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FREE EVERY WEDNESDAY | METRO OKC’S INDEPENDENT WEEKLY | FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Growklahoma City! Urban farmers cultivate community and a connection to the land. BY GREG ELWELL P.15


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inside COVER P.15 At a hefty 606.4 square miles, it

might seem like Oklahoma City’s modest 1.3 million population has nothing but room to wander. But SixTwelve’s director of permaculture Paul Mays felt confined. The community garden is one of a few popping up across the metro as more people embrace sustainability, conservation and growing their own food.

MORRIS DAY & THE TIME

By Greg Elwell. Cover photo Garett Fisbeck.

NEWS 4 Education Early Birds

school readiness

6

City modern streetcar

8

Metro Metropolitan Library

breaks ground

System becomes high-tech hub

10 Letters

12 Chicken-Fried News

EAT & DRINK 15 Cover urban gardens

17 MeeT THE BREWER Roughtail

Brewing Co.

18 Briefs

19 Review Hatch breakfast

20 Gazedibles surprisingly local

ARTS & CULTURE 23 Art OKCMOA’s 2017 exhibits

24 Art Holly Moye becomes OCU

School of Art director

25 Art Jason Pawley’s Regional Food

Bank of Oklahoma mural

26 Culture Cards Against Humanity

designer visits AIGA OK

27 Theater Oklahoma City Ballet’s

The Sleeping Beauty

28 Theater CityRep’s Mr. Burns:

A Post-Electric Play

29 Theater Edmond Fine Arts

Institute’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

30 Culture IgniteOKC roundtable

30 Film Norman Film Festival debut 31

Book of Love

Chesapeake Arena

34 Active Monster Jam at

MAR 3 8PM

Tickets Starting at $25

35 Community community

tree programs

35 Books Oklahoma Scoundrels

examines historical outlaws

36 Calendar

MUSIC 38 Event Florida Georgia Line and

Chris Lane

39 Event Mean Motor Scooter at Your

Mom’s Place

40 Event Woody Guthrie Folk Festival

faces uncertain future

40 Live music

FUN

GRANDBOXOFFICE.COM

41 Astrology

42 Puzzles sudoku | crossword

OKG Classifieds 43 OKG Classifieds 43

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E d u c at i o n

NEWS

Paths to success

A school readiness program helps guide parents and children toward learning and achievement. By Laura Eastes

The earliest years of life are crucial in so many ways, including how they set children on paths leading toward — or away from — achievement. It can be a vicious path. Children who enter kindergarten not ready to learn struggle to catch up with classmates, failing to read proficiently by the end of the third grade, which often leads to ongoing difficulties in school and dropping out of high school. It’s an education outcome that was made well known by a sociology professor who compared reading scores and graduation rates of almost 4,000 students. According to the 2011 Annie E. Casey Foundation report Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation, a student who can’t read on grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is less likely to graduate on time than his or her more proficient, wealthier peer. Getting children to read on grade level by third grade and later achieve a high school diploma begins years before a child enters school. Like an achievement gap in academic performance, a school readiness gap exists that separates children eager to listen, learn and succeed at school and children unprepared to do so, explained Mary Ellis, a specialist for Oklahoma County’s school readiness program called Early Birds. For the past six years, Smart Start Central Oklahoma, through Early Birds, has assisted hundreds of families in equipping their children with the skills and enthusiasm necessary for learning when they start school. “We arm parents with as much information as possible,” Ellis said. “What parents do in the home is going to change the culture and give their children the smart start advantage when they enter kindergarten.”

Parents as teachers

Jamie Stidham smiled and laughed as her toddler son held up a purple square, part of a stacking toy, and called it cheese. Next, he grabbed a red circle with a hole and said, “Doughnut.” Moments earlier, Stidham and seven other parents were handed tote bags filled with activities to incorporate into playtime. Stacy Dykstra, executive director of Smart Start Central Oklahoma, led the class. She encouraged parents to let kids play with the geometric sorting board, a toy that gives children the chance to recognize shapes and colors and develop sorting and counting skills. As a toddler separated all the red 4

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Stacy Dykstra teaches an Early Bird class at Metro Technology Center. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

pieces, Dykstra told parents there was no wrong or right way to play. She urged them to talk to their child when playing. “We support parents as their child’s first teacher,” Dykstra explained before the class began. “What we mean by a teacher is the parent is the role model. … We provide a kit for parents to be fully armed and give their kids what they need.” Early Birds is designed for parents of children from newborns to age 5 and parents-to-be. Three free 90-minute courses taught in English or Spanish are offered over the course of the year in addition to a prenatal class, resulting in a total of 16 classes over five years. Parents acquire knowledge on social and emotional development of children as well as pick up hands-on and brain-on activities that focus on the fun of learning. Activities range from learning toys to simple things parents can do every day, Ellis said. “We teach about everywhere learning opportunities, and they are everywhere,” Ellis mentioned games like “Help me find a red car” when driving and creating a separate child’s grocery store list for finding everyday items like oranges. “When your child is in the bath, say, ‘I am putting shampoo on your head,’ and ‘Soap on your feet.’” While these might seem like simple strategies, child development experts say they can make all the difference. As parents talk, sing and read to their children, the children’s brain cells are strengthening. Parents who reside in the Mid-Del, Oklahoma City, Putnam City and Western Heights districts can enroll in Early Birds, which is supported by grants and donations. Recently, the program expanded through community partnerships with organizations like Metro Technology Centers and Variety Care to reach more parents in Oklahoma County. When classes end, parents leave with kits filled with educational toys and tools to further promote learning at home. To drive the point home, Ellis tells parents, “These are not just toys. With the knowledge you’ve just learned, these are tools. Just like you would use a hammer to put a nail in the wall, these are tools to get your child ready for school.”

Empowering parents

For the past two years, Liz Lee has served as an Early Birds’ community partner at Metro Technology Center’s Springlake Campus. Lee promoted the program’s ability to

empower parents, providing them with the knowledge to be advocates for their children. For instance, one parent explained how her children always arrived home from day care hyper and with no appetite. Through a group discussion with the parents at the Early Birds class, the mom was encouraged to ask the day care about snacks the children were receiving. “That mom became a detective for her children,” Lee said, sharing that the day care provided sugary snacks before the parents picked up their kids. After Lee spoke with the provider, the sugary snacks stopped. Stidham, who attends Early Birds at Metro Tech, encourages fellow parents to enroll. As she put it, “Babies don’t come with a handbook,” but Early Birds provides one and much more. “You are your child’s best teacher,” said Stidham, who first heard about the program through her neighborhood school, Fillmore Elementary in the Oklahoma City Public Schools district. “You have to constantly talk to them and tell them what you are doing. As we drive down the road, I hear my boys say, ‘Mom, I see a green light or a red light.”

Making a difference

A study by an Oklahoma State University researcher who interviewed and collected data on parents who had partici-

Colleen Wilcox plays with her son Luck, 2, and Elijah during an Early Bird class at Metro Technology Center. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

pated in Early Birds and parents who had not participated in the program concluded the program was making a difference, as Early Bird parents recognized their roles in their child’s educational process. “The Early Birds program engages families before formal schooling begins, forming an early relationship with the school system and the parents. Additionally, as discovered through the parent participant interviews, the program established parent networks for parents of same-aged children living in the same school district. These early connections strengthen the parent and school partnerships, which research has shown to yield the best results and outcomes for students,” the report concluded. As the Early Birds Metro Tech class comes to a close, Dykstra asks for feedback from the eight parents about the program. It’s rave reviews from many of the parents as they explain how they’ve incorporated the last classes’ activities and toys and how their children have responded. “This is why we teach the classes,” Dykstra said. “You, as parents, are the first and most important teachers in your children’s life.”


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cit y

NEWS

Reenvision transit

Transit hopes ride on the Modern Streetcar project as track installation begins. By Laura Eastes

The idea of building a modern streetcar in Oklahoma City was hatched about a dozen years ago, envisioned by a committee composed of government, business, civic and transportation leaders. Before Oklahoma City voters cast ballots on a MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar, the committee — with the assistance of The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) — produced the 2030 Fixed Guideway Plan, a strategy for building a regional transit system in central Oklahoma. Released in 2005, the plan called for commuter rail development, bus service improvements and the placement of a streetcar system in downtown OKC, which earned a spot as one of the eight projects of MAPS 3, one of the city’s capital improvements programs financed by sales tax. OKC voters backed the streetcar proposal and other qualityof-life projects in a 2009 vote. Now, after years of planning, a city streetcar system blends connectivity and economic development and further spurs mass transit options andconstruction crews break up pavement and install tracks downtown. It’s a celebratory time for citizens excited to see the $131.8 million project underway and an option for traveling through the urban core. It’s monumental for fueling a regional transit system and potentially turning car-centric Oklahoma City into a mass transit hub, said Jeff Bezdek, a member of the Modern Streetcar/Transit subcommittee. “It’s the nucleus and the beginning of a bigger and broader public service,” Bezdek said. “People will be able to move through downtown whether they ride in by car, come in by Amtrak or use a future mode that connects to the system. 6

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People will be able to go multiple places with ease. This system will really enable pedestrian activity like we’ve never seen it before.”

Streetcar strategy

When Oklahoma City’s streetcar system is operational, it will be unlike any current form of transit in Oklahoma. The cars will be powered by overhead wires and batteries. Bezdek said OKC’s system is the first to deploy the dual technology on its five vehicles. The system offers two route options: a 2-mile Bricktown loop and a 4.8-mile mainline serving Midtown, Bricktown, Automobile Alley and Central Business District. Each car holds up to 120 passengers. The route encompasses 22 stops, including two located near the Santa Fe Intermodal Transit Hub — formerly Santa Fe Station — with daily train services. Each stop includes ticket vending, shelter and signage with streetcar arrival information. The system is designed to be efficient and user-friendly, said subcommittee chairman Nathaniel Harding. Wheelchair users, parents with strollers and cyclists with bikes can easily board the ADA-compliant streetcars. “It really will be the best transit mode for pedestrians getting around,” Harding said. “Right now, if you are on foot, as far as you will go is a block or two. With the streetcar, you can cover the Central Business District, Automobile Alley, Midtown and Bricktown all on foot by hopping on and hopping off. If you add Spokies, you can travel the entire downtown.” As Harding and others see it, the streetcar will be a link to other modes of transit, like the city’s bike sharing program — Spokies — and bus services

through Embark. The streetcar system will become a program of Embark when it opens to the public, which is anticipated for December 2018. “Connection is the key,” Ward 7 Councilman John Pettis Jr. said when speaking at the Feb. 7 streetcar groundbreaking in Bricktown. Crews will construct a streetcar stop across the street from the transit center at the intersection of NW Fourth Street and N. Hudson Avenue. Pettis imagines a strong relationship between Embark and passengers, who will travel downtown by bus and ride the streetcar their final destination. “The streetcar will allow access to more parts of Oklahoma City,” Pettis said.

Beyond downtown

At the early February streetcar groundbreaking, there was much hope that this was the first of many celebrations marking movement from the 2030 Fixed Guideway Plan. “First of all, we can all envision a day when we are going to have some level of commuter rail that will bring a person in from Edmond or Norman or somewhere in between,” OKC Mayor Mick Cornett said during the ceremony. “When that person arrives in downtown Oklahoma City, they are going to need a way to move around.” While the streetcar will serve the needs of OKC travelers, the ongoing dialogue continues on commuter rail projects. A year ago, metro mayors, including Cornett, signed an agreement to create the Central Oklahoma Regional Transit Authority Task Force. It could push forward proposals for commuter rail, enhanced regional bus services and expanding streetcar routes. The creation of the task force was a recom mend at ion f rom 2014 CentralOK!go, an 18-month commuter corridors study. The study proposed a regional transit commuter rail system to connect Norman and Edmond with downtown OKC. Additionally, with an

City and community leaders break ground to signify the beginning of construction of the MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar in Bricktown. | Photo Laura Eastes

expanded streetcar system, streetcars would take passengers from downtown to Midwest City and on to Tinker Air Force Base. Under the plan, the Santa Fe Intermodal Transit Hub would serve as the regional transit hub.

Connectivity

OKC’s investment into a modern streetcar system rivals large cities like Dallas, Cincinnati, Seattle, Kansas City, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and more, said Harding, who predicts the line will boost local development. “I think this will put us on the map, showing we are really taking our city seriously and want to be a top-tier city,” Harding said. Part of the subcommittee’s role has been learning from other cities that recently implemented streetcar systems. OKC wants to implement best practices in ensuring the streetcar has the smoothest ride toward being an effective and widely used transit service. Currently, Embark is in the early stages of developing a safety campaign to educate the public about sharing the road with the streetcars. The streetcars ride on rails flush with the streets and obey traffic laws, impacting drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. While the streetcar will drive connectivity across downtown, city officials also strive for the system to build a stronger sense of community. Through an app, riders will be able to connect to service offerings as well as events taking place in the urban core. “Imagine riding on the streetcar, looking at the app and seeing what’s happening at The Bleu Garten or Chesapeake Energ y Arena,” Harding said. “Regardless if you are a local or not, you are connected like never before. It’s not just a way to move a body from one area of town to another. It is a way to experience all of the city.”


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NEWS

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All branches of Metropolitan Library System offer free access to computers and the internet. It’s the No. 1 service at more than a third of the 19 library branches located across Oklahoma County. “Many times people are waiting one hour, two hours and as much as three hours for a computer to come open,” said Tim Rogers, who recently entered his third year as the system’s executive director. “Unfortunately, many of our residents in Oklahoma County do not have a computer at home or they don’t have the broadband connection to do what they need to do.” Often, public libraries across the country — including those in Oklahoma County — are the only providers of free, public computer access. As the role of libraries evolves into engaged community centers, leaders like Rogers look for ways to advance popular services and reach more residents. For instance, south Oklahoma City’s Almonte Library is set to receive about a dozen laptops and a dozen Chromebooks for public in-library use. As part of a pilot program, in addition to the library’s rows of public-use desktop computers, patrons may check out laptops and Chromebooks for short-term use. Rogers envisions teenagers gathered around a laptop as they work on class assignments or a parent typing on a Chromebook while keeping

Metropolitan Library System executive director Tim Rogers | Photo Garett Fisbeck

an eye on their child in the children’s book area. When the demand for computers is low, library staff can utilize the technology in a class setting as a teaching tool. “We see how it lowers the wait times, and we see how people respond,” Rogers said, discussing indicators of the pilot program’s success. “Has it enabled us to bring more people in, and has it provided something different?”

Tech-savvy education

Decades ago, the defining role of libraries was to circulate books. Librarians touted their success by high circulation rates. As Americans move away from printed pages to digital screens, library leaders have adapted to the everchanging world by reinventing the library as more than just a place to check out books. “We talk about reading being at the heart of what we do, but learning is really at the heart of what we do,” Rogers said. “What we are looking at for the future is not to have fewer materials, but to have the right materials at the right spot.” As Rogers described the array of materials, services and programs offered, it’s clear that Oklahoma County libraries have been evolving for some time. In many cases, some of the branches are no longer citadels of silence as musicians perform, children build robotics, tutors help students with homework and leaders speak about various subjects. With a collection that includes e-books, e-magazines and e-audio books as well as access to academic journals, test prep programs and online resources like Ancestry.com, Consumer Reports and the Lynda.com software training program, patrons can utilize the library without stepping foot inside a branch. “In 20 years, we want everyone in the community — everyone in Oklahoma County — to use the library in some way,”

Rogers said. “As a guiding philosophy, we need the library to be a different type of animal, different from when the goal was to circulate millions of books. The library is a very different place, and different from even five years ago.” Despite a recent national study by Pew Research Center that suggested library use slowing across the country, the Metropolitan Library System branch visitors grew by 754,180 between fiscal year 2014 and 2015 when there were more than 5 million individual visits. Rogers believes diversity and richness entices most people through the doors. One such program is Reading to Dogs, in which children practice reading as therapy dogs listen. On a recent visit to The Village Library, Rogers witnessed 15 kids waiting in line to participate. Across town at Del City Library, children gather for Science Sundays, in which librarian Joshua Jordan conducts experiments. When the tests are complete, Jordan shares titles that go into greater detail about the science behind the experiments. While libraries have always played a role in educating children with story times and summer reading initiatives, educational programs like Reading to Dogs and Science Sundays further build a foundation for learning. For adults, the library system provides literacy, GED, language and job skill classes. Additionally, the system can be a resource for people wanting to grow their small business, those in need of employment or those who wish to research new careers. “We have a great community now, but we have potential that is untapped,” Rogers said. “I think the library can be a huge part in tapping the untapped.”

