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FEBRUARY 2014

TULSA OPERA PRESENTS

ELMER GANTRY


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FEBRUARY 2014

INTERMISSION MAGAZINE

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features 10 Elmer Gantry:

A Main Street Opera Baritone Keith Phares, the original Elmer Gantry, stars in the 2007 opera based on Sinclair Lewis’ great American novel about religion by Kostis Protopapas

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13 The Nature of Desire Tennessee Williams’ classic play A Streetcar Named Desire examines what it means to be, and not to be, wanted by Natalie O’Neal

16 Q&A: Timothy Egan

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The award-winning writer and Dust Bowl expert talks about climate change, farm subsidies, and what we can learn from past hard times Interview by Nancy Bizjack

7 Directions Our Part by John Scott

9 Bravo Cinderella Tulsa Gridiron Adaskin-Schumann Ensemble

23 Spotlight The Moutaintop The Neverending Story Three Days of Rain Flipside: The Patti Page Story A Few Good Men Elias String Quartet Dual Ragtime Piano An Evening With Kathryn Stockett The Snail and the Whale Maxwell Street Klezmer Band

26 March Events

in the gallery Thoughts on a Winter’s Journey February 6 – March 2

18 Clybourne Park This Pulitzer Prize-winning drama and 2012 Best Play Tony winner is both a prequel and a sequel to Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play A Raisin in the Sun by Barry Friedman

21 A Choice Concert

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Identical twin pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton perform with Tulsa Symphony in an Audience Choice concert featuring works by Saint-Saëns and Mozart by Susan Young

Cover photo by Stephanie Berger Illustration by Tina Fincher

This exhibit showcases select art works by Michelle Firment Reid. Through her painting, sculpture and installation work, Reid expresses her interest in the fate and transition of thoughts. “I desire finding new ways of showing the relationship between the natural world, artist, art and viewer with the transformation of elements in a visual poetic resonance,” she says. February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

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A Foundation for Learning. A Foundation for Life. Bryce is a member of the National Honor Society, Safe Team, and Student Mentoring Program. He is a 2013 Perfect Game All American Athlete. An Advance Placement student and three-sport athlete in high school, Bryce signed a National Letter of Intent in November to play baseball for Stanford University following graduation.

Bryce Carter Class of 2014

“The complete Cascia experience, including community, rigorous studies, and athletic competition, has prepared me for the next four years at Bryce Carter Stanford.” 6

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INFORMATION SESSIONS AND TOURS ARE HELD TWICE MONTHLY. CALL 918-746-2641 TO REGISTER. REGISTER ONLINE FOR AN ENTRANCE EXAM OR SHADOW DAY.

2520 S. Yorktown Ave. Tulsa, OK 918-746-2600

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INTERMISSION director’s page

OUR PART MANY OF YOU HAVE John Scott seen or heard media reports about a major challenge the City of Tulsa faces with regard to the General Fund portion of its budget. Although that fund is only one of many that make up the $700 million 2014 fiscal year budget, it is the critical fund from which most employee salaries and benefits, as well as materials and supplies and other services are drawn. Due to the downturn in sales tax collections that are the primary source of revenue in that fund, expenditures are outpacing revenues, forcing cuts to be made. Please know the PAC is not exempt from having to make reductions even though we have generated over $1 million in revenue every year for 10 years in a row. Every city department was directed to reduce its budget by a minimum of 3.5%, and for the PAC that meant cutting $77,000 from an already tight budget. Survive and advance is the old military adage, and that is what we are doing as our part. It’s frightening to think, however, that this may not be the only step needed to resolve the issue. From time to time, I praise PAC employees in this space and they all richly deserve it. This month, I thought I would give some love to the non-staff units that help the PAC serve its patrons. Specifically, I applaud Act One Event Services (ushers), PAC Volunteers (ushers in our smaller theaters), PartyServe (concessions) and Alavern (janitorial) for their outstanding work. And of course, serving the technical needs of our clients and their performers is the International Association of Stage and Theater Employees Local #354 (union stagehands). I consider them all part of the exceptional PAC team. Yet another busy month features shows from Celebrity Attractions, Theatre Tulsa (two), PAC Trust, Tulsa Gridiron, Tulsa Town Hall, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Ballet, The Playhouse Tulsa, Chamber Music Tulsa, Theatre North and notably the Oklahoma premiere of the Grammy Award-winning Elmer Gantry from Tulsa Opera. Wears me out just listing all the great entertainment opportunities this month! Enjoy February at the PAC. Thanks for all your support and I’ll see you in the lobby.

