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INSIDE COVER P. 18 Burlesque is a widely misunderstood art form, but Adèle Wolf is doing everything she can to preserve this storied tradition through her worldwide performances and organizing the annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival.
JUNE 14 8pm
By Jo Light Cover by Ingvard Ashby Photos by Alexa Ace
start at $60
jail trust vote 5 CITY prequalified artist tool 7 CITY First Christian Church update 4 METRO
10 COMMENTARY Lankford on abortion
EAT & DRINK 11 REVIEW Ned’s Starlite Lounge 12 FEATURE D Taino Bakery 14 GAZEDIBLES biscuits
ARTS & CULTURE 17 ART Prix de West at National
Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
City Burlesque Festival at Tower Theatre
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Ensemble’s Summer Festival VIII at St. Paul’s Cathedral
18 COVER The 7th Annual Oklahoma
20 THEATER The Comedy of Errors at 21 THEATER Brightmusic Chamber
MUSIC 25 EVENT Toad the Wet Sprocket at
Man at 89th Street — OKC
26 EVENT Full of Hell and Primitive 28 LIVE MUSIC
THE HIGH CULTURE 30 CANNABIS Oklahoma Medical
Marijuana Authority Q&A
34 CANNABIS infused ice cream recipe 37 CANNABIS The Toke Board 37 CANNABIS strain review
FUN 38 PUZZLES sudoku | crossword 39 ASTROLOGY
billy bob thornton & the boxmasters august 22-24
native ink tattoo festival
OKG CLASSIFIEDS 39
I-40 EXIT 178 | SHAWNEE, OK | 405-964-7263 O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
Oklahoma County jail will have new operational and financial oversight in the form of a trust. By Miguel Rios
County commissioners unanimously voted last week to create Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, a trust to oversee the Oklahoma County jail’s operations and finances. They also appointed trustees, including District 3 commissioner Kevin Calvey. While there are still many questions about how the jail trust will work, whether the sheriff’s office will continue operating the jail and what the trust will mean for employee pay and benefits, Cody Compton, chairman of the jail advisory committee, said those questions can be addressed at a later date. “One thing that we did learn through the process is that there are still questions remaining — you know, employment issues, all that kind of stuff,” said Compton, who is also District 1 deputy commissioner. “Bond counsel has assured us that while those questions are appropriate and important, they can be addressed at a later time. This allows us to start the process and get the trust going.” The purpose of the trust, according to the indenture document, is to make the most efficient use of all “economic resources and powers in accord with the needs and benefits” of Oklahoma. The trust will promote, operate, finance and develop jail facilities, rehabilitation, addiction, mental health and other diversion services. It will not perform any duties already exclusively reserved to a sheriff, jailer, undersheriff, deputy sheriff or any other county officer’s office. Larry Grant, president of Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 155, told the commissioners they oppose any kind of jail trust because of the unanswered questions. “Our reason is that nobody can tell us what’s going to happen to the em4
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ployees in jail — big question mark. Are they going to keep their benefits, pay? Nothing’s been decided, and we feel like that should be one of the items that this board decides on and then passes it on,” he said. “Because of those reasons, we are opposed to a jail trust at this time.”
The designation of a trust introduces the possibility of privatization of the operation of the jail where profit becomes primary over personnel and prisoners. Jim Gragg Timothy Tardibono, president of Criminal Justice Advisory Council, said there is a state statute that says employees of the trust could keep their retirement benefits if they were county employees. “We do recognize that these employees have been faithful, they’ve been here a long time, many of them. We don’t want to lose that experience, and we certainly don’t want to lose their benefits,” he said. “The nature of the jail advisory committee’s review was that we did want to make a way to make clear that future trust employees who were former county employees would keep their benefits.” A representative of Voices Organized in Civic Engagement (VOICE), a coalition of churches, nonprofits and schools, said the group is also worried about the jail becoming privatized and profitmotivated, as the trust could hire an
outside firm to operate the jail. “The designation of a trust introduces the possibility of privatization of the operation of the jail where profit becomes primary over personnel and prisoners,” Jim Gragg said. “We just are concerned that, in this process, the rights and wellbeing of those who are incarcerated in the county jail are protected. … We are very eager to see a commissioner appointed to the board of the trust who has a rapport with the sheriff, those who are incarcerated and the personnel in the jail.” Sheriff P.D. Taylor has also publicly opposed the idea of a jail trust, and his relationship with Calvey has been rocky. In February, Calvey showed up at the county jail with 17 others to tour the facility. The sheriff blocked them from entering, citing security concerns, as he only thought two people were going on the tour. In March, Calvey accused him of mismanaging the jail, and Taylor responded by defending his office and saying the issues were not his sole responsibility. The sheriff’s office did not issue an official statement on the trust but did post on its official Facebook and Twitter pages that it is “looking forward to a new level of oversight at the jail.”
Despite unanswered questions, the jail trust was passed, along with the appointment of nine trustees. Four appointees were recommended by the Criminal Justice Advisory Council: M.T. Berry, Jim Couch, Tricia Everest and Sue Ann Arnall. Sheriff Taylor will serve as an ex officio member. Each commissioner also made one appointment. District 1 commissioner Carrie Blumert appointed Francie Ekwerekwu, an assistant public defender and attorney for The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM). District 2 commissioner Brian Maughan appointed former senator Ben Brown. Calvey appointed former Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. When it came time to the vote on which county commissioner would be
County commissioners unanimously voted to create a jail trust May 22. | Photo Miguel Rios
on the trust, Calvey requested they defer their vote. District Attorney David Prater criticized the potential delay, saying they should vote immediately to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Blumert agreed with Prater and began a motion to vote for herself. “We must we must choose someone who is open to unique and new ways of looking at criminal justice reform and new and unique ways of funding a new facility. We must choose a representative who can collaborate, partner, find common ground and ultimately fight for the best for our county jail for the 1,600 people locked inside and for our 400-plus valuable employees,” Blumert said. “My purpose for being a county commissioner was to reform our local criminal justice system, and with the background in public health, I feel the experience I bring to this situation is a fresh and new and needed perspective. … Even though this is a little unprecedented and this is not commonly done, but I truly feel that I am the most appropriate and best representative of this board to serve on the jail trust. And I cannot, in good faith, in the best interest of Oklahoma County, vote yes to send the volatile relationship between our sheriff and commissioner Calvey to go represent us on this trust.” Blumert’s motion died for lack of a second vote, and Maughan instead made a motion to vote for Calvey. Maughan said he anguished about the decision. He said he felt called to do it. “But I will be up for reelection next year, if I choose to seek another term,” Maughan said. “I think that the time involved and who’s going to serve on this committee would need to be somebody who will have the continuity of seeing it through, so I would make a motion that commissioner Calvey serve as the designee on behalf of this board.” Calvey supported the motion and voted to appoint himself as the commissioners’ representative on the trust. According to the indenture document, a majority of the trustees will select a chair.
Oklahoma City is looking to add new artists to a pool that helps advance public art projects. By Miguel Rios
Oklahoma City is currently accepting applications from artists interested in joining its prequalified artist pool. The pool is used to identify artists for various public art projects budgeted under $25,000 throughout the city. The pool is part of the city’s public art master plan and a recommendation from San Diego, California-based art consultant Gail Goldman. After the planning study, officials said it was clear the community wanted help identifying qualified professionals to undertake public art projects. “There was a real need to help people, help the private sector identify which artists would be almost recommended by the arts commission, who would be able to deliver a quality project that could make it through design, review and permitting,” said Robbie Kienzle, City of OKC’s art and cultural affairs liaison. “The other thing [Goldman] found was that it took a really long time to go through the process that is required by the city, by state law, to realize a public
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art project.” While anyone can use the pool to find qualified artists and get in contact with them, Kienzle said the pool significantly speeds up the city’s public art projects. “It really saves us about three months in our process when we’re able to do this,” she said. “We don’t have to spend as much staff time on them because we’ve already done a bulk of it up front. But in the end, too, we find that the prequalified pool artists, because we do have a little bit more time, we can spend more time helping them, we can do training meetings.”
To get picked for a project, a selection committee made up of stakeholders meets to orient itself with the project. The committee then picks three finalists from the pool who get paid to go on a site tour and prepare conceptual design reports. The finalists present their concepts, and Oklahoma City Arts Commission makes a recommendation.
“This is always the most difficult part — the deliberation — because really any one of the finalists could be selected and we could have a successful project. But it really comes down to what’s right for that site and for that building or that park,” Kienzle said. “Then we go to city council twice. The
Robbie Kienzle is the art and cultural affairs liaison and program planner for Oklahoma City. | Photo Alexa Ace
first time we go to city council, we ask them to authorize staff to negotiate the contracts. They often want to hear our continued on page 6
5 5/22/19 3:33 PM
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
News from the Oklahoma Legislative Session
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story about how the artist was selected. They love to hear that they came from the prequalified pool because we’ve been spending a lot of time on cultivating the pool now over the last few years. When we come back with the final contract, then we ask council to approve it. And then we get started.” The pool is currently made up of 74 artists in 11 different categories, including art handling, murals, photography and mosaics. Three new categories will be added: ceramics, fiber and glass. There is no limit on how many artists can join the pool, but Kienzle said she hopes to have at least 100 artists.
There was a real need to help people, help the private sector identify which artists would be almost recommended by the arts commission. Robbie Kienzle To get into the pool, artists must submit a statement, resume, images and up to two professional references through BidSync, an online bidding program. The deadline is 4 p.m. June 18. “We produce a report that then we can look at, and so the report will have all of the artist’s information, their artist statement, their resume and their images,” Kienzle said. “We put these in large binders and we deliver it through a secure site to professional art jurors who have agreed to do this. … Then we start going through the submissions one by one with a PowerPoint so that we can all see them together and talk about the images and what they submitted.” After discussing the entries, jurors will make recommendations to the arts commission, which will then make final decisions. Practicing artists over 18 years of age can apply individually or as a team. Experience with public art commissions is not required, but artists should be able to prove an ability to carry out public art projects. “We’re looking for no huge blemishes,” she said. “If we have seen a disaster that’s occurred … probably one of the jurors would know that and want to talk about it. If I was coaching an artist that might have had an incident happen in their past, I would say embrace it in your cover letter. Explain why it happened from your perspective, what you learned about it and how it wouldn’t happen again.” Kienzle encourages people to read the application instructions carefully, include a strong artist statement and
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reach out if they have any questions.
Brett McDanel, an artist in the pool specializing in 3D work, said he joined after several people encouraged him to do so. “I was kind of scared to do it because, I don’t know, it kind of seemed like a big deal,” he said. “I got shortlisted for a project probably four or five months ago, and I won the bid. I completed my first project probably in less than a year — maybe a little bit more than a year — of being a part of the pool.” McDanel recently completed “Windswept Wall,” an outdoor patio art screen at Fire Station No. 29. He encourages other artists to pursue artistic opportunities and not be afraid to join the pool. “By the time I did a proposal and got accepted to build something … it just made me feel like I was doing the right thing. It made me feel like I was designing something worthwhile,” he said. “People enjoyed what I was doing, and it really wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be. I love what I do, and I just got to do it on a bigger scale. Now everybody can see it.” The pool has also been used for things outside public art. For example, three of the artists in the pool interviewed for city hall’s artist-in-residence program. Erica Bonavida, an artist in the pool specializing in 2D work, was selected and is currently in that role. “As we build other programs to support artists, like our artist-in-residence program, we’re also building that in a way that it comes from the pool,” Kienzle said. “It’s an extension from the pool, so we will continue ... to look for ways to give artists a reason to be in the prequalified tool. That’s why, even if they typically do work that’s over $25,000, I encourage them to be in the pool. It’s also what we use to recommend to the private sector. I have calls every week where people say, ‘You know, I’m in a design review district or I’m in a historic district or I’m building something new, and I would really like a piece of artwork. How would I find an artist?’ And I always recommend, ‘Go to the prequalified pool.’ It’s like looking through a catalog. You can see what kind of work kind of works with the design and who the artists are, and it puts you in direct contact with them.” Visit okc.gov.
Church to church
Oklahoma City has signed a memorandum of understanding with Crossings Community Church and First Christian Church to help preserve three buildings. By Miguel Rios
Oklahoma City Council voted to pass a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the city, First Christian Church and Crossings Community Church. Part of the agreement states the city will immediately withdraw the application to designate First Christian a historic landmark overlay district. “This MOU provides terms that are agreed to by all three parties,” said Amanda Carpenter, deputy municipal counselor, at the April 21 council meeting. “It specifically provides that, in exchange for the City of Oklahoma City withdrawing its application to designate the property as a historic landmark, both First Christian Church and Crossings agree they will not seek to demo the buildings that include the sanctuary, the education center and the Jewel Box Theatre. ‘Demo’ in this agreement means that they will not seek to demolish, tear down, knock down the external structures of those buildings. First Christian Church agrees to do that during the time that they are under contract with Crossings. Crossings is also agreeing to not demo those buildings during any point in time that they own the building. The city also is agreeing that we will not initiate a designation of historic landmark status while Crossings owns the building.” The agreement, presented by Ward 2 councilman James Cooper and Ward 8 councilman Mark Stonecipher, also gives Crossings a contractual obligation to give the city notice of any potential sales. “In the event that Crossings finds itself, months from now, years from now, receiving an offer from someone to purchase the church from them, they will notify the city within 30 days to let us know,” Cooper told Oklahoma Gazette. “And the City of Oklahoma City will have what’s called right of first refusal, and
we would be able to match that cost and buy it ourselves. So in other words, the City of Oklahoma City will be able to have preserved those buildings and prevent them from demolition, and I feel really good about that.” The MOU comes weeks after Stonecipher, along with three other councilmen but without Cooper’s knowledge, introduced a resolution to rescind the Historic Preservation Commission’s (HPC) historic landmark application that was initiated April 3. “I applaud councilman Stonecipher for understanding the significance of working with the Ward 2 representative, considering that is where that building is located,” Cooper said. “When I explained to him … its historical significance — not only in its architecture, but its literal cultural, historical, narrative role now — he understood that. … It took councilman Stonecipher and I literally listening to each other, not ‘hearing,’ but listening to where each of us were coming from, stating what our end goals are and then finding the legal language that allowed us to accomplish those goals.” Since the MOU also included language to withdraw the historic landmark application, the previous resolution was stricken. Crossings previously promised not to pursue demolition and instead invest in renovations. “We are pleased that the agreement was approved because that really allows us to keep going forward with the potential purchase of that building,” said Jennifer Ayotte, Crossings director of internal communications. “Obviously our intention has not been to demolish the building, but if there’s a historic preservation put on there, that really puts some strict standards on things that can and can’t be done.”
