand in the artistry. You can you can really connect with it, and that’s what I think makes it seem magical. … It just feels like there’s more of an entry point for the common person to be like, ‘Oh, wow! I kind of can, a little bit, see behind the screen.’” Prints from Domesti City, OK and The Wing Eater will be available for sale at the screening, and proceeds go toward making Potawatomi Stories, which Emmons estimates will be about an hour in length. Visit facebook.com/littledgallery.

Nicole Emmons Animation Shorts 7 p.m. April 26 Little D Gallery 3003 Paseo St. facebook.com/littledgallery | 720-773-1064 Free

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CALENDAR PERFORMING ARTS

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

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche the members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein respond to a breakfast-time communist threat in 1956 in this satirical play by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays April 5-May 11. The Boom, 2218 NW 39th St., 405-6017200, theboomokc.com. FRI-SAT

BOOKS David Grann the author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders will speak, 1 p.m. April 17. OKC Community College, 7777 S. May Ave. WED New Ink an event recognizing new Oklahoma authors Kizzy James, Nancy Jackson and Ricky Gazelle, 3 p.m. April 20. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT Nothing Daunted Women’s Book Discussion Group meet to discuss the book Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, 7-8:30 p.m. April 18. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. THU Scott Reintgen book signing the author will autograph copies of his young-adult novel Nyxia Uprising, 6 p.m. April 17. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. WED Storybook Project authors create children’s stories based on illustrations created by Breadcrumbs Ink, Through April 28. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo St., 405-315-6224, paseoplunge.org. FRI-SUN

FILM As Good As It Gets (1997, USA, James L. Brooks) a maladjusted author (Jack Nicholson) reluctantly befriends a single mother (Helen Hunt) and an artist (Greg Kinnear) in this dramatic comedy presented on OETA as part of its weekly Movie Club, 9 p.m. April 20. . SAT Filmography: Thunder Road (2018, USA, Jim Cummings) a police officer struggles to cope with his divorce and his mother’s death, 8-9:30 p.m. April 19. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. FRI VHS Grindhouse watch action, kung-fu and other B-movies at this screening presented by VHS & Chill, 8 p.m. April 18. Elk Valley Brewing Company, 520 N. Meridian Ave., 405-209-0016, elkvalleybrew.com. THU The Wind (2018, USA, Emma Tammi) a woman is driven insane by isolation on the Western frontier in the late 1800s in this supernatural horror film, through April 18. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave., 405-235-3456.

FRI-THU

HAPPENINGS Angels & Friends Celebration a fundraising party for Oklahoma City Arts Council, featuring live music and food from local restaurants, 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 24. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com. WED Career Fair interview for part- and full-time positions in a variety of industries, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. April 17. Metro Technology Center, 1900 Springlake Drive, 405-844-8324, metrotech.edu. WED Carrie Prom ’80s prom attire is encouraged at this dance party inspired by Stephen King’s popular story about a telekinetic misfit, 9:30-11:30 p.m. April 19. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave., 405-235-3456. FRI Earth Day Celebration learn about conservation efforts, gardening and composting, alternative energy and more with hands on activities and live lady bug and butterfly releases, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 20. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. SAT Funny Bunny Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs bring your canine best friend to this Easter celebration with prizes for the best egg hunters, 2-3 p.m. April 20. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. SAT Heard on Hurd a family friendly evening featuring food trucks, children’s activities and live music from a variety of local artists with proceeds benefitting nonprofit organizations, 6-10 p.m. April 20. Citizens Bank of Edmond, 32 N. Broadway, 405-341-6650, citizensedmond.com. SAT Midtown Walkabout see live art demonstrations, play bocce ball, shop local vendors and more at this neighborhood block party, 2-6 p.m. April 20. Midtown OKC, NW Eighth St., 405-235-3500, midtownokc.com. SAT A Night of Testimony an evening celebrating the art work of Holocaust survivor David Friedman featuring a lecture from his daughter Miriam Friedmann Morris and Lorne Richstone, associate professor of music at University of Oklahoma, leading an ensemble performance of five excerpts by notable Jewish composers whose careers were lost to the Holocaust, 7 p.m. April 18. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/ fjjma. THU OKC Town Hall Shelly Finley, the deputy program manager for GeoCarb Science Museum Mission at

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Everything You Need to Know About How to Start Growing Food This comprehensively named class taught by From Seed to Spoon app creator Dale Spoonemore offers exactly what the title promises: basic and practical advice for converting your backyard into a sustainable organic garden full of nutritious food. Get growing 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Tickets are $8-$12. Call 405-445-7080 or visit myriadgardens.org. THURSDAY Photo provided University of Oklahoma, discusses her work, 10:30 a.m. April 18. Church of the Servant, 14343 N. MacArthur Blvd., 703-481-0000. THU Oklahoma Women’s Day meet with legislators and learn about ways women can engage with the state government, 12:30-3:30 p.m. April 22. Oklahoma State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405521-3356, ok.gov. MON Party for the Planet learn about conservation efforts and see the museum’s new monarch butterfly exhibit at this Earth Day event, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 20. The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place, 405-424-3344, okczoo.com. SAT Sisu Overnight Shelter One Year Anniversary Celebration celebrate a year of providing shelter for homeless youth with snacks, wine and a tour of the facilities, 5-7 p.m. April 18. Sisu Youth Services, 3131 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 405-459-7478, sisuyouth.org. THU Water Lantern Festival an evening of live music, food and a floating-lantern ceremony, 6-10 p.m. April 20. Route 66 Park, 9901 NW 23rd St, 405-297-3882. SAT

Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles per hour through east Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-7655. MON Pellow Outreach Golf Tournament a tournament benefitting the addiction-recovery nonprofit, 10 a.m. April 22. Hidden Trails Golf & Country Club, 6501 S. Country Club Drive, 405-685-7751. MON

Andrew Dismukes the Saturday Night Live writer and comedian performs standup with support from local comics Josh Lathe and Wampus Reynolds, 8-10 p.m. April 18. Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman, 405-673-4931, opolis.org/. THU