is the official magazine of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

PUBLISHER Jim Langdon EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nancy Bizjack, PAC CONSULTING EDITOR Nancy C. Hermann, PAC CREATIVE DIRECTOR Morgan Welch ADVERTISING SALES Jim Langdon, Rita Kirk

110 E. Second St., Tulsa, OK 74103 918-596-7122 • TulsaPAC.com A department of the City of Tulsa

DIRECTOR John E. Scott ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Janet Rockefeller TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Pat Sharp MARKETING DIRECTOR Nancy C. Hermann TICKET OFFICE MANAGER Terri McGilbra TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TRUST CHAIR Ken Busby VICE-CHAIR Glenda Silvey TREASURER Michael P. Kier SECRETARY Kristin Bender ASST. SECRETARY John E. Scott TRUSTEES Billie Barnett Jenny Helmerich Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Robert J. LaFortune Stanton Doyle Rodger Randle Robyn Ewing Jayne L. Reed William G. von Glahn Kitty Roberts M. Teresa Valero PAC TRUST PROGRAM DIRECTOR Shirley Elliott PAC TRUST MARKETING & PR Chad Oliverson OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Carol Willis INTER MISSIO N is published monthly by

Publisher of TulsaPeople Magazine 1603 S. Boulder, Tulsa, OK 74119 For advertising information, Tel. 918-585-9924, ext. 240, Fax 918-585-9926.

John E. Scott Director, Tulsa Performing Arts Center

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center: 918-596-2368, nhermann@cityoftulsa.org.


PLEASE JOIN US SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014 AT COX BUSINESS CENTER FOR THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF CARNIVALE HONORING SUZANNE WARREN, CREATOR OF THE ORIGINAL “BEST PARTY IN TOWN” 2014 EVENT CHAIR, MONICA BASU VISIT BESTPARTYINTOWN.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION

BENEFITTING MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION IN TULSA

For more information about Carnivale, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Lisa Turner, Director of Development Ph: 918-382-2410, Fax: 918-585-1263, Email: lturner@mhat.org


THIS MONTH AT THE PAC

TULS A BALLET

CINDERELLA A PRINCE, a fairy godmother, a glass slipper — and a little magic — come together to make a princess out of a cinder maid in this lavish story ballet. The antics of Cinderella’s awkward stepsisters (portrayed by men) add hilarity to the romantic fairy tale choreographed by Ben Stevenson to music by Sergei Prokofiev. “In putting Cinderella on the stage, I have tried to appeal to adults and children alike, from the romance of Cinderella and the Prince to the humor of the Ugly Stepsisters,” Stevenson says. “It is always wonderful for me to hear the laughter of the children in the audience.” The Houston Ballet Artistic Director Emeritus’ works are Tulsa Ballet favorites. This is the fourth time the company has performed Stevenson’s Cinderella, and they’ve danced his Dracula twice.

Julie Shelton

February 14-15 at 8 p.m. February 16 at 3 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $20-$109.

TULS A PRES S CLUB EDUC ATIONAL AND CHARITABLE TRUST

TULSA GRIDIRON FOR MORE THAN 80 years, Tulsa Gridiron has been poking fun at the high and mighty through word and song. This year’s show, “Government Ain’t Twerking: I’ll See Your Shutdown and Raise You the Debt Limit,” includes send-ups of our local, state and national leadership as well as popular newsmakers. The 2014 Gridiron is directed by Rebecca Ungerman and features some of Tulsa’s best musical and comedic talent. This year’s show will be hosted by Julie Chin and Kathy Taylor. City councilman and entrepreneur Blake Ewing will receive the Roasting Ear Award. February 7-8 at 8 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E Tickets are $27 and $50.

CHAMBER MUSIC TULS A

ADASKIN-SCHUMANN ENSEMBLE ENJOY the talents of two chamber music ensembles for the price of one when the Adaskin String Trio and Ensemble Schumann team up to perform works by Mozart, J.C. Bach, Martinu and Brahms. Violist Steve Larson is a member of both groups, and they collaborate frequently to perform masterworks with uncommon instrumentation, charming audiences with their passion and warmth. In Tulsa, the five players will explore the

timbres of piano, strings and oboe in different and delightful combinations. February 23 at 3 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $25; $5 for students.