First Christian Church’s owners oppose the historic landmark designation, which meant the council needed seven out of nine votes instead of five to pass the designation. “I would have been one of those voting in favor of that landmark designation, but I didn’t have seven votes, the council did not have seven votes,” Cooper said. “As soon as that became crystal clear to me … that’s when I immediately met with Crossings and First Christian to say, ‘Hey, guys. What can we do? What can we do to make sure that we can get peace of mind to Ward 2 residents who care a lot about historic preservation, who care a lot about First Christian and also care a lot about religious liberty and property rights?’ This is how we were able to do it, and I feel good about that.” The MOU passed 8-1, with Ward 5 councilman David Greenwell as the sole opposition. Despite co-sponsoring the previous resolution withdrawing the historic landmark application, Greenwell said during the April 21 meeting that the “agreement almost forces them into historical preservation.” He said courts could see this as entering into a contract under duress or coercion. “The only difference is they could make modification without coming before the [HPC] under the terms of this MOU. Outside of that, it’s the same thing as receiving historical preservation,” he said. “I suspect there’s more than just a couple of attorneys who would take this up. Here’s the other problem: We’ve now entered in and created a level of risk that if this sale does not go through, all First Christian has to do is point to the actions of the City of Oklahoma City, and now we’re on the hook.” Carpenter said the deal was agreed to by both churches and does not affect their property rights or First Amendment rights. Ayotte told Gazette that Crossings Ward 2 councilman James Cooper said he felt good about the city being able to preserve First Christian Church. | Photo Miguel Rios
Crossings Community Church has signed a memorandum of understanding to not pursue any demolition for First Christian Church. | Photo Alexa Ace
was pleased with the agreement and excited to move forward. Stonecipher said during the meeting that all parties discussed their needs productively and could have walked away from the process if they did not want to move forward. “That’s what compromise is about: both sides giving. And both sides gave here, and both sides are comfortable with where they’re at, and both sides want to move forward,” he said. “[Crossings is] ecstatic about the prospect of reviving this as a new component of Crossings Church.” Lynne Rostochil, granddaughter of First Christian’s architect R. Duane Conner, spoke to the city council and said she was happy with the agreement but worried rescinding the application by HPC undermined their authority. “It’s setting a very bad precedent for the future,” she said. “If they make a decision and someone’s not happy with it, then they can come to you, and I just really don’t like the idea of their powers being watered down. It could impact other committees and other commissions as well.” Historic Preservation Commission is in the final stages of developing a citywide historic preservation plan, according to officials. It will serve as a policy document, outlining how the city can encourage and support historic preservation while proactively identifying properties with historic significance. “Right now, we have four members of city council who see the world a bit differently than those of us who believe in historic preservation, and they were prepared to make their views known with their resolution a couple weeks ago,” Cooper said. “That means it is incumbent upon us who believe in historic preservation to continue to champion it and find advocates to support it.” Crossings plans to have an informational session in June for any community members who have questions or concerns. It will be announced on its website. O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
A new monument at the state Capitol has been approved, but do not roll your eyes just yet — it will have nothing to do with any religion. The new monument will instead highlight the Bill of Rights. A nonreligious, relevant, politically important monument at the building where our state lawmakers go to make laws. Weird, right? You might recall Oklahoma’s infamous history with monuments at the Capitol. It all started with a monument of the Ten Commandments, which was destroyed and rebuilt once. To no surprise, various state and federal lawsuits followed for placing a religious monument on public property. Then came the Satanic Temple with an idea to add a Lord Baphomet monument and a Hindu group pleading that Lord Hanuman should have a place at the capitol too. The whole situation got so bad that Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to the original monument, citing a former state representative calling it “a lightning rod of controversy.” Needless to say, the Ten Commandments were removed. Now, 10 other commandments will be placed at the Capitol — except all of these hold up in court. The new, privately funded monument is actually more of a plaza with two limestone sculptures each listing five of the 10 amendments. Three limestone seats will also be placed in front of each of the sculptures so Republican lawmakers can sit and refamiliarize themselves with amendments besides the second one. The sculptures will be unique to Oklahoma, with sketched details of some of the things the state is known for. Thankfully, they skipped over obesity, high incarceration, inadequate health care coverage and bicycle deaths and instead opted for oil pumps, windmills and cornstalks.
Measles was declared eradicated in the United States in the year 2000, but the disease has its highest infection rate in the U.S. since 1994, thanks to rising misinformation surrounding vaccinations. We thought we got rid of measles in 2000, but it’s back, as last week, Oklahoma became the 23rd state to report a case this year. We are sitting here waiting for Tamagotchis and the Budweiser “Whaaaaz up?” guys to make a comeback, but instead we are stuck with a highly contagious respiratory disease. Heck, we will take our scientific info from the former Budweiser spokesmen over Jenny McCarthy, the former Playboy Playmate and MTV host who amplified the anti-vaccination sentiment in the country. Vaccinations for measles have existed since the 1960s. The rising rate of autism in the country has nothing to do with vaccinations — a classic case of correlation does not equal causation — because the definition of autism has expanded to include a full spectrum of manifestations. The rise of anti-vaxxers who are in favor of parental choice exemptions for vaccinations, like Gov. Kevin Stitt, have become prevalent enough for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to caution anyone
who has gotten the measles vaccine through MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) before 1989 that it might be a good idea to get a booster shot. Recently, a Texas congressman referred to vaccines as “sorcery” that only exist as a scam by “Big Pharma” to line its earnings. Last we checked, vaccinations are not a profit center for pharmaceutical companies — they prefer to be complicit in the country’s opioid epidemic. Wouldn’t it be in “Big Pharma’s” interest to have as many sick people as possible? According to the CDC, Oklahoma lags behind the national average for MMR vaccination (92.6 in Oklahoma compared to 94.3 percent nationally), and vaccines are the only way to stop the virus that can be fatal.
Friendship at Central
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA TM
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The boys in Delta Tau Chi have gone too far. Following reports of chauvinist comments and sophomoric pranks this term, two members were recently caught on an open microphone making light of an alleged sexual harassment incident. By “the boys in Delta Tau Chi,” we actually mean “the fully grown men who serve as elected representatives in the Oklahoma Legislature,” but some of the straight-up misogyny witnessed in this legislative session seems easier to wrap your head around if you imagine it coming from doofy frat brothers in a purposely stupid 1970s comedy. Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, were caught on a hot mic discussing an ongoing sexual misconduct investigation. News 9 footage shot prior to a May 13 press conference finds McBride asking Fetgatter about an allegation that Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, trapped an unnamed female representative in a restaurant booth, showed her a pornographic video
and touched her inappropriately. “’You molested this girl after Kannady did?’” McBride asked Fetgatter, according to News 9’s transcription of the conversation, which continues, “Fetgatter seems to reply, ‘No, I was at the table and I allowed it.’ McBride then appears to ask, ‘Are you sure it wasn’t a donkey or a goat?’” News 9 reported McBride, who previously made headlines in 2015 when Fox 25 obtained a profane and threatening voicemail he left for a former employee, declined to comment, but Fetgatter issued a statement saying his comments had been “taken out of context” and that he has “never seen anything inappropriate happen or sexual harassment occur during [his] time in the House of Representatives.” Gov. Kevin Stitt, who initially called for the nowovershadowed press conference, told Fox 25, “If any of that stuff's true, that's disappointing, but it's also disappointing that people are joking about stuff like that.” We agree. At least some of the jokes in National Lampoon's Animal House are funny.
Progressive [pruh-gres-iv] | adjective
favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters.
Sounds pretty good to us. How about you?
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
CO M M E N TA RY
Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.
U.S. Sen. James Lankford’s fixation on anti-choice legislation goes against the majority of U.S. citizens. By George Lang
United States Senator James Lankford (R-OK) | Photo Wikimedia Commons / provided
Next week, Hulu’s acclaimed adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale begins its third season on the streaming service. A dystopian nightmare in which fundamentalists seize control of the United States in a violent coup, reduce newly rechristened Gilead’s population of women to forced procreation vessels and banish heretics and the infertile to work in the toxic “colonies,” The Handmaid’s Tale has achieved newfound salience as state legislatures in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Mississippi pass laws to constrict abortion rights. These bills that are passing in conservative-dominated legislatures are in direct conflict with majority opinion on the status of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. In a May 21 CBS News poll, 67 percent of Americans favored maintaining abortion rights as set forth in Roe, yet these state legislatures are siding with the 28 percent who want to make abortion illegal and off limits. Even a plurality of Republicans polled — 48 percent — favor keeping abortion available, albeit with greater limitations. The Handmaid’s Tale, both the 1985 novel and its adaptations, depict a scenario in which a minority of ultracon-
servative he-man woman-haters prevail over a majority that preferred the old land of the free over the newly enforced theocratic rule by misogynistic zealots. Bills like the one signed this month by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey feel like prologue to the Gilead revolution. The new laws’ main purpose is to tee up litigation that anti-choice forces hope will result in the Supreme Court revisiting Roe, but while these state laws are currently receiving the most public scrutiny, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, has quietly sponsored or co-sponsored 11 pieces of anti-choice legislation since the beginning of 2019. I say “quietly” because Lankford issues surprisingly few public statements on his anti-choice legislation. Since Jan. 1, Lankford’s office has issued six press releases on various aspects of his anti-choice agenda out of his total of over 105 press releases during that period. It is clearly an important agenda item for the senator, whose post-collegiate work experience prior to his congressional election during the Tea Party massacre of 2010 mainly consisted of overseeing student evangelism programs for Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and serving as director of youth programming for Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis. Lankford began his 2019 anti-choice campaign on Jan. 9, issuing a statement in support of a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) change to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would prohibit issuers of ACA-related insurance policies from paying for abortions with the surcharges. In January 2019 alone, Lankford sponsored or cosponsored bills seeking to prohibit family planning grants from being issued to organizations that perform abortions, prohibit minors from being transported across state lines without parental consent for abortions,
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M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
enforce doctors’ requirements to perform life-saving measures in the event that a fetus survives an abortion procedure, prohibit discrimination against clinics that refuse to perform abortions, deny federal funding to nongovernmental organizations (NGO) that promote or perform abortions in other countries, prohibit so-called dismemberment abortions and other related legislation. His most recent anti-choice bill was essentially a bribe: a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a child tax credit for pregnant mothers. In other words, get pregnant and stay pregnant to get a sweet deduction on your Form 1040. These legislative actions are not surprising given Lankford’s voting record, which earned him a 91 out of 100 rating from The American Conservative Union (ACU), the organization that stages the annual worst-case scenario for American leadership, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But it is the fervency with which Lankford chips away at protections under Roe that makes him such a clear and present threat to women’s reproductive rights. Much of the anti-choice legislation Lankford sponsors or cosponsors is the lawmaking equivalent of nuisance litigation. Take, for instance, Senate Bill 311, the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which requires doctors present at the time of an abortion procedure to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health” of a child born during said abortion. Infanticide is already illegal. When conservatives decry pieces of legislation because they are unnecessary due to existing laws (see continuing arguments against gun control), that standard clearly does not apply to bills designed H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
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to score points with Matt Schlapp of the ACU and his acolytes. Since Oklahoma had no reports of infants born alive due to abortion procedures in 2016, the last year such statistics were reported by the state of Oklahoma, SB311 is the legislative equivalent of those horrific billboards of fetuses that anti-choice groups buy on Interstate 75 in Florida so kids can have waking nightmares on their way to see Mickey Mouse and Moana. To his credit, Lankford is occasionally on the right side of history, recently finding common cause with Democrats like U.S. senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) on fraud prevention and cybersecurity for voting systems. But it is when he votes like the junior senator from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma that Lankford’s work is most odious and dangerous to the rights of women. Of course, Lankford’s conservative bona fides go well beyond subjugation of women and elimination of reproductive rights, and many columns can and probably will be written on the senator’s indefensible record on LGBTQ+ rights and unabashed love for the AR-15. It has become a regular talking point among progressives that ultra-conservative lawmakers see The Handmaid’s Tale as a how-to book for the oppression of marginalized groups, and Lankford’s record indicates his copy of the book is dogeared and rife with highlighted “blessed be the fruit” dialogue. Despite the efforts of his fellow Trumpists, The Handmaid’s Tale is still fiction, but in Lankford’s mind, he is already Commander Lankford, R-Gilead. George Lang is editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette and began his career at Gazette in 1994. | Photo Gazette / file
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EAT & DRINK
Ned’s Starlite Lounge offers unique décor with a well-executed menu of modern and throwback comfort food. By Jacob Threadgill
Ned’s Starlite Lounge 7301 N. May Ave. nedsstarlitelounge.com | 405-242-6100 WHAT WORKS: The chicken-fried steak is tender, and the shrimp and grits are creamy. WHAT NEEDS WORK: The pork belly needs more caramelizing. TIP: The unique veggie burger patty is also offered on Ned’s Benedict.
Even though the interior looks like a snapshot of a lounge from the late 1960s, Ned’s Starlite Lounge opened at 7301 N. May Ave. in the second half of 2018. The gold flocked wallpaper and bathroom tile are from the 1960s while the restaurant’s barstools and high-walled gold booths are reproductions from the era. You might think you had stepped into a time portal if you did not look at a menu or notice that no one is smoking indoors. The concept is the brainchild of Ned Shadid Sr., an institution of Oklahoma cooking, having operated the successful Ned’s Catering for decades and served as past president of Oklahoma Restaurant Association. Outside of wanting to attract a larger lunch and brunch crowd, Shadid is more than pleased with the reception of Ned’s Starlite Lounge in its first eight months of operation. “People love the vibe, the cocktails and
people rave about the food,” Shadid said. “The only thing we might hear is that the portions are too big, but that’s the kind of complaint that we like to hear.” Starlite’s chicken-fried steak comes with traditional white gravy or smoky Poblano gravy with either fries or mashed potatoes, and it is huge. It is not quite as big as Kendall’s Restaurant or Jimmy’s Round-Up Cafe and Fried Pies, but it is every bit as tasty. Starlite pounds the steak tender, and it retains its tenderness after a crispy deep fry. In a city known for serving some great chickenfried steak, Shadid’s version is up there with some of the best. I attended a family-style meal at Starlite Lounge a few weeks ago and got a chance to sample most of its weekend brunch menu. My favorite bite was its shrimp and grits. An entrée portion features 12 jumbo shrimp with fourcheese grits so smooth and creamy that you might not even realize they are grits. It is all topped with a roasted honey habanero reduction that is equal parts sweet and spicy. Instead of using English muffins as a base for Benedicts, Starlite Lounge substitutes a split yeast roll that is browned on the flattop. Country Chic places a pork sausage patty on the roll with a poached egg and a garlic tomato reduction that is a nice twist on the regular hollandaise sauce. The rolls make another appearance on Ned’s breakfast sandwich, served openfaced in the case of the loaded option, which was my least favorite item on the brunch menu only because of the inclusion of
pork belly with eggs, bacon, sausage and country gravy. The pork belly was not caramelized enough and was like chewing warm gristle. “We try to caramelize our pork belly,” Shadid said. “So many people serve it with too much fat on there. We let it render the fat off. It’s something you either love or you don’t love. Of course, if I get a big, fatty piece, I’m not much of a fan either.” Pork belly, which is the part of the pig that yields bacon, started to become more ubiquitous on menus in the last 10 years as the country’s bacon obsession hit a second gear. I love bacon, but can we all just admit that it can be overkill sometimes? Give me carnitas crisped on the flattop over pork belly. It should be noted that the national bacon craze did not happen organically. Following the trend to reduce fat intake in the 1980s and 1990s, leaner cuts of pork like tenderloin became more en vogue (Remember the campaign “Pork: The Other White Meat?”), leaving the fatty belly to be thrown away. Pork lobbyists targeted fast-food franchises to add bacon to their menus, even subsidizing recipe development, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and beginning with the rollout of Hardee’s Frisco Burger in 1992, set us on the craze that led to bacon-themed restaurants. Beyond the pork belly misstep, Starlite Lounge is really firing on all cylinders. Its half-pound beef burgers are caramelized and served medium. The top-selling burger is the Nomad, which pays homage to the space’s former occupant, Nomad II, with its fried pepperoni that was a menu staple. It uses a similar formula to make steaks on its chophouse feature, as they are cooked in a skillet for even caramelizing. I prefer the skillet to the grill for steak. You get more of the flavor of the meat than the flavor of the charcoal from the grill. Ned’s makes an excellent burger, but on a recent dinner trip, I ordered the veggie burger because I needed a lighter
The veggie burger features two patties with a hummus base and sauteed vegetables. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
option after a lot of heavy eating and was pleasantly surprised by Starlite’s unique preparation. It uses a hummus base for the veggie patty and adds red bell pepper and zucchini before it is put on the flattop to crisp. I was surprised when Shadid told me the kitchen staff does not batter it because that is what it tastes like. You can get the veggie patty substituted on the veggie version of the Benedict at brunch, as well. Shadid said Ned’s is rolling out new menu additions at the beginning of June, which include some new pastas like a beef stroganoff made with tenderloin that has been a popular special feature as well as a few lighter items. “I could be here for 15 hours per day,” Shadid said. “Being in the catering business is a wonderful thing. You get to see clients and occasionally talk to them, but here, you’ll get the same people who come in all the time and you really get to know them. I didn’t realize how bad I missed the restaurant business.” Visit nedsstarlitelounge.com.