Twisted Coyote Brew Crew a weekly 3-mile group run for all ability levels with a beer tasting to follow; bring your own safety lights, 6 p.m. Mondays. Twisted Spike Brewing Co., 1 NW 10th St., 405-3013467, twistedspike.com. MON

Beehive: The ’60s Musical a revue featuring live performances of classic hits including “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Be My Baby,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and more, Through May 4. The Pollard Theatre, 120 W. Harrison Ave., Guthrie, 405-282-2800, thepollard.org. FRI-SAT

Wheeler Criterium a weekly nighttime cycling event with criterium races, food trucks and family activities, 5-8 p.m. Tuesdays. Wheeler Park, 1120 S. Western Ave., 405-297-2211, okc.gov. TUE

Bright Star a musical story of love lost and found in the 1920s and ’40s, with a script and bluegrassinspired soundtrack written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, through April 28. Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16th St., 405-524-9312, lyrictheatreokc.com. WED-SUN

Death Tax a wealthy elderly woman suspects her nurse of conspiring with her daughter to drive her to an early grave in this play by Lucas Hnath, through April 20. Carpenter Square Theatre, 806 W. Main St., 405-232-6500, carpentersquare.com. FRI-SAT Monday Night Blues Jam Session bring your own instrument to this open-stage jam hosted by Wess McMichael, 7-9 p.m. Mondays. Othello’s Italian Restaurant, 434 Buchanan Ave., Norman, 405-7014900, othellos.us. MON OKC Improv performers create original scenes in the moment based on suggestions from the audience, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Oklahoma City Improv, 1757 NW 16th St., 405-4569858, okcimprov.com. FRI-SAT Oklahoma Community Orchestra a concert of songs requested by audience members and orchestra musicians, including Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Carnival Overture,” 7:30 p.m. April 23. Garvey Center at Oklahoma Christian University, 2501 E Memorial Rd., 316-261-5325, oc.edu/campus/building/garvey-center. TUE The Squidling Bros. Circus Sideshow the Philadelphia-based touring sideshow features fire eating, sword swallowing and other acts, 8 p.m. April 17. The Flea, 733 NW Fourth St., 405-601-7256. WED A Stranger Sound performance artist Darling Fitch presents an interactive piece, 6:30 p.m. April 18. UCO Liberal Arts Building, 100 N. University Drive, Edmond. THU

ACTIVE Botanical Balance an all-levels yoga class in a natural environment; bring your own mat and water, 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. SAT

Yoga Tuesdays an all-levels class; bring your own water and yoga mat, 5:45 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE

VISUAL ARTS Against the Grain an exhibition of artful furniture created from salvaged and reclaimed wood by Zach True Hammack, Through April 28. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. THU-SUN American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters an exhibition of Native art from the Kiowa Six, Harrison Begay, Tonita Peña and more, through May 12. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum. org. SAT-SUN Ancient. Massive. Wild – The Bison Exhibit view paintings, photographs, and sculptures celebrating the bison’s importance in the history of the American West, through May 12. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT-SUN Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West an exhibition of nature photographs by Adams and several of the photographers he inspired, Through May 26. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRI-SUN Beach Scapes an exhibition of photographer Simon Hurst’s photos taken along the beaches of the Florida panhandle, through May 16. American Choral Directors Association, 545 Couch Drive, 405-2328161, acda.org. THU Beautiful Minds: Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage an exhibition of artworks created by people with dyslexia including students from Oklahoma City’s Trinity School, through July 14. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. FRI-SUN Café Society: The Lawrence Lithography Workshop a lithograph print viewing and art sal, 6-8 p.m. April 18. Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE Third St., 405-815-9995, 1ne3.org. THU Child’s Play an exhibition of sculptural works created by Norman-based artist Brett McDanel, Through

FOOD Prairie-to-Table Dining enjoy a prairie-themed dinner menu presented by Petroleum Club of Oklahoma City, 6-8 p.m. April 18. . THU

YOUTH Academic Enrichment Reading Clinic children in grades 1-12 can receive free tutoring and homework help in reading, math and history and learn about nonviolent conflict resolution and successbuilding habits at this weekly clinic, 11 a.m. Saturdays through April 27. Nappy Roots, 3705 Springlake Drive, 405-896-0203, facebook.com/pg/nappyrootsbooks. SAT Easter Bunny photos children have the chance to meet the holiday mascot and have their picture taken, through April 20. Penn Square Mall, 1901 Northwest Expressway, 405-841-2696, simon.com/ mall/penn-square-mall. SAT Playdate with Queens children can learn how to dress up and apply makeup for a fashion show, participate in a yoga session and enjoy snacks and storytime at this #YesLoveOKC fundraiser featuring drag queens Syren, Myka Monroe and Olivia Lycan, 1-5 p.m. April 20. Azalea House of Healing, 3705 N. Meridian Ave., 405-603-4202, Azaleahealing.com. SAT Revenge of the Plants! All About Carnivorous Plants children ages 8-11 can learn about meat-eating plants and make a Venus flytrapinspired craft, 6-7 p.m. April 17. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. WED Story Time with Britt’s Bookworms enjoy snacks, crafts and story time, 10:30-11:30 a.m. first and third Thursday of every month. Thrive Mama Collective, 1745 NW 16th St., 405-356-6262. THU

Festival of the Arts More than 750,000 people are expected to attend the 53rd annual installment of this springtime tradition hosted by Arts Council Oklahoma City and dating back to 1967, i.e., when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band would have been classified as a “new release.” Enjoy food, art exhibits, live music, dance and more at this celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts that serves as your yearly reminder that OKC can be much cooler than it’s often given credit for. The festival runs Tuesday-April 28 at Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive. Admission is free. TUESDAY-APRIL 28 Photo provided

GO TO OKGAZETTE.COM FOR FULL LISTINGS!