What you’ll find Some services available at Metropolitan Library System branches: >> Online resources: Ancestry.com, Consumer Reports, Lynda.com, Mango Languages, newspaper archives, academic journals and more. >> School and career resources: Resume and cover letter builder, study guides and practice tests for career- and school-related tests like GED, ACT and more. >> Downloads: e-books, audiobooks, music and magazines. >> MediaSurfers: Check out iPads for in-library use: Almonte, Capitol Hill and Ralph Ellison. >> Reading to Dogs: Almonte, Del City, Edmond, The Village, Southern Oaks. Visit metrolibrary.org.


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letters

NEWS targeted homosexuals. This among the recent rhetoric is completely absent from the mantra and I believe demands some serious questions answered. Does the left truly and unconditionally stand with the LGBT community? Or only when it’s politically convenient? Doug Rixmann Newalla

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Still fighting

Nasty women

Many of the speeches given at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., were vulgar, “nasty” and, many times, screeching. Many women paraded around wearing clothing or costumes that were inappropriate and demeaning. A number of the women left mounds of trash and signs for others to bear the expense and effort of cleaning up. In general, the event was an embarrassment to women and certainly did not define what it is to act “ladylike.” The event set back women’s causes for at least a decade or two. Jane Janovy Oklahoma City

Liberal motivations?

Dear LGBT community and their supporters (including myself): I noted an interesting albeit insidious hypocrisy, somewhat unusual from the usual for the left, but inevitable: when your stances are so knee-jerk and shallow. The two current hot buttons to push for a liberal meltdown are immigration and the LGBT movement. They seem to have made a choice between the two, at least where Muslims are concerned. It’s reached a new low. Among the endless mind-numbing vitriol and rhetoric over a four-month

rethink on our vetting process for immigrants from the “Death to America!” regions of the world, conveniently absent from the tirade is the discussion on terrorism. It’s as if it has never happened. As if this is all just mean Nazi KKK folk wanting to crap on foreigners, down on their luck, for no reason, simply for the sake of doing so. Among the convenient back turning for the “cause” is the Orlando nightclub shooting, one of if not the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. It is beyond question this act was committed by an American man who self-identified with Muslim extremism, and he specifically

First of all, I’d like to thank you for sharing your thoughts in your commentary (Commentary, “What have we done?” Robin Meyers, Nov. 16, Gazette). I live in McAlester. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this goes much deeper then Democrats vs. Republicans. It’s like this president wants to destroy America. He’s not going to be satisfied on all the programs that now exist and people count on them. What can people like my wife and I do? We both pray all the time. We have eight kids; all of them are out and on their own. I feel like I’m spinning in circles. I was honored to fight in Vietnam. I don’t know if there’s much more fight left. John Edward Gleason Sr., retired USMC McAlester

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chicken

friedNEWS

Fallin speaks

The desire to be liked often causes us to say only the things we know people want to hear. We at Chicken-Fried News wonder if that was the drive behind Gov. Mary Fallin’s Feb. 6 State of the State address. What do teachers want? A pay raise! When do they want it? Years ago! Fallin laid it down last week as she gave her address, which also kicked off the 2017 legislative session: “Let’s act on a permanent pay raise for our public school teachers.” What do grandmothers want for out-of-state grandchildren? An ID that allows them to fly. When do they want it? Years ago! Fallin insisted: “Send me a bill to fix REAL ID licenses. We have four months to solve this issue. Let’s get it done.” What do drivers want? Better roads and bridges! When do they want them? Years ago! Fallin announced: “I am proposing a new revenue stream by increasing our gas and diesel taxes to the regional state average, but still below the national average. … Let’s put the fuel taxes into roads and bridges.” What do middle class families and businesses want? Tax relief. When do they want it? … Yep. Fallin asserted: “By expanding the sales tax base, this allows us to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries and the corporate income tax.” What do all Oklahomans want? To feel safer! When do they want it? … Uh-huh. Fallin insisted: “No trooper should be furloughed or restricted to driving 100 miles a day because of lack of funding.”

Who’s calling?

In a felonious version of the telephone game, but with narcotics, police recently charged Jessica Lynn Bolton, 21, with intent to traffick heroin and methamphetamines, possession of marijuana and possession of contraband in a penal institution. Eight people were charged in a far-reaching conspiracy to smuggle narcotics and contraband into Oklahoma correctional facilities. Prosecutors allege Bolton used a hydraulic press to fill small pieces of plastic pipe with heroin, meth and other drugs. Alleged coconspirator Shareese Renee Jackson, 45, then concealed “25 grams of heroin, 30 grams of marijuana plus 10 cigarettes” in a body cavity into the Oklahoma County Jail, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Mark Opgrande told KFOR.com. Opgrande unironocally called the scheme “ironic.” In a court affidavit, Jackson admitted her ruse was to surrender herself to the jail on Jan. 4 — on an outstanding drug warrant, of all things — in order to

gain access to and pass the drugs to another inmate, Maria R. Moore, 31, according to a sheriff’s investigation report. Law enforcement officers accused Moore of delivering aforementioned substances to yet another inmate, Zachary D. Millard, 30, NewsOK.com reported. Detectives found proof of the plot while going through a month and a half of jail surveillance video and recorded phone calls between the eight defendants, Opgrande told KFOR.com. Following that telephone line led investigators to alleged ringleader and Lawton correctional facility inmate Chad T. Back, 32, who NewsOK.com reported has been incarcerated since 2008 on drug “and other offenses.” Authorities stopped the scheme before suspects Alona Nicole Crenshaw, 31, and Matthew Isaac Henson, 25, could distribute additional drugs — 140 grams of meth plus 200 Xanax pills, Opgrande told KFOR.com — found during a search of Bolton’s Oklahoma City residence. Christian Eric Meador, 20, also was charged in the conspiracy, NewsOK. com reported.

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Facing reality

State residents with social media accounts have by now surely seen or heard of the new Bravo show Sweet Home Oklahoma, which premieres March 20 on the same cable network that brought Top Chef and The Real Housewives franchises to national viewers. Well, few if any of us here at Chicken-Fried News expect the next Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola flick. We did our research and carefully parsed the new series’ 74-second trailer and discovered a montage of pulled quips and gags forecasting a show heavy on comedic pettiness, Southern sass, low-hanging punchlines and blonde jokes from a typecast clique of Gaillardia housewives. They (rightly) describe Oklahoma as the reddest Republican stronghold in the great expanse of flyover country. If the women of Sweet Home hoped to present themselves as a positive counter to the stereotype, this trailer doesn’t convey that. There is nothing inherently

wrong with loosely scripted reality programming. There’s also nothing wrong with having a little fun with Oklahoma’s occasionally laggard reputation — have you ever read Chicken-Fried News?

Driving irony

Like something out of a modern-day O. Henry story, two Oklahoma City University film students were nearly struck by an alleged drunken driver in Valley Brook while shooting a DUI awareness video for the Valley Brook Police Department. Michael Stamp was carrying a light across the street Jan. 29 when a vehicle seemed to accelerate toward him, KOCO.com reported. “I hopped out of the way real fast,” Stamp told the news station. “After that, I was kind of in shock.” Stamp’s father, Valley Brook Police Chief Michael Stamp, called the near miss “very ironic.” There’s a lot of that going around — irony, that is. Stamp quickly pulled over driver Richey Dell Reese, who police allege tried to make a break for it before being captured by another Valley Brook officer. According to police, Reese’s blood

alcohol content (BAC) was a stout .17, more than double the legal limit.

No deal

Girl Scout cookies are an important part of modern life. Boxes are hoarded and even hidden because, honestly, nobody really wants to share. Here at Chicken-Fried News, we always pay for our delicious Girl Scout cookies with money — to our knowledge, that’s the only form of trade the green-vested sales sprites accept. They’re not really into bartering — it just doesn’t make for very successful fundraising. Regardless, one man tried it anyway. Jerry Swanson, 45, recently approached troopmembers selling boxed treats in Shops at Ardmore (formerly Mountain View Mall) at 12th Street and Commerce Avenue. Instead of cash, he offered hooch. Instead of cookies, the offer got Swanson arrested.

KXII News 12 reported that Ardmore Police Capt. Keith Ingle said Swanson smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated when police arrested him. “He didn’t have anything to say about it, he didn’t even know what they were talking about,” Ingle told KXII. “He was unsteady on his feet and basically had to place him in the police car and barely able to walk.”

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EAT & DRINK

Growklahoma City

As SixTwelve’s director of permaculture, Paul Mays oversees a thriving community garden. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Urban farmers cultivate community and a connection to the land. By Greg Elwell

Area-wise, Oklahoma City is the eighth largest city in the U.S., ahead of Houston and Phoenix. At a hefty 606.4 square miles, it might seem like our modest 1.3 million population has nothing but room to wander. But Paul Mays felt confined. “I grew up in the country, so I had access to a lot of land and a lot of space,” he said. Living in the city, even one as spreadout as Oklahoma City, made him feel disconnected. Then he found gardening. As SixTwelve’s director of permaculture, he now helps introduce more people to the practice. The community garden at SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., is one of a few popping up across the metro as more people become interested in sustainability, conservation and growing their own food. Mays doesn’t talk much about his title, preferring instead to describe his role at the community education and art collective as “part-time gardener and part-time Pre-K worker.” When he’s lucky, he said, those worlds collide. “It gets kids to take a moment and go outside, even if they’re not interested in gardening as much as I’d like,” he said. “I want them to value the outdoors. When I look back on my childhood memories, I realize the influence nature had early in my life. I want to instill that in the next generation.” None of the students are awesome gardeners right off the bat, but Mays said getting their hands in the dirt could make a huge difference. Volunteers work in Urban Neighbors’ Midtown community garden at 417 W. Park Place. | Photo Urban Neighbors / provided

Gardening started off as a hobby. Mays wanted to make his own salsa. “It was a small garden, but I really enjoyed the peace I felt there,” he said. “It allowed me to drop a lot of stress.” Home gardening soon became a passion, and he started spending more time planting, weeding and learning everything he could about how things grow. People began asking him to help them plan and build gardens at their homes. One idea Mays became fascinated with is right there in his title: permaculture, the creation of sustainable agricultural ecosystems that require very little input.

Dirty hands

Mays said the best way to learn gardening is to do it. That’s not easy for people who don’t have their own space, though, so SixTwelve created a community garden. “People are garden members, but we

don’t have individual plots for everyone,” he said. “They can help out and volunteer to work on a Wednesday or Saturday.” Mays plans what grows where, when to plant and when to harvest, but everyone who works reaps the rewards. “We share eggs with members, and whenever we have produce, they get some,” he said. “It’s a shared garden more than a community garden.” Planning Midtown’s Urban Neighbors community garden is more of a group effort, said garden co-chairwoman Shelley Pruitt. When the group meets March 11, members will pick and plan what to grow in the 10 raised-bed gardens for the next year. Every Saturday, the group meets at 417 W. Park Place to work and welcome newcomers. The garden started in 2013, a few years after Pruitt moved downtown. “In my business [as a mortgage broker], I found I was getting a lot of inquiries in housing downtown, and I started working with developers who were building condos,” she said. “I had one child left at home, so I asked him if he’d want to move downtown, and he said it would be fun.” It was a great decision, but Pruitt said there was something missing: dirt. She and her son would walk around downtown, gathering up plastic water bottles and taking them to the recycling center, but she wanted to do more to make Oklahoma City sustainable. So she found some partners. Urban Neighbors provides a budget, and Midtown Renaissance lets them use the land and water. “When I met with [Midtown Renaissance president] Mickey Clagg, he said any land we use is still developable, so the garden has to be moveable,” Pruitt said.

Sometimes, as she drifts off to sleep, she dreams of loading the 10 raised beds her father built and the community compost pile into a U-Haul truck and moving it somewhere else and thinks, “Yeah, we could do it.” Not that she wants to relocate. The Midtown community has embraced the garden, and people often just show up and ask to help. “They’ll be at the dog park or having breakfast at Waffle Champion and just pitch in,” Pruitt said. “We’re connecting people with the community and the soil.” CommonWealth Urban Farms of OKC cofounder and farm manager Elia Woods said she sees it, too, when people visit their farm at 3310 N. Olie Ave. “We have a hunger inside of us to be connected to the natural world,” she said. “No matter how happy you might be at an office job, you still have that need.” Like SixTwelve and Urban Neighbors’ garden, CommonWealth’s centralized location makes it a popular place for volunteers. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, the farm hosts CommonWork, which is a chance for community members to come by for a fun, hands-on experience. “You don’t have to live in the country to have a big garden,” she said. “We’ve gotten such a fantastic and increasing response from volunteers. We hope we can help other people start their own market farms and urban gardens.”

We have a hunger inside of us to be connected to the natural world. Elia Woods CommonWealth sells its organic produce to families through its Veggie Club and to local restaurants, including The Red Cup, but Woods doesn’t worry about competition. She wants more people take to the land and grow food for themselves and others. The zeal of volunteers has grown so much that the farm will launch an apprenticeship program this year that puts people in the mix for eight hours each week with a more specific curriculum. To offer it to more people, the program runs for three months at a time in spring, summer and fall. “It’s for people who want to be a serious home gardener or want to learn the essential skills for growing on a larger scale,” Woods said. “It’s a chance to see if they really like it that much.”

Meditation station

Gardening is physical and mental work, and it requires an investment of time. But continued on page 16

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continued from page 15

Pruitt said the benefits are glorious. “For me, it’s a real meditation,” she said. “Tuesdays were my day to water, so I would go after the gym.” She dragged the hoses around the gardens, usually over the course of an hour or more, and it became a time of reflection rather than a chore. Mays said the same is true for many gardeners. “I don’t know the exact science on that, but it’s in the realm of meditation,” he said. “You have to have serious patience to stick with plants all season long.” While gardening is good for shortterm mental health, it provides longterm good for the community and the planet, Mays said. “I try to diversify what I’m teaching, like mushroom cultivation, and I’m branching out and learning about hydroponics,” he said. Mays also teaches students about capturing water and building eco-friendly gardens using native plants, which often need less watering to grow. He said water is essential to gardening and to life. While Oklahoma gets a significant amount of rain before and after summer in a few big rain events, much of the growing season is spent in drought. “If I can capture as much of that as I can and store that, it makes a huge difference,” he said. “One of the city’s biggest expenses is pumping and treatment of water from Lake Hefner. If you capture water on-site, it doesn’t need to be treated.” His advice: Get dirty and start small. “The first step for a garden is not to overbuild it the first year,” he said. “Start with a 4-foot-by-8-foot garden. It needs

the growing season at CommonWealth Urban Farms of OKC. | Photo Bo Aptiz / provided

to be small and manageable. It will become overwhelming if it’s too large.” Put a few plants in and see how you do, Mays said. With enough space and a small investment, gardeners can supercharge their soil by making their own compost and extend the growing season with a hoop house. Pruitt said it just takes a little effort to grow your own food. “We have a few younger people and a few older people in our garden, from every socioeconomic level,” she said. “It costs nothing for them, unless they want to contribute.” The next step for Urban Neighbors’ community garden is growing up, not out, Pruitt said. “We’re going vertical with our space and developing it more every year,” she said. That becomes possible because new generations of metro residents are returning to downtown but don’t want to lose their connection to the earth. “People are growing more aware of where our food comes from,” Pruitt said. “This generation is a little more conscious and more interested in sustainable living. It’s easier to run to the grocery store, but gardening is more rewarding.”