A bloody mary topped with a housemade corn dog, bacon and pork belly | Photo Jacob Threadgill
Chicken-fried steak with poblano gravy and fries | Photo Jacob Threadgill
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
EAT & DRINK Mallorca bread and a latte at D Taino Bakery | Photo Alexa Ace
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F E AT U R E
Island delights D Taino Bakery opens downtown as Oklahoma’s only Puerto Rican bakery. By Jacob Threadgill
Hector Lopez and Wenddys Rios could not locate Oklahoma on a map until Hurricane Maria brought devastation to their native Puerto Rico in 2017. They had no plans to open a bakery either, but their love of desserts and pastry from their home led them to open Oklahoma’s only Puerto Rican bakery, D Taino Bakery, 300 Park Ave., Suite 1103, which opened in early February and is connected to Metropolitan Library System’s Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library. Lopez, an electrical engineer with a background working in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, was offered a job in Oklahoma City out of the blue a few months after Hurricane Maria caused nearly 3,000 fatalities and $90 billion in damage to the island. “When they called us, we said, ‘Oklawhere?’ We weren’t sure where Oklahoma is, but it was a no-brainer,” Lopez said. “We were living on the 20th floor without water or power.” Six months after relocating to Oklahoma City, the company that hired Lopez informed him that they did not have the money to support his position and he was laid off. He and Rios began to plan their next move. They did not want to leave Oklahoma because they had begun to build roots, but they also did not want to live in a place with no access to the coffee and baked goods that are an intrinsic part of life in Puerto Rico. So they took matters into their own hands, even though neither Lopez nor Rios has any experience baking professionally or in the restaurant industry.
“We noticed that we couldn’t find any coffee, bread or sandwiches with our [Puerto Rican] touch,” Lopez said. “We went to all of the coffee shops and bakeries, but something was missing. We were desperate and unemployed, so we said, ‘Hey, let’s do it. Let’s open a bakery.’” To ease their transition into small business ownership, they used resources at Rose State College, which helped them develop a market and business plan to secure a business loan. They lived near downtown and noticed the space connected to the library was open, but by the time they inquired, two other potential
Hector Lopez and Wenddys Rios own D Taino Bakery. | Photo Alexa Ace
tenants applied. All three had to present their plan to Metropolitan Library System, and D Taino won the proposal. “We placed our heart into it,” Lopez said. Developing D Taino’s menu of pastry and breads was a complicated process for Rios, who became a certified food manager with the state, because she could not rely on family recipes for breads like sobao or Mallorca. “The main issue is that in Puerto Rico, they don’t teach you the bread recipe openly. She had to develop the recipe for herself in Oklahoma,” Lopez said. “It took hundreds of pounds of bread to get it right. We had to do a lot of jumping through hoops because no one tells you the recipe.” Sobao roughly translates to massage or kneaded bread, but most breads are kneaded. What sets sobao apart is its unique two-day process that requires a starter mixture of yeast, flour and water that ferments for 13 hours (shorter than a sourdough starter) but bubbles and becomes spongelike. The starter is made in the afternoon one day and finished the next morning. The end result is impossibly soft and squishy bread that feels like a cloud when you hold it. D Taino serves house-roasted turkey, pork and chicken on sandwiches made with sobao bread and also offers breakfast sandwiches of eggs, bacon and cheese on sweet Mallorca bread. Shopping for specific ingredients to fill the menu is an arduous task. Lopez said it takes stops at four to five places beyond the metro area three times a week to get hard-to-find items like guava and passion fruit. The bakery offers a rotating selection of pastry like a puff pastry filled with guava jam and topped with powdered sugar, pineapple turnovers, bread pudding and a quesito, which is a light, oblong pastry filled with sweet cream cheese. “When you go to the display, you are not going to find any doughnuts, bagels or croissants,” Lopez said. “We’ve had to develop a way to explain to some cus-
tomers what they are eating because they’re not accustomed to it.” They market trembleque, a popular Puerto Rican holiday dessert, as coconut Jell-O because its consistency is somewhere between pudding and Jell-O. Lopez and Rios struck a deal with the Museum of Coffee in Ciales, Puerto Rico, to ship their preferred style of beans to the shop multiple times per week. “It’s strong, but not sour,” Lopez said. “We’re the only place in Oklahoma that you can find that coffee.” D Taino’s commitment to Puerto Rican flavors has paid off in support from the Puerto Rican community, which Lopez said registered as 5,000 people in Oklahoma City in the 2010 census. They have had Puerto Ricans come from all over Oklahoma and as far away as Kansas to get a taste of home. Lopez is also encouraged by the amount of support they have received from surrounding office buildings and visitors to the library.
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Guava puff pastry, pineapple turnover, quesito and bread pudding at D Taino | Photo Alexa Ace
Lopez said Puerto Rico is still dealing with the ramifications of Hurricane Maria. He said his family went without power and food for five months following the hurricane. “Right now, the major complaint is that all the prices went up, all of the meals, supplies and food,” Lopez said. “Even though the services are restored, the prices are sky-high. Everything is more expensive and harder to find.” His brother is expected to move with his family to Oklahoma City in the coming months, and they are excited to grow together and build off the success of D Taino. “As soon as people try what we’re offering, they fall in love with the food,” Lopez said. Visit dtainobakery.com.
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EAT & DRINK
May 29 is National Biscuit Day. Take advantage of the bevy of great biscuit options we have in the city. There are huge swaths of the country that are jealous of our easy access to buttery, flaky biscuits. By Jacob Threadgill with photos by Jacob Threadgill, Gazette / file and provided
15124 Lleytons Court, Suite 103 thatsmyjamok.com | 405-242-4161
To keep up with customer demand, this breakout breakfast favorite has a dedicated person on staff to prepare biscuits throughout its service. It is a testament to Neighborhood JA.M.’s overall popularity and its tender and flaky biscuits that can be ordered by the basket with a choice of fresh fruit jam and apple butter.
Aurora Breakfast, Bar & Backyard
1601 N. Gatewood Ave. thepressokc.com | 405-208-7739
The biscuit option at The Press is large enough to be its own meal, but beyond its version of biscuits and gravy and a fried chicken biscuit sandwich with barbecue sauce, the biscuit serves as the world’s great $2 side item. Use it to sop up some of The Press’ gravy. Who does not love a great sop?
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M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
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Customers can enjoy Aurora’s signature crispy thyme biscuit as a composed dish on its own section of the menu. You are not just getting a biscuit on the side with dishes like Plaza Jam, which tops the biscuit with bacon, whipped cream cheese, scrambled egg and tomato jam. Aurora serves a smoky pepper gravy that tops its biscuits, or diners can order its spin on lox with cold-smoked salmon.
Hungry Frog Restaurant
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This venerable diner has been around since 1972, and it is still firing on all cylinders, but you have got to act quickly to get there before its 2:30 p.m. close and find another option on Sundays, when it is not open. Its biscuits are more than 3 inches tall and are served with top-notch classic sausage gravy. There is no need to hide a subpar biscuit under a mountain of gravy at Hungry Frog like some other places.
The key to a flaky biscuit is to use cold butter that will retain its shape when making the dough to create steam during the baking process. The biscuits at HunnyBunny are perfectly flaky and have a brown but soft top. You can get them on either side of a sandwich, griddled on the flattop like French toast or as part of an entrée like chicken pot pie.
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The huge, black pepper buttermilk biscuits with crispy tops are perfect for the restaurant’s oversized sandwiches. If you have not been to Buttermilk in a few months, it unveiled some new menu items for its one-year anniversary that include full plates and more sweet items like s’mores biscuits and strawberry shortcake.
Do not worry about pairing a biscuit with sausage gravy that is light on the meat at Sherri’s, where the gravy is finished with crumbled sausage to increase the flavor of the dish. Sherri’s baked goods keep people coming back to the effervescent and kitschy diner, and the biscuits are no exception. Filled with buttery layers and a crispy top, the biscuits are all you need.
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M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
ARTS & CULTURE
Prix de West unites the country’s best Western artists and is National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s largest fundraiser. By Jacob Threadgill
One of the residual effects of bringing nearly 100 of the country’s best Western artists into Oklahoma City for the annual Prix de West art sale and exhibition is the ripple effect and inspiration it creates in the artistic community. The 47th edition kicks off with an opening weekend of seminars, demonstrations and awards June 7-8 at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St. The 296 works of art from 98 artists remain on display and available for purchase through Aug. 4. Michigan-based artist Bonnie Marris presents this year at Prix de West for the third time and enters with momentum from previous years. “It’s a huge honor to be in the show,” Marris said. “It’s easily one of, if not the
and an Arctic wolf she photographed while in Alaska. She found herself faceto-face with a grizzly and only a large creek separating them. “When you’re that close to a bear, there is nothing you can do,” she said. “Your vision becomes so incredibly focused on the animal that you don’t see anything else. It is thrilling. Each time I’ve gotten close the bears, you can’t plan what you’re going to do because half the time, you’re above the tree line, and even if you aren’t, a grizzly can go up a tree faster than anyone. I wanted to show the intensity of the breath of the being that close.” Marris said the chance to meet artists and collaborate, learn technique is an invaluable part of Prix de West.
per year, and it’s our one chance to connect with each other and people interested in buying our work.” Hagege paints figures and landscapes of the Southwest, working with members of Apache, Taos and Navajo tribes to depict contemporary Native American life with a modern landscape. He depicts his figures with landscapes that are both real and imagined. His piece “Sagebrush Wanderers” shows his subjects on horseback with real-life red cliffs of northern Arizona, while “The Sun Is Always Breeding” shows riders in a valley of imaginary green hills. “The big sky, red cliffs and dotted sagebrush on the landscapes [of the American Southwest] really appeals to my aesthetic,” Hagege said. “I wanted the human element to come through and apply it to the people living in those regions.”
“Big Grizz” by Bonnie Marris | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided
best, in the country; it’s just a fantastic show. I was so amazed the first year that I went there because the museum staff and the collectors have an energy when you go into the show that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. There is an enthusiasm from everyone. It is almost shoulder-to-shoulder in the gallery. I came home absolutely fired up and hoping that they’d ask me again. It just about made my whole year. An artist gets their motivation from that kind of energy, and if you go to a show where there is a stillness, you come home if it was worth it to continue.” Marris studied zoology and animal behavior at Michigan State University but left academics behind for field studies and artwork. She takes several field trips each year to photograph animals in the wild and then turns those photographs into huge paintings meant to convey the feeling of what it’s like to be that close to a wild animal. Marris’ work at this year’s Prix de West includes paintings of a grizzly bear
“You bounce off of each other,” she said. “You see the greatest artists, and automatically, the standards for your art are raised so much higher. There’s no ego with artists at the whole show, and they’re so willing to share skills.”
Los Angeles-based landscape and portrait artist Logan Maxwell Hagege actually attended Prix de West a few times before he was invited to participate for the first time six years ago. “[Prix de West] is such a major part of my world, and I just had to be part of it any way that I could,” Hagege said of his first experience. “It brings all of the artists together because most artists will do two to three museum shows
Washington-based artist Ross Matteson is showing at Prix de West for the 26th year and has watched Oklahoma City and Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum change over time. Matteson is a multifaceted artist working in film and writing in addition to sculpture work with wood, bronze and marble. “Showing at the Prix De West and seeing the Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum evolve over the decades has been a real privilege,” Matteson said. “I feel like I’ve been a participant in that evolution. My work tends to push the boundaries of Western art.” He has watched as the museum has expanded its narrative to include a broad fabric of history. “Traditionally, that narrative is very narrow and European-Americancentric,” he said. “Over the last 30 years, I’ve seen the narrative become more
“Punalu’u” by Ross Matteson | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided
“Sagebrush Wanderers” by Logan Maxwell Hagege | Image National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum / provided
honest and relevant to the entire community of citizens to include indigenous, Asian and African perspectives.”
Each year, Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum selects a Purchase Award winner and buys a painting to add to its permanent collection. Last year’s Purchase Award winner, Mian Situ, presents an artist talk 10 a.m. June 8. Situ’s piece “Clearing a Passageway for the Western End of the Transcontinental Railroad” depicts the work and sacrifice of Chinese immigrants to finish the project, which was a piece of history previous not explored at the museum, according to curator of special exhibits Susan Patterson. At 9:15 a.m. June 7, Seth Hopkins, executive director of Booth Western Art Museum, gives a seminar that serves as a preview for a collaborative exhibit that showcases Andy Warhol’s love of the West, which arrives at Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in late January 2020. “Often, people don’t think of Andy Warhol and the West, but he was typically wearing cowboy boots and created a lot of imagery based on the West,” Patterson said. Museumgoers can observe artists Charles Fritz, Oreland C. Joe Sr., Howard Post and Kyle Sims in action during demonstrations 1-2:30 p.m. June 8, and all seminars are free with admission to the museum. Art on sale at Prix de West ranges from $1,800 to $89,000, and the event serves as the museum’s largest annual fundraiser. “Oklahoma City and the museum are incredibly hospitable, and I’ve made lifelong friends with other artists, collectors and staff at the event,” Matteson said. Visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.