exhibit in a dialog with A-lan Holt, interim executive director at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, 6-8 p.m. April 18. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THU Kathleen Morris, Larry Hefner and Diana Smith an exhibition featuring Morris and Hefner’s abstract expressionist paintings and Smith’s sculptures, through April 30. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. MON-TUE

Kathy J. Martin and Pat Gurley an exhibition of porcelain art including Martin’s series Women Who Survive, through May 31. Porcelain Art Museum, 2700 N. Portland Ave., 405-521-1234, wocp.org. SAT-FRI Life Imagined: The Art and Science of Automata see examples of mechanical proto-robots from 1850 to the modern day, through Sept. 29. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. SUN-WED

Cherish Love The titular social media maven Cherish Reynolds finds her personal life complicated by her online persona in this romantic comedy starring Azrial Greene-Pina and Greg Cinco Johnson and directed by James Ridley, whose award-winning VideoHero production company’s mission statement, according to social media, includes “trying to create a culture for black independent film in OKC.” The premiere begins 7 p.m. Friday at SandRidge Auditorium, 320 N. Broadway Ave. Admission is $10. Visit videohero.tv. FRIDAY Photo provided April 28. Paseo Studio Six, 3021 Paseo St., 405-5280174, thepaseo.org. WED-SUN

hibit Mix-Tape; ages 12 and older only, 6-8 p.m. April 24. Factory Obscura, 1522 S. Robinson Ave. WED

Cowboys in Khaki: Westerners in the Great War learn about the ways Westerners contributed to the US effort in World War I at this exhibit featuring military, rodeo and other historical memorabilia from the time period, through May 12. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT-SUN

From the Golden Age to the Moving Image: The Changing Face of the Permanent Collection view portraits painted by Kehinde Wiley, Anthony van Dyck, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and George Bellows, through Sept. 22. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com.

Factory Obscura Volunteer Night help with the creation of the artist collective’s latest interactive ex-

In Conversation: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh with A-lan Holt the artist behind the Oklahoma Is Black

FRI-WED

The Love of Color an exhibition of paintings by Oklahoma City artist Nancy Junkin, through April 28. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405445-7080, myriadgardens.com. THU-SUN Mo Faux an exhibition of ceramics created by artists specializing in the trompe l’oeil method, in which pieces appear to be made from different materials such as styrofoam or rusted metal, through April 25, Through April 25. Melton Gallery, 100 N. University Drive, Edmond, 405-525-3603, uco.edu. MON-THU She Persisted an exhibition of works by six female artists presented by Red Earth Art Center, through May 28. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok. org. WED-TUE Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Oklahoma Is Black an exhibition highlighting black history in Oklahoma City, through May 19, Through May 19. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org.

405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. THU-SUN This Land, From Prairie to Desert an exhibition of watercolor and mixed-media works by Deborah Burian, Through April 28. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. FRI-SUN Visceral Tendencies an exhibition of works by artist-in-residence Morgan Robinson, through May 8. Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts, 1601 NW 26th St., 405-208-5226, okcu.edu/artsci/departments/visualart. WED Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam explores the impact of the war on Oklahoma families as well as the stories of Vietnamese families relocated to Oklahoma, through Nov. 6. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. MON-WED

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.

FRI-SUN

Testimony: The Life and Work of David Friedman an exhibition of portraits, landscapes and more by the artist and Holocaust survivor, through May 26. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave.,

For OKG live music

see page 32

GO TO OKGAZETTE.COM FOR FULL LISTINGS! THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA, OKC LODGE

PRESENTS

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along with expanded editorial content

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EVENT

MUSIC

Saint’s Passage

Evan Crowley recorded Saint Loretto’s second album during a time of intense personal upheaval. By Jeremy Martin

Evan Crowley, aka Saint Loretto, recorded his debut, Depth / S in his home, but following a divorce, he began recording sophomore album Passage / S in someone else’s. “A friend lent me a place to stay, a house that was being remodeled,” Crowley said. “So I stayed there, and I started recording this record there, but the house was kind of in shambles. The floor was completely unfinished in most of the rooms, and we didn’t have a working kitchen or anything like that, but I was trying to save money, as you do. I was doing all my demos for the record out of this place, and I was sleeping on an air mattress, and I sort of had my clothes in a pile and my guitar stuff and some recording stuff. “It was really not an ideal recording spot, but I was going through a lot at that time, and it was a really good place to be alone and get a lot of time to work on my music,” he said. Crowley, who moved from Oklahoma

City to Austin in 2017, returns to celebrate the release of his latest album 9 p.m. Friday at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. Recording Passage / S, released March 29, gave Crowley a much-needed focal point during a difficult transitional period of his life. “It really helped me to have that outlet,” he said. “I think it was something to sort of pour myself into that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I would have just been sort of caught up in all the things that were happening and all that. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic, so if I can sort of explore what I’m going through in my work and stuff like that, it helps me process it in a little bit healthier of a way, I guess. Not that being a workaholic is a good thing, but I mean, rather than sulking about, I was able to sort of go through that process. And I think I was able to come out on the other side probably better than I would have if I wouldn’t have had this to turn to as a conduit. I don’t think any divorce is easy. I think I just sort of struggled because I really didn’t know what I was going to do next because I had lived in Oklahoma City for 15 years. … I think there was a lot of fear in me because I didn’t really know where else to turn besides music at that point.” Making music might have been a healthy outlet, but recording demos and processing the end of his marriage in an unfinished house was not exactly enjoyable. Passage / S, Crowley’s second album under the Saint Loretto monicker, was released March 29. | Photo Ryan Magnani / provided