Learn more SixTwelve: sixtwelve.org CommonWealth Urban Farms of OKC: commonwealthurbanfarms.com Urban Neighbors community garden: urbanneighbors.org


f eat u re

Meet the brewer

Bold, hops-forward beers help Roughtail build a diehard fan base. By Greg Elwell

Editor’s note: As part of our continuing coverage of Oklahoma craft beer, Oklahoma Gazette presents “Meet the brewer,” a monthly feature profiling beermakers. Midwest City was not the first choice for Roughtail Brewing Co., said coowner Blaine Stansel. Well before the passage of breweryfriendly laws like Senate Bill 424, which made serving cold, full-strength beer in taprooms legal, Stansel and co-owner and head brewer Tony Tielli were ready to settle closer to Oklahoma City. “We tried to start in Automobile Alley,” Stansel said. “We were going to move into this building that was built in 1932 that had never been renovated.” The building needed a lot more work than they could afford, he said. Roughtail was built with the owners’ personal money and help from family and friends, so the added costs were more than the fledgling company could bear. It was Christmas Eve 2012, and their brewery needed a home. They immediately began looking elsewhere and found a warehouse space in Midwest City. They signed a lease and moved in on Jan. 21, 2013.

Roughtail Brewing Co. co-founder Blaine Stansel stands behind the bar in the brewery’s taphouse. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

“We are best known for our hopforward IPAs,” he said. “We make a pale ale and a Pilsner, too. Those are good stepping stones to more complex beers, like fruited double IPAs.” Stansel said the company’s philosophy is to make beer that is not only interesting, but tasty. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in brewing to fall in love with the ever-changing Adaptation Ale series, which is one of Tielli’s favorites. Judging by the growing number of cases brewed, it’s a fan favorite, too. It’s is a small-batch IPA series that really lets the brewers play mad scientist with the beer. A scant 80 cases of Adaptation No. 1 were first brewed in July 2015. The most recent release, Adaptation No. 7, brewed 255 cases.

It puts an expectation on us to be good. We try to live up to it. Tony Tielli

Advanced ales

Tielli and Stansel met as members of a homebrewing club in 2010. Tielli handles the recipes and brewing while Stansel handles Roughtail’s business management. “It’s a collaborative effort,” he said. “Brewing beer is a lot like learning to cook: Once you understand the ingredients, you start to see what works together even before you make it.” Though Roughtail’s offerings are IPA (India Pale Ale) heavy, there’s not really a base recipe they work from. Every beer is built individually, with different techniques and ingredients used. “It all comes off the drawing board,” Tielli said. Experimental beers aren’t always a huge success, but Roughtail’s fans have voracious thirst for its products. “We sell everything we make as soon as it’s packaged,” he said. Liquor stores and distributors know consumers will quickly snap up Roughtail products. That puts a lot of pressure on the team, Tielli said. But pressure is how diamonds are made, and the beer-loving brewers know they’re canning some gems. It’s not that Roughtail can’t be enjoyed by beer novices, but its audience is largely made up of experienced craft beer drinkers.

Like the company’s other beers, there’s no base recipe for Adaptation. It’s different each time, and customer expectations remain high. “It’s become pretty popular,” Tielli said. “We can go nuts and incorporate different ingredients and processes.” The latest version uses a trio of hops — Comet, Citra and Mosaic — and a new form of concentrated hops resin and oils called lupulin powder. “It puts an expectation on us to be good,” Tielli said. “We try to live up to it.”

Another round

While SB 424 wasn’t the impetus behind starting Roughtail, Stansel said it has helped drive the business to new heights. “At this point, we are almost doing a new beer each week at the brewery,” he said. “What 424 has done has allowed us to make a bunch of beers we never would have been able to make before. And we do make more by selling onpremises, which has allowed us to order more equipment and hire more people.” The weekly productions are smaller, but trying beers no one else will have is part of the novelty of visiting Roughtail Taphouse, 1279 N. Air Depot Blvd., Suite

10, in Midwest City. “With that said, we are still slammed trying to fulfill all the demand from our current markets, Oklahoma and Kansas,” Stansel said. There has been talk with a few Texas distributors about carrying Roughtail products, but Stansel said adding demand will have to wait until the brewery receives its next batch of equipment. The market is a much different place today than it was when the company launched. Changes in laws to allow onpremises sales are making it easier for new names to emerge. “Under the old law, you could only sell to distribution, so you had to go big,” Stansel said. “Now, you can start small and still make a go at it.” One thing the brewery isn’t worried about is running out of hops, the little green flowers that give Roughtail’s beers their signature flavor, despite a looming shortage. Stansel planned ahead. “We are contracted through 2019 on most of our hops needs right now, so we

A reputation for excellence drives Roughtail co-founder and head brewer Tony Tielli to continue creating beers that exceed expectations. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

aren’t feeling any discomfort,” he said. While other brewers might lean on older varieties of hops, Roughtail almost exclusively uses new strains that are flavorful and bred to survive most growing conditions better than their relatives. That will ensure customers can always find their favorite Roughtail brews. And if locals don’t have a favorite yet, pull up a stool at the taphouse. There’s bound to be a new one poured any minute. Roughtail Taphouse is open 4-9 p.m. Fridays and noon-9 p.m. Saturdays. Visit roughtailbeer.com or call 405-7716517.

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b rie f s By Greg Elwell

EAT & DRINK

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Esca Vitae owners Don Mills and Dr. Steven Lantier are opening a German bakery. | Photo Don Mills / provided

When Prairie Thunder Baking Company closed Nov. 26, it left a bread loaf-shaped hole in Oklahoma City’s heart. Now another bakery is opening in the same Midtown location, 1114 Classen Drive, with a slightly different focus. Esca Vitae, which is Latin for “food is life,” is a partnership between retired KerrMcGee supply chain logistics specialist Don Mills and anesthesiologist Steven Lantier. The pair met at church and found they share a mutual passion for great food. In 2009, Mills took a week off work to cook his family a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. “Everything was wonderful, except the bread. The bread was terrible,” he said. So Mills visited Germany, Switzerland and Austria for three years as he learned Old World baking techniques from master bakers with the intent of opening a German bakery in Oklahoma City. He hopes to entice a German master baker and master pastry chef to help train his staff. Mills and Lantier said they want Esca Vitae to make the best bread, and they’ll follow that up with great cheese, charcuterie and produce. “We’ll have sandwiches you can’t find anywhere else,” Mills said. Lantier said the growth of residential spaces in Midtown bodes well for Esca Vitae because foot traffic and proximity will make it easier for people to pick up fresh bread daily. The bakery will begin selling bread wholesale this month. Mills said the cafe is scheduled to open in March. Visit escavitae.com.

Dual duelers

Malarkey’s Dueling Piano Bar opened as part of a trio of clubs inside Cosmopolitan, 7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, but shut in early 2016. Now the concept is reopening in a larger spot in Bricktown, 323 E. Sheridan Ave., said managing partner Wayne Potter, who also is former general manager at Michael Murphy’s Dueling Pianos, 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. Now, Malarkey’s and Michael Murphy’s will duel it out for the dominant Bricktown dueling piano venue. Potter said he thinks customers will enjoy the larger Malarkey’s venue, including a raised piano platform in the center of the room. “The kitchen will serve an appetizer menu, and we have a cigar lounge separate from the main room,” he said. Malarkey’s opened Feb. 10 and entertainers from across the country are booked to perform through May. Malarkey’s is open Saturdays and Sundays. Visit okcpianobar.com.

Ellis Island Coffee and Wine Lounge | Photo Murod Mamatov / provided

marketing coordinator Zoe Mack. “Other chambers who have done it have seen a lot of success,” Mack said. Eighteen restaurants are participating in the weeklong event. Classic Edmond restaurants, including Alvarado’s Mexican Restaurant, Boulevard Steakhouse and Othello’s Italian Restaurant as well as newer businesses, such as Ellis Island Coffee and Wine Lounge and The Zu Sports Grill, are taking part. The restaurants create special menus and deals to introduce customers to their cuisine. •Eating Edmond Families are the main driver of The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce Edmond’s growing restaurant scene, comencourages residents to explore local eat- munications and marketing coordinator eries with its first Edmond Restaurant Mack said. Find a full list of Edmond Restaurant Week Feb. 27-March 6. The idea came from chamber president Week participants and more details at Sherry Jordan, said communications and edmondchamber.com. 18

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re v ie w

Shell raiser

Hatch’s bevy of lively breakfast dishes are reasons to get out of the nest in the morning. By Greg Elwell

Hatch 1101 N. Broadway Ave. | 4 ​ 05-609-8936​ facebook.com/hatchokc What works: Chieftain’s Revenge and Benedict Johnny. What needs work: To-go orders are a little slow. Tip: Tables in back often require a wait; open bar seating is much faster.

Not even allergies could keep me from Hatch’s Bananas Foster pancakes. I cannot tell you when my allergic reactions to bananas began. I used to eat them all the time. Then, one day, I ate a banana and noticed my ears itching — from the inside. My throat would get a tickle, too, and my chest felt like it was pumped full of air outside my lungs. I do not eat bananas anymore. Then I was eating lunch at Hatch, 1101 N. Broadway Ave., and a friend shoved a bite of gooey Bananas Foster pancakes (two for $9) at me and, as is my instinct, I ate it. “Oh no! I forgot about your banana allergy,” she said, waiting for me to die. But I didn’t hear her. The itching in my ears hadn’t yet started, but a voice inside me clearly told me to take another bite. Hatch’s pancakes are glorious. Forktender and so golden they practically glow, the pancakes are some of the best in the metro. As good as they are sans toppings, the Bananas Foster version comes topped with caramelized bananas, candied walnuts and a salted caramel Myers Dark Rum sauce that is so addictive it might count as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. I would ask my server to leave the bananas off next time, but that would mean not ordering something new. If that

sounds easy to do, you haven’t been to Hatch. The restaurant comes from the minds behind Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse and Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar and, like those concepts, has a menu that runs deep with delicious, flawlessly executed ideas. As an opening salvo, chicken-fried eggs (three for $7) are remarkably well done. The kitchen staff soft-boils eggs, dips them in batter and flash-fries them. The whites are set, the crust is golden and crisp and a poke with a fork is all it takes to get the yolks flowing out onto the plate like some kind of luxurious lava. One tip: Get an English muffin on the side for $1. Letting that yolk go to waste is unthinkable. Hatch’s hollandaise lineup is a murderer’s row of great sauces, including the traditional egg yolk with lemon juice and cayenne pepper, cream cheese hollandaise and chipotle hollandaise. That last one is part of what made Benedict Johnny ($11) one of my favorite new dishes.

Chicken and waffles | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Hatch’s hollandaise lineup is a murderer’s row of great sauces.

Bananas Foster pancakes | Photo Garett Fisbeck Benedict Johnny: griddled grit cakes with beerbraised pork, poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise and chorizo red chili sauce | Photo Garett Fisbeck

I’m not a fan of the culinary practice of “just stack a bunch of things on top of each other and call it a meal.” Too often, it results in a dish that is muddled and unfocused. Benedict Johnny is a bunch of things stacked on top of each other, but the ingredients work together. The base is a pair of griddled grit cakes stacked with beer-braised pork, poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise and a chorizo and red chili sauce. I mean, did the staff at Hatch read my dream journal? (If so, I hope they’ll keep all that stuff about Tom Hiddleston to themselves.) The spice level never gets uncomfortable, but the slowly rising heat drives bite

after bite. It’s a substantial dish, but one you can’t help but finish. Chieftain’s Revenge ($10), which turns up the heat with a tomatillo salsa and spicy grits, is hotter. The beer-braised pork is juicy and rich, and the avocado salsa adds even more decadence to the fried eggs and salty Cotija cheese. What really makes the dish for me are the grits. Seasoning is key to making a great bowl of grits, but most restaurants are gun-shy when it comes to adding enough salt and spices early in the process. Hatch seasons grits with confidence, and it comes through in every bite. Burro St. Nick ($11) has a bit of New Mexican flair with its Christmas sauce. One side of the burrito is covered with green chili sauce and the other is covered with red chili sauce. Inside the flour tortilla is that mouthwatering beer-braised pork, three scrambled eggs, hash brown tumblers and sautéed peppers and onions. While chicken and waffles ($10) are becoming more common on brunch menus, Hatch’s version deserves attention for its ultra-moist fried chicken breasts and the mix of black pepper cream gravy and Cholula hot sauce that covers them. The waffles with bourbon maple glaze are wonderful, but the chicken and gravy is where it’s at. Hatch’s sausage biscuit ($7, including a side) ruined me for other breakfast sandwiches. Wrapped like a familiar version one might get from a drive-thru window, the sandwich is made using the restaurant’s extremely buttery biscuits, scrambled eggs and a thick sausage patty with all the fatty flavor I crave. Smoked cheddar and pepper jelly round out a sandwich that might have fallen apart if it hadn’t been devoured almost instantly. If you’re enjoying a boozy breakfast, I recommend a Café Oh Hey ($8) made with Patron XO Café, Prairie Wolf Dark, milk and a shot of espresso. It somehow wakes you up and makes you crave a nap all at once. Hatch has quickly become one of Oklahoma City’s favorite breakfast and lunch spots, and honestly, I wish it would open for dinner, too. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F E B R U A R Y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7

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eat & DRINK

Surprise! It’s local

Some restaurants just feel professional. Maybe it’s the snappy menu design or the meticulously clean dining areas. A strong aesthetic style and a sharp employee uniform also go a long way to making a local spot’s ambience feel rooted and more established. Here are local restaurants that have also expanded out of Oklahoma or are so on-point you might think they’re big companies. Surprise! They’re local, and they’re great. By Greg Elwell Photos Garett Fisbeck and Gazette / file

Jimmy’s Egg

Pepperoni Grill

Saturn Grill

There’s a reason Jimmy’s Egg is regularly nominated for Best Breakfast in Oklahoma Gazette’s Best of OKC annual readers’ poll. Customers love the omelets, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and down-home friendly attitude that permeates each Oklahoma-based restaurant chain’s location. Vietnamese refugee Loc Le purchased the original restaurant at 1616 N. May Ave. in 1980 and quickly expanded it into a regional breakfast powerhouse.

Kobe beef comes from Japan, but it tastes good in Italian food, too. Edmondbased Pepperoni Grill has a classic trattoria feel, but the menu flows freely into other cuisines. Its Italian Classics menu offers classic spaghetti, Kobe beef lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo. The restaurant also offers pan-seared tilapia, Asian salmon and a fresh-andfilling kale and quinoa salad. There’s even a Gorgonzola-infused half-pound Kobe beef burger if you’re so inclined.

First-time guests at Saturn Grill ask themselves two things: “How did I not know about this place?” and “When are we coming back?” Though it has expanded and contracted since first opening in 2002, there’s no denying Oklahoma City loves Saturn Grill. Owner Joseph Royer’s menu offers the perfect blend of delicious, fast and affordable. Try a sandwich on flatbread that is cooked fresh for each order.

Multiple metro locations jimmysegg.com

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Multiple metro locations pepperonigrill.net

6432 Avondale Drive saturngrill.com | 405-843-7114


Orange Leaf

Taco Mayo

Charleston’s Restaurant

Hideaway Pizza

Though born in San Francisco, Orange Leaf’s headquarters has been right here in Oklahoma City since 2010. In the years since, Orange Leaf sprouted and grew to include hundreds of locations across the globe, including Australia. What makes it such a success? Pull a lever and find out for yourself with a cup of brownie batter or blueberry banana frozen yogurt topped with nuts, candy and fresh fruit.

Taco Mayo fans recommend the Classic menu’s crispy beef tacos, chicken Super Burritos and nachos smothered in queso. Taco Mayo Fresh Mex lovers like its extremely customizable menu, including chef Kurt Fleischfresser’s achiote marinade that adds a big, bold flavor to chicken and steak. Whichever you choose, it’s nice to know you’re enjoying quick Mexican taste and service that has delighted Oklahomans since the first store opened in Norman in 1978.

Charleston’s Restaurant is kind of like Hogwarts’ Room of Requirement — it can be whatever you need it to be. Those wanting a quick bite knows that Charleston’s baked potato soup and a grilled chicken and avocado club sandwich will power them through the day. Families know it offers a relaxing place to bring the kids for an evening out. And if you’re looking for a date spot, it can be as casual or fancy as you want with delicious prime rib and succulent oven-roasted chicken.