Prix de West June 7-Aug. 8 National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St. nationalcowboymuseum.org | 405-478-2250 Free-$12.50
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
COV E R
ARTS & CULTURE
The 7th Annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival comes to Tower Theatre June 21 and 22. By Jo Light
Burlesque performer and producer Adèle Wolf brings a diverse group of performance artists to Oklahoma City for The 7th Annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival June 21-22. The two-day festival at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., showcases a range of over 20 acts, from aerial performances to the traditional burlesque striptease. Wolf, who was born in Oklahoma and now splits her time between Oklahoma City, Paris and Berlin, produces several burlesque offerings every year. Her holiday shows (around New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day) are typically smaller and more intimate affairs, while Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival features more performers and an even wider range of talent over two days. Wolf started the festival in 2013 with the aim of bringing internationally recognized burlesque and variety talent to Oklahoma. The festival has become the biggest burlesque production in the state. “We have a lot more variety, in general,” Wolf said. “We have people coming from around the world, so you can also see different regions reflected a little bit in that. Burlesque in New York can be a little different than burlesque in Seattle, for instance, in terms of the subgenres that are now popular.”
I think everybody’s anticipating that this is going to be the biggest festival yet. Adèle Wolf While Wolf said classic burlesque reigns supreme, places like New York City or Seattle provide what she called “more space to get weird” and support for niche shows. She aims to bring some of this high-quality diversity of performances to the festival every year. Headliners for 2019’s festival include San Francisco-based Frankie Fictitious and Canadian performer Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière, who is a member of the Mohawk Nation. Both will be performing in Oklahoma City for the first time. “As an indigenous performer myself, I have really been trying to get [de Rière] down for a while,” Wolf said. “And I’m really excited we finally made it happen.” Fictitious, de Rière and fellow performer RedBone (who is also Wolf’s cohost at the festival) are featured at this year’s Miss Exotic World competition at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in 18
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Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 8. All three will perform their Miss Exotic World competition pieces at Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival. “It’s always exciting to see those acts,” Wolf said, “to bring Vegas to Oklahoma City, which is what we’re always trying to do anyway.” Oklahoma-based festival performers include aerialist Chase Vegas and the Aalim Najim dance troupe from Aalim Bellydance Academy. Wolf performs both Friday and Saturday with two of her signature props: a giant champagne coupe and a humanely sourced wolf pelt. Wolf said she is excited for the changes being brought to the growing festival’s seventh year. The production is moving to the vibrant Uptown 23rd District for the first time with Tower Theatre as its venue. “I think everybody’s anticipating that this is going to be the biggest festival yet,” Wolf said. “Certainly behind the scenes, it is. We always try to go bigger and better every year. But now we have this larger capacity [venue] as well.” Wolf said she hopes performers will utilize the city’s new streetcar system during their visit, too. In addition, the festival falls on the weekend of Oklahoma City Pride Parade, and LGBTQ+ pride is another important element Wolf wants to incorporate into the event. In the past, she and RedBone have coordinated rainbow outfits and hope to do the same this year. Another option for festivalgoers is its range of workshops, which are held at Wolf’s Oklahoma School of Burlesque, 2520 N. Meridian Ave., on Saturday starting at noon. Among this year’s offerings are a rhinestoning class with Fictitious, a freestyling class with RedBone and a floor work class with de Rière. Several other classes taught by other performers will also be available on the curriculum. “Every class is completely different from the others,” Wolf said. “So people have a really good variety to choose from.” Workshops are $25 per class, and interested participants can register on the festival website. Another unique element of this year’s festival is featured artist Nicole Moan, who makes ceramic corsets. Moan will collaborate with Wolf to create pieces that will be on display at the festival.
Fictitious said she is excited to be involved in Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival as both a performer and a workshop instructor. She got her start after
watching a Dita Von Teese show and realizing she wanted to pursue burlesque. She previously performed as a hula and Tahitian dancer for 15 years and had been in bands, so she was always comfortable onstage. “But it was never the right avenue for me,” she said via phone. “And then when I found burlesque, I was like, ‘Wow! This combines everything I love.’” She took classes with Fishnet Follies Classic Burlesque Revue in Oakland, California, around 2013 and from there began her burlesque career. Her training is classic, but she said she puts a “rock ’n’ roll twist” on her performances for a neo-burlesque style. One of her favorite things about performing is the energy she receives from her audiences. “You’re giving so much to the audience, and they always give you so much back,” she said. “It’s just such an amazing feeling.” Fictitious met Wolf in San Francisco and reconnected with her at Burlesque Hall of Fame a few years ago. Fictitious said she was always impressed by Wolf’s
Adèle Wolf is the founder and featured performer at The 7th Annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival. | Photo Alexa Ace
performances and didn’t expect her to remember her but is now glad to call her a friend. She said this is just one example of how close-knit and supportive the burlesque community can be. “I feel like that’s how it is with a lot of these performers,” Fictitious said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m actually their friend now?’” After just a few years in the field, Fictitious has made a name for herself. She was crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas in 2017 as a solo act and also performs as part of the Dem Foxie Femmes dance troupe. She also said she was thrilled to be up for Miss Exotic World. “When I started, I made a vision board for myself,” she said. “And competing for Miss Exotic World — not even winning, just being able to compete for it, just because of the caliber of the performers that I always see performing in it — it’s always been one of my goals.” In the rhinestoning class Fictitious
will teach at the festival, participants can expect to benefit from her training as a painter as well as a performer. “I take a lot of what I learned in art school, and I teach you the basics of color theory,” she said, “and how to put it in a costume and make your costume pop.” Fictitious is looking forward to visiting Oklahoma City for the first time and is excited to entertain a new audience. “The reason I love traveling is because I love meeting performers from everywhere, and I like seeing all the different styles that are brought to the stage,” Fictitious said. “I feel like I just get so much inspiration from traveling.” Along with current rising stars, Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival honors classic burlesque.
One of the festival’s guests of honor is April March, a veritable burlesque legend. March started performing in 1952 and is known widely as The First Lady of Burlesque. March was born in Oklahoma City in 1935 as Velma Fern Worden. After a brief, unsuccessful stint as an employee at The Oklahoman (she said she quit before publisher/owner Edward K. Gaylord could fire her), she lied about her age and became a cigarette girl at now-closed Derby Club, 3133 NE 23rd St. It was there that Dallas club owner Barney Weinstein stopped to ask her when she was going on as a dancer. “I said, ‘Oh, I could never take my clothes off like that,’” March told Oklahoma Gazette via phone. A few months later, determined to get into show business, March told her grandparents she was going to tap dance in Texas and she joined Weinstein at Theater Lounge. She got her start in burlesque alongside San Francisco, Californiabased Frankie Fictitious will perform in Oklahoma City for the first time as part of The 7th Annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival. | Photo Gina Barbara / provided
another prominent dancer, Candy Barr. She went on to star in two of producer Harold Minsky’s famous burlesque variety shows. She booked the shows without even changing into a costume. “I’m the only person that ever auditioned for Harold Minsky that never had to audition,” March said with a laugh. She went on to work with famous burlesque performer Ann Corio and later was featured in a 1964 issue of Sports Illustrated. She even appeared as a stripper in the 1965 Jim Henson short film Time Piece, which was nominated for an Oscar. She said no to multiple acting opportunities. “I just turned down so much good stuff, it’s unbelievable,” she said. “I liked burlesque. It was done nightly back then, and I met a lot of nice people, and I loved to travel.” March and Wolf met at Burlesque Hall of Fame in 2014, and now Wolf considers March a mentor and friend. “When I met her, I was still pretty fresh,” Wolf said. “[I’d] only been in for a few years. I was actually too starstruck to even talk to her. And I don’t really get that way so much, but she’s April March.” They quickly found out they were both from Oklahoma City, both Native American and both animal lovers who share an astrological sign. Later, Wolf even wore one of March’s early custom-made costumes to perform a tribute number. Their measurements were identical. “Having that experience with her, of her being so accessible to me,” Wolf said, “is really something that I will cherish for my whole life.” “I think she’s terrific,” March said of Wolf. When it comes to her style of performance, March favors an elegant, classic version of burlesque and calls herself a “walker.” “I can spend five minutes taking off gloves without people getting bored,” March said. She thinks some modern performers come out of their wardrobe too quickly. Wolf confirmed that March and other renowned burlesque performers abide by fairly strict
standards, using a formula of “parade, peel, pose.” “A lot of legends will be like, ‘Don’t get on the floor!’” Wolf said with a smile. “‘A queen does not get on the floor!’ April’s one of those.” March suggested that anyone wanting to get a start in burlesque should take classes, watch their favorite performers and practice. And she recommended that you do not throw your wardrobe around. March remains a fixture of the burlesque scene and is a regular at Burlesque Hall of Fame events. She made a recent appearance in England and received a standing ovation at Hippodrome in London. For her appearance at Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival, March plans to speak and is tentatively set to teach one of the workshops. In addition, she will be available to sign copies of her book, Reflections of My Life — April March: The First Lady of Burlesque. An April March-themed cocktail will also be available at the venue bar. “It’s a very strong, pretty drink,” March said with a laugh. March currently resides in upstate New York and turns 84 on June 18. As the date of the festival neared, Wolf said tickets are selling quickly, and her die-hard fans are already planning to attend. “With all of our
At 83, Oklahoma City’s April March, shown in an early publicity photo, is one of the grand dames of burlesque. | Photo provided
shows, our goal is really to take people out of their everyday experience for a little while,” Wolf said, “to make them forget everything and just have fun and enjoy themselves.” Diversity, as Wolf mentioned, is also central to the experience. “I want people to see themselves reflected onstage,” Wolf said. “I think representation is really important, especially [on] Pride weekend.” The 7th Annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival is June 21-22. Tickets are available for single days of the festival or as weekend passes that grant access to both days. Guests must be at least 18 years old to enter. Visit okcburlesquefest.com.
The 7th Annual Oklahoma City Burlesque Festival June 21-22 Tower Theatre 425 NW 23rd St. okcburlesquefest.com | 405-708-6937 $35-$110
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T H E AT E R
ARTS & CULTURE
Oklahoma Shakespeare brings The Comedy of Errors to Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Water Stage. By Jeremy Martin
For Oklahoma Shakespeare founder and artistic director Kathryn McGill, some of the laughs in The Comedy of Errors come from attempting to describe the plot. “I’m going to try to explain it,” McGill said. “That’s going to be funny. There are two sets of twins — Antipholus, who is the head of his household, and his servant, Dromio — and each of them happen to be twins. One set of twins is living in Ephesus, which is this city on a Greek island, and the other set of twins happens upon the same community. So everybody mistakes that one set of twins for the twins that live there, and that’s when the errors happen, when people think that one set of twins is the other set of twins. That’s probably not a good description.” Oklahoma Shakespeare’s production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors runs June 6-29 at Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Water Stage, 301 W. Reno Ave. For anyone who might still be confused, let us turn now to that venerable text consulted by generations of “scholars,” CliffsNotes. “A merchant of Syracuse, Egeon, suffered a shipwreck some years ago in which he was separated from his wife, Emilia, from one of his twin sons, later Antipholus of Ephesus, and the son’s slave, Dromio of Ephesus,” CliffsNotes explains. “The other slave’s twin, Dromio of Syracuse, and Egeon’s remaining son, Antipholus of Syracuse, remained with Egeon. When he came of age, Antipholus of Syracuse was allowed to go in search of his lost brother. … The twists of plot arise when Antipholus of Syracuse arrives with his slave in Ephesus, where Antipholus’ twin brother, together with his wife Adriana and their twin slave, reside. Confusion mounts upon confusion ... the situation grows more and more bewildering with everyone certain that everyone else is totally mad.” Everybody got that? If not, McGill would not be surprised. “I think that in order to really understand the plot, you’ve got to see the play right out in front of you,” McGill said. Funnily enough, McGill said Oklahoma Shakespeare chose The Comedy of Errors because it is so easy to follow when performed onstage. “We’re in a very public place,” McGill said. “We’re in the Myriad Gardens, which is really the heart of Oklahoma City, and there’s a lot of distractions down there — airplanes flying over your 20
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head, a lot of people in the park. It’s easier to keep people’s attention and to overcome a lot of the distractions if you’ve got a comedy where it’s raucous to begin with. It’s hard to have a quiet, intimate moment, let’s say, so we just kind of discovered over the years that either we do a big, very active play like Macbeth or we do a comedy. Those just seem to work better in that atmosphere.” The play also serves as a good introduction for young viewers unfamiliar with Shakespeare’s work. “Because of the success of last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we wanted to really focus on another family-friendly show, a show where parents can bring their kids and introduce them to Shakespeare,” McGill said. “Comedy of Errors is one of those really accessible plays that’s funny and simple enough for most people to understand and appreciate.”
I think that in order to really understand the plot, you’ve got to see the play right out in front of you. Kathryn McGill
Director D. Lance Marsh, McGill said, “is really good at this sort of comedy,” and while the concept of two sets of identical twins with the same names might read like a logistical nightmare, Oklahoma Shakespeare, which McGill said is staging the play “probably the fourth or fifth time” in the company’s 35-year history, has learned to make it “very clear to the audience who is who.” “Obviously, we don’t have two real sets of twins, so it becomes a little bit easier because we have four different actors,” McGill said. “Although they’re dressed identically, I think it’s pretty clear. The audience doesn’t ever seem to be confused. That doesn’t ever seem to be a concern.” Tyler Malinauskas plays Dromio of Ephesus and Jordan Nicholes plays Dromio of Syracuse; Dustin Dale Barlow plays Antipholus of Ephesus and Sam Pinson plays Antipholus of Syracuse. If the audience is able to follow the mistaken identity plot without becoming as confused as the play’s characters, McGill said The Comedy of Errors is ac-
tually one of Shakespeare’s least complicated plays, a slapstick she compared to The Three Stooges. “There’s not, like, three or four different plots that he’s juggling,” McGill said. “In Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are three distinct plots and they all tie in. This is pretty much one idea, and it’s his shortest play as well. It’s one of those plays that are great in a season because it’s kind of a no-brainer. People come and they know they’re going to be entertained, and you just kind of have to leave your reason behind and not worry too much about, ‘Could this actually happen?’ ... The idea of two sets of twins, he’s probably pushing it a little bit there, but it’s the same with most of his comedies. They’re about people in extreme situations who are responding to a specific problem, and the fun is watching them get out of the problem.” Considering Shakespeare is credited with inventing the saying “Brevity is the soul of wit,” (Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2) it seems appropriate that Comedy, which premiered in 1594 and was one of the Bard’s earliest play, has the shortest runtime of all his plays. “You can take one joke and stretch it out till it’s not funny anymore, but he knows when to stop,” McGill said, “and that’s why it’s short. It’s all about ‘Let’s explore this idea, then let’s end this play now because I think I’ve done all the exploration I can do about this one idea.’” The brevity and simplicity of the play
Rachel Ryan Nicholes, Rachel Necessary and Jordan Nicholes star in Oklahoma Shakespeare’s production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors June 6-29 at Myriad Botanical Gardens’ Water Stage. | Photo provided
allow Oklahoma Shakespeare the opportunity to alter the setting. The play remains in Greece, but McGill said Marsh has moved the timeline to the 1920s for an aesthetic he described as “Mamma Mia meets Zorba the Greek.” Ideally, McGill said, The Comedy of Errors will offer a different experience than some theatergoers might expect from Shakespeare’s work. “Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet, the more serious plays, are what people normally think of when they first think of Shakespeare,” McGill said. “They think he’s kind of dry and old-fashioned … but this is not too serious and we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. … The audience should come prepared to be entertained. This is not one of those deep-thinking pieces that you’re going to go home and analyze and talk about. It’s a farce, and it’s meant to be enjoyed.” Tickets are free-$20. Visit okshakes. org.