Ensemble Schumann

TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918 596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

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ELMER GANTRY: A Main Street Opera by Kostis Protopapas

W

hen you have satire, it has to be real. No matter how outrageous the comedy becomes, you have to believe in the characters,” says actor Kevin Kline. Sinclair Lewis, the first American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (1930), knew this well. According to the Nobel committee, he dissected American life with “his vigorous and graphic art of description,” and with “his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters,” riveted and divided the public. Published in 1927, his novel Elmer Gantry had the largest first printing in American history, sold 100,000 copies on the day of its publication, and was soon banned in Kansas City, Boston and Camden, New Jersey. Lewis’ novels focus on the life of the ascendant middle class in the American heartland in the 1920s and ’30s. His stories ring unexpectedly true today, and as we read them we realize how little our notions of society, happiness and the American dream have changed since Lewis’ time. Tellingly, the title of Lewis’ 1920 novel Main Street continues to be used as a metaphor for traditional values. Elmer Gantry is “the great American novel about religion,” writes librettist Herschel Garfein, “…that hugely influential, deeply

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personal aspect of life … which is found in so many guises, put to so many purposes, and lived with such intensity by Americans. Written in 1926, the book looks back to the turn of the 20th century, to the period in which modern evangelism moved from the frontier to the city by adopting the strategies of that other unstoppable force of the time, American business.” Elmer Gantry is a charismatic but empty-headed young athlete who, due to a comical misunderstanding, is recruited by a small theological school and subsequently expelled for his drinking and womanizing. He embarks on a career as a salesman until he runs into Sharon Falconer, a successful tent revivalist. He becomes her business manager and later her lover, but the couple’s trailblazing success abruptly ends when their tent catches fire during a revival. Sharon perishes but Elmer survives, joins the Methodist church, and uses his business savvy and knack for publicity to ascend its

ranks. The book ends with him poised for ever greater achievements, having narrowly survived scandal brought on by one of his many dalliances. Elmer was modeled after Billy Sunday, the outfielder-turned-evangelist of the 1920s, and Sharon after Aimee Semple McPherson, the controversial evangelist and media pioneer. The book was made into an Oscar-winning film starring Burt Lancaster, and it is that film that inspired the creation of Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein’s opera.

Kirstin Chávez

Ken Howard


Florentine Opera image by Rick Brodzeller

has freed him from both his nemesis and his salvation. In our production, Elmer Gantry is portrayed by baritone Keith Phares, who created the role at the world premiere in Nashville in 2007 and starred in Florentine Opera’s 2010 Grammy Awardwinning recording. “Much of the show hinges on Elmer’s personal charisma,” wrote Opera News, “and Keith Phares is bold, invigorating, and ingratiating.” Mezzo soprano Kirstin Chávez returns to Tulsa Opera as Sharon Falconer after her captivating performance as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking in 2012.

her community. Lucia di Lammermoor is driven to madness when her family separates her from the person she loves; Violetta, the eponymous Traviata, dies abandoned by the society that once idolized her; Peter Grimes is ostracized by the borough because he refuses to conform. Elmer Gantry’s fortune is different — this is satire after all — but the conflict exists all the same: Elmer’s questionable journey begins when he is recruited for leadership roles by a society that sees religion not only as the center of its spiritual and cultural life, but also as a business opportunity. He exploits society as much as society exploits him. The only truly innocent party here is Sharon, who, committed to her faith and spiritual role though she is, falls hopelessly for Elmer. The situation brings to mind Bellini’s Norma, and one wonders whether Aldridge and Garfein weren’t fixing a satirical eye on Bellini during the final scene of their opera. “It was me!” says Elmer as he reveals his liaison with Lulu Baines, echoing Norma’s “Son io.” His repentance seems sincere enough, but while Norma and Pollione die embraced on the pyre and Sharon willingly perishes with her followers, Elmer escapes and joins the service of an Eastern mystic. The fire

Elmer Gantry Presented by Tulsa Opera February 28 at 7:30 p.m. March 2 at 2:30 p.m.

CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $25-$98. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111

Keith Phares

Stephanie Berger

The opera, like the film, focuses on the relationship between Elmer and Sharon. The operatic Elmer is more likeable — though no less flawed — than the book’s original, sincerely in love with Sharon and genuinely moved by her purity. How the two characters influence each other, for better and worse, is the heart of the story. Lewis, when researching Elmer Gantry, spent several months within the evangelical congregations of Kansas City, occasionally taking to the pulpit himself. Likewise, Aldridge and Garfein sought inspiration and musical ideas among the revivalist communities of North Carolina. The result is a quintessentially American score, accessible and cinematic, combining gospel hymns, barroom choruses and fight songs with passages reminiscent of Copland, Bernstein and Puccini. Most important, Aldridge uses the raw vernacular material to build scenes conceived on a grand operatic scale. Opera is unique among dramatic forms in being able to simultaneously present the conflicting emotions of several individuals or groups. The climactic scene of Act II from Gantry, with the public revelation of Elmer’s wrongdoing, his dramatic plea for forgiveness, and the tabernacle going up in flames, is worthy of Verdi. There are a dozen vocal parts in this scene, each representing a different point of view, and the skillful layering of the musical material allows the spectator to experience all of them at once. At the heart of every good opera is a conflict between an individual and his or

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Be Mine?

9th Annual

Fur Ball

March 8, 2014 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM marymurraysflowers.com • 918-749-7961

Hyatt Regency – Downtown Tulsa

WEAR YOUR “BEST WESTERN” Enjoy Western Music, Wild West Acts, live and silent Auctions, a Wine and Beer Pull, a special dog and cat treat bar for Doggy Bags, and more.

CHAIRS

Emily and Greg Bollinger Jim Langdon and Juley Roffers

For tickets or sponsorship contact Jamee@animalallianceok.org

OklahOma alliance fOr animals Westby Pavilion on the PAC’s Promenade Rental information 918.596.7124 12

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Reducing Pet Overpopulation and Fighting Cruelty to Animals


The Nature of

Desire by Natalie O’Neal

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ow fitting that Courtneay Sanders and Cody Daigle bumped into each other in 2011 on the streets of New Orleans — the setting of this month’s Playhouse Tulsa production, A Streetcar Named Desire. After college, the two friends had gone their separate ways — Sanders to become Playhouse Tulsa’s artistic director and Daigle to work with children’s theater in Louisiana. Fortunately for Tulsa, after the two reconnected, Sanders convinced Daigle to move here. Now Playhouse’s resident playwright (William & Judith and Little Women), Daigle is excited to direct this complex and highly charged play by one of 20th-century America’s most gifted playwrights, Tennessee Williams.

Michele Cantrell

Courtneay Sanders and Cody Shelton

In Streetcar, Williams explores the nature of desire — both hidden and explosive. It begins when Blanche Dubois (Sanders) sweeps into New Orleans to stay with her sister Stella (Norah Sweeney) and brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski (Cody Shelton) after losing her husband, her job, and the family’s estate. Instead of coming out with the truth about her past, Blanche builds lie upon lie until she ultimately gives in to the illusion she has constructed. While there are lighter aspects — Blanche’s overly dramatic episodes and Stanley’s unsympathetic frankness — it is a deep, dark play that examines what it means to be, and not to be, wanted. “[Williams] was writing, too, about what happens when you’re not allowed to express desire in a healthy, truthful way, what happens to you when it curdles, and…how it warps the individual,” says Daigle. “Which makes sense,” he continues, “because Williams had to be, for the most part, a closeted gay playwright writing in this world where he himself could not live in an open way.” Sanders says, “The play deals with that sort of raw human nature that people don’t want to admit is there, and I think that is one of the really appealing things about it. Williams deals with

really hard subjects, and he does it with a sort of a poetry that you wouldn’t expect.” “But it seems to hit at the things that we can’t articulate about the human experience — he’s found a way to give them shape on stage,” Daigle says. “The play addresses the struggle that we have of telling lies to ourselves and believing them, and how those lies become the way that we can just get up and get through the world somehow, and what happens when they’re taken away from us. All of the deep wounds that love inflicts on us that we carry around with us everywhere we go — that’s all in this play. “Williams was writing to shake us all up about what’s wrong with ourselves,” Daigle adds. Despite her tendency towards histrionics, Blanche becomes an extension of our own desires — what she craves, we crave. Daigle and Sanders could not have foreseen that their reconnection in New Orleans would circle back to a theatre collaboration set in the French Quarter. Together, they have mined Tennessee Williams’ visceral exploration of passion versus death in this full-on collision of brutal reality and fragile fantasy. A live jazz combo will be part of the production, contributing to a compelling evening of drama.