“The recording process for all this stuff, it felt like it took forever, for sure,” Crowley said. “It sort of just began and started happening and coming out of me. Not that I wasn’t thinking or doing things intentionally, but it just seemed to come very naturally, and I think I was sort of in shock. … I was in a dark place, and I was just working through my issues. I learned a lot about myself through the relationship that I was in and learned that there was a lot of unhealthy things that I had done.” After moving to Austin, Crowley began working with Blue October bassist Matt Noveskey at Orb Recording Studios to finish Passage / S. “I was able to go back and re-record some of the stuff that I wanted to sound better, so that allowed me a lot more capability as far as what I was able to do with it, but I still ended up keeping a lot of the original work on the demos,” Crowley said. “There’s still a lot of that at the heart of the songs.” The album’s glossy pop production belies lyrics describing depression, disappointment and the dissolution of a romantic relationship. “That’s the fun part, writing these upbeat songs that when people look deeper, they’re like, ‘Oh, wow! There’s these heavy lyrics underneath this brighter sound,’” Crowley said. Tyler Garcia at 33rd Street Studio, who mixed Depth / S, returned to the role for Passage / S. While Crowley, who previously played in the band Paperscissor, did almost everything else for his first album as Saint Loretto, he said finishing its follow-up was decidedly more collaborative. “That’s been really therapeutic for me, as well, because after going through a lot of big changes, I think a lot of us, our comfort zone is to sort of cling to that which is familiar and sort of close ourselves off, and so I really just didn’t want to be pushing myself further into a situation where I was wanting to do everything on my own all the time.”

Saint Loretto, aka Evan Crowley, returns to OKC to celebrate the release of his latest album 9 p.m. Friday at 51st Street Speakeasy. | Photo Yasmin Shirali/ provided

Sinking in

More than a week after its release, Crowley said he was still processing the album’s full meaning. “I think the feelings really came later, as I was finishing the record,” he said. “As I was doing the final vocal takes on the songs and polishing things up and I began to actually listen back, objectively, to some of the songs, I felt bad. I didn’t even realize how emotional some of the lyrics were because they had come so naturally during the writing process.” Drummer Clay Vaughan, bassist Reed Hoppe and guitarist Marcus Jackson will join Crowley onstage in Oklahoma City. Crowley said playing the songs live can still be an intense experience. “Sometimes when I’m performing them, I feel like I’m experiencing them for the first time,” Crowley said. “We didn’t perform them a lot before the record came out, so once the record was sort of, like, real and all of the things that I had worked on were real and the band was learning the songs and we’re getting together and hearing how it sounded live, it was just like a punch to the gut. … Putting pen to paper and the space between that and what you finally see at the end of it, it’s just such a big process. Sometimes you’re not really thinking just how impactful seeing it will be or hearing it will be.” OKC’s Gum opens. Admission is $3. Visit 51stspeakeasy.com.

Saint Loretto 9 p.m. Friday 51st Street Speakeasy 1114 NW 51st St. 51stspeakeasy.com | 405-463-0470 $3

O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | A P R I L 1 7, 2 0 1 9

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Universal language

Lincka throws the rule book out the window with her new mini-album, Blank Slate of Mind.

By Jeremy Martin

After having a song featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and playing Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Lincka Elizondo is going wherever she pleases. Recording the follow-up to 2017’s Para Ti — which included “Gardenias,” listed alongside tracks by Marty Stuart, Beth Ditto and Shabazz Palaces on “NPR’s Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing” — Elizondo said she initially worried about whether to release a full-length album or an EP until she figured out that she didn’t have to conform to outdated industry models. “I just recently started realizing that it could be whatever we want it to be,” said Elizondo of Blank Slate of Mind, her new six-song “mini-album.” Elizondo, known professionally as Lincka, will celebrate the new release 10 p.m. Friday at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., in Norman with a concert that doubles as a kickoff for her upcoming tour. Her latest album marks an evolution in her creativity, the Oklahoma City-based artist said, but she is used to defying expectations. “In choir class and things like that, I

would always change up songs and put beats on them and stuff,” Elizondo said, “and they would always tell me, ‘You need to go by the rules. You’re disrespecting this music. This is a formula you need to learn.’” The album’s name comes from the freedom she felt hearing the backing tracks created by producer Dan Ashford, who makes music under the name Rat F!nk. “Our last few projects have been with our full band, but this time around, it was just him and I,” Elizondo said. “Whenever those tracks were sent over to me and I heard them for the first time, it’s a blank slate in the sense of like, ‘I can go anywhere with this. I can write whatever I want on this beautifully produced track.’ It was just so inspiring to be able to write on something that’s already so beautiful, and it was a challenge because I wanted to make sure my lyricism and my melodies match the quality of the sound of the instrumentation and the samples.”

Cultural identity

The expanded musical palette, which Elizondo said contains elements of house,


D R O P P I N G AT Lincka celebrates the release of her new mini-album Blank Slate of Mind 10 p.m. Friday at Opolis. | Photo provided

inspired her to explore different lyrical themes, as well, but the topics of heritage and culture frequently discussed on Para Ti and last year’s single “Chicana Baby” are still prevalent in her work. “I’m always pretty open and unapologetic in the fact that I am Latina in all my music, not only just by singing and speaking Spanish, but also in the lyrics,” Elizondo said. “I just feel so strongly about that. … Maybe a couple years from now, I’ll be wanting to write about something else, but it always ends up being a part of my lyrics. It’s just who I am, my identity, I guess I should say. I just always seem to talk about it. I don’t know if that’s because of the fact that I live here in Oklahoma, but sometimes I feel like I just have to be outwardly vocal about who I am and where I come from and my story … because in Mexico, I’m not Mexican. I’m just a person. We’re literally all just Mexican; it’s not, like, a topic of conversation. … On this album, I did talk about my identity, but I had to also kind of pause and be like, ‘Do I want this to devour every single song, every single word, every single lyric?’ I want this message of identity, which is necessary and beautiful and really dope and all these things, but I don’t always have to talk about that, so it was a balance this time around.”