Though it recently expanded into Arkansas, Hideaway Pizza belongs to Oklahoma. Its spirit of hospitality is infectious, delivering giant grins to customers who order Just-A-Beginner salads, platters of fried mushrooms and enormous pizzas. The company invites staff and customers to create new flavor combinations, including The Big Bang with Canadian and smoked bacon, pineapple, onions, red bell peppers and a big swirl of Sriracha on top.

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ARTS & CULTURE Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic opens June 17 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art. | Image OKCMOA / provided

features works by Muscogee/Pawnee artist Acee Blue Eagle and printmaker Elmer Capshaw. “It’s had a great response so far,” Weintz said. “It’s the complete collection: 28 works that were gifted to the City of Oklahoma City in 1942, before we had a museum. Then, once we had the museum incorporated in 1945, these were the first pieces in our collection. A lot of them we haven’t shown extensively, so it’s nice to see them all together.” The exhibit runs through June 2.

ART

The Unsettled Lens and After the Floating World: The Enduring Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints

Artful influence OKCMOA builds on its recent success with its 2017 exhibition lineup. By George Lang

Years could pass before the full impact of Matisse in His Time: Masterworks of Modernism from the Centre Pompidou, Paris on the Oklahoma City Museum of Art can be fully assessed. That said, it was a smash success. More than 62,000 people from all 50 states and around the world visited the 2016 exhibition. “Even a couple from New Zealand came,” said Becky Weintz, museum marketing and communications director. “I think they were probably here for a longer trip, but they ended up purchasing a membership. We think they just wanted us to send them information about what we’re doing.” Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) uses its Matisse experience to amplify the breadth and history of its collection in its 2017 exhibits, offering visitors and members a chance to see parts of the permanent collection in a new light and providing a groundbreaking exhibition of modern artist Kehinde Wiley’s work in a first-rate showing. Because the Matisse exhibit was installed on the museum’s second floor, which temporarily displaced the museum’s permanent collection, OKCMOA curators began examining new ways to contextualize the collection before Matisse even arrived. Weintz said the curators decided on a strategy that revolutionizes its educational potential and how the art will be experienced. Rather than displaying it in chronological order, the permanent

collection will be grouped into subjects like animals, still life, seascapes, performing arts and portraits, allowing curators to create interesting juxtapositions. “A great example is the seascapes gallery, where we have a Roy Lichtenstein and a Thomas Moran,” Weintz said. “You see an intricate, classical, beautiful picture of Venice and a deconstruction of the sea by Lichtenstein. Then there’s a sculpture by Anne Truitt that is also called ‘Seascape’ that is a blue cube essentially, so you can look at all of these side by side and really think about what the artists were trying to do. It makes the art more accessible.” Art labels accompanying each work are posted lower on the walls, offering child-oriented descriptions and thoughtprovoking questions.

Exhibitions open Saturday The WPA exhibit overlaps with two other exhibitions opening on Saturday: The Unsettled Lens and After the Floating World: The Enduring Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints. “[After the Floating World] is not something we usually have out, but it’s a fun opportunity to have all the pieces on display, especially these kabuki prints that are really strong and very impressive,” Weintz said. The Unsettled Lens offers something similarly unusual, but uniquely disturbing. The exhibit is comprised of photographs from the OKCMOA collection along with new acquisitions. It focuses on photography that at first seems commonplace but, with a second look, delivers a disquieting or alarming image. “A lot of them will make you look twice,” she said. “They’re these strange, unsettling photographs. That’s one of the ones I’m most excited for this year.”

depictions of African-Americans in classical contexts. Using amateur models, he creates homages to artists such as Manet, Titian and Van Dyke. In her review of A New Republic, The Seattle Times lifestyle reporter Tricia Romano described Wiley’s modus operandi as “a seemingly simple one.” “He substitutes African-American men from the streets of Harlem or Brooklyn in the place of aristocrats in Old Masters-style paintings,” she wrote. “In the process, he turns an art-world tradition of depicting race, power and prestige on its head.” The exhibition of Wiley’s breathtaking 21st century works sharply contrasts the antiquity of Matisse in His Time, but Weintz said the summer exhibition provides testimony for OKCMOA’s ability to host a wide array of important works. Matisse was likely a game-changer, and Weintz said impact from its success could be felt for years to come. “It showcased our capabilities,” she said. “We got a lot of great feedback on the installation, and so for that, it showed not just the country, but the world that we could put on a world-class exhibition. It does open us up to opportunities that we didn’t have before Matisse.” After the Floating World: The Enduring Art of Japanese Woodblock Prints opens Saturday. | Image OKCMOA / provided

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

Opens June 17 After Floating World and The Unsettled Lens close in May, curators will begin to install Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic for its June 17-Sept. 10 exhibition. A collection of 50 pieces, A New Republic offers a survey of the young contemporary artist’s stunningly referential works. Wiley, 39, is known for naturalistic

The Complete WPA Collection: 75th Anniversary Now on display Those kid-friendly labels will help children understand The Complete WPA Collection: 75th Anniversary, which opened Dec. 16 and features works by a diverse group of artists who worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the New Deal program designed to improve the nation’s infrastructure during the Great Depression. The exhibit

The Unsettled Lens opens Saturday. | Image OKCMOA / provided

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ARTS & CULTURE

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Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) cast a wide net in its 2014 executive director search, landing a qualified new head in Holly Moye. The former Boston resident left OVAC in late 2016, but her new adventure keeps her firmly planted in Oklahoma City’s art community. In January, Moye began work as director of Oklahoma City University’s School of Visual Arts. “As an outsider, people kind of expect you to just come in and leave,” Moye said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how fun and open people are to ideas and experimenting and seeing what works.” Both Moye and OVAC are excited and interested in the other’s future and enthusiastic about partnership opportunities between the arts coalition and the college. “I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about my time working with the board [at OVAC] and the staff and working with the artists we served across the state,” she said. Moye accomplished a lot during her time with OVAC. She said one of her favorite things about the job was getting out into the community. OVAC works as an arts advocate across the state.

F E B R U A R Y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Though she will not see the project to its completion in May, Moye said she is proud of the work she and other OVAC members put into organizing the first Momentum Ada, a festival for young, emerging southern Oklahoma filmmakers. Moye steps into some uncharted territory at OCU. Her role is new, meaning she has some freedom to forge her own path. Before Moye, the School of Visual Arts was headed by a dean.

Holly Moye began her new job as director of Oklahoma City University’s School of Visual Art in January. | Photo Gazette / file

The school hired Moye as it works to reinvigorate its visual arts program and gain a bigger foothold in the city’s growing arts scene. “I am thrilled the interim dean and the associate dean and the faculty are so open to new opportunities and growth,” she said, “and finding ways for the School of Visual Arts to offer something different in the state of Oklahoma.” OVAC board president Susan Green said the board is happy that Moye — and her skillset —  is staying in Oklahoma. Green said the OVAC board is now searching for “the perfect person” for the job but there are many molds from which that candidate could emerge. Green said the next executive director should be someone who has the drive to work within the state’s communities while inspiring others to make and interact with the arts. A preliminary submission deadline was set for early February, but Green said later applicants could be considered, too. Though Moye was selected from a national search, OVAC will equally weigh local and national candidates. “We’re looking for energy; we’re looking for ideas,” Green said. State arts funding is not in for a boost anytime soon, and national funding could be in peril as well. Green said these uncertain times in the arts mean an executive director position is even more crucial at this time. “People need art more than ever before,” she said. “They need that inspiration; they need the important messages that art brings to us.” Visit ovac-ok.org.


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Visual feast

Jason Pawley volunteers his time and talent to create a mural for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s volunteer center. By Brian Daffron

Oklahoma City muralist Jason Pawley is known for finding his subject matter within the natural world. One of Pawley’s earliest public murals is of a red-tailed hawk that made its home on the south wall of VZD’s Restaurant & Bar on Western Avenue. Another one of Pawley’s public works, “Cultivation,” is inside the Santa Fe Railroad’s underpass at E.K. Gaylord Boulevard and Broadway Avenue, where a sea of leaves greets Bricktown area visitors. Pawley’s most recent mural, “Full Circle,” is certainly inspired by nature. Its inspiration also comes from the mural’s home: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s volunteer center at 3355 S. Purdue Ave. “I’m trying to convey that it takes all of us working together to make a difference in helping other people’s lives,” Pawley said. “Some of us are more fortunate than others. Being able to give back and to help is a combination of all of us helping each other and getting together to help people who are less fortunate.”

Public service

The food bank approached Pawley to do the mural with the hope that he would give them a discount because they were a nonprofit, Pawley explained. However, each party gained more than they intended. When Pawley saw the activity and energy that surrounded Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s efforts, he gave more than a discount. Instead, he

painted the mural for free. Overall, the mural, at 14-by-16 feet, took a total of seven hours to paint on Dec. 4. “I had a bunch of good fortune this summer,” Pawley said about why he donated his time and resources. “There were a lot of paid murals; they weren’t just ‘exposure murals’ but actual paid murals. During the holidays, I started balancing my life out. If I’m doing well, I should be able to give back anything that I can, and that’s my time and talent.” Pawley found inspiration in people working together to feed others in need. There were no specific demographics among the volunteers other than being human. “It takes every race, every gender, every class of people,” Pawley said. “It all has to feel and all has to work together to help other people. There’s a natural flow to that. I tried to convey some of that in the mural.”

Natural inspiration

Pawley’s training includes studies at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from the University of Central Oklahoma. Yet, he said, spending time in the outdoors hiking with his dog might be his best source of learning. Whether it’s the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge or summer outdoor excursions to Colorado, New Mexico or Arkansas, nature is his best teacher as well as his spiritual center.

Jason Pawley’s “Full Circle” mural | Photo provided

“It’s like my church,” Pawley said. “It’s where I go to think. It’s where I’m my happiest. I think more people miss getting out in the interior of nature and they don’t get to see it as much. They’re not as connected to it being in the cities. I like to bring what I enjoy and love back into the cities and back into these [mural] spaces. To me, that’s where I fill up.”

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More to come

Pawley’s planned projects include a mural at Eugene Field Elementary at 1515 N. Klein Ave., completing commissioned works and participating in a mural expo this spring in Miami, Oklahoma. Even when he’s not working on a mural or commissioned piece, he stays busy. “I’m constantly creating or practicing on the walls of my studio,” Pawley said. “Full Circle” will be seen by at least 42,000 volunteers annually, according to Regional Food Bank statistics, as the center distributes enough food for an average of 126,000 Oklahoma families on a weekly basis. Additional volunteer impact includes $4.3 million savings in labor costs. “I don’t think people realize the amount of children and the amount of people in Oklahoma who are going hungry every day,” Pawley said about the need for food bank volunteers. “Being able to volunteer there, you’re going to make quite a big impact in Oklahoma. That’s where to best spend your time to make the biggest effect in Oklahoma.” Learn more about Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma at regionalfoodbank. org.

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c u lt u r e

ARTS & CULTURE

Card tricks

A local club brings Cards Against Humanity designer Amy Schwartz to OKC. By Greg Elwell

Great design is full of contradictions. It needs to be bold enough to tell a story but subtle enough not to overwhelm the message it sends. It must look amazing while enhancing the content. That’s the message Cards Against Humanity design director Amy Schwartz brings to Oklahoma City 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at Dunlap Codding, 609 W. Sheridan Ave. AIGA OK Presents: Stories with Amy Schwartz is a chance for local designers to learn from a young star in the field and for everyone else to hear about the making of Cards Against Humanity and its litany of over-the-top projects. Cards Against Humanity is a frequently profane card game in which players choose from a hand of answer cards for fill-in-the-blank and openended question cards. Whichever card is most apt, or often most hilarious, wins the round. But while there are technically rules to the “party game for horrible people,” it’s mostly about making friends laugh, which is how the game was created. “Cards Against Humanity was created by eight longtime friends as an activity to bring to a New Year’s Eve party,” Schwartz said. In 2010, the company used a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise $4,000 and ended up raising $15,570, going on to create one of this generation’s most iconic games. Part of its draw is its simplicity. Question cards are black, and answer cards are white. That puts the humor front and center. Schwartz came into the company after the original design was decided but now works on expansion packs and on a team that creates new products and out-there events. “All of our products, stunts and antics are a collaboration between the original creators of the game and our team of designers, writers, events coordinators and community managers,” she said. Schwartz said her favorite card says “Jason, the teen mayor.” “I prefer the wholesome, goofy jokes,” she said. Schwartz also likes helping other independent creators, which led to the creation of Blackbox, a new shipping company, in 2015. “We’ve learned a lot about warehousing and shipping and packaging — the things that are the hardest ob26

F E B R U A R Y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7 | O kg a z e t t e . c o m

Cards Against Humanity with Amy Schwartz-designed World Wide Web expansion pack. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

stacles for Kickstarter creators or people selling products online,” she said. “Blackbox takes care of these tricky parts for independent artists for the same cost of doing it on their own.” Schwartz said her advice to designers is to try a little of everything. “You won’t know what you truly love until you’ve had a few jobs you don’t love,” she said. “I also recommend staying active in your local design communities. AIGA chapters are an amazing way to meet great people, learn new skills and share ideas.” AIGA OK is the local chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts. The group routinely brings in speakers from across the country to talk to local designers and acts as a networking tool for creatives. Bringing Schwartz to Oklahoma City is a big achievement but also personally exciting for board president Kelly Curtis, a longtime Cards Against Humanity fan. “I donated to their Kickstarter,” she said. Curtis hopes to hear behind-thescenes stories about the company, like when the company delivered boxed orders of feces to people or asked customers to donate money on Black Friday to fund a giant “holiday hole.” The latter stunt raised more than $100,000. She also wants to learn more about telling a client’s story. “Projects are multifaceted and need to use several different languages,” she said. “Design is a visual language, but it must collaborate with a great copy writer.” Visit oklahoma.aiga.org.

AIGA OK Presents: Stories with Amy Schwartz 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 23 Dunlap Codding 609 W. Sheridan Ave. oklahoma.aiga.org | 405-607-8600 Free-$25


ARTS & CULTURE OKC Ballet principal dancer Miki Kawamura and soloist DaYoung Jung for their skill in sharing the role. Mills developed some of his own original choreography for the production, but to stage the classic pieces of dance from the show, OKC Ballet brought in guest ballet master Matthew Powell. Powell travels the country working as a guest instructor for dance companies. He said the grace seen on Sleeping Beauty’s surface is often deceptive. “It’s not simple to execute but simple in its presentation,” Powell said. “Of these ballets, The Sleeping Beauty is the most technically challenging, but the audience very rarely knows that because the choreography lends itself to looking effortless when, in fact, it’s ridiculously difficult.” Even those unfamiliar with ballet might have heard the term “Rose Adagio,” the name of a dance sequence from The Sleeping Beauty’s first act known as a true test of a skilled dancer.

Classic choreography

The Sleeping Beauty runs Feb. 17-19

T h e at e r

at Civic Center Music Hall. | Photo Shevaun Williams / provided

OKC Ballet performs elegant and technically demanding The Sleeping Beauty. By Ben Luschen

Famous Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote just three pieces for ballet, yet the titles in his trilogy stand out as possibly the most known and reproduced works in classical dance. The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake are considered three timeless staples of the medium. Properly producing any one of the shows is considered a milestone for many young dance companies. “For us to be taken seriously as a classical ballet company, we needed all three of these ballets in our repertoire,” said Robert Mills, Oklahoma City Ballet artistic director. The local dance company presents The Sleeping Beauty Feb. 17-19 at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave. Though the next season has not yet been announced, the company plans on performing all three Tchaikovsky ballets within one year for the first time

since it became known as Oklahoma City Ballet in 2008. It performed The Nutcracker in December. The ballets Tchaikovsky wrote are highly regarded and recognized across the world, but a few of his works were seen as box office duds upon their original release in the 1890s. Only The Sleeping Beauty achieved initial popularity. It took several edits and some timely reproductions of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake before they caught on. “Although the ballets themselves were not successful,” Mills said, “I think it’s Tchaikovsky’s music that has really carried the ballets forward.” It takes a large and talented group of dancers for a company to pull off the trilogy. Mills said OKC Ballet’s roster is more than capable. The Princess Aurora role is known as one of the most challenging pieces of choreography in ballet. Mills praised

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“It’s one of the most iconic moments in classical ballet, and it is difficult,” Powell said. “If you look at the amount of dancing she has to do, it’s really off the charts.” Powell is based in New York but grew up in rural West Virginia. He was once a dancer with Kansas City Ballet, for whom Mills also once performed, though at a different time. This is his first time working with OKC Ballet. “The dancers here are so committed,” he said. “They always have smiles on their faces, and they want to work — they want to work until it’s right, and they want to get it right.” Many people recognize The Sleeping Beauty because of the 1959 animated Disney film. Similarly, the ballet saw success during its initial debut because it was a fairytale people of the era were familiar with. While name recognition draws many through Civic Center doors to see the show, Powell said audience members from all backgrounds will leave after seeing it with a new respect for its artistry. “You leave rooting for the dancers as much as you do the story,” he said. Visit okcballet.org.