The Comedy of Errors June 6-29 Water Stage Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W. Reno Ave. okshakes.org | 405-235-3700 Free-$20
T H E AT E R
Intimate Portraits in Chamber Music, Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble’s eighth Summer Festival concert series, runs June 6-11 at St. Paul’s Cathedral. | Photo Performingartsphotos.com / provided
Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble’s Summer Festival starts with sonatas and ends with quartets to showcase expanding dialogues in chamber music. By Jeremy Martin
Titled Intimate Portraits in Chamber Music, Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble’s eighth Summer Festival concert series is all about small talk. “The idea this year was to focus on programs of music that are smaller in terms of number of personnel but also capture just this sort of interaction and conversational style that exists in chamber music in general,” said coartistic director and clarinetist Chad Burrow, “pieces that particularly capture that element of communication on an intimate scale.” Scheduled for June 6-11 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 127 NW Seventh St., the series comprises four concerts progressing from sonatas to duos to trios to quartets. “If a concertgoer comes on the first night and goes to all four concerts, they’ll hear expanding dialogues from two to four people and see how chamber music really is, as it’s been described, the most intimate of art forms,” Burrow said. “If we had unlimited concert dates, we could have gone to quintets, sextets. Who knows? Maybe next year, we’ll start with the quintets and go from there.” The series begins 7:30 p.m. June 6 with an evening of sonatas, pairing a single string or wind instrument with a piano. The program features Francis Poulenc’s “Sonata for Clarinet & Piano”; Johannes Brahms’ “Sonata No. 2 for Viola & Piano in Eb major, Op. 120, No. 2”; and Richard Strauss’ “Sonata for Violin & Piano in Eb major, Op. 18.” The back-and-forth between the two instruments in these works is far from onesided, Burrow said, and the spirited conversations continue in subsequent
concerts as more voices are added. “Certainly you can see that with two players on the stage,” Burrow said. “I think oftentimes, when one hears a sonata or sees an instrument playing with the piano, immediately people assume that the pianist is some sort of an accompanist, but in fact, most of the time with these sonatas, and certainly in the three that we’re playing, the pianist is an equal partner to the instrumentalist either standing or sitting in front of the piano. So there’s this real conversation and this dialogue that develops between the two instruments, and then you see that expanding outward into trios, and so on. So in a sense, it’s an expanding dialogue from two to four voices.”
They’ll hear expanding dialogues from two to four people and see how chamber music really is ... the most intimate of art forms. Chad Burrow In programming each evening, Burrow said the ensemble sought to include a diverse range of music and composers, from well-known to more obscure, classical to contemporary. The second concert, 7:30 p.m. June 8 features Bohuslav Martinů’s “Trio for
Flute, Cello & Piano”; Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata for Cello & Piano No. 3 in A major, Op. 69”; and Carl Frühling’s “Trio in A minor for Clarinet, Cello & Piano, Op. 40,” which will conclude the evening. “He’s sort of one of the unusual ones on the program,” Burrow said of Frühling. “I guess you would describe his music as coming from more of a Viennese background rather than Eastern European. … On the few occasions that I’ve played the piece, people in the audience are usually surprised that they’ve never heard of this composer before because the music is so beautiful, and it sounds an awful lot like Brahms, frankly. That’s the usual reaction that one receives to this piece and also why I put it at the end of the program, because it is a substantial work of about 30 minutes that covers a wide range of emotions and feelings, and it’s incredibly accessible to an audience that likes late 19th-century romantic music.” The third concert, 4 p.m. June 9, is dedicated to the memory of Mae Ruth Swanson, who died in 2010 and who Burrow called the “matriarch of Oklahoma’s Civic Music Association.” “Although she never, as far as I know, attended a Brightmusic concert or anything of that nature, she certainly was a patron of the arts in Oklahoma City and was supportive of music in general,” Burrow said. “It’s hard to know, not being able to talk with her, but basically we picked a program that we think is representative of music that she would have enjoyed.” The program features Beethoven’s “String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3”; Franz Joseph Haydn’s “London Trio No. 1 in C major, Hob. IV:1 for Flute, Violin & Cello”; Ernö Dohnányi’s “Serenade for String Trio in C major, Op. 10”; and Ingolf Dahl’s “Concerto a Tre for Clarinet, Violin & Cello,” which Burrow said is a particularly “virtuosic work” that might defy expectations. “We typically think of a concerto as a solo instrument with orchestra, and in this case, you have the three instruments
acting essentially as soloists in this kind of chamber music dialogue,” Burrow said. “So it’s really quite interesting. He’s a 20th-century composer that probably is not familiar with many in our audience. I think it’s a very accessible, very interesting and, at times, quite beautiful work.” The fourth and final concert, 7:30 p.m. June 11, is bookended by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Quartet in F major for Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello, K.370” and Antonín Dvořák’s “Piano Quartet No. 2 for Piano & Strings in Eb major, Op. 87.” Between the two works by worldrenowned composers are two types of tangos for clarinet, violin, cello and piano: Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla’s more traditional “Libertango” and “Oblivion” and American composer John Mackey’s “Breakdown Tango,” which premiered in 2000, making it the most recent work included in the concert series. “As the title would suggest, he starts with these single elements of the tango and starts to build and put them together, in a sense breaking down all of the constituent parts,” Burrow said. “It’s a very cool piece, and over about 10 minutes, you can really follow his compositional process, and it’s a very rhythmic, very challenging work.” While Brightmusic always wants concertgoers to go home happy, Burrow said, the ensemble would also like to offer an occasional challenge. “You want the audience to enjoy the music, but you also, I think at times, want to program things that certainly you hope the audience will enjoy but they may find different, something that they’ve never heard before and something that’s perhaps stretching the ears just a little bit,” Burrow said. “The programs are carefully chosen, for sure, and we want our audience to walk away having a good experience and enjoy the music. But everybody has their own taste, and with any program that has three or four different composers and styles represented, there will be some pieces that our audiences will like better than others. I think that’s always the case. You can do that with old music or new music. I don’t think it’s just a situation where the older music is safer. Sometimes people find the older music not as interesting as some of the newer things. It just depends on the person.” Single tickets are free-$20, and a festival pass for all four concerts is $50. Visit brightmusic.org.
Intimate Portraits in Chamber Music June 6-11 St. Paul’s Cathedral 127 NW Seventh St. brightmusic.org Free-$50
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CALENDAR These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
Kenny Harmon book signing the author will autograph copies of books Sad Papaw’s Heritage and Sad Papaw: The Early Years, 1-2:30 p.m. June 1. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. SAT Oklahoma Voices hear featured poets read from their works at this monthly event, 2 p.m. the first Sunday of every month. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. SUN
JUNE 8 - JULY 19, 2019 ARTIST RECEPTION SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2019, AT 6:30 P.M.
UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND ARTS 1727 W. ALABAMA AVE., CHICKASHA, OK 73018
Happy Feet (2006, USA, George Miller) a penguin who can not sing learns to dance instead in this animated comedy, through May 31. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, harkinstheatres. com. MON-FRI How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019, USA, Dean DeBlois) competing forces race to discover a hidden Dragon Utopia in the latest installment of the popular animated adventure franchise, June 3-7, June 3-7. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, harkinstheatres.com. MON-FRI
Unaffordable (2019, USA, Ahcene Touati) the premiere of a locally produced short narrative film about a family in desperate times, 3:40 p.m. June 1. Metropolitan Library System, 300 Park Ave., 405231-8650, metrolibrary.org. SAT VHS and Chill: Blockbusted Video riff along with comedians and film fans at this monthly movie screening where audience participation is encouraged, 7-9 p.m. first Wednesday of every month. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-8873327, theparamountroom.com. WED
HAPPENINGS Board Game Day enjoy local craft beer while playing old-school board and arcade games with friends, 5-8 p.m. Sundays. FlashBack RetroPub, 814
W. Sheridan Ave., 405-633-3604, flashbackretropub.com. SUN Chicago Steppin Class learn how to do the popular dance at this free weekly class, 7-9 p.m. Thursdays. L & G’s on the BLVD, 4801 N. Lincoln Blvd., 405-524-2001, facebook.com/landgsontheblvd. THU Coffee with Real Estate Investors network over coffee and discuss topics such as real estate investing, building a successful business and chasing the American dream, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Starbucks, 5800 W. Memorial Road, 405-722-6189, starbucks.com. WED Conversational Spanish Group Meetup an opportunity for all experience levels to practice speaking Spanish, 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. TUE Downtown Recyclers Toastmasters practice your public speaking skills at this ongoing weekly meeting, noon-1 p.m. Wednesdays. Department of Environmental Quality, 707 N. Robinson Ave., 405702-0100, deq.state.ok.us/. WED Fuzzy Friday a monthly happy hour meet-andgreet hosted by the Bears of Central Oklahoma, 5:30 p.m. Fridays. Apothecary 39, 2125 NW 39th St., 405-605-4100. FRI Goth Prom dance to an expansive selection of gothic music in your gloomiest finery, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. June 1. Angles Event Center, 2117 NW 39th St, 405525-0730. SAT Governor’s Club Toastmasters lose your fear of public speaking and gain leadership skills by practicing in a fun and low-stakes environment, noon-1 p.m. Wednesdays. Oklahoma Farm Bureau Building, 2501 N. Stiles Ave., 405-523-2300, okfarmbureau. org. WED Ignite OKC 12 metro residents share presentations about their passions and visions at this community event, May 30. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, okcballparkevents.com.
Junk Utopia shop for antiques and handmade, retro and vintage goods from boutique vendors, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 1. Oklahoma State Fairgrounds: Centennial Building, 609 Kiamichi Place, 405-948-6700. SAT Moore Chess Club play in tournaments and learn about the popular board game at this weekly event
OKLAHOMA’S PREMIER PROFESSIONAL THEATRE
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July 9 - 14, 2019 “SEIZE THE DAY” AND CHANGE YOUR WORLD! Incredible dancing and rousing anthems raise the roof in this thrilling story of the New York City Newsboy Strike of 1899. A spirited crew of rag-tag orphans “Seize the day” and win the hearts of a nation in this unforgettable Disney musical. Great fun for the entire family! Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston Book by Peter Stone Directed by Michael Baron
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M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
Her Flag Kickoff Party Believe it or not, Oklahoma was among the first 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment recognizing women’s right to vote. That’s cool not only because it proves that we have not always been counted among the most regressive states in the union in at least some areas, but because it means Oklahoma City is one of the 36 stops on artist Marilyn Artus’ Her Flag tour celebrating the amendment’s 100th anniversary. Artus teamed up with an artist in each state (in our case that was Little D Gallery owner Denise Duong) to create a 36-stripe, 18-by-26-foot flag to commemorate the occasion. Artus is visiting each state in order of ratification to sew its stripe on the flag beginning with Wisconsin on June 10. Oklahoma will not earn its stripe until Feb. 28, but since Artus is actually based in OKC, you can see her and a full-size mock-up flag before she takes it on the road. The party is 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE Third St. Call 405-815-9995 or visit 1ne3.org. SATURDAY Photo provided
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Knotty Women, Twisted Sisters Art Chat Fiber artists Sue Moss Sullivan and Julie Marks Blackstone have spent years developing their distinct individual techniques. Sullivan’s mixed-media work includes two- and three-dimensional pieces created by knotting, twisting and coiling waxed linen, while Blackstone utilizes the French knot embroidery technique to create elaborate works such as “Knotty Girl VIII” (pictured). Their work is on display until June 30, but you can hear them discuss it and their careers 2 p.m. Sunday at The Depot Gallery, 200 S. Jones Ave., in Norman. Admission is free. Call 405307-9320 or visit normandepot.org.