I’m always pretty open and unapologetic in the fact that I am Latina in all my music, not only just by singing and speaking Spanish, but also in the lyrics. Lincka Elizondo Though she has previously been reluctant to write love songs, Elizondo said she found new inspiration in the work and life of Juan Gabriel, the acclaimed singer and immigrant rights activist known for his flamboyant style who famously answered a question about his sexuality with “Lo que se ve no se pregunta” (“Don’t ask about something that is obvious”). “He was a Mexican singer and icon,” Elizondo said. “In those times, he was extremely controversial, especially in Mexico. It’s like, so much machismo, but nobody could deny his talent. Nobody can deny how iconic and legendary he was. … He was a very loving person, extremely loving in his music, an incredible songwriter, and he just oozed out love in every performance that he did. So I definitely thought about that, writing a song about love, because love can come in many different ways.”

As a songwriter, Elizondo said she wants to incorporate socially conscious lyrics into pop music without forsaking the dance floor to climb on a soapbox. “The challenge for me has been, How can I integrate what people call the politically charged topics in my music without sounding preachy?” Elizondo said. “I always go back to those classics by Bob Marley or Marvin Gaye. They never sounded preachy, but they found a way to talk about what people were going through, and all kinds of people listen to the music because it’s really good.”

New traditions

Elizondo, who grew up listening to her grandfather sing traditional Mexican folk songs and play classical guitar “on a good day, whenever his fingers don’t hurt,” said she has always wanted her music to have a coherent meaning. “Something that I really admired from that music is that, from beginning to end, there is a full-blown story with a bow on it,” she said. “It’s just the most eloquently written kind of story. I mean, that’s really difficult to do, I think. I find difficulty in completing the message. That’s hard for me because I think a lot of the time, our generation, we’re just there for the vibes.” She initially drew comparisons to Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse by singing entirely in English because she did not “want to make anybody feel uncomfortable,” but she discovered her bilingual background allows her to deliver her message in a hybrid “Spanglish” that poses a creative challenge but allows her to reach a larger audience. “Some things are just better said in Spanish, or some things are better said in English,” she said. “Some words in Spanish are just so beautiful and can be so rhythmic that sometimes, I’m like, ‘I need to say this word just because it’s so beautiful.’” She occasionally consults her family members who live in Mexico about dialect and word choices. She deeply respects the musical tradition she came from, but she wants to find her own path moving forward. “I think my dad and my grandpa were the ones that sparked that curiosity in writing music and singing. That’s just always been kind of a part of our family,” Elizondo said. “But there’s like a stereotype that if you’re a Mexican singer, it’s mariachi, you know? And that’s dope, but there’s so many different kinds of artists, and I really want to be one of those different kinds of artists.” Admission is $10. Visit opolis.org.

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10 p.m. Friday Opolis 113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman opolis.org | 405-230-0311 $10

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LIVE MUSIC Jarvix/EOS, Sauced on Paseo. EXPERIMENTAL

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

Sage the 64th Wonder, Sauced on Paseo. HIP-HOP

MONDAY, APR. 22 Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK

WEDNESDAY, APR. 17

Jeremy Thomas Quartet, VZD’s Restaurant & Bar.

The Wailers, Tower Theatre. REGGAE

Steve Gunn, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK

THURSDAY, APR. 18

TUESDAY, APR. 23

JAZZ

Dion Timmer/Dubloadz, OKC Farmers Market.

Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/

ELECTRONIC

SONGWRITER

Heart of Hip Hop, Hubbly Bubbly Hookah & Café.

Power Trip/Red Death/The Tooth, 89th Street-OKC. METAL

HIP-HOP

FRIDAY, APR. 19 Alan Munde & Tim May, American Banjo Museum. ACOUSTIC

Hosty, Fassler Hall. FOLK/ROCK Jokers to the Right, Alley Club. ROCK Josh Roberts, Sanctuary Barsilica. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Split Personality/WeRdoZe/Wesley Warhol, Your Mom’s Place. HIP-HOP My So Called Band, Tower Theatre. COVER

WEDNESDAY, APR. 24 Shoulda Been Blonde For proof of the seemingly unstoppable left-field pop appeal of Shawnee’s Shoulda Been Blonde, get an earful of “Elevator,” the lead track from 2018 EP More, wherein our harmonizing heroes somehow craft a catchy hook from the lyrics “I smashed my toe in the elevator/crushed it good, might have to amputate it.” Then enjoy walking around singing it to yourself for days after like some kind of weirdo. Tulsa’s self-described “bass fuzz roof gaze” outfit Girls Club shares the bill. The 21-and-up show is 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday at The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., Suite B. Admission is $5. Call 405697-0718 or visit therootevents.com. FRIDAY Photo provided

SATURDAY, APR. 20 Bad Influence, Margarita Island. ROCK Born in November, Sanctuary Barsilica. R&B Brothers Griiin, SixTwelve. ROCK Ian Moore, Tower Theatre. SINGER-SONGWRITER

Jahruba & the Jah Mystics, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. REGGAE Original Flow & the Fervent Route, Life Organics Cannafe. HIP-HOP Typesetter, 89th Street-OKC. PUNK

Zane Williams, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER

SUNDAY, APR. 21 Edgar Cruz/Antsey McClain/Michael Kelsey, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER

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Joe Purdy & the Honey Dewdrops/Smokey & the Mirror, The Blue Door. ACOUSTIC Parkway Drive/Killswitch Engage, Diamond Ballroom. METAL/HARDCORE The Victor Wooten Band, ACM @ UCO Performance Lab. JAZZ

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.