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ARTS & CULTURE

CAPITOL INSIDER

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Burns book

A CityRep production looks at the way stories adapt to growing culture. By Christine Eddington

One brisk early February morning, four men gathered in the sitting room of a Victorian-era bed and breakfast. A fire blazed in the fireplace, and the men leaned forward, immersed in the subjects at hand: theater, the end of civilization, the foibles and gifts of human ego and The Simpsons, specifically the “Cape Feare” episode. In one way or another, each of them is involved in Oklahoma City Repertory Theater’s (CityRep) upcoming production of Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. It was 10 a.m., which might as well be 5 a.m. in the theater world, yet there they were: Paul T. Taylor, who stars as Mr. Burns (and is also Pinhead in the feature film Hellraiser: Judgement); awardwinning regional actor Bob Hess, who portrays Gibson/Homer; Brian Parsons, the play’s director and associate dean of Oklahoma City University’s School of Theatre; and CityRep’s founding artistic director Donald Jordan. The Anne Washburn-written play is among the top five most-produced new plays, Jordan said. Debuted in 2012, Mr. Burns is billed as a dark comedy. “The play is a theatrical hot mess,” Parsons said. “The first time I read it, I couldn’t tell if it was the best play I’d ever read or the worst play I’d ever read. This play doesn’t care if you like it or not.” Giddiness aside, all four men agree that Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play is an audience-friendly, immersive work of theater and an important part of the national political conversation occurring in the United States these days. “Having an [Actors’ Equity Association], small, professional theater company in Oklahoma City means that Oklahomans can now see productions that we weren’t able to before,” Jordan said. “We’re a part of the national cultural conversation on a level that we could not be prior to CityRep.”

Paul T. Taylor is Mr. Burns in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. | Photo Wendy Mutz / CityRep / provided

Taylor said it reaches audiences in a simpler way too. “Humans are the only animals who face their own mortality, and stories help us construct meaning,” Taylor said. “Today’s pop culture can become tomorrow’s high art.” Hess, Parsons and Jordan agreed. “Act one of the play opens with a group of people sitting around a camp fire,” Jordan said. “They begin to try to remember a specific episode of The Simpsons, the iconic ‘Cape Feare’ episode, a classic story of good, evil and revenge.” In the second act, eight years have passed and “Cape Feare” is being produced as a play by a theater group specializing in performing episodes of The Simpsons. Act three is 100 years later. Civilization has been rebuilt, and the play has become very ritualized. “The arc of the story is a classic one,” Taylor said. “It’s good versus evil. At the end of the show, we have so much hope that good has won, and yet a kernel of doubt remains. Did we really defeat it, or is it just waiting?” Mr. Burns runs Feb. 23-March 5 in Civic Center Music Hall’s CitySpace Theatre, 201 N. Walker Avenue. Visit cityrep.com or call 405-8483761.

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays Feb. 23-March 5 CitySpace Theatre | Civic Center Music Hall 201 N. Walker Ave. | cityrep.com 405-848-3761 $8-$42


t h e at e r

Early expression Charlie and the Chocolate Factory unwraps its timeless tale in Edmond. By Ian Jayne

Whether they’re on the stage or in the audience, elementary school-aged children can enjoy a taste of local theater at Edmond Fine Arts Institute’s (EFAI) production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Kelli Cormack, a University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) musical theater student, directs the Junior Theatre production. Cormack has experience with UCO’s Broadway Tonight series and has directed prior EFAI productions. “Kelli does our spring production,” said EFAI executive director Shannon Price. “She’s pretty fabulous.” Price said several factors shape EFAI’s choice of Junior Theatre plays, including a sensitivity to local arts opportunities for younger children and a focus on maximum inclusion for the cast. “We like bigger productions so we can have as many kids … as possible,” Price said. EFAI also held an audition workshop in December to help familiarize young children with the process. Price, a former elementary art teacher, said middle school and high school students in the Edmond area enjoy a greater number of opportunities for dramatic expression than do younger students. “We target this particular program to second grade through eighth-graders for auditions,” Price said. “They don’t have as many performance opportunities or venues.” Price said that children who participate in arts programs develop collaborative skills, focus and memory and practice commitment. “There’s a whole lot to be said about having pride in your work and doing things together,” Price said of the program’s benefits. While EFAI’s Junior Theatre program helps young children develop acting and performance skills, Price said the institute also hopes to increase early exposure to the arts, which can, in turn, foster a lifelong love. “I think it’s really important to get kids engaged at a young age,” she said.

The youthful cast of Edmond Fine Arts Institute’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Photo provided

EFAI’s production run-time is also keyed to its audience’s attention span. Price said Charlie runs 45 minutes to an hour to accommodate younger children and families. “When we pick a play, we want something that is not just for the actors, but for the audience,” Price said. “This isn’t just a show that parents and family members come and watch their kids in. We want the community, 3-year-olds and up, to come to a performance.” Visual arts teachers at EFAI work alongside the director to create backdrops and props. Volunteers and parents also help with the production, and a teen group helps with makeup. As it enters its 32nd year as a nonprofit arts organization, EFAI continues its mission of providing opportunities for both children and adults in the realms of visual and performing arts, Price said. Along with funding from Oklahoma Arts Council and Kirkpatrick Bank, Price said EFAI receives help from volunteers. “We do two major productions a year: one in the spring, and one in the fall,” Price said. EFAI also hosts summer camps. “We don’t think every kid is going to grow up and be a visual artist or a performing artist,” Price said, “but once you try it, you can really have an appreciation for it as you grow into adulthood.” Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs Feb. 24-26 at EFAI, 27 E. Edwards St., in Edmond. Visit edmondfinearts.com.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 7 p.m. Feb. 24, 3 p.m. Feb. 25 and 2 p.m. Feb. 26 Edmond Fine Arts Institute 27 E. Edwards St., Edmond edmondfinearts.com | 405-340-4481 $6

O kg a z e t t e . c o m | F e b r u a r y 1 5 , 2 0 1 7

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ARTS & CULTURE

Sparking speech

IgniteOKC sparks creativity and innovation during its second roundtable discussion. By Lea Terry

film

At IgniteOKC, speakers can share their passions with an audience that’s equally passionate about learning. Speakers have just five minutes to articulate their ideas, a popular format that works well. IgniteOKC organizers also wanted to offer more in-depth and interactive experiences with its roundtable discussion series, which allows for conversations between the two. “Maybe a collaboration can spring out of that, because there are people who want to make positive change in our community,” said Matthew Goodwin, IgniteOKC communications director, “and this is a great place for them to connect and get to be a part of something.” IgniteOKC’s second roundtable discussion is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the offices of Dunlap Codding, 609 W. Sheridan Ave. The event features Travis Brown, Wes Hamer and Eden Badgett, who all gave talks at previous IgniteOKC events that generated significant interest and curiosity.

Eden Badgett speaks Tuesday at IgniteOKC’s roundtable event. | Photo Traina Photography / provided

questions and to share what the idea is and why they’re passionate about it; why it makes a difference and why it’s important,” Goodwin said. Badgett said roundtable discussions attract a slightly different audience than the annual Ignite events and have a different vibe. Part of the roundtable is dedicated to discussing the process for submitting a proposal to speak at IgniteOKC events. Goodwin said participants don’t have

IgniteOKC Roundtable 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday Dunlap Codding 609 W. Sheridan Ave. RSVP via eventbrite.com | 405-607-8600 Free

New media

Norman Film Festival is taking submissions ahead of its inaugural September event. By Ben Luschen

September Saturdays in Norman are mostly known for football, but this year, a new film festival brings some variety to the city’s fall weekends. The University of Oklahoma will be playing a road game at Baylor University on Sept. 23 when the inaugural Norman Film Festival stakes its claim on historic downtown Norman. The multigenre festival screens at several different venues, including The Sooner Theatre, 101 E. Main St. Local artist and filmmaker Chase Spivey is the event’s director and creator. He said the festival is now accepting local and international submissions through July 2, and a full screening schedule should be ready by the end of July. Submissions can be made at normanfilmfestival.com. Free all-ages educational programs, hands-on exhibits and live music create an engaging and immersive experience in addition to the screenings. An awards show closes out the event. “We want it to be fun,” Spivey said. “The aim is to enliven and inspire. Kids aren’t going to be inspired by red carpet or tuxedos; they’re going to be inspired the same way we all are: by seeing some30

Badgett spoke about the impact of mental illness on her life, which she described as humbling because she had to make herself vulnerable to her audience but also had people talking to her afterward and encouraging her to continue telling her story. “It’s opened all kinds of doors to continue that conversation and continue raising awareness and break the stigma,” Badgett said. IgniteOKC is part of a public discussion series that started in Seattle that now hosts affiliated events all over the world. IgniteOKC hosts regular talks, happy hours and free networking events to help them connect with like-minded people and introduce people to the organization. Board chairwoman Regina Banks moderates Tuesday’s free roundtable event, which features presentations and opportunities for audience members to ask questions. “They have to be ready for all sorts of

to be professional speakers to give a talk and each year, the diverse topic roster features everything from race to inventions and socioeconomic status. “It helps if they can get in front of people and articulate their idea,” Goodwin said, “but it really is open that you don’t have to be a great orator necessarily to be a speaker.” In fact, the organization walks participants through the process, sharpening their ideas and turning them into five-minute presentations. Badgett urges anyone considering applying to do it. She said while she felt her talk was self-gratifying in that it focused on her own struggles and experiences, it also resonated with a lot of people and prompted an ongoing discussion about mental health. “No idea is too small,” Badgett said. “We love sharing all of the crazy, creative, wild things that people come up with.” Visit igniteokc.com.

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thing new.” Spivey has previous experience as a musician and songwriter and is a former member of Ghost of Monkshood. In 2011, he became a co-owner at Norman art gallery Form and Function Lab. He managed stage video for Norman Music Festival in 2012 and ’13 and has been commissioned for two Norman public arts projects. He has long thought about bringing a film festival to the area but did not fully commit himself to the idea until last year. There was a lot of talk about the state budget crisis and a lack of funding for education — especially in the arts. Spivey asked his son what he wants to be when he grows up. He wants to direct movies. “I felt bittersweet about it,” Spivey said. “I have always loved living here, but I felt like my son and lots of Oklahoma kids were looking forward to a deficit of arts education and opportunities in the near future. I wanted to show them that being a filmmaker in Oklahoma was a viable option.” Spivey teamed up with friends David Birdwell and Ben Lindesmith to create a nonprofit to help and enable young Oklahoma filmmakers.

He said local filmmaker response to the new festival so far has been both enthusiastic and overwhelming. The open call launched in mid-January, and they have been flooded with submissions. June’s annual deadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City is the preeminent festival of its kind in the region. Spivey said he is grateful for its work and the impact it has had on local filmmaking. He said his event is not a competitor, and he scheduled the event in the fall so it wouldn’t distract from festivities earlier in the year. “It’s like if deadCenter and Norman

Chase Spivey organized the first Norman Film Festival with two friends. | Photo Garett Fisbeck

Music Festival had a love child,” he said. “Our goal is to continue and expand the work that these lovely people have started.” The festival is looking for a limited number of sponsors and partners for the event. Those interested can email normanfilmfestival@gmail.com. Single screening tickets and event passes go on sale to the general public April 23. Visit normanfilmfestival.com.


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Giant Jam

Monster Jam brings the exhilaration of monster trucks to OKC. By Michael Kinney

In 2004, Alex Blackwell was working as a truck driver in Pennsylvania, but his part-time occupation as a pro motocross rider was his passion. After years of riding motorbikes, Blackwell’s legs began to wear out and he was forced to have surgery. During that time, a friend needed a simple favor from Blackwell. He wanted him to climb inside a monster truck named Eradicator and drive it 300 feet so his friend could check something out. As soon as he sat in one and felt its power, he was hooked. Soon, Blackwell joined the Monster Jam traveling show and hasn’t looked back. “When I got in the truck, it was unreal,” he said. “As soon as you put your foot to the floor, 1,500 horsepower … I said, ‘This could be fun.’ I’ve been having fun ever since.”

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He has traveled to 25 countries with the show and hopes to add even more to that list this year. Monster Jam roars into Chesapeake Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave., SaturdaySunday. This will be the second time Blackwell has visited Oklahoma City with the tour. The first was in 2006, when he commanded Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This time, he’ll show off his newest ride, 12 foot-tall, 12 foot-wide Megalodon. “It’s prehistoric, dinosaur-looking. It’s supposedly the oldest, biggest shark known to man,” Blackwell said. “I don’t know how many are actually left in real life in the water, but this one is out of the water, so I am claiming it to be the biggest shark ever.” Monster Jam trucks can weigh 10,000 pounds and are built for short, high-powered bursts of speed. Rolling

Megalodon is driven by Alex Blackwell. | Photo Monster Jam / provided

on 66-inch tires, the vehicles command close to 2,000 horsepower and can reach 100 mph while also being able to jump 35 feet high and soar over 120 feet.

Fan favorites

Other trucks scheduled to compete in the family-friendly Oklahoma City championship are Incinerator, Stinger, Full Boar, Prowler, Master of Disaster, Predator and Carolina Crusher. “Trucks … do wheelies, doughnuts and freestyle,” he said. “Then there are pit parties. All the fans get to come out and see everything up close; take pictures with them, get autographs with their favorite drivers and then enjoy the show.” But Blackwell said the accessibility of the drivers is just as big a factor to Monster Jam’s success as anything else. Drivers sign autographs for two hours at the pre-show Pit Party and meet fans and sign more autographs after the show “until the last person leaves,” Blackwell said. “There have been times I have been signing to 3 or 4 in the morning because people want your autograph,” he said. Monster Jam is 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Chesapeake Arena. The pit party is 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Visit monsterjam.com.

Monster Jam 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday Chesapeake Arena 100 W. Reno Ave. | monsterjam.com 405-602-8700 $15-$50


Co m m u n i t y

Fellow foliage

Metro area tree programs grow community engagement and improvement. By Lea Terry

B ooks

Since 2010, the City of Edmond has given away over 500 trees through its FosterA-Tree program, which provides free trees to Edmond residents. The program helps the city maintain its tree canopy, and residents benefit from everything from increased property values to a sense of purpose. “It allows people to plant a tree in their yard and be a part of something that’s improving our community on a grander scale,” said Leigh Martin, urban forester with the City of Edmond and Foster-ATree program coordinator. Edmond’s program is one of many across Oklahoma. Tree Bank Foundation in Oklahoma City works primarily with organizations like Boy Scout troops, churches, schools and city governments. This includes the City of Oklahoma City, which worked with the foundation after receiving grant money to fund tree giveaway programs. The foundation has worked with 67 communities throughout the state since 1987. Nicki Largent, Tree Bank Foundation executive director, said she has seen interest in tree-planting programs grow sig-

nificantly just in the four years she has been with the organization. For this year’s Great Tree Giveaway, an annual program that provides trees to Oklahoma communities, the organization received 30 applications — more than any other year — and could only approve 16. Edmond started Foster-A-Tree as a way to replace trees it had to remove. The city couldn’t always plant a new tree in the same place, but using residents’ homes for planting allowed the city to maintain its overall tree canopy. The program begins in October, and the city plants trees in small groups until it runs out in the spring. The city provides the tree, plants it, stakes it and puts mulch around it. It also provides residents with an aeration bag that makes it easy to water. Tree Bank Foundation focuses on what are called “Oklahoma proven” trees known to thrive in the state’s climate. The organization primarily uses maple and oak, along with redbud trees whenever they can get them. Edmond seeks species diversity with its program and compiles a list, including species that aren’t commonly planted, for each year’s giveaway.