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SUNDAY Image Julie Marks where all ages and skill levels are welcome, 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Moore Library, 225 S. Howard Ave. SUN Pooches on the Patio bring your best friend to this dog-friendly happy hour with drink specials, appetizers and free pet treats, 4-7 p.m. May 31. Café 501 Classen Curve, 5825 NW Grand Blvd., 405-8441501, cafe501.com. SAT Pump Up The Volume Patio Party an ’80s, ’90s and ’00s-themed dance party featuring pop and hip-hop hits from the past 30 years, 9 p.m. June 1. The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave., 405-702-8898, pumpbar. net. SAT Red Dirt Dinos: An Oklahoma Dinosaur Adventure learn about regional prehistoric reptiles at this hands-on exhibit featuring three interactive robotic dinosaurs, through Sept. 2, Through Sept. 2. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. THU-SAT Star Spangled Salute Air and Space Show an appearance from the U.S Navy Blue Angels, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. June 1. Tinker Air Force Base, 3000 S. Douglas Blvd., 405-739-2026. SAT Starting & Financing Your Business a free seminar conducted by the US Small Business Association, 6-8 p.m. June 4. Nappy Roots, 3705 Springlake Drive, 405-896-0203, facebook.com/ pg/nappyrootsbooks. TUE Toastmasters Meeting hone public speaking and leadership skills in a move-at-your own pace environment, 7-8:30 p.m. Thursdays. McFarlin United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Drive, Norman, 623-810-0295. THU Trivia Night at Matty McMillen’s answer questions for a chance to win prizes at this weekly trivia night, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Matty McMillen’s Irish Pub, 2201 NW 150th St., 405-607-8822, mattymcmillens.com. TUE Urban Pioneer Awards a ceremony honoring the influence of Leslie and Dan Batchelor and Shannon Calderon Primeau in Oklahoma City, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. June 4. OCU Sarkey Law Center, 800 N. Harvey Ave. TUE
FOOD Paseo Farmers Market shop for fresh food from local vendors at this weekly outdoor event, 9 a.m.noon Saturdays, through Oct. 19. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-208-8291, sixtwelve.org. SAT
YOUTH Early Explorers toddlers and preschoolers can participate in fun scientific activities they can re-
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continued from page 23 peat later at home, 10-11 a.m. Thursdays. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok. org. THU Reading Wednesdays a weekly story time with hands-on activities, goody bags and reading-themed photo ops, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, 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
Storytime Science the museum invites children age 6 and younger to hear a story and participate in a related scientific activity, 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. TUE
PERFORMING ARTS Divine Comedy a weekly local showcase hosted by CJ Lance and Josh Lathe and featuring a variety of comedians from OKC and beyond, 9 p.m. Wednesdays. 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., 405-463-0470, 51stspeakeasy.com. WED Chisholm Creek Rooftop Hop a variety of musicians perform on the rooftops and patios of businesses at this weekly concert, 6-10 p.m. May 21. Chisholm Creek, 13230 Pawnee Drive, 405-728-2780, chisholmcreek.com. TUE
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 Triple’s Open Mic a music and comedy open mic hosted by Amanda Howle, 7:30 p.m. every other Wednesday. Triple’s, 8023 NW 23rd St., 405-7893031. WED Open Mic at The Deli hosted by Jarvix, this monthly show offers anyone the opportunity to sing or perform, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. first Wednesday of every month. The Deli, 309 White St., Norman, 405-3293934, thedeli.us. WED Open Mic at The P share your musical talent or just come to listen at this weekly open mic, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn, 9 E. Edwards St., Edmond, 405-285-6670, thepatriarchedmond.com. WED Othello’s Comedy Night see professionals and amateurs alike at this long-running weekly open mic for standup comics, 9 p.m. Tuesdays. Othello’s Italian Restaurant, 434 Buchanan Ave., Norman, 405-7014900, othellos.us. TUE Paramount Open Mic show off your talents at this open mic hosted by musician Chris Morrison, 7 p.m. first Wednesday of every month. The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-887-3327, theparamountroom.com. WED Public Access Open Mic read poetry, do standup comedy, play music or just watch as an audience member at this open mic hosted by Alex Sanchez, 7 p.m. Sundays. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo St., 405-315-6224, paseoplunge.org. SUN
Don Quixote Open Mic a weekly comedy show followed by karaoke, 7:30-9 p.m. Fridays. Don Quixote Club, 3030 N. Portland Ave., 405-947-0011. FRI
Rap and Jam Salon learn new musical skills in a variety of genres from local musicians at this monthly workshop, 4-6 p.m. first Sunday of every month. Your Mom’s Place, 919 N. Virginia Ave. SUN
Iron Horse Open Mic and Showcase perform music on stage at this show open to all experience levels, 7-10 p.m. Wednesdays. Iron Horse Bar & Grill, 9501 S. Shields Blvd., 405-735-1801. WED
Red Dirt Open Mic a weekly open mic for comedy and poetry, hosted by Red Dirt Poetry, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo St., 405-521-9800, saucedonpaseo.com. WED
Joel Forlenza: The Piano Man the pianist performs variety of songs made famous by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and, of course, Billy Joel, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Othello’s Italian Restaurant, 434 Buchanan Ave., Norman, 405-701-4900, othellos.us. TUE-SAT
Sanctuary Karaoke Service don a choir robe and sing your favorite song, 9 p.m.-midnight Wednesdays and Thursdays. Sanctuary Barsilica, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., facebook.com/sanctuarybarokc. WED
Lumpy’s Open Mic Night play a song of your own or just listen to the performers at this weekly show hosted by John Riley Willingham, 9 p.m. Wednesdays. Lumpy’s Sports Grill, 12325 N. May Ave., 405-286-3300, lumpyssportsgrill.com. WED 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 OK Country Cafe Open Mic show off your singing talent, 6 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of every month. OK Country Cafe, 6072 S. Western Ave., 405-602-6866, okcountrycafe.com. THU
The Skirvin Jazz Club a monthly live jazz show presented by OK Sessions, 7:30 p.m. third Friday of every month. Park Avenue Grill, 1 Park Ave., 405-7028444, parkavegrill.com. FRI Steve Martin & Martin Short: Now Your See Them, Soon You Won’t an evening with the comedic performers, 8-11 p.m. June 2. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com. SUN VZD’s Open Mic Night a weekly music mic hosted by Joe Hopkins, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. VZD’s Restaurant & Bar, 4200 N. Western Ave., 405-6023006, vzds.com. WED Weekly Jams bring an instrument and play along with others at this open-invitation weekly jam session, 9:30 p.m.-midnight Tuesdays. Saints, 1715 NW
Stars and Stripes Spin Jam Get your quirk on with other jugglers, unicyclists, hula-hoopers and more at this weekly meetup for beginners and pros alike hosted by circus art performer and instructor Chelsea Ryan of Hooplahoma. Learn a new skill or just show off 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays at Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive. Admission is free. Visit hooplahoma.com. WEDNESDAYS Photo bigstock.com
16th St., 405-602-6308, saintspubokc.com. TUE
Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRI-SAT
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.
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-TUE Co-ed Open Adult Volleyball enjoy a game of friendly yet competitive volleyball while making new friends, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., Yukon, 405-350-8920, cityofyukon.gov. WED Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles per hour through east Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Road, 405-603-7655. MON
Open Badminton hit some birdies in some morning pick-up games of badminton with friends, 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., Yukon, 405-350-8920, cityofyukon. gov. SAT Stars and Stripes Spin Jam a weekly meetup for jugglers, hula hoopers and unicyclers, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Stars & Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive, 405-297-2756, okc.gov/parks. WED 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
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-SAT Relatable Transactions Only an exhibition of works created by multimedia artist Serna Velvet and comic illustrator Garrett Young, 7 p.m.-midnight June 1. Resonator, 325 E. Main St., Norman, resonator.space. SAT Seeing Now an exhibit of multimedia art works by Hank Willis Thomas, Ken Gonzales-Day, Travis Somerville, Paul Rucker, Graciela Sacco, Terence Hammonds and Michael Waugh, through Dec. 31. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. THU-SAT 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-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 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 Back Roads and Dirt Roads an exhibition of Linda Guenther’s photographs of rural landscapes, through June 2. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc. com. FRI-SUN Beautiful Minds: Dyslexia and the Creative Advantage an exhibition of artworks created by people with dyslexia including students from Oklahoma City’s Trinity School, through July 14. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. FRI-SUN
Meeting Gorbachev Get an introduction to Mikhail Gorbachev, the former (and final) General Secretary of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party, that only iconic filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) can provide, through news footage and revealing interviews with the man himself. The New York Times calls the pairing of the two personalities “an odd fit,” but that’s kind of the point. The film screens Friday-Sunday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. Tickets are $5-$9. Call 405-236-3100 or visit okcmoa.com. FRIDAY-SUNDAY Photo provided 24
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Connect:Collect Print as Object a print exhibition and exchange featuring works by emerging and mid-career artists, 5-7 p.m. May 31. Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts, 1601 NW 26th St., 405-2085226, okcu.edu/artsci. FRI 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
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Toad the Wet Sprocket brings its three decades of music to Tower Theatre. By Jeremy Martin
Formed in Santa Barbara, California, and named after a joke from Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album, Toad the Wet Sprocket originally came together in Oklahoma! — a high school production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, that is. “We were four people doing theater in high school, and we were all in a production of Oklahoma!” bassist Dean Dinning said. “I actually played Andrew Carnes, which is Ado Annie’s shotguntoting father who sings ‘The Farmer and the Cowman.’ Three of us had known each other before, but [frontman Glen Phillips] was a freshman that year. In comes this little guy to the theater department, and he played guitar and wrote songs, and we started jamming.” Toad the Wet Sprocket’s original 1986 lineup — Dinning, Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols and drummer Randy Guss — touring in celebration of the 30th anniversary of debut Bread and Circus, plays June 9 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Dinning had the chance to revisit the band’s most commercially successful period last year working with audio engineer Eric Boulanger on remastered vinyl reissues of 1991 breakthrough fear, a platinum-selling album featuring singles “All I Want” and “Walk on the Ocean,” and 1994 follow-up Dulcinea, which also went platinum and featured singles “Fall Down” and “Something’s Always Wrong.” “I remember making both of them,” Dinning said. “They both have an overall mood. Dulcinea’s was a little more stripped down, almost playing live in a room. The whole record was pretty much tracked together live and then overdubs on top of that, and we all played, with our amplifiers isolated and
things, but in a big room together. … We were trying to capture that vibe, and listening to the whole thing, I think it was successful. fear was much more ‘Let’s get as many songs done as we can because we’re only here for a month.’ We went away to a residential studio in Reno, Nevada, to make that record. It was the middle of winter, and we just immersed ourselves. So we ended up with a lot more material than actually ended up on the record, and we were really kind of all over the place. There’s some experimental stuff that got left off of fear that ended up on the In Light Syrup collection, which is a B-sides and rarities record. … They were totally different experiences. fear was our first time in a big studio, where we could literally do anything. If we wanted to get string players, we would hire a string section from the local symphony orchestra and get an arranger and have them arrange the strings on ‘Walk on the Ocean,’ and then you’ve got session cellos and violins coming in. It was all just very, like, ‘Wow. We can really do this?’ It was fun.” The band broke up in 1998 following the release of Coil and, after several years of one-off performances and collaborations, reunited for a 2006 tour. New Constellation, the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, was released in 2013, and EP Architect of the Ruin was released in 2015. Dinning said the main difference in the experience recording the new albums was the advanced technology the band was able to take advantage of. “These days, instead of making a demo and then re-cutting the whole song, you can really just rerecord the parts of the demo that are not up to
optimal quality level and then call it a master because it’s all the same,” Dinning said. “If you get a really great vocal the first time around, you can use it. … Mikal Blue, who produced the record, he says, ‘We can always try to beat it, and if we don’t beat what we have, then we’re happy with what we have. We can always go further. We can try, but we also don’t want to sterilize it and drain all the energy.’ A lot of the time, people brought in demos that had been done in Pro Tools, and we just made the final recording right on top of it. … You can just use what’s already good about it.”
I have always felt like we have one of the best catalogs out there. Dean Dinning Though new technology speeds up the recording process and relieves some of the associated stress, Denning said he thinks it would not have made much difference to the band when it was recording Bread and Circus in 1989. “Our first record was made for $650 in a residence in Thousand Oaks, California,” Dinning said. “Going back in time and having Pro Tools, we would still only have the $650. … If we were to, say, go back in time and a letter comes from the minister of finance in a small Arabian country saying that my long deceased Uncle Richard or whatever has left me a million rubles, maybe that would change things, but that’s beside the point.” What Dinning wonders is whether, 30 years later, a band with such a limited budget would have been able to record the album at all. “The one thing that I think about sometimes is that records are getting very expensive to make, and you can’t really do it for $650 anymore,” he said. “It costs about at least a couple grand a song to do
Toad the Wet Sprocket plays June 9 at Tower Theatre. | Photo provided
it right these days. So I worry sometimes that being able to record music at all will become a rich kids’ game and only wealthy people will be able to play it. So in that way, it’s good that people can buy Logic on their computer for $200 and make some pretty good-sounding recordings that are least going to be good enough to get someone excited, and maybe that rich uncle does show up.” Three decades in, Dinning said he is still proud to play Toad the Wet Sprocket songs. “I have always felt like we have one of the best catalogs out there, and that comes from going out and playing it every night,” he said. “I’m glad that we made music that was beautiful, or at least trying to be beautiful and have depth and poetry in the lyrics, lots of harmonies, and it’s challenging. … It’s also very rewarding to play this stuff. I don’t want to rag on anyone, but there were some bands that were out when we were out that played some rather childish music, and that would be annoying to have to go out and play that. But I don’t feel that way about our stuff at all.” The quality of the music, Dinning said, keeps the band’s enthusiasm high after all these years. “We’re excited to play the show,” Dinning said. “We’re not one of those bands that you go to and they don’t play the hits. We do, and they sound really, really great. That’s just the way it is. We’ve been doing this long enough, and we kind of got it down.” Tickets are $40-$115. Visit towertheatreokc.com.
Toad the Wet Sprocket 8 p.m. June 9 Tower Theatre 425 NW 23rd St. towertheatreokc.com $40-$115
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Loud and artfully abrasive Full of Hell unleashes demons on its new album, Weeping Choir. By Jeremy Martin
Despite their titles, Full of Hell’s most recent albums, Trumpeting Ecstasy and Weeping Choir, mostly consist of guitars, drums and screams. Recorded and produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou and combining elements familiar to fans of extreme music of all kinds, from harsh electronics to sadistic death metal riffs to machine gun blast beats, these albums might best be filed under “loud.” In a review filled with descriptors such as “nasty,” “bludgeoning,” “excruciating,” “putrid,” “unabashed hideousness” and “all-out sensory overload,” Riff Magazine critic Max Heilman described frontman Dylan Walker’s vocals on Weeping Choir as a combination of “guttural vomiting” and “a Nazgûl choking on razor blades.” Music fans who realize this is actually a positive review will be thrilled to learn Full of Hell is currently touring with equally merciless Primitive Man and both bands play June 5 at 89th Street — OKC, 8911 N. Western Ave. Full of Hell guitarist Spencer Hazard said he “always has fun” playing in Oklahoma, and despite the success and widespread positive critical response the Pennsylvania and Maryland-based band has seen in its decade of existence, he usually thinks of it as a small-time operation. 26
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“A lot of the time, it still feels like we’re a local band,” Hazard said in a phone interview with Oklahoma Gazette. “I went to a local record store today, which had just opened, and I was shocked to see that they actually had our record in the store. I feel like all of us feel that way too. I guess because we’re still so handson with the band, as well, it still feels like we’re a very DIY band, even though we have people behind the scenes helping us and stuff. Me and Dylan have our hands in everything that happens, whether it be the art or promotional rollout and all of that.” The band’s limited resources and lack of a single home base complicated the writing and recording process for Weeping Choir, released May 17. Moving further away from drummer Dave Bland required Hazard to do more work on songs by himself before bringing them to practice. “Usually when we would get together, I would have a riff and show it and then we would build on the song with each other,” Hazard said. “This time, I had to come down with completed ideas. As far as recording goes, this is the longest we’ve ever spent in the studio. It was still only a week in the studio, which is no time compared to other bands who spend a week just tracking drums, but we make sure we
Full of Hell plays June 5 at 89th Street — OKC with Primitive Man. | Photo Reid Haithcock / provided
practice as much as we can before we get to the studio so we’re not wasting any time. We want to be as tight as possible because, being in the studio, the longer it takes, the more money it is. We’ve got to be conservative with that kind of thing.” The extra time the band spent in Ballou’s Salem, Massachusetts, studio GodCity allowed the producer to set higher standards than he had for the band’s previous album. “He definitely pushed us a lot more on this one compared to our last record, Trumpeting Ecstasy,” Hazard said. “I think he wanted to get more of a feel for us on Trumpeting, but this one, he was more open to being like, ‘No. You guys can do it better, tighter.’ He was suggesting ideas and getting the best performances out of us this time.” Collaborative releases with experimental sludge metal duo The Body — 2016’s One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache and 2017’s Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light — also gave the band more confidence to take greater risks during the recording process, most evidently on electronics-heavy “Angels Gather Here.” “Before we had done stuff with The Body, we had never really used the studio as an outside instrument, and with the collaborations with The Body, I feel like we’ve gotten more comfortable being able to take a certain idea and bring it to the studio and improvise on that idea,” Hazard said. “Before The Body collabs, we would have never been able to do something like that. … With those, we’re not forced to stick to one certain sound or anything like that. We can just have fun with it ourselves, and if people like it, that’s cool, but if not, oh well.” The song bleeds seamlessly into “Ygramul the Many,” a short-but-complicated track that almost has a free jazz feel. Hazard said its quick tempo changes are too difficult to faithfully replicate onstage. “There’s definitely songs on all of our records that we write and we get down as tight as we can to do it in the studio, but we decide not to perform them live just because if one tiny thing gets off, it’s going to be a trainwreck,” Hazard said. “That song switches time signatures at least four times, so it’s like we got it down tight in the practice spot, but playing it live … every venue every night is going to be a different situation. We may not be able to hear each other, and it’s just for the best that we don’t play certain songs live.” Hazard called the song “Track 10, ‘Ygramul the Many’ or whatever” because its hardto-pronounce name referencing a monster from The Never-
Ending Story was definitely not his idea, nor was naming a song “Silmaril” after mythical jewels in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. “Lyrics are Dylan’s thing,” Hazard said. “We let him do what he wants to do. We try to not step on each other’s toes in the artistic process. He’ll suggest how he wants a song structure or a certain type of riff or something, and it’s the same way with vocals or lyrics. I’ll suggest something, but I let him freely explore what he wants to do. … He likes fantasy novels and movies and all that kind of stuff. That’s not my thing.” At almost seven minutes, “Armory of Obsidian Glass” is an uncanny unification of two disparate song fragments and a pretty decent distillation of Full of Hell’s singular sound, at least as it is for the moment. “It was going to be two completely separate songs because you can tell that the first half is definitely drone-y, and then there’s a break in the middle,” Hazard said. “Then it becomes this more epic, grind-y black metal part. It was like two completely separate ideas that I couldn’t get into finished songs. So one day at practice, I was just like, ‘Why don’t we try to combine them together in the most cohesive, notforced way possible?’ … I was surprised that came out so well.” Tickets are $12-$14. Visit 89thstreetokc.com.