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M A R I J UA N A

THE HIGH CULTURE

Eviction notices

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority told three dispensaries it licensed last year that they must move because they are too close to schools. By Matt Dinger

Three metro dispensaries have been told that they are too close to schools and have a month to move by Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), the same agency that approved their licenses, apparently without confirming their proof of distance from those schools. The three dispensaries in question are The Gateway CBD & Dispensary, 4 E. Ayers St., Suite 100, in Edmond; The Green Dot, 517 W. Gray St., in Norman; and Ivy League Cannabis, 123 SE Fourth St., in Moore, according to Melissa Miller, OMMA communications director. As of April 9, seven other dispensaries across the state are under review for possible violation notices, according to records obtained by Oklahoma Gazette. Records show those dispensaries are in Collinsville, Guthrie, Luther, Spiro and Tulsa as well as two in Pauls Valley. Rabbit Hole and Gaia’s Favor, which are across the street from each other at NW 23rd Street and Villa Avenue, were investigated and found to be compliant. Those complaints were closed March 20. OMMA has issued more than 4,200 business licenses. It is unclear whether Mayra Pacheco and her husband Rafael own The Green Dot, a Norman cannabis dispensary that has been given 30 days’ notice that it has to relocate due to its proximity to Norman High School. | Photo Alexa Ace

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OMMA confirmed that the licensees have actually met the legal requirements before approving them. While only a handful are being investigated for their proximity to schools, it is unknown how many are unwittingly in violation. Violation notices were sent out to Gateway CBD & Dispensary, The Green Dot and Ivy League Cannabis on March 21.

Everything we did through their website, through their process. Mayra Pacheco “This letter serves as official written notice that the licensed commercial dispensary addressed above is in violation of Oklahoma law … which specifically prohibits the location of any medical marijuana dispensary within one thousand (1,000) feet from any public or private school entrance. After receiving a complaint, OMMA investigated the location of the licensed commercial dispensary addressed above. The results of that investigation show that the licensed commercial dispensary is within one thousand (1,000) feet of an entrance to Boulevard Academy located at 215 North Blvd.,” according to a certified letter sent to The Gateway CBD & Dispensary. “When we looked at it originally, it was from the entrance of the building to our property line. Well, the entrance to said building is like 1,400 feet away,” said Lance Tuohy, the owner. “They’ve called an egress door — an exit door, a fire escape door — the entrance to the school, basically.” Tuohy said they started the application process last August, received their license in October and started selling cannabis in December. “You go to the OMMA website and you use their virtual map, their tools that they gave us to do it with, and that’s how we submitted it. With their tools — you don’t use your own stuff, you use their stuff,” he said. “We’ve got hun-

dreds of thousands of dollars tied up in this already. We rented the other half of the building we’re in on a very lengthy lease based on that.” But those plans might be indefinitely derailed. “If this violation is not corrected within 30 days of receipt of this Notice of Violation, your license will be subject to revocation. Failure to comply will result in administrative action by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (the ‘Department’) in accordance with the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act,” the letter states. The rest of the letter does not mention any appeal or contest procedure, but rather outlines how the licensee can submit a location change request with supporting documentation proving that the proposed location is not within 1,000 feet of any public or private school entrance. But like Tuohy, the owner of The Green Dot in Norman said she already did just that. “Everything we did through their website, through their process. We sent them in the information they required using their tools, NCES [National Center for Education Statistics], and still we got approved, and now they’ve come back and said, ‘You do not qualify.’ You have to move within 30 days if we can’t prove that. Thirty days is not even enough time for us to look for another spot,” owner Mayra Pacheco said. “We did the whole paperwork. We’re, I believe, it’s like 1,300 feet away from the main entrance, which is what they were requiring at first. I don’t know if that changed, but now it’s like to the side door, so now we’re like 940 feet away. We were a head shop before. We opened last summer, and they were okay with that. Never had an issue. The state never came back and said, ‘Oh, you’re too close to a school.’ We looked into other shops near the school and they wouldn’t accept us because it was just too close, and this one happened to take us in. “We applied for our license, didn’t have an issue, got approved and now they came back. It took us by surprise because we were open for business before as a CBD shop and never had an issue. It’s obviously a hit in our pocket because we had to build a wall, we had to build rooms in the back and now we’re out money, pretty much. We’re a small,

The interior of The Green Dot, a Norman cannabis dispensary that has been given 30 days’ notice that it has to relocate due to its proximity to Norman High School | Photo Alexa Ace

family-owned business, so we don’t have investors. All the money that came out was from our own pocket, and it kind of sucks that they’re coming around saying now we can’t be here.” She said they have invested about $30,000 in the business. “Our lease is still not up, so if we move, we still have to keep paying rent on here,” Pacheco said.

Inaccurate proof

Under the Proof of Distance from a School section on its website, OMMA wrote, “In order to facilitate the submission of proof for this requirement, applicants for licenses may use the federal National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) interactive MapEd tool to research their proximity to a school.” In much smaller print at the bottom of the page appears this disclaimer: “This tool is for reference purposes and the OMMA does not assume any responsibility for technical errors, inaccuracies and other issues that may arise from its usage.” What follows is a six-page guide on how to use the tool, but OMMA authorities say the agency is not responsible for outcome. “It’s a recommended mapping tool. It’s not something that’s necessarily required or we’re not saying it’s the only one out there. It was just something to sort of give them a tool to use. Did we promise it was 100 percent accurate? Did they promise it’s 100 percent accurate? No. It’s recently been updated, so some of the data in there may have been old,” said Melissa Miller, OMMA’s communications manager. “It was something that we were hoping would be a good tool for them but not something we said was a guarantee, and it’s not something we created. We just encourage people to do their own research. They have any mapping tool they want to use. They can call school districts. We just encourage them to be sure, do the research they feel they need to do to make sure that they are a thousand feet away.” Ivy League Cannabis did not respond to requests for comment from Oklahoma Gazette.