Benefits of tree planting include increased property values and energy conservation as well as filtering the air and reducing water runoff. The need is especially crucial in areas that have lost trees due to storms, Largent said, because trees help with storm water runoff management and because soil erosion is a major problem after a tornado hits. Tree Bank Foundation’s Tornado Re-Leaf program was established specifically to replenish trees in areas hit by tornadoes, ice storms and fires. “You can see the difference immediately, so it’s kind of an immediate gratification that life is coming back here,” Largent said. Tree Bank Foundation’s program applicants must be located within the city limits of the community in which they’re

Fugitive findings Yadon’s previous book, 100 Oklahoma Outlaws, Gangsters, and Lawmen 18391939. After Yadon read Ron Padgett’s book Oklahoma Tough: My Father, King of the Tulsa Bootleggers in 2006, he became inspired to look further into the history of law enforcement in Oklahoma. Yadon wrote 100 Oklahoma Outlaws with Daniel Anderson, and Robert Barr Smith served as consulting historian. Yadon said Oklahoma essentially functioned as a haven for outlaws during the 19th and 20th centuries. “This was an area that had extensive outlaw activity,” he said. “This was largely in the early days because federal law enforcement had no jurisdiction. The only law enforcement was associated with the tribes, particularly the Five Tribes in eastern Oklahoma, but they could only arrest members of their own tribes.” For Oklahoma Scoundrels, Yadon’s primary task was selecting the juiciest and most interesting stories from Oklahoma’s famous history of outlaws.

Bank Foundation / provided

applying. Edmond Foster-A-Tree program applicants must be within Edmond city limits and must also have frontage on a public street. Largent encourages anyone who hasn’t considered the role trees play to stop for a moment and notice the trees around them that might have previously blended in with the rest of the landscape. “Just try to imagine if they weren’t there, what kind of a difference would that make,” Largent said. Learn more about Edmond’s Foster-ATree program at edmondok.com/foster. Learn more about Tree Bank Foundation at thetreebank.org.

Image The History Press / Arcadia Publishing / provided

Laurence Yadon brings the truth about Oklahoma’s past to light in Oklahoma Scoundrels. By Ian Jayne

For Laurence “Larr y ” Yadon, Oklahoma’s most notorious outlaws are not just people in the books he has written. They are people to whom he is (technically) related. “My family is related by marriage to the Youngers of the James Younger Gang,” said the Tulsa renewable energy attorney and historical writer. Yadon said it is not unusual to see relatives wearing nametags that say “Younger” at a family reunion. “I grew up listening to these stories, and that sparked my interest in the American West, and in particular outlaw and lawman history,” he said. Given that Yadon’s upbringing was full of stories, it is perhaps no surprise that he has recently co-authored his second book with Robert Barr Smith, Oklahoma Scoundrels: History’s Most Notorious Outlaws, Bandits, & Gangsters, through Arcadia Publishing’s The History Press. Oklahoma Scoundrels came as a result of a request from a publisher to write a shorter, more condensed version of

Tree Bank Foundation strives to plant “Oklahoma proven” trees. | Photo Tree

“The first challenge was figuring out who were the ‘best of the best,’” Yadon said. “That took care of itself by simply looking at how many of these people are legendary. We looked at the significance of the robberies, how colorful their stories were and their significance in Oklahoma history.” Yadon and Smith sifted through differing historical accounts to try to parse the truth about outlaws such as “Deacon Jim” Miller and Zip Wyatt.

“We like popular history,” Yadon said. “We find who we consider to be the best historians on particular individuals and topics, compare their sources … and select what we think is the most reliable version of events.” As it turns out, that is not always what has been repeated in common lore. “The next challenge was to separate, as much as possible, fact from fiction,” Yadon said. “We knew that there were many stories that were generated in the ’30s that were not intentionally lies or misleading, but stories have lives of their own.” For example, Yadon said that Pretty Boy Floyd, famous for tearing up people’s mortgages while robbing banks, did so, but not as much as people tend to think. “Nor did he help poor people strictly to be a Good Samaritan,” he said. “But more frequently, helping poor people was a part of his efforts to hide from the authorities.” Belle Starr is another example of historical embellishment. “One of the things that people are most surprised to learn is that Belle Starr, so far as we know, was never involved with any kind of train robberies,” Yadon said. “The largest thing she was ever convicted of was a horse theft.” Visit arcadiapublishing.com.

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

BOOKS Peggy Noonan lecture, best-selling author of eight books on American history and culture and former producer for CBS News lectures A Morning With Peggy Noonan, sharing insight to the Washington political scene and a glimpse of what to expect from the newly elected President Donald Trump and Congress, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 16. 405-202-4262, okctownhall.com St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15th St., 405-202-4262, okctownhall.com. THU Frank Keating and Mike Wimmer sign Abraham, Keating takes readers on an ultimate tour of Abraham Lincoln’s life from boyhood to presidency in this biography, 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 16. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-8422900, fullcirclebooks.com. THU

Author Event with Julie Dill, celebrate the publication of Dill’s latest teen novel, Bluff. Seventeen-year-old Chelsea Knowles is harboring a secret that very few people know: She and her dad can’t pay the bills. Chelsea knows it’s all up to her. She manages to sneak into a casino, and what follows sets her on a dangerous path, 2-4 p.m. Feb. 18. Barnes & Noble, Norman, 540 Ed Noble Parkway, Norman, 405-579-8800, barnesandnoble.com. SAT

George Takei’s Allegiance, (US, 2016, Lorenzo Thione) back by popular demand, George Takei’s Broadway musical returns to cinemas on the Japanese American Day of Remembrance and 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which gave way to the internment of Japanese-Americans, 12:55 p.m. Feb. 19. AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial Road, 405-755-2406, fathom events.com. SUN Fireworks Wednesday, (US, 2006, Asghar Farhadi) on the last Wednesday before the spring solstice ushers in the Persian New Year, people set off fireworks following an ancient Zoroastrian tradition. Rouhi, spending her first day at a new job, finds herself in the midst of a different kind of fireworks: a domestic dispute between her new boss and his wife, 2 p.m. Feb. 19. Meinders School of Business, NW 27th St. & McKinley Ave., 405208-5707, okcufilmlit.org. SUN 2017 Academy Award nominated Best Short Films: Live Action, see all of the nominated Best Short Films — animation, documentary and live action — in this exclusive OKCMOA event. Films include Sing, Silent Nights, Timecode, Ennemis Interieurs and La Femme et la TGV, through Feb. 23. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. 2017 Academy Award nominated Best Short Films: Documentary, before watching the Oscars telecast, see all the Academy Award nominated best animation, documentary and live action short films: Extremis, 4.1 Miles, Joe’s Violin, Watani: My Homeland and The White Helmets, through Feb. 22. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com.

HAPPENINGS State of Youth Culture, archival managing director Clint Runge will explore the themes of youth culture and its impact on brands, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 15. CHK | Central Boathouse, 732 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, boathousedistrict.org. WED Capitol Crawl, hosted by Let’s Fix This, a community group educating and empowering people to engage with their government in meaningful ways and effectively communicate about a wide range of issues affecting our state during this event of meeting with the state’s legislators in a relaxed environment, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 15. Uptown 23rd Street, NW 23rd St., 405-831-0177, uptown23rd.com. WED Cabaret Karaoke, always wanted to try your best Patti LuPone? Join or just watch the group sing-a-longs. There will be some awesome group songs, just for fun, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 16. Noir Bistro & Bar, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-208-4233, theparamountokc.com. THU

FOOD

FILM An Affair to Remember, (Argentina, 1957, Leo McCarey) on board an ocean liner, Nickie and Terry

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Ugly Bugs!, Oklahoma Ugly Bug contest with an exhibition of larger-than-life photos of insects all captured by the contest’s 2016 winners, through June 18. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, 405-3254712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu.

Newsies: The Broadway Musical, set in New York City at the turn of the century, when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack Kelly finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right, Feb. 16, 18 and 22. Harkins Theatre, 150 E. Reno Ave., 405-231-4747, harkinstheatres.com. THU, SAT, WED Adam’s Rib, (US, 1949, George Cukor) domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband, 4 and 7 p.m. Feb. 18. The Paramount, 701 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-517-0787, theparamountokc.com. SAT

Meet-and-greet book signing with Earl Freeman, Freeman’s The Berry House tells the story of a boy who goes on an unexpected ride with his older brother, and later wakes up from a coma with has no memory of the events that landed him in the hospital hand-cuffed to a bed. He wakes up only to find out that he has been charged with accessory to murder, 3-5 p.m. Feb. 18. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. SAT

The Cat in the Hat, two children left home alone for a short while one afternoon are visited by a very interesting yet troublesome cat wearing a tall, striped hat. The cat succeeds in creating a huge mess in their house — can they get it cleaned up before Mom gets home? Production runs through March 10. Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-606-7003, oklahomachildrenstheatre.org.

Struggle & Hope: a Documentary on Oklahoma’s All-Black Towns, Oklahoma Historical Society will debut the documentary Struggle & Hope, which chronicles the unique story of Oklahoma’s all-black towns. Filmmaker Kari Barber, will be available for questions and a panel discussion about the history and challenges of the towns and the making of the documentary, 6 p.m. Feb. 16. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org/historycenter. THU

L.M. Fry book signing, author of young adult fantasy, romance and thrillers will be signing her books from the series The Trinity Key, 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, Edmond, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. THU

Beads & The Brave Nonprofit veterans aid Warriors for Freedom Foundation as it holds its third annual Winter Warriorland gala 6:30-11 p.m. Saturday at Leadership Square, 211 N. Robinson Ave., Suite 130. This year’s theme is Beads & The Brave with Mardi Grasstyle fun that supports year-round activities and support for local veterans. The 21-and-older event features food, games, raffles and socializing to raise funds for serious needs, including veteran suicide and mental health awareness. Semi-formal dress is suggested. Tickets are $100 and are only available in advance. Visit warriorsforfreedom.org/beadsandthebrave or call 405-286-9920. Saturday bigstockphoto.com

ages 2-5. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 22. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-297-3995, myriadgardens. com. WED

fall deeply in love and, although they’re already engaged to other people, promise to meet six months later atop the Empire State Building, 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 15. fathomevents.com Cinemark Tinseltown, 6001 N. Martin Luther King Ave., 405424-0461, cinemark.com. WED

Classic Malts Whisky Dinner, classic malts whisky dinner experience is hosted by Mahesh Patel, founder of Universal Whisky Experience, an avid whisky connoisseur and collector, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton Road, 405-755-3501, universalwhiskyexperience. ticketleap.com. SAT Chef Inspired Cocktail Sweetheart Dinner, February is all about love, so we celebrate this month’s chef-inspired cocktail dinner with champagne. Bubbles make their way into our fivecourse and five cocktail extravaganza. Dine at your own pace, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 21. Café 501, 5825 NW Grand Blvd., 405-844-1501, cafe501.com. TUE

PERFORMING ARTS Stories By the Fire with Madison Allen, Black Mesa Brewing Company presents this all-new, monthly comedy storytelling show, 8 p.m. Feb. 18. New World Comics, 6219 N. Meridian Ave., 405-7217634, newworldcomics.net. SAT

Guinness Beer Dinner Confidence is a 9000-year lease. That’s what Guinness Brewery founder Arthur Guinness signed in 1759 when he took possession of St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. In the more than 250 years since, Guinness has only grown in fame. Now, Oklahoma City gets a taste at James E. McNellie’s Public House’s Guinness Beer Dinner 7 p.m. Tuesday at 1100 Classen Drive. The $45 dinner includes a variety of the Irish brewery’s beers paired with a special Guinnessinspired menu. Reservations are required. Call 405-601-7468 or email nettie@mcnellies.com. Tuesday Photo Gazette / file

Margarita Smackdown Final, celebrate National Margarita Day with us as we host a cocktail competition. Watch, taste and vote on which Oklahoma bartender/bar creates the best margarita, 5-7 p.m. Feb. 22. Iguana Grill 9 NW 9th St., 405-606-7172, eventbrite.com. WED

The Oklahoma Community Orchestra - A Concert for the Whole Family, conducted by Irvin L. Wagner, featuring TV personality Lucas Ross. Ross narrates Benjamin Brittan’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Sean Boyle’s Little Red Riding Hood. A collaboration on “Dueling Banjos, “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean”, “The Syncopated Clock” and “The Typewriter”, 3 p.m. Feb. 19. OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center, 7777 S. May Ave., 405-425-1990, okorchestra.org. SUN Greg Fitzsimmons, mixing an incisive wit with scathing sarcasm, Fitzsimmons has achieved success as a stand-up, Emmy Award winning writer and host on both radio and TV, 8-10 p.m. Feb. 21. ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., 405-974-4700, acm.uco.edu. TUE Adam Devine Weird Life Tour, actor, comedian, singer, screenwriter, producer and voice actor, quickly becoming one of the most sought-after young comedians and actors in the comedy world, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center, 6420 SE 15th St., Midwest City, 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com. WED Andy Woodhull, Woodhull has been featured on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom radio show and was a semi-finalist in CMT’s Next Big Comic. Andy is a former resident of Chicago, where he was named one of four comedians to watch by the Chicago Tribune, through Feb. 18. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, loonybincomedy.com. WED -SAT

YOUTH EdZOOcation LIVE! Series: Ready, Set, Vet, bring the family to enjoy interactive learning experiences and up-close encounters with animal ambassadors for a wild time, 2-3 p.m. Feb. 16. Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden Education Building, 2000 Remington Park, 405-424-3344, okczoo.org. THU Mighty, Mighty Construction Site Storytime reading, from the team behind the beloved international bestseller, Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. Down in the construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done, 11 a.m. Feb. 18. Barnes & Noble, 6100 N. May Ave., 405-843-9300, barnesandnoble.com. SAT Styrofoam Block Printing, interactive experience to create extraordinary works of art inspired by the museum’s collection and special exhibitions. Teaching artists will provide basic instruction and materials during these come-and-go art-making sessions, 1-4 p.m. Feb. 18. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa. com. SAT Circle of Stories, join Native American storytellers in the Power and Prestige Children’s Gallery and discover powerful new stories, 10-10:30 a.m. Feb. 18. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum. org. SAT Mother and Son Soiree at Orr Family Farm, an evening of dancing featuring a professional DJ, food, drinks, a photo booth and fun. Attire for the Mother and Son Soiree will be church-appropriate clothing with a Western flair, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 18. The Orr Family Farm, 14400 S. Western Ave., 405-799-3276, orrfamilyfarm.com. SAT Bringing Gardens to Life, fun indoor activity that brings gardens to life, even when it’s cold outside. Make a nature-based, take-home crafts, such as bird seed ornaments or handprint trees, best for

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

Black History Month Spoken Word Contest Ten performers grace the stage at Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads for a Black History Month Spoken Word Contest 6-8 p.m. Saturday at 7000 Crossroads Blvd. The free, familyfriendly event celebrates Black History Month with 10 spoken word performances. Prizes include gift cards from Plaza Mayor shops. Written or video submissions are due Wednesday, Feb. 15, to poetryispower2017@gmail.com. The top 10 entries are presented at the event. Visit facebook.com/plazamayorok or call 405-631-4424. Saturday bigstockphoto.com


As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s high comedies featuring jokes borne out of a character’s wit and intelligence, while poking fun at social conventions and human folly. This production, set in presentday Washington D.C., incorporates live music with original lyrics by William Shakespeare, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-18. and 2 p.m. Feb. 19. UCO Mitchell Hall Theater, 100 N. University Drive, Edmond, 405974-3375, uco.edu. THU -SUN Songs for a New World, it’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back. These are the stories and characters of today, the Songs for a New World. This moving collection of powerful songs examines life, love and the choices we make, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-19. H. B. Atkinson Theatre Rose State college, 6420 SE 15th St., 405733-7430, showtix4u.com. THU -SUN Dark Sisters, a new American opera centered on five sister-wives in a polygamist relationship; inspired by the Arizona-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Dark Sisters charts a woman’s quest for self-discovery and her dreams of a new life in a world where personal identity is forbidden, 8 p.m. Feb. 17-18. and 3 p.m. Feb. 19. Oklahoma City University Campus, Kirkpatrick Auditorium, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-2085000, okcu.edu/theater. FRI -SUN

Exit Laughing, when the biggest highlight in your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out with the girls, what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? If you’re these three Southern ladies from Birmingham, you do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. You borrow the ashes from the funeral for one last card game and the wildest, most exciting night of your lives, Feb. 17-March 11. Carpenter Square Theatre, 806 W. Main St., 405232-6500, carpentersquare.com.