A Streetcar Named Desire Presented by The Playhouse Tulsa February 14-15, 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. February 16 at 2 p.m.

J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $24; $21 for students and seniors. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111 February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

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April 5, 2014 • 7:30pm at Holy Family Cathedral

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I love everything about Saint Simeon’s. I’m a jazz enthusiast, so I really appreciate the regular outings to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. My wife, daughters and I researched many places before deciding that Saint Simeon’s was the right fit for me. Since moving in a year ago, the staff and fellow Residents have become like a second family to me. Sincerely,

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Four levels oF Assisted living independent Cottage living Memory Center HealthCare Center 918-425-3583 | www.saintsimeons.org

Saint Simeon’s is a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma

Form and Line:

Quarter_3.5x4.875_Intermission.indd 1

11/26/13 4:53 PM

AllAn Houser’s sculpture And drAwings

The Force

by Allan Houser Vermont marble, copyright 1990 copyright Chiinde LLC photo by Wendy McEahern

Celebrating the centennial of the birth of Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Houser. Works loaned by Allan Houser, Inc.

February 13 – June 29, 2014 Title sponsor of the Gilcrease Museum 2013-14 exhibition season is the Sherman E. Smith Family Foundation.

1400 North Gilcrease MuseuM road 918-596-2700 Gilcrease.utulsa.edu tu is aN eeo/aa iNstitutioN.

February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

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Q+A Timothy Egan Interview by Nancy Bizjack

Barry Wong

Acclaimed writer Timothy Egan comes

You live in the Pacific Northwest, which is so very different from the High Plains. What sparked your interest in the Dust Bowl? Yes, it is different — the land, the people, the history. But the story of the Dust Bowl is universal: it’s a tale of resilience by people, and a fable of the earth. My interest was sparked by a trip I took there for the New York Times, working on a series about small-town America. 16

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from a family of nine headed by a mother who loved books and a father with the Irish gift of finding joy in small things. He worked on a farm, in a factory, and at a fast-food outlet during nearly seven on-and-off years of college. Egan is the author of seven books. His nonfiction account of the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time, won the 2006 National Book Award, considered one of the nation’s highest literary honors, and he was featured prominently in Ken Burns’ 2012 PBS documentary series, The Dust Bowl. He writes an online opinion column on American politics and life for The New York Times. Formerly a national correspondent for the Times, he shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 with a team of reporters for its series, “How Race is Lived in America.” Egan’s most recent book, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward S. Curtis, was named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. This biography of the famous photographer of Native Americans was awarded the 2013 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. A graduate of the University of Washington, Egan also holds honorary doctorates from Whitman College, Willamette University, Lewis and Clark College, and Western Washington University. A third-generation Westerner and father of two, he lives in Seattle.

I sort of stumbled onto the Dust Bowl story, with these amazing people who were still alive.

How did you find the Dust Bowl survivors you interviewed for your book, The Worst Hard Time? I would go from town to town, and find a local historian, librarian or some keeper of the region’s history. Then I would gather those people

in a room and listen to their remarkable stories. One thing built upon another.

When you interviewed them, they were elderly people recalling events that had happened more than half a century ago when they were very young. How reliable were their memories? Did you believe everything they told you? Good question! Most of them were


Do you think there will ever be another Dust Bowl or similar man-made disaster in the United States? Yes.

in their nineties, and are gone now. They were teenagers or in their twenties when they lived through the Dust Bowl. But their memories were sharp, and for backup, I relied on family histories, diaries and newspaper accounts. They almost — almost! — always matched up.

You’re seeing it in Australia and big parts of China now.

I don’t want to spoil your lecture, but what is one of the lessons for the future from past hard times that you’ll be talking about? That we can

Which Dust Bowl survivors affected you the most?

learn from this episode. Learn something about the land, the earth, our own hubris, and learn something about the human heart, and our courage in the face of adversity.

I guess the story of Ike Osteen, who lived through the Dust Bowl and landed in Normandy during the D-Day battle of World War II, was one that stood out. He saw so much life, death and pain, and yet was quite springy and optimistic in his old age.

Why do you think so many residents of the Dust Bowl area stayed there instead of moving? Were they heroic or foolish? Or did they have no other options?

What are your thoughts on the government farm subsidies that were begun in the Dust Bowl era? Is it time to phase them out? Well, let’s just say the What’s the biggest misconception that people have about the Dust Bowl era?