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Growing gold

CBD Plus USA introduces its line of THC products called Lotus Gold. By Matt Dinger

One of the major issues facing dispensaries in the new Oklahoma medical cannabis market is having consistent inventory. CBD Plus USA thinks it has found the solution. It is rolling out the Lotus Gold cannabis line this week with plans to have at least 20 strains on an ongoing and constant basis as well as other specialty products like its High, Honey! brand of THC-infused honey. CBD Plus USA teamed up with an Oklahoma City growing operation that has an 85,000 square-foot facility. “When we were deciding if we were going to do our own grow or find a strategic partner, we had some people come out of the woodwork that really wanted to partner with us, but we selected the partnership that was willing to meet our expectations,” CBD Plus USA CEO Ryan Vicedomini said. “We were expecting a minimum of one pound per location at 50 locations per day, so you’re still looking at a capability of 1,500 pounds a month consistently. So when we had the opportunity present itself, we basically told them, ‘Hey, look. You’re going to need a bigger building; you’re going to need this, you’re gonna need that.’ And they basically did a capital raise, our grow company did, and basically partnered exclusively to sell to us. So that way we didn’t have to do it but we used a company that was willing to put the investment in and put the time in and the energy in. They brought in specialists from Colorado that were native to Oklahoma but have a 20,000 square-foot grow out there and, I think, four locations that they’re already servicing. So they brought that technology here to Oklahoma or, I guess, that craftsmanship here to Oklahoma.”

CBD Plus USA partnered with an Oklahoma City growing facility to cultivate its line of Lotus Gold cannabis. | Photo Alexa Ace

“We’ve just tried to time this grow to being able to produce before we really created a retail platform to tell customers that we’re in the ballgame,” president Matt Baker said. “Anybody that was producing anything in any quantity more than likely wasn’t getting it organically from Oklahoma. And so we just decided that before we go out and tell our customers, ‘Hey, we’re here. We’re here to play ball on the dispensary side,’ before we created a brand so our customers would have something they could depend on, we tried to time it when this grow was going to be able to have 20 strains that were the same all the time and create some customer dependency. So that’s kind of why we held off. We’ve just kind of been low and slow, but now that we’re here, there’s no looking back.” The Lotus Gold brand will be sold in the same buildings as CBD Plus USA locations in Oklahoma. The green lotus of its logo has turned gold for the brand line. Each CBD Plus USA location in Oklahoma will have at least 10 strains when the brand launches April 20. Each should have a full menu of 20 consistent strains and five floating strains by the end of May, Vicedomini said. “We’re making history,” he said. “Fifty dispensaries in basically one shot. We’ll be probably the only brand in America that can say they have opened 50 locations under the same name, same strains, same quality coming from the same grow. There’s continued on page 40

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companies like MedMen that have, I think, 63 locations but only have 11 open or 12. “CBD Plus is always meant to be a cannabinoid dispensary, so teaching that to the public is not always easy, so we’re having to separate the brands to make people aware of we’re not just CBD. We’re here to educate and facilitate all of their needs. If you look at that pain wheel, you know CBD is ... not going to work or not going to help you with everything. You need THC for some things if you’re trying to accomplish it through using cannabis, so that’s where Lotus Gold is basically coming from. It’s just the higher than .3 side of our business model.”

We were expecting a minimum of one pound per location at 50 locations per day, so you’re still looking at a capability of 1,500 pounds a month consistently. Ryan Vicedomini

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There are currently seven cycles in various stages of growth with 9,000 clones ready. The cannabis is grown hydroponically in rockwool. “They have four 6,000 square-foot rooms already built out and will be in use by probably the end of April. And then the rest of it’s coming in stages. They’re going to have, I think, a total of 67,000 square foot of canopy,” Vicedomini said. “If all 76,000 people started to buy just from us, it may put a little strain on our organization, but I think we’re going to be able to, by June, they should be hitting that max capacity for us.”

On April 20, patients will be able to get four pre-rolls for $20. All the strains will be packaged in sealed containers that are injected with a blast of nitrogen to keep the flower fresh. For patients with lower tolerances and sensitivities to THC, Lotus Gold will also have $5 pre-rolls that will contain cannabis flower that has 3 to 6 percent THC and 20 percent total cannabinoids. In addition to the strains of flower, there will be THC tinctures, topicals and edibles that will mirror the CBD Plus USA product lines. The company is offering three levels of dosage: beginner, intermediate and advanced. “Beginner, that way you can get 2 milligrams per milliliter exactly every single time,” Vicedomini said. “Intermediate’s got 6 milligrams per milliliter and the advanced is 15 milligrams per milliliter, so that way, when that person knows that I take 6 milligrams a day at 6 o’clock and then again at 3 o’clock, you know it’s medical use at that point. It’s not just smoking a joint.” Edibles include brownies, caramels, chocolates, crispy treats and gummies. More consumable products will be added as the line moves forward, and its infused honey will be hitting shelves this month. A package of 10 gummies, each containing 25 milligrams of THC, will be priced at $20. Lotus Gold cannabis will only be produced and distributed in Oklahoma, though CBD Plus USA does business in several other states. “Our goal would be to be able to offer Lotus Gold inside of all of our CBD Plus locations moving forward as the state laws permit it,” Vicedomini said. Visit lotusgold.com.

CBD Plus USA’s Lotus Gold line of medical cannabis products will focus on maintaining inventory and consistent quality. | Photo Alexa Ace


THC

GREEN GLOSSARY

PRE-ROLL This is also known as a joint or a cannabis cigarette if you are a narc, but the name comes from how it’s acquired. Dispensaries frequently sell pre-rolls for people who cannot roll joints to save their lives or simply would prefer to leave it to the professionals. Given that pre-rolls are popular items in area dispensaries, this is a fairly large group.

QUARTZ BANGER A banger is the dish that holds a dab (cannabis concentrate) on an oil rig. The best ones are made of quartz, which has a higher heat tolerance and allows for greater extraction of terpenes from the dab.

REEFER MADNESS A 1936 anti-cannabis propaganda film also known as Doped Youth, Tell Your Children, Dope Addict and The Burning Question, Reefer Madness is at least partly responsible for 80 years of misinformation and hysteria surrounding cannabis. It blames the substance for a good number of society’s ills, including mental illness, rape and murder. Despite its revival as a derided midnight movie in the 1970s, the central claims in Reefer Madness still formed the basis for retrograde laws and cultural misunderstanding of cannabis until recently.