ACTIVE Women’s Basketball, OSU vs TCU, 6 p.m. Feb. 15. Gallagher-Iba Arena, W. Hall of Fame Ave., Stillwater, 877-255-4678, okstate.edu. WED Men’s Basketball, Thunder vs New York Knicks, 8:30 p.m. Feb. 15. Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave., 405-602-8700, chesapeakearena. com. WED The 22nd Annual Frigid Five race, race benefits Best Friends of Pets. Runners and families can participate in either the 5-mile sanctioned race or the 1-mile run/walk. Winners will be awarded prizes in each age group, 9-11 a.m. Feb. 18. Mitch Park Activity Center, 2733 Marilyn Williams Drive, Edmond, 405-708-8589, frigidfive.itsyourrace. com. SAT Women’s Basketball, OU vs Texas, 1 p.m. Feb.18. Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Ave., Norman, 405-325-4666, lloydnoblecenter.com. SAT Men’s Basketball, OU vs OSU, 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Gallagher-Iba Arena, W. Hall of Fame Ave., Stillwater, 877-255-4678, okstate.edu. SAT Men’s Basketball, OKC Blue vs Sioux Falls Skyforce, 7 p.m. Feb. 22. Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens, 405-602-8500, coxconventioncenter.com. WED

VISUAL ARTS

Krewe de Banjo Mardi Gras Get your banjos ready! Or just get your banjo-loving self to American Banjo Museum’s Krewe de Banjo Mardi Gras celebration. Guests enjoy sausage gumbo, red beans and rice, cornbread muffins, apple raisin pound cake with praline glaze and hurricanes, and Oklahoma’s Jambalaya Jass Band is supplying the live New Orleans jazz music. The event is 6-9 p.m. Feb. 25 at American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Ave. Tickets are $20-$25. Visit americanbanjomuseum. com or call 405-604-2793. Feb. 25 Photo American Banjo Museum / provided

Michael Mack, his songs and song parodies have played on radio stations across the country including The Bob and Tom Show and XM Radio. Mack has appeared twice on ABC’s America’s Funniest People, and he is known for brilliantly using music, light, impressions and parodies to produce his shows, Feb. 22. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, loonybincomedy.com. WED Seminar, four aspiring New York writers pay handsomely for a private writing seminar with a sought-after but pretentious and egotistical instructor, through Feb. 25. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700, oklahomashakespeare.org. How I Learned To Drive, the story following the strained sexual relationship between Li’l Bit and her aunt’s husband, Uncle Peck, from her adolescence through her teenage years into college and beyond. Using the metaphor of driving and the issues of pedophilia, incest and misogyny, the play explores the ideas of control and manipulation, 8-10 p.m. Feb. 16-18 and 23-25. The Paramount Theatre, 11 N. Lee Ave., 405-637-9389, theparamountokc.com. Fences, the human desire to cocoon an aspiration in the midst of one’s inner and outer turmoil yet still strive to dream is vividly exemplified in the character Troy. Playwright August Wilson reveals this plight that was, and in many cases still is, the journey of many African-American males in U.S. history, yet it is a tale of joy and triumph, through March 4. The Pollard Theatre, 120 W. Harrison Ave., Guthrie, 405-282-2800, thepollard.org.

Abbreviated Portrait Series: Poteet Victory, Victory’s portraits employ common mental cues or triggers commonly associated with popular personalities, the titles of which are abbreviated in a manner akin to popular acronyms, through April 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. All That Southwest Jazz, using narrative text and historic photographs to trace Oklahoma blues lineage and legendary jazzmen who staged their early careers in Oklahoma, through Mar. 1. Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-297-3995, myriadgardens.com. Art Awakening 2017, an art show highlighting the talents of artists living with mental illness and addiction; hosted by NorthCare, a local nonprofit community mental health center. Paintings, sketches, photography and more. This event serves to promote recovery through creativity and to provide community support for the artists. Enjoy live music, assorted desserts, photo-booth activities and more, 4-7 p.m. Feb. 16. NorthCare, 2617 General Pershing Blvd., 405-858-2700, northcare.com. THU

Wastedland 2 Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) gallery hosts Andrew H. Shirley’s central U.S. premiere of her surreal immersive film, story and installation experience Wastedland 2 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday at 706 W. Sheridan Ave. in Film Row. The native Detroit filmmaker worked with New York City artists to create installations featuring graffitied creatures and objets d’art, which add context and depth to the on-screen journey through an existential fantasyland inside a postapocalyptic world with its few remaining occupants — the spirit animals of graffiti artists. Visit individualartists.org or call 405-232-6060. Friday Photo provided

Her Flag: A Solo Exhibition of New Works by Marilyn Artus, featuring exhibit receptions, lectures, demonstrations, pop-up exhibits, interactive installations, special performance events and seasonal patron events, Feb. 19.-March 28. Kasum Contemporary Fine Arts, 1706 NW 16th St., 405-604-6602, kasumcontemporary.com.

Oklahoma Pride: The Next 50 Years of Oklahoma, artists in the wake of WWII took a new look at creative expression and progressive politics; they focused on self-expression, self-discovery and concepts beyond arts ordinary function, through April 8. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, oklahomaheritage.com.

Inherent Language of Life, Gina Dowling’s work focuses on the use of symbols, visual references and layers that convey a literal or symbolic story within a body of visual art. She floats and stacks transparent mediums, layers of form, color, light, shadows and reflections on walls, windows, floors and paper, through March 10. Mainsite Contemporary Art, 122 E. Main St., Norman, 405360-1162, mainsite-art.com.

Photo/Synthesis, exhibition of photography by Will Wilson extends the body of portraiture of Native Americans in Oklahoma while shifting preconceptions about the historical narrative within which the Native community is often presented, through April 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma.

The works of Nicole Emmons - Willis and Jerry Allen Gilmore, Willis is a filmmaker and animation artist specializing in stop motion. Her films have screened at film festivals and on television shows as varied as Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and NBC’s Community. Jerry Allen Gilmore creates works that are autobiographical, repurposed and retraced narratives covering identity, sexuality, spirituality, beauty and mortality, Feb.17-April 1. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery. org.

Character Play: Art of Writing in Contemporary China, exhibition featuring a diverse body of works from Chinese artists, traditional Chinese art formats and high-tech digital art and installations. Expanding the meaning of pictorial forms of the Chinese characters, this exhibition questions, imagines and contemplates a futuristic terrain of transmitting vehicles that challenge or reconfirm the existence of the Asian characters, particularly drawing inspiration from traditional bookmaking, through Feb. 24. The Lightwell Gallery, 520 Parrington Oval, Rm. 202, Norman, 405-325-2691, art.ou.edu. Renee Lawrence, Oklahoma culture and history are the inspirations for this artist’s meticulous, lifelike ink drawings. Delicate lines, hatching, cross-hatching and stippling are used to build layers of tones, texture and form, creating indelible images that emerge from the artist’s paper and pens, through Feb. 26. Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. Contemporary Realism, four solo exhibitions of contemporary realism featuring David Crismon, Michele Mikesell, Mistsuno Reedy and Bob Sober, through Feb. 26. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. Cut Me Some Slack: New Work by Joe Slack, sculpture artist defined as creating primitive inspired art with a modern spin and touch of humor, through March 3. Oklahoma City University, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-208-5000, okcu. edu. Equine and Vineyard Paintings, oil and pastel works on canvas, masonite and velour paper by self-taught artist, Kim Norton, through Feb. 28. 50 Penn Place, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-8487588, 50pennplacegallery.com.

In the Light Bulb Room With its In the Light Bulb Room series, Ralph Ellison Foundation continues the work of the Oklahoma writer and activist and promotes a sense of community and conversation in the state. Thursday’s forum topic is Senate Bill 1 and the Real Black Oklahoma History. Poet and educator Quraysh Ali Lansana leads the panel and moderated discussion on Oklahoma’s first Jim Crow law, which was passed in 1907. The free event is 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Paramount Room, 701 W. Sheridan Ave. Visit ralphellisonfoundation.org or call 405-788-0566. Thursday

The Artistry of the Western Paperback, study the works of A. Leslie Ross, Robert Stanley, George Gross, Stanley Borack, Tom Ryan and Frank McCarthy and decide: Is it art or something else? Does it belong on a bookshelf, on exhibit, or both? through May 14. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-4782250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. The Cultivated Connoisseur: Works on Paper from the Creighton Gilbert Bequest, Creighton Eddy Gilbert (1924-2011) was a renowned art historian specializing in the Italian Renaissance and was one of the foremost authorities on Michelangelo. The bequest includes a total of 272 objects, the majority of which are works on paper, spanning a time period from the 14th century to the 20th, through June 4. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Norman, 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma.

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

For okg live music

see page 40

Photo Ralph Ellison Foundation / provided

go to okgazette.com for full listings!

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music “Country music, where it’s at right now, is very broad,” Lane said. “You’ve got guys like Chris Stapleton that are killing it doing their style and what they love, and then you’ve got guys like Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt who are on the other end of the spectrum. I try to find a place to sit in the middle and do both. So when we went into the studio to do my record, we were trying to figure out exactly what kind of style I wanted to have.”

Country music, where it’s at right now, is very broad. Chris Lane

event

Mason-Dixon makeover

New Lane

Chris Lane adds his distinctive R&Bcountry sound to Florida Georgia Line’s tour. By George Lang

Like so many people living in the polyglot southeast, a region as likely to produce Jason Aldean as it is to launch Lil Yachty, Chris Lane spent his formative years absorbing the full range of pop, rarely taking time to categorize the sounds in his earbuds. That willingness to accept music without barriers gave Lane the confidence to create his proudly hybrid country-pop album Girl Problems. “You know, I grew up listening to George Strait and Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson and all those guys, but I also loved Justin Timberlake and the Backstreet Boys and Usher,” Lane said during a recent Oklahoma Gazette phone interview. “I listen to a little bit of anything and everything.” Lane performs with Dustin Lynch and Florida Georgia Line Feb. 25 at Chesapeake Arena, 100 W. Reno Ave.

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Chris Lane opens for Florida Georgia Line Feb. 25 at Chesapeake Arena. | Photo provided

Transitional artist

Lane, originally from Kernersville, North Carolina, got his start surveying a wide swath of cover material as leader of the Chris Lane Band, which featured his twin brother, Cory Lane, on drums. The group made the circuit through the southeast and became a significant draw in the musically active college towns of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. The twins auditioned for American Idol in 2007, at the height of the music competition’s success, but did not make it onto the show. Going the indie route proved more fruitful for Lane. In 2012, the Chris Lane Band released Let’s Ride on Kernersville-based Loradale Drive Records and managed to hit No. 75 on Billboard country charts. Emboldened by this first taste of success, Lane moved to Nashville and signed to Big Loud Records, home of both Lynch and Florida Georgia Line, two acts with no compunction about incorporating glossy electronics, 808s and bass drops into their back-road ballads. Lane felt at home with his labelmates and soon started crossing the U.S. on lengthy bus tours, working out and writing songs together in Florida Georgia Line’s mobile studio. In some respects, Lane sees himself as a transitional artist between the new, R&B-influenced groups proliferating in country and the similarly popular neo-traditionalist strain.

What sets Lane apart is a tenor that can make a dramatic shift into falsetto just when it’s needed. He said a happy accident in the studio with that falsetto resulted in a complete shift in direction while recording Girl Problems. “One day, I had this Usher song in my head, and I was singing these high falsetto runs, and my producer [Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Owl City)] turned around in his chair and said, ‘What was that? That’s what we need to be doing,’” Lane said. “That kind of changed our thought process in the writing room. Then the song ‘Fix’ came out of that, which became my first single, and it had the falsetto and some cool characteristics that I could bring vocally. That changed the entire direction of what I was doing. So we scrapped the songs I’d been working on and we started over.” “Fix,” which takes a late-model Coldplay sensibility and gives it a Mason-Dixon makeover, went to No. 1 on the Billboard country airplay chart and cracked the Top 10 on the country singles chart, and his follow-up single, “For Her,” went Top 40, too. He said the plan was to make everything pop in the studio, but also ready to hit the backs of the stadiums on the current tour. “We took our time, and I picked the songs that I’d truly fallen in love with and songs that would really translate live, as well,” Lane said. “I learned from Florida Georgia Line when I moved to Nashville, how high energy their shows are and how people react. I wanted that same kind of energy.”

florida georgia line

with Dustin lynch and chris lane 7 p.m. Feb. 25 Chesapeake Arena 100 W. Reno Ave. ticketmaster.com | 1-800-745-3000 $38.75-$84


OKLAHOMA PREMIERE!

p February 17-19

event

Mean Motor Scooter | Photo Parker Lunsford / provided

All cylinders

Fort Worth’s Mean Motor Scooter blows the doors off garage rock. By George Lang

Jacking into an amp, stomping on a Superfuzz pedal and screaming into the night in two-minute blasts can be perfect medicine. For Fort Worth’s Mean Motor Scooter, getting loud and fast changed everything. “It’s opened up a lot of doors for us as far as places that we can play,” said MMS bassist Joe Tacke, who performs with the group at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Your Mom’s Place, 3201 N. May Ave. “But there’s also the freedom of the music. Three chords strung together always sounds good.” Before Mean Motor Scooter, Tacke, singer-guitarist Sammy Kidd and drummer Jeffrey Chase Friedman had a lot more restraint in their lives. Friedman and Kidd were in an acoustic pop group called Endless Sky, and Tacke played in the Dallas indie-pop group Spookeasy, which released its album Faux Show in 2012. When those groups ran their course, Tacke said he and his bandmates bonded over their love of heavy, blasted-out garage rock. “We listen to a lot of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees and Eagles of Death Metal, Husker Du, those kind of bands, so we have a lot of varying influences,” he said. “But we definitely set out to be a grungier, ’60s-and-’70s garage-rock band.” True to that vision, Mean Motor Scooter’s self-titled 2015 EP provides the perfect soundtrack to flooring it in a T-top Trans Am reeking to the headliner with skunk weed. Following an intro that crunches like a long-lost Deep Purple instrumental, the group immediately engages with their scuzz-rock spirits on “Monsters,” sounding a little like Kurt Cobain taking a fast “Slow Ride” with Foghat. The group downshifts for “Son, I’m an Alien” before revving back to top speed for the grand finale, “Put Me

Down Like a Dog.” Mean Motor Scooter’s commitment to loud and fast rules quickly resulted in a large and loyal DFW following. The trio’s unending onstage energy resulted in the group winning Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards’ Rock Band of the Year trophy in 2016. For their next trick, Mean Motor Scooter will release a full-length album in March. Titled Hindu Flying Machines, it takes the band’s garage barrage and sends it about 10 years farther into the past. A concept album about the Sumerians, Hindu Flying Machines is filled with Kidd’s lyrics about airborne cities and lizards descending to Earth to impregnate humans. “I think you’re going to hear a lot more ’60s sounds to it,” Tacke said. “Our drummer knows everything about every punk band that’s ever been, but I’ve been listening to a lot of T. Rex lately, too, so that’s coming through a little bit now.” Before taking off with Mean Motor Scooter, Kidd and Friedman sang more sensitive songs like “Alprazolam,” their ode to Xanax, and Spookeasy recorded a trippy psych-rock track titled “I’m Tired.” But with their new group, Tacke, Friedman and Kidd have no time for exhaustion or ennui as Mean Motor Scooter burns rubber. “In our previous bands, we never had crowd surfers,” Tacke said. “That’s been a welcome change, for sure.”

mean motor scooter with los eskeletos and Prof. fuzz 63 8 p.m. Feb. 25

65 th

8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday Opening night dinner

Anniversary Season

Tickets: $25 Bass Music Center Atrium 6:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17

www.okcu.edu/tickets or 405.208.5227

Tickets: $14-28

Kirkpatrick Auditorium 2501 N. Blackwelder

MUSICC OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY BASS SCHOOL OF MUSICC

A new American opera centered on five sisterwives in a polygamist sect, Dark Sisters will be presented by OCU’s award-winning Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company by a cast of 19 and 20-member orchestra. Composer Nico Muhly will be in residence and featured in a free 7:15 p.m. Friday pre-show talk on opening night.