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Full of Hell 6 p.m. June 5 89th Street — OKC 8911 N. Western Ave. 89thstreetokc.com | 405-463-9203 $12-$14
Weeping Choir was released May 17. | Image provided
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LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
SUNDAY, JUN. 2 Adam & Kizzie, Lions Park. HIP-HOP/JAZZ Hosty, The Deli. FOLK/ROCK The Tap Band, Myriad Botanical Gardens. JAZZ
WEDNESDAY, MAY. 29
TTNG/Speak, Memory/Giraffe Massacre, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK
Adam Aguilar & the Weekend All Stars, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. COVER
MONDAY, JUN. 3
Andy Hedges, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK
The Lemonheads/Tommy Stinson, Tower Theatre. ROCK
Steve Crossley & Jerry Wilson, Louie’s Grill & Bar. ACOUSTIC
TUESDAY, JUN. 4 Country Clique, Friends Restaurant & Club. COUNTRY
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M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
THURSDAY, MAY. 30 Hot House Band, Othello’s Italian Restaurant. JAZZ Johnnyswim/Beoga, The Jones Assembly.
Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/
Luis Miguel, Chesapeake Energy Arena. POP
Toadies, Tower Theatre. ROCK
FRIDAY, MAY. 31
WEDNESDAY, JUN. 5 Adam Aguilar & the Weekend All Stars, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. COVER
Audio Book Club/Special Thumbs/ Hookup, Opolis. ROCK Layers of Pink/Astral Planes/Beach Language, The Deli. POP/ROCK Street Noise/LimpWizurdz, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK Tyler Lee Band, Alley Club. COVER
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4723 SE 29TH, DEL CITY, OK 73115 405-900-6588 • CANNABISISLANDOK.COM 28
Feeves Released in January, Dallas trio Feeves’ EP Mellow Drama is danceable synth-pop polished to a disco-ball sheen, but closer listening reveals a surrealistic oddball melancholy. Calling their Oklahoma City stop a “Cruel Summer Party” after the upbeat-yet-creepy 1983 Bananarama song seems just about right, in other words, and stacking the bill with standout local indie pop acts Swim Fan, Mad Honey and Gloom Cruise is just about perfect. The party starts 9 p.m. Friday at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. Admission is $3. Call 405-463-0470 or visit 51stspeakeasy.com. FRIDAY Photo provided
SATURDAY, JUN. 1 Carol Morgan/Trifecta, Kendells. ROCK Insane Clown Posse, Diamond Ballroom. HIP-HOP Lacy Saunders, Remington Park. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Miss Brown to You, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Sophia Massad/New Time Zones/Make Out Spot, The Deli. ROCK Tyler Lee Band, Alley Club. COVER
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
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9 6 0 6 N MAY, O KC | 2 501 SW 1 5T H ST, OKC 801 7 W R E N O RD, O KC | 7876 S W E ST ERN AVE, OKC 7 51 C A N A DI AN T RAILS DR , ST E 1 2 0, N ORMAN
CANNABIS | CONCEN TRATES | E D I BL E S OP E N 1 0AM - 1 0P M DAILY F IR E LE AFO K .CO M O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
THE HIGH CULTURE
Oklahoma Gazette asked Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority several commonly asked questions about the state’s medical cannabis program. By Matt Dinger
Oklahoma Gazette submitted a list of questions regarding the current state of Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program to the Oklahoma State Department of Health based on the most common reader questions. Here are the responses, compiled by a number of Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority employees. Oklahoma Gazette: Can dispensaries still sell to patients when the OMMA license verification website is offline? Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority: Dispensaries are required to verify licenses at the point of sale but are not specifically required to use the OMMA license verification website to do so. Dispensaries can continue to sell to patients when the verification site is down due to maintenance or system updates. However, dispensaries should still verify the license by other methods, including checking another form of identification against the medical marijuana license. OKG: Are dispensaries required to confirm patients with a second form of identification or to keep records of secondary forms of ID (for example, photocopying a patient’s drivers license)? OMMA: State Question 788 and the OMMA rules, OAC 310:681, only permit transfers of medical marijuana between valid license holders. It is the responsibility of dispensaries to ensure they sell or transfer medical marijuana to only valid patient or caregiver license holders. OMMA rules do not expressly require that dispensaries check or keep records of a secondary form of identification. However, it is recommended that they do so. OMMA’s permanent rules, which are expected to go into effect later this summer, will require all commercial establishments to verify and ensure that all medical marijuana transactions are conducted with license holders and take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent the sale or other transfer of medical marijuana to a person or entity who does not hold a valid, unexpired license issued by the department. This includes verification of the photo on the patient or caregiver license. OKG: Can dispensaries provide free products or samples to patients? OMMA: OMMA rules do not expressly prohibit dispensaries from providing free products or samples. However, dispensaries should ensure they are in 30
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compliance with all applicable Oklahoma laws when doing so. This includes, but is not limited to, the following applicable rules: · Free products or samples may only be provided to Oklahoma medical marijuana license holders on the premises of the licensed dispensary. · On-site consumption of medical marijuana or medical marijuana products at the dispensary is prohibited pursuant to OAC 310:681-5-18(a). This includes the entire licensed premises of the dispensary, including outside areas. · All sales from OMMA dispensaries must be taxed and reported in accordance with OAC 310:681-5-7. · All free products or samples provided to license holders must be tracked by the electronic inventory management system that commercial licensees are required to maintain pursuant to OAC 310:681-5-6(c). · All free products or samples provided to license holders must be reported in the monthly report submitted to OMMA pursuant to OAC 310:681-5-6(a). OKG: Can dispensaries grind and preroll cannabis before selling it to patients? If no, then what prohibits that? OMMA: SQ788 only provides authority to processors to process medical marijuana into other forms for consumption. While we do not currently see a legal framework that allows dispensaries to grind or pre-roll, OMMA will continue to educate businesses during our compliance efforts and evaluate this issue and related implications for monthly reporting, diversion and other regulatory issues. OKG: Where can cannabis be consumed by licensed patients? OMMA: OMMA rules prohibit the consumption of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products on the premises of commercial licensees (OAC 310:681-5-18(a)). Additionally, there may be restrictions for consumption of medical marijuana related to other factors such as the municipality, residence or employer of the licensed patient. OKG: When can patients expect to see product testing and required lab results on edible cannabis products and flower? OMMA: Edible medical marijuana products are currently required to meet testing, packaging and labeling requirements as stated in OAC 310:681-5-8.1. Requirements for all medical mari-
juana and medical marijuana products to be tested by a laboratory as required in House Bill 2612 will likely become effective in late summer or fall 2019, shortly after the new legislation becomes effective. OKG: When will seed-to-sale tracking be implemented? OMMA: It is anticipated that the completion of the state procurement procedures, along with the development, customization, testing, roll-out to businesses and integration of the selected software into current software programs and procedures, will take approximately 12-18 months. OKG: What is being done to combat out-of-state products from entering Oklahoma? OMMA: The OMMA receives complaints through the complaint form found on the OMMA website at omma. ok.gov/compliance-information as well as direct referrals from law enforcement or other agencies/municipalities. When the OMMA receives complaints that dispensaries are selling product that was allegedly not grown in Oklahoma, OMMA escalates such claims to internal OMMA auditors and other state and local authorities for further investigation. OMMA-licensed businesses are required to report monthly on the quantity, sources and sale of all medical marijuana produced. In the event a licensee obtains medical marijuana product that was not grown in Oklahoma, this would be viewed as an unlawful purchase and sale as well as criminal activity (if the product was transported across state lines). OMMA has been working closely with state and local law enforcement agencies to link their investigation results with penalties applicable under the OMMA’s authority. OKG: When will the OMMA call center again be accepting phone calls? OMMA: OMMA continues to evaluate its capacity to fully operate a call center while processing all applications within 14 calendar days. OMMA does offer a number of ways for individuals to contact staff listed at omma.ok.gov/contact.
Lab testing requirements for medical cannabis and related products will become effective later this year. | Photo bigstock.com
OKG: What are the disciplinary actions if a dispensary is found not to have a food license after April 26? OMMA: Inspectors from the Oklahoma State Department of Health will be completing inspections of OMMA-licensed dispensaries and processors starting this summer, which will include checking for compliance with food licensing. Failure to obtain a food license in accordance with state law could result in administrative action, which could include an order to cease and desist operations, administrative fines or other penalties authorized under law. OKG: What does Senate Bill 162 mean for patients, and how does it affect the OMMA? OMMA: SB162 removes the requirement for recommending physicians to be board-certified in addition to holding a valid license as an M.D. or D.O. in the state of Oklahoma. This change means that patients do not have to ensure their recommending physician is boardcertified and OMMA will no longer be requiring or verifying information regarding physicians’ board certification. OMMA has made temporary changes to the physician recommendation form and the application procedures to accommodate this change. However, permanent changes will be implemented following the adjournment of the current legislative session as additional legislative changes are possible. Patients can visit omma.ok.gov for more information and instructions. OKG: Do Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protections applying to OMMA cardholders? OMMA: HIPAA protections do not apply to OMMA cardholders because the OMMA is not a covered entity subject to HIPAA regulations under federal law. However, patient and caregiver information is protected by state law under 63 O.S. § 420(A)(J), which seals all application records and information.
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THE HIGH CULTURE
Oklahoma Gazette and Guyutes team up to share a medicinal cannabis version of a classic: ice cream. By Jacob Threadgill and Matt Dinger
There really is no wrong time of year to eat ice cream, and the statistics back it up. Oklahoma is second in the country for its ice cream consumption, according to a 2018 study from Gravy Analytics. Ice cream production hits its peak in June. In honor of the upcoming summer presenting the need to both cool down and receive the medical benefits of cannabis, the minds at Guyutes have devised a cannabis cream-infused strawberry basil ice cream. In previous recipes for Oklahoma Gazette, chef Matt Pryor and owner Jarrod Friedel have made cannabisinfused oil for pesto, infused butter with lemon for fish and infused honey for a salad dressing. For the first time, Pryor was unable to mask the taste of cannabis in the infused cream, so he tackled it head-on by adding basil to help play one “herb” off another. “The cream has a strong [taste] potency, stronger than any of the other
M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
products,” Pryor said. “[The basil and cannabis flavors] end up becoming the same, and it’s why we went with a nice fruity flavor — we looked at cherry and raspberry as well. You were going to taste [the cannabis], so you might as well accentuate it and mellow it with the basil.” The first step in cooking with medical cannabis is the decarboxylation process, which requires heat to separate the THC from the plant and make it ready to metabolize. It is the reason you cannot eat marijuana raw and feel the effects. You have to heat it up by smoking it or putting it in a pan on a stove or in an oven with controlled temperature. Friedel recommends breaking up the medical cannabis — 7-10 grams will be needed to make infused cream — either by hand or with a grinder. He cautions not to grind the flower into a fine powder. Put the cannabis on top of parchment paper on a baking sheet and preheat an oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. If the oven rises above 300
degrees Fahrenheit, it will burn the flower and rob it of its medicinal effects. To make the infused cream, Friedel selected Cherry Pie, an indica-dominant strain that gives patients sativa-like effects of happiness and relaxation, according to reviews on Leafly.
A one-cup portion of ice cream yields about 27.1 milligrams per serving. I ate about a quarter cup and received a mellow body high that made me relaxed without any head cloudiness. After the cream is made, Pryor gets to work on the ice cream base by combining regular milk and cream with sugar, heating the mixture to a boil, turning off the heat and letting the fresh basil incorporate for about five minutes. “That’ll give it enough steeping time and enough heat to dissolve the sugars but also get the full flavor of the basil in there because we’re going to strain it out afterwards,” Pryor said. The most difficult part of the base process is the addition of eggs to a hot
liquid. Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding a little bit of the base mixture to the yolks until it is fully combined. It can be returned to the heat without curdling. “We just want to thicken it, not overboil it,” Pryor said. “You know, scorch the eggs, you start getting the scrambled egg kind of texture to them.” After macerating the strawberries in sugar, they are combined with the non-THC ice cream base and left to cool for four to 24 hours. Pryor uses an electric ice cream maker that retails for around $60, but cheaper hand-powered machines are available, and it is possible to make ice cream without a machine. He adds one cup of infused cream and lets the machine run for 25 minutes until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. “They can also just stir and take it, put in the freezer and every hour or so, go in there and just kind of move it around, agitate it, just so it doesn’t become one solid mass,” he said, noting that it will take about four to six hours to reach desired consistency that way. Pryor said the ice cream base is flexible and only requires the substitution of vanilla or chocolate for strawberries to make another flavor.
I was wary of the ice cream after Pryor’s warnings about the potential overpow-
Berry Cherry High Ice Cream 2 cups heavy cream 2 cups milk 1 1/4 cups white sugar 12 egg yolks 1/3 cup basil 1 cup strawberries 1 cup THC-infused cream
In a pot, add the 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of sugar. Heat the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the basil. Let it sit for about five minutes, and then strain.