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Homework: Imagine your future self sends a message to you back through time. What is it? Freewillastrology.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19)

French writer Simone de Beauvoir sent a letter to her lover, Aries author Nelson Algren. She wrote, “I like so much the way you are so greedy about life and yet so quiet, your eager greediness and your patience, and your way of not asking much of life and yet taking much because you are so human and alive that you find much in everything.” I’d love to see you embody that state in the coming weeks, Aries. In my astrological opinion, you have a mandate to be both utterly relaxed and totally thrilled; both satisfied with what life brings you and skillfully avid to extract the most out of it; both at peace with what you already have and primed to grab for much more.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

The Beat Generation of American poets arose in the late 1940s as a rebellion against materialistic mainstream culture and academic poetry. It embraced sexual liberation, Eastern spirituality, ecological awareness, political activism, and psychedelic drugs. One of its members, Jack Kerouac, tweaked and ennobled the word “beat” to serve as the code name for their movement. In its old colloquial usage, “beat” meant tired or exhausted. But Kerouac re-consecrated it to mean “upbeat” and “beatific,” borrowing from the Italian word *beato*, translated as “beatific.” I bring this to your attention, Taurus, because you’re on the verge of a similar transition: from the old meaning of “beat” to the new.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

“Scattered through the ordinary world, there are books and artifacts and perhaps people who are like doorways into impossible realms, of impossible and contradictory truth.” Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges said that, and now I’m passing it on to you—just in time for your entrance into a phase when such doorways will be far more available than usual. I hope you will use Borges’ counsel as a reminder to be alert for everyday situations and normal people that could lead you to intriguing experiences and extraordinary revelations and life-changing blessings.

CLASSIFIEDS

CANCER (June 21-July 22) The Free Will Astrology Committee To Boldly Promote Cancerian’s Success is glad to see that you’re not politely waiting for opportunities to come to you. Rather, you’re tracking them down and proactively wrangling them into a form that’s workable for your needs. You seem to have realized that what you had assumed was your fair share isn’t actually fair; that you want and deserve more. Although you’re not being mean and manipulative, neither are you being overly nice and amenable; you’re pushing harder to do things your way. I approve! And I endorse your efforts to take it even further.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

Many experts who have studied the art and science of running fast believe that it’s best if a runner’s legs are symmetrical and identical in their mechanics. But that theory is not supported by the success of champion sprinter Usain Bolt. Because he has suffered from scoliosis, his left leg is a half-inch longer than his right. With each stride, his left leg stays on the track longer than his right, and his right hits the track with more force. Some scientists speculate that this unevenness not only doesn’t slow him down, but may in fact enhance his speed. In accordance with current astrological variables, I suspect you will be able to thrive on your asymmetry in the coming weeks, just as your fellow Leo Usain Bolt does.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Virgo adventurer Jason Lewis traveled around the world using transportation powered solely by his own body. He walked, bicycled, skated, rowed, pedaled, and swam more than 46,000 miles. I propose that we make him your role model for the next four weeks. You’re primed to accomplish gradual breakthroughs through the use of simple, persistent, incremental actions. Harnessing the power of your physical vitality will be an important factor in your success.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Curcumin is a chemical found in the plant turmeric. When ingested by humans, it may diminish inflammation, lower the risk of diabetes, support cardiovascular health,

and treat digestive disorders. But there’s a problem: the body is inefficient in absorbing and using curcumin— unless it’s ingested along with piperine, a chemical in black pepper. Then it’s far more available. What would be the metaphorical equivalent to curcumin in your life? An influence that could be good for you, but that would be even better if you synergized it with a certain additional influence? And what would be the metaphorical equivalent of that additional influence? Now is a good time to investigate these questions.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“I have the usual capacity for wanting what may not even exist,” wrote poet Galway Kinnell. How abut you, Scorpio? Do you, too, have an uncanny ability to long for hypothetical, invisible, mythical, and illusory things? If so, I will ask you to downplay that amazing power of yours for a while. It’s crucial for your future development that you focus on yearning for actual experiences, real people, and substantive possibilities. Please understand: I’m not suggesting you’re bad or wrong for having those seemingly impossible desires. I’m simply saying that for now you will thrive on being attracted to things that are genuinely available.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“Sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in,” wrote Sagittarian novelist Jane Austen. I’m guessing you’ve had that experience—maybe more than usual, of late. But I suspect you’ll soon be finding ways to express those embryonic feelings. Congrats in advance! You’ll discover secrets you’ve been concealing from yourself. You’ll receive missing information whose absence has made it hard to understand the whole story. Your unconscious mind will reveal the rest of what it has thus far merely been hinting at.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

All over the world, rivers and lakes are drying up. Sources of water are shrinking. Droughts are becoming more common and prolonged. Why? Mostly because of climate change. The good news is that lots of people are responding to the crisis with alacrity. Among them is an

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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

You Pisceans have been summoning heroic levels of creative intensity. You’ve been working extra hard and extra smart. But it seems that you haven’t been fully recognized or appreciated for your efforts. I’m sorry about that. Please don’t let it discourage you from continuing to express great integrity and authenticity. Keep pushing for your noble cause and offering your best gifts. I’m proud of you! And although you may not yet have reaped all the benefits you will ultimately sow, three months from now I bet you’ll be pleased you pushed so hard to be such a righteous servant of the greater good.

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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A blogger named Caramelizee offered her definition of elegance: “being proud of both your feminine and masculine qualities; seeing life as a non-ending university and learning everything you can; caring for yourself with tender precision; respecting and taking advantage of silences; tuning in to your emotions without being oversensitive; owning your personal space and being generous enough to allow other people to own their personal space.” This definition of elegance will be especially apropos and useful for you Aquarians in the coming weeks.

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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

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engineer in India named Ramveer Tanwar. Since 2014, he has organized efforts leading to the rejuvenation of twelve dead lakes and ponds. I propose we make him your role model for the coming weeks. I hope he will inspire you to engage in idealistic pursuits that benefit other people. And I hope you’ll be motivated to foster fluidity and flow and wetness everywhere you go. The astrological time is ripe for such activities.

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