4 of 5 youth smokers

become adult smokers.

Young people are more sensitive to nicotine and more likely to become addicted, making it harder and harder to quit as they get older. There are more ways than ever for kids to get addicted… • • • •

Cigarettes E-cigarettes Smokeless tobacco Hookah

Each has harmful chemicals that can lead to serious health problems and even death. Talk to your kids about the dangers of tobacco. For tips on how to get the conversation started, visit StopsWithMe.com.

Your Mom’s Place 3201 N. May Ave. | 405-664-8443 facebook.com/meanmotorscootermusic

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event

music

Help wanted

Celebrated Woody Guthrie Folk Festival faces an uncertain future. By Ben Luschen

The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017, but it will do so while facing an uncertain future. John Robertson, treasurer and former president of the Woody Guthrie Coalition, which puts on the July folk and music festival that fills the Okemah community with entertainment and guests from around the world each year, said the event is approximately $20,000 in debt — a hole that has only widened over the past five years. This year’s event runs July 12-16 in folk icon Woody Guthrie’s hometown. Jan. 4, the group launched a $60,000 GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to help ensure the festival’s future. At press time, the campaign had raised just over $4,000. “I know there are at least 3,000 persons out there who would be willing and able to donate $20 if they knew WoodyFest needed help financially,” said Karen Zundel, the festival’s media chairwoman. Troubles began during Guthrie’s 100th birthday celebration in 2012. The coalition intentionally threw a grand

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

WeDnesDaY, 2.15 Acoustic Jam with Larry V TheRemedy, Oklahoma City Limits. ACOUSTIC Brooke & Dawn, Red Brick Bar, Norman. COUNTRY Minor Morals/Sledge, 89th Street Collective. ROCK Mothership/Against The Grain, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK

No BS Jam, Friends Restaurant & Club. VARIOUS

tHursDaY, 2.16

WoodyFest celebration that year, thinking some of the expenditure would be recouped in following years. A recent downturn in the state economy made a rebound much more challenging. “The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival has always been a near break-even event,” Robertson said. “It was never intended to make money; just pay the bills and host a great event.” In the past, Oklahoma Arts Council has provided the organization with annual grants, which largely funded the event. Organizers also have drawn funding from merchandise sales and corporate sponsors and partners. Oklahoma Arts Council was forced to decrease its role after large cuts to state arts funding, Zundel explained. Additionally, WoodyFest lost oil-business sponsors due to a collapse in the industry. Other sponsors have dropped out, citing the state’s generally tough financial climate. Traditionally, festival admission was free. In 2015, however, organizers were forced to start charging admission. Ticket

The Four Tops, Sugar Creek Casino, Hinton. R&B

sunDaY, 2.19

Jacob Steifel, Grady’s 66 Pub, Yukon. BLUES

Matt Cowell, Noir Bistro & Bar. ACOUSTIC Otis Moon and the Unforgiven, IAO Gallery. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Randy Cassimus, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC Street Kings, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK Sugar Ray, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Catoosa. ROCK

The Dusty Pearls, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery.

Bonnie X Clyde, ACM Performance Lab.

ELECTRONIC

Brian Gorrell & Jazz Company, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. JAZZ Burn the Past, Your Mom’s Place. ROCK

5150/Been Caught Stealing/Happy Tuesday, Your Mom’s Place. VARIOUS

Bill Connors/Jami Mcneil/Jared Wood, Malarkey’s Dueling Piano Bar. PIANO Blind Date, Sherlock’s. COVER Brian Lynn Jones, Remington Park. COUNTRY Connor Hicks, Riverwind Casino, Norman. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

David Wayne Broyles, Sliders. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

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The Direct Connect Band, Elmer’s Uptown. R&B

ROCK

saturDaY, 2.18

Aaron Newman, Hollywood Corners Station, Norman. FOLK

ROCK

Limp Wizurdz/Locust Avenue, Opolis, Norman.

DJ Ku Rx, Coyote Ugly Saloon. DJ

friDaY, 2.17

Spinalcorps/Havok/Exmortus/Extinction A.D., Thunder Alley Grill and Sports Bar.

Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road, CHK | Central Boathouse. VARIOUS

Stockyard Playboys, Classics Bar & Grill. COUNTRY

Zach Coffey, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY

Eric Herndon, Full Circle Bookstore. ACOUSTIC

Josh Sallee, 51st Street Speakeasy. HIP-HOP

BLUES

ROCK

said she hopes organizers will find enough new sponsors and willing fan donors to keep the event going for decades to come. There is no chance this year’s festival will be canceled, but WoodyFest’s future is not as certain. Zundel said if the festival is ever lost, the state and country will miss out on a truly special tribute to Guthrie’s legacy. “There is a certain magic that happens in Okemah every July,” she said. “Anyone who has ever attended the festival, whether it be musician or attendee, can attest to that.” Visit gofundme.com/woodyfest to learn more. Find festival volunteer applications at woodyfest.com.

Groove Merchants, UCO Jazz Lab, Edmond. JAZZ

Brad Fielder/Mike Black, The Deli, Norman.

Tacocat/Sex Snobs, Opolis, Norman.

Jared Deck performs at last year’s Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okamah. | Photo Guy Zahler / provided

EmPres, Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery. ROCK

Bella Brown, UCO Hamilton Field House. CHRISTIAN COUNTRY

prices for 2017 have not yet been finalized. Mother Nature also has not done the festival any favors. Robertson said the event was plagued by heavy rain the last two years — a true detriment to any outdoor music festival. Both years, festivities were moved to smaller, indoor venues. Organizers don’t have a paid staff or an office. The board is comprised of members from around the country who discuss business during conference calls. “Somehow, those board members have managed to pull off a festival for 19 years,” Zundel said. “Think about that. We often donate out of pocket because that’s how much the festival means to us. I think we’re all pretty exhausted right now from the continual struggle to pay our bills.” Thousands have attended the event since it began two decades ago. Zundel

Casey & Minna, Anthem Brewing Company. FOLK Drive, Newcastle Casino, Newcastle. VARIOUS Hoops/Breakup/Youthesize, Opolis, Norman. VARIOUS

Slushii The local electronic music mavens at Subsonix again join promoter Disco Donnie Presents to bring a highcaliber act into the Farmers Market District. Producer and DJ Slushii is not even two years removed from his high school graduation. He raised some eyebrows in the EDM community last year with his Brain Freeze EP and, most recently, the single “Dear Me.” His show begins 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at OKC Farmers Public Market, 311 S. Klein Ave. Admission is $20-$25. Guests must be age 16 or older to enter. Visit ticketstorm.com or call 405-232-6506. FEB. 24 Photo Ryan Hadji / provided Noize, 89th Street Collective. VARIOUS Micah Cheatham, Riverwind Casino, Norman. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Rick Springfield, Riverwind Casino, Norman. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Howard Brady, Full Circle Bookstore. ROCK Jabee/LTZ/Zie/Soufwessdes/Grand National, Tower Theatre. HIP-HOP Jacob Dement, Noir Bistro & Bar. ACOUSTIC Kevin Fowler, Wormy Dog Saloon. COUNTRY JP Tha Hustler/Slyzwicked/Breatt As Is/The White

Rodney Jones/Larry Whaley/Brett Allen, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY Signal 88, Rock & Brews. ROCK Stealing Saturn, Oklahoma City Limits. COVER Tedashii, Quail Springs Baptist Church. HIP-HOP

monDaY, 2.20 Steve Parnell, Bourbon Street Bar. ROCK

tuesDaY, 2.21 Bon Jovi, Chesapeake Arena. ROCK

WeDnesDaY, 2.22 CJ Boyd/Sun Riah/Drasa, Power House Bar. VARIOUS

Emily Scott Robinson/Caroline Cotter, The Depot, Norman. SINGER/SONGWRITER Maurice Johnson, The R&J Lounge and Supper Club. JAZZ Nots, Opolis, Norman. ROCK Sean McConnell, The Blue Door. SINGER/

SONGWRITER

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

go to okgazette.com for full listings!


free Will astrologY Homework: Imagine you have time-traveled to one of your favorite places in the year 2020. What do you see? I’m at Truthrooster@gmail.com ARIES (March 21-April 19)

By my estimates, 72 percent of you Aries are in unusually good moods. The world seems friendlier, more cooperative. Fifty-six percent of you feel more in love with life than you have in a long time. You may even imagine that the birds and trees and stars are flirting with you. I’m also guessing that 14 percent of you are weaving in and out of being absurdly, deliriously happy, sometimes without any apparent explanation. As a result of your generosity of spirit, you may be the recipient of seemingly impossible rewards like free money or toasted ice cream or unconditional tenderness. And I bet that at least ten percent of you are experiencing all of the above.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

I am launching a campaign to undo obsolete stereotypes about you Bulls. There are still backwards astrologers out there who perpetrate the lie that many of you are stingy, stolid, stubborn slowpokes. As an antidote, I plan to heighten everyone’s awareness of your sensual, soulful sweetness, and your tastefully pragmatic sensitivity, and your diligent, dynamic productivity. That should be easy in the coming weeks, since you’ll be at the height of your ability to express those superpowers. Luckily, people will also have an enhanced capacity to appreciate you for who you really are. It will be a favorable time to clarify and strengthen your reputation.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Will Giovanni surreptitiously replace Allesandra’s birth control pills with placebos? Will Camille take a hidden crowbar to her rendezvous with the blackmailer? Will Josie steal Jose’s diary and sell it on eBay? Given the current astrological omens, you may have an unconscious attraction to soap opera-type events like those. The glamour of melodrama is tempting you. But I’m hoping and predicting that you will express the cosmic currents in less toxic ways. Maybe you’ll hear a searing but healing confession after midnight in the pouring rain, for

instance. Perhaps you’ll break an outworn taboo with ingenious grace, or forge a fertile link with a reformed rascal, or recover a lost memory in a dusty basement. CANCER (June 21-July 22) All naturally-occurring matter on earth is composed of 92 basic elements arranged in various combinations. Since some of these appear in trace amounts, they took a long time for humans to discover. In the 18th and 19th centuries, chemists were exuberant when they tracked down seven of the 92 in a single location: an underground mine on the Swedish island of Ytterby. That small place was a mother lode. I’m predicting a metaphorically similar experience for you, Cancerian: new access to a concentrated source that will yield much illumination.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

The next four weeks will be an excellent time to upgrade your understanding of the important characters in your life. In fact, I suspect you will generate good fortune and meaningful synchronicities whenever you seek greater insight into anyone who affects you. Get to know people better, Leo! If there are intriguing acquaintances who pique your curiosity, find out more about them. Study the oddballs you’re allergic to with the intention to discern their hidden workings. In general, practice being objective as you improve your skill at reading human nature.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

In 1787, English captain Arthur Phillip led an eight-month naval expedition to the southeastern part of the continent now known as Australia. Upon arrival, he claimed the land for England, despite the fact that 250,000 Aboriginal people were living there, just as their ancestors had for 2,000 generations. Two hundred years later, an Aboriginal activist named Burnum Burnum planted the Aboriginal flag on the White Cliffs of Dover, claiming England for his people. I encourage you to make a comparably artful or symbolic act like Burnum’s sometime soon, Virgo -- a ritual or gesture to assert your sovereignty or evoke a well-deserved reversal or express your unconquerable spirit.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

The ancient Roman rhetorician Quintilian authored a twelve-volume textbook on the art of oratory. As ample as it was, it could have been longer. “Erasure is as important as writing,” he said. According to my reading of the astrological omens, that counsel should be a rewarding and even exciting theme for you in the coming weeks. For the long-term health of your labor of love or your masterpiece, you should focus for a while on what to edit out of it. How could you improve it by making it shorter and more concise?

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Do you know about the long-running kids’ show *Sesame Street*? Are you familiar with Big Bird, the talking eight-feet-tall yellow canary who’s one of the main characters? I hope so, because your horoscope is built around them. In the *Sesame Street* episode called *Don’t Eat the Pictures,* Big Bird solves a riddle that frees a 4,000-year-old Egyptian prince from an ancient curse. I think this vignette can serve as a model for your own liberation. How? You can finally outwit and outmaneuver a very old problem with the help of some playful, even child-like energy. Don’t assume that you’ve got to be relentlessly serious and dour in order to shed the ancient burden. In fact, just the opposite is true. Trust blithe and rowdy spirits.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Your lessons in communication are reaching a climax. Here are five tips to help you do well on your “final exam.” 1. Focus more on listening for what you need to know rather than on expressing what you already know. 2. Keep white lies and convenient deceptions to a bare minimum. 3. Tell the truth as strong and free as you dare, but always -- if possible -- with shrewd kindness. 4. You are more likely to help your cause if you spread bright, shiny gossip instead of the grubby kind. 5. Experiment with being unpredictable; try to infuse your transmissions with unexpected information and turns of phrase.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

The meaning of the Latin phrase *crambe repetita* is “cabbage reheated, twice-cooked.” I urge you to avoid

partaking of such a dish in the coming weeks, both literally and figuratively. If you’re truly hungry for cooked cabbage, eat it fresh. Likewise, if you have a ravenous appetite for stories, revelations, entertainment, and information -which I suspect you will -- don’t accept the warmed-over, recycled variety. Insist on the brisk, crisp stuff that excites your curiosity and appeals to your sense of wonder.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Here’s your mantra for the next three weeks: “I know what I want, and I know how to glide it into my life.” Say this out loud 11 times right after you wake up each morning, and 11 more times before lunch, and 11 more times at bedtime. “I know what I want, and I know how to glide it into my life.” Whenever you do this little chant, summon an upflow of smiling confidence -- a serene certainty that no matter how long the magic might take, it will ultimately work. “I know what I want, and I know how to glide it into my life.” Don’t let any little voice in your head undermine your link to this simple truth. Lift your heart to the highest source of vitality you can imagine.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

“We cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever,” writes Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. “We must stand up and move on to the next action.” That’s your slightly scolding but ultimately inspirational advice, Pisces. According to my astrological analysis, you have done heroic work to identify and investigate your suffering. You have summoned a tremendous amount of intelligence in order to understand it and further the healing. But right now it’s time to turn your focus to other matters. Like what? How about rebirth?

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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puzzles New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle First Ladies

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59 Ending with teen 61 Certain conservative skirt 62 Hillary Clinton in 1969 or Bill Clinton in 1970 63 Monster 65 Fictional spacecraft created by the Time Lords 66 Like lettuce 67 West Coast air hub 73 Overly 74 Two-____ (smallish car) 75 ____-fi 76 Yapping dog, for short 77 *… for secretaries of state 78 “Don’t be so dumb!” 81 Rip off, informally 82 Clown (around) 83 [Yawn]

85 Rule by governing board 87 Altar constellation 88 *… for Best Directors 89 Ranger’s station 90 Che Guevara’s real first name 93 Puts forward, as effort 95 Factor in area calculation 96 “____ little silhouetto of a man” (Queen lyric) 97 Desert NE of the Sinai Peninsula 98 *… for Nobel laureates 99 1941 chart-topper “Maria ____” 101 Slice for a hearty appetite 102 Miner’s strike 104 Catches off base 109 Apologia pro vita ____ 111 60 minuti

Sudoku Puzzle medium | n°2147454369 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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