Strawberry and basil cannabis-infused ice cream by Matt Pryor and Jarrod Friedel | Photo Alexa Ace
ering cannabis flavor but found the basil to be an excellent way to add unique flavor while masking the cannabis taste. It was hard to tell where the cannabis flavor ends and basil begins. It is an herbaceous note that pairs well with the sweetness of the ice cream. A one-cup portion of ice cream yields about 27.1 milligrams per serving. I ate about a quarter cup and received a mellow body high that made me relaxed without any head cloudiness. It would be the perfect way to ingest medicine by the pool or at night after a long day to facilitate falling asleep.
Strain: Cherry Pie from Sage Cannabis Company 17.4 percent THC 5g x 1000 = 5000 5000 × 17.4 percent = 870 870 ÷ 32 tablespoons = 27.1875 percent per tablespoon 27.1875 × 16 tablespoons = 435 mg 435 mg ÷ 16 servings = 27.1875 mg per serving
Slowly whisk the ice cream mixture into the egg yolks to temper the yolks. Once the ice cream mixture is fully combined, return it to the heat while whisking constantly and cook until the mixture has thickened.
Pour the decarbed cannabis into a saucepan with 2 cups of heavy cream. Set the heat between medium and low. The cream should be just below a simmer. Do not scorch the cream. Stir the mixture every 10-15 minutes. Let it steep for one hour. Place a cheesecloth over a mason jar and strain the heavy cream. Place the lid tightly on the jar and refrigerate. Use the expiration date on the original cream.
Remove it from the heat and let it cool. In a small saucepan, add the strawberries and 1/4 cup of sugar. Simmer until fully macerated. Combine the strawberries and the ice cream base. Let it cool in the fridge for four hours up to 24 hours. Combine the ice cream base and one cup of THC-infused cream and run it in the ice cream maker for 25 minutes until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. Put it into a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze. It will hold for up to two weeks.
Adding infused cream is one of the final steps to making the ice cream. | Photo bigstock.com
O KG A Z E T T E . C O M | M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9
M AY 2 9 , 2 0 1 9 | O KG A Z E T T E . C O M
CONSUMERS natural person or entity in whose name a marijuana license would be issued
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Strain name: Grape Jam
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Acquired from: Ringside Medical Date acquired: May 21
Physical traits: Primarily purple hues with strong orange hairs and dense, frosty trichomes Bouquet: Sweet, yet floral Review: The buds were dry but not brittle and came apart in my hands, leaving more trichome dust than oil on my fingers. The purple hues really come out once you run Grape Jam through a grinder, and the smell also gets sweeter. The smoke itself was also sweet, and maybe I’m just prone to the power of suggestion, but I tasted a light grape hint as well. I took a couple large hits of this one then sat back and let it run its course. It took a few minutes for the full effects to hit, and while strong, they were not overpowering. A general sense of euphoria and relaxation ensued,
Grape Jam from Ringside Medical | Photo Kimberly Lynch
and I was still feeling the first half of the bowl when I consumed the second half about half an hour later. Despite a variant on the strain name, co-owner Chase O’Grady tells me this is the same genetic hybrid cross as Grape Jelly. The effects were split between being both calm and energetic. It is definitely one that enhances a social setting but can be enjoyed as a solo excursion. I could recommend this for any time of day for both casual and experienced cannabis patients, and especially for those who enjoy an exotictasting and smelling smoke. Cannabis effects vary wildly from patient to patient based on a multitude of factors, including THC tolerance, brain chemistry and personal taste. This review is based on the subjective experience of one patient.
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PUZZLES NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE CROSSWORD PUZZLE HOOK-UPS | 0602 By Natan Last Puzzles edited by Will Shortz ACROSS
1 Full Frontal With Samantha Bee channel 4 Counterpart of “highway” in an mpg rating 8 Little rapscallions 12 Weapon that’s thrown 17 Male buddy, in slang 18 Source of some penetrating notes 19 Infiltrator 20 In two pieces 21 Took a chill pill 23 Danger for coastal residents 25 He hosted the second-ever episode of Saturday Night Live 26 Event in nuclear physics 27 It “should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable,” according to a saying 28 Incompetent sort, slangily 29 Reveals 30 Braves’ division, briefly 31 Pirouette 33 War loser, usually 34 Like beer and baking dough 35 Try Sinatra at karaoke, say 37 Boost 40 Member of a South Asian diaspora 41 Format accommodating poor vision 43 Fate, in Greek myth 46 Like some sheets 51 Requests 52 Depiction in Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” 53 Presage 54 “I kid you not!” 55 Vietnamese soup 56 Went white 57 Vittles 58 For the most part 59 1972 Bill Withers hit 61 The miser’s daughter in Molière’s The Miser 63 Cuddly-looking bear 64 They’re full of hot air 66 Shoe with lots of holes 67 Fleet-footed 69 Crash site? 72 Alternative to Corinthian 73 First word in many a limerick 74 H. H. Munro’s pseudonym 75 ____ Club 76 “You’ve gotta be kidding” 77 It may lead to tax-evasion charges 78 Sci-fi subgenre with “retrofuturistic” technology 80 Blabbed 82 Widespread unrest 84 Shield of Greek myth 85 Facebook users’ multitude 88 Doppelgänger 90 Oscar winner for Shakespeare in Love 92 Language family that includes Crow and Lakota 93 Helms 94 Rain unsteadily 95 Digital world 98 French toast
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VOL. XLI NO. 22 Oklahoma Gazette is circulated at its designated distribution points free of charge to readers for their individual use and by mail to subscribers. The cash value of this copy is $1. Persons taking copies of the Oklahoma Gazette from its distribution points for any reason other than their or others’ individual use for reading purposes are subject to prosecution.
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100 Hot chili designation 102 Not like the odds of, say 103 Steinbeck novel featuring the madam Dora Flood 104 Title in Monty Python and the Holy Grail 105 Hoodwink 106 Comedic actor Wareheim 107 Wonder Woman antagonist 108 Over 109 Feature of an old-fashioned swing 110 Peace Nobelist Walesa 111 What the Czech word “ano” means in English, paradoxically
horse 15 Flotilla of merchant ships 16 Hospital tube 17 Animal with tusks 21 Worker with numbers, for short 22 French fashion icon 24 Does groundbreaking work? 26 The Aladdin song “A Whole New World” takes place on one 29 Approx. 1,055 joules 32 Refuses to share 34 What a cake candle often represents 35 Give it up, so to speak 36 Reckless 38 Fencing sword DOWN 39 Like “mailman” and “waitress” 1 Gym rat’s development 40 Clobber 2 High pitch, maybe 42 Cowboys and Spurs 3 1984 Steve Perry hit 44 Barbra Streisand album A Love 4 Act overprotectively toward Like ____ 5 Bygone Apple laptop 45 “Uh ... sure” 6 Word with boom or skip 47 Like the central planet in Dune 7 Ache 48 Surprised 8 Acher’s lament 49 Not 100 percent 9 Ragtag 50 Rival of BAL and BOS 10 Lumbers (along) 56 Gave extra juice 11 One working on an estate 58 Family business 12 Role for a biology grad student, 60 Tres y tres perhaps 62 Actress Petty of A League of 13 Works with numbers Their Own 14 One might be thrown from a 63 What might get you a “ladle”
drunk? 64 Handyperson’s inits. 65 Sushi topper 66 Quaff quickly 68 Engineer who coined the term “horsepower” 70 Hilton alternative 71 Sounds of disappointment 73 Larrups 75 Something journalists may work on 79 Its wingspan can reach 30 feet 81 Problem usually encountered at night 83 Aetna’s business: Abbr. 85 Say uncle 86 Searched for truffles, maybe 87 Delightful event? 88 Stretching or tightening muscle 89 Dangling part of a rooster 91 Isle named for a Gaelic goddess 92 Shade of black 93 Capital once known as Thang Long (“Ascending Dragon”) 94 Like some booms 96 Bow-wielding god 97 Mini manufacturer 99 Winnow 100 Meter reading 101 Erato’s instrument 103 Bit of old-fashioned animation
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SUDOKU HARD | N° 1006
Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com
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SKULLDUGGERY LANE By Ingvard Ashby
NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS
Puzzle No. 0526, which appeared in the May 22 issue. S L I P
P E N A
L A D Y
H U R R A H
A S A U N I T
M E R C Y M E
R E A S S N U P R R E
O N P A T R O L
A G R A
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A S I D E
T H E A R M M Y E H E W A E N N E U S I A T S E W S E P Y
A S T I I P A D C L O N E Y I S A R O L S I X E D L Y R I C A N O O L E M I N E R A S T R O R O T P A P M A E C A R L R O C K A L A R A G A W A I E N S S O N G L O U I E E N T E R
A T M M I C
H O C K E Y M A S K
A I M M C A C M R D I O G I T
A S P S V A R Y E L I N M O P D A D H A T I L E Y L Y O S M U L O T A E R O N T P O O T H R E A R O L K O R E P O T B E O U N S N S E E Y R A
J A E D D E S L C Y O C T E U S M T P O A E K A T S C T R O O N W E
A X I L L A R Y
C L O S E C U T
K E N N Y S E
S I B E R I A
S T A T I N G
H A S A G O
O S T E
P E A K
I S P S
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY Homework: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that really keeps me from being myself is _______.” Testify at Truthrooster@gmail.com. ARIES (March 21-April 19)
In the coming weeks it will make good sense for you to travel down winding paths replete with interesting twists and provocative turns. The zigzags you’ll be inspired to pursue won’t be inconvenient or inefficient, but rather will be instrumental in obtaining the healing you need. To honor and celebrate this oddly lucky phase, I’ll quote parts of “Flying Crooked,” a poem by Robert Graves. “The butterfly will never master the art of flying straight, yet has a just sense of how not to fly: He lurches here and here by guess and God and hope and hopelessness. Even the acrobatic swift has not his flying-crooked gift.”
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Has a part of you become too timid, docile, or prosaic? Is there an aspect of your beautiful soul that is partially muzzled, submissive, or housebroken? If so, now is a favorable time to seek an antidote. But listen closely: the cure isn’t to become chaotic, turbulent, and out of control. It would be counterproductive to resort to berserk mayhem. Here’s a better way: be primal, lush, and exciting. Be wildly playful and unpredictably humorous and alluringly intriguing. Try experiments that rouse your rowdy sweetness, your unkempt elegance, your brazen joy, and your sensual intelligence.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
I prefer live theater over movies. The glossy flawlessness of films, accomplished by machines that assemble and polish, is less emotionally rich than the direct impact of live performers’ unmediated voices and bodies and emotions. Their evocative imperfections move me in ways that glossy flawlessness can’t. Even if you’re not like me, Gemini, I invite you to experiment with my approach for a while—not just in the entertainment you choose, but in all areas of your life. As much as possible, get your experience raw and unfiltered.
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
I’ve got a message for you from Cancerian poet Tyler
Knott Gregson. Please read it every day for the next 15 days, including when you first wake up and right before sleep. Here it is: “Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
In 2003, a group of thieves in Antwerp, Belgium pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in history. To steal the diamonds, gold, and other gems, together worth more than $100 million, they had to outsmart security guards, a seismic sensor, a protective magnetic field, Doppler radar, infrared detectors, and a lock. I mention this, Leo, because I suspect that in the coming weeks you will have a comparable ability to insinuate yourself into the presence of previously inaccessible treasures and secrets and codes. You’ll be able to penetrate barriers that have kept you shut off from valuable things. (P.S. But I hope that unlike the Antwerp thieves, you’ll use your superpowers in an ethical manner.)
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
In the northeast corner of Spain, bordering France, is an area known as Catalonia. With its own culture and language, it has a long history of seeking complete autonomy. On four occasions it has declared itself to be independent from Spain. The most recent time was in 2017, when 92 percent of the Catalans who voted expressed the desire to be free of Spain’s rule. Alas, none of the rebellions have succeeded. In the latest instance, no other nation on Earth recognized Catalonia’s claim to be an independent republic. In contrast to its frustrated attempts, your own personal quest to seek greater independence could make real progress in the coming months. For best results, formulate a clear intention and define the precise nature of the sovereignty you seek. Write it down!
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
A Libran blogger named OceanAlgorithms wrote, “I’m simultaneously wishing I were a naturalist whose specialty is finding undiscovered species in well-explored places; and a skateboarding mathematician meditating
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Is there a creature on earth that’s more annoying than the mosquito? I’ve never heard anyone gaze upon one of the pesky monsters sucking blood out of her arm and say, “Aw, what a cute little bug.” And yet every year there is a town in Russia that holds a jokey three-day celebration in honor of the mosquito. The people who live in Berezniki even stage a “most delicious” competition, in which people allow themselves to be pricked by mosquitoes for twenty minutes, with an award
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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
A musical historian from Cambridge University decided it would be amusing to perform forgotten songs that were written in the Rhineland a thousand years ago. His research wasn’t easy, because musical notation was different back then. But he ultimately reconstructed the tunes in ways that he felt were 80 percent faithful to the originals. He and other musicians subsequently performed and recorded them. I propose a somewhat comparable assignment for you in the coming weeks, Pisces. You will benefit, I believe, from trying to recover the truth about events that occurred a long time ago and/ or by trying to revivify old beauty that has new relevance.
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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It’s the Forever Season, Aquarius. You have a poetic license to act as if your body will live for a hundred years and your soul will live for all eternity. You are authorized to believe that in the coming decades you will grow steadily wiser, kinder, happier, and wilder. During the Forever Season, you may have dreams like flying over a waterfall at sunset, or finding the lost magic you were promised before you were born, or discovering the key to a healing you feared would always elude you. As you careen through this unpredictable grace period, your understanding of reality may expand dramatically. I bet you’ll get practical epiphanies about how to express yourself with greater effectiveness.
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I invite you to meditate on this proposal from freelance writer Radha Marcum: “The spiritual definition of love is that when you look at the person you love, it makes you love yourself more.” I hope there’s a lot of that kind of action going on for you in the next four weeks. According to my assessment of life’s secret currents, all of creation will be conspiring to intensify and deepen your love for yourself by intensifying and deepening your love for other people. Cooperate with that conspiracy, please!
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
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SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
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Geologists aren’t exactly sure why, but almost six million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar closed up. As a result, the Mediterranean Sea was cut off from the Atlantic Ocean, and within a thousand years, it had mostly disappeared. Fast forward 600,000 years. Again, geologists don’t understand how it happened, but a flood broke through the barrier, allowing the ocean to flow back into the Mediterranean basin and restore it to its previous status as a sea. I propose that we invoke that replenishment as a holy symbol for the process you’re engaged in: a replenishment of your dried-out waters.
going to whomever accumulates the most bites. I highly approve of the spirit of this approach for your own use in the coming weeks, Capricorn. If you have fun with the things that bother you, I bet they won’t bother you as much.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
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on an almost-impossible-to-solve equation as I practice my skateboard tricks; and a fierce forest witch who casts spells on nature-despoilers; and a gothic heroine with twelve suitors; and the sexiest cat that ever lived.” I love how freewheeling and wide-ranging OceanAlgorithms is with her imaginative fantasies. In light of current astrological omens, I encourage you to do the same. Give yourself permission to dream and scheme extravagantly.
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