I don’t think they were foolish or heroic. They had something — a piece of land, a square mile, usually, and nobody was going to take it away from them. They always thought tomorrow had to be better. That’s why they were called Tomorrow People.

That’s easy. People think everyone moved to California, as in The Grapes of Wrath. But in fact, two-thirds of the people living at the center of the Dust Bowl, about two million people, didn’t go anywhere! So that’s my story: what it was like to live through it.

What was it like working with Ken Burns on his 2012 documentary, The Dust Bowl? Remarkable. Ken is the best

Do you see a parallel between the people in the 1930s who blamed the Dust Bowl entirely on nature and not also on poor farming practices and people today who say climate change is a natural, cyclical thing and has little to do with greenhouse gases produced by human activities? Yes. Definitely.

documentarian in the United States. And his attention to detail, from music to photos from the era, was something to marvel at. I was very happy with the documentary.

Were you involved in that project beyond your on-camera appearances? Yes. I helped to shape the story in that I gave them people to interview, and some ideas, beyond my book. They were very open to suggestions.

It’s human nature to deny painful things, even as they happen before our eyes.

Was Hugh Bennett [founder of the Soil Conservation Service] the Al Gore of his day? Yes and No. Hugh had a sense

current program is a looooooong way from how it was envisioned by President Roosevelt.

What are you working on now, besides your New York Times pieces? Doing a new book on an Irish-American rebel and Civil War hero, allowing me to tell the story of the Irish in America through one remarkable man.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing or doing research? That’s a secret!

TIMOTHY EGAN

“LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE FROM PAST HARD TIMES” Presented by Tulsa Town Hall February 7 at 10:30 a.m.

CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are sold by subscription. TulsaTownHall.com or 918-749-5965

of humor! February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

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Dionne White, Nicholas Cains, Kurt Harris, Kristin Harding, Sidney Flack and Joe Thomas.

Clybourne Park by Barry Friedman

V

ern Stefanic, who directs Theatre Tulsa’s Clybourne Park, is sitting inside Panera on 15th Street, near Utica, drinking hot tea and tearing at a loaf of bread (don’t tell his cardiologist). He — Vern (not the heart guy) — has directed more than 90 shows since he arrived in Tulsa in the early ’70s. He’s written musicals, produced, consulted. He just turned 60. Shows like this are special to him; times like this are. “I went through a period where I thought that theatre in Tulsa could benefit from a more diverse selection of shows,” Stefanic recalls. “When I first came here in the early ’70s, there was not a lot dealing with race relations. 18

Feb ru a r y 2 0 1 4 I N TE R M I S S I O N

While Tulsa was a friendly place on the surface, right underneath there seemed to be a tension and an unspoken anger, maybe even hostility. So, to produce Clybourne Park is to show that your theatre group is serious about serious theatre.” Clybourne Park, the first show to have ever won a Pulitzer, a Tony and an Olivier award, was written by Bruce Norris and premiered in New York City in 2010. It begins in 1959, in the home of Bev and Russ in Clybourne Park, a fictitious middle-class neighborhood in Chicago. They are planning to move. They are white. They are selling their home to the Youngers.

“Clybourne Park was a show — diverse, racially fueled tension beneath the surface — that I thought would be interesting to explore. In fact, the history of my original neighborhood in St. Louis was exactly like that of the fictional Clybourne Park: Solid white (Croatian, actually) that goes through decline, an influx of non-white residents and the impacts of “white flight” until the gentrification trend emerged.” Bev and Russ are angry at the intrusion of the neighbors — neighbors who don’t want them to sell to coloreds. But it’s more than that. Russ feels isolated, abandoned by these friends. There was a tragedy; they weren’t around. He wants out … badly. “I


Josh New

don’t care if a hundred Ubangi tribesman with a bone through the nose overrun this goddamn place,” Russ says. “The end of that first act is so emotionally wrenching, but — and I’m going to get in trouble here — it has nothing to do with race. You see the anger, but you feel the sadness.” Fast-forward 50 years to Act Two. It’s 2009 and Clybourne Park is now a predominately black area, and this time it’s a white couple that’s moving in. The neighborhood is being gentrified and the couple, along with their lawyer and contractor, are talking to the sellers about gutting and renovation. “The opening of Act Two is great fun. We’re floating on the surface with these

people. Norris’ mission, I think, was to write something that would engage an audience and make them think, ‘We’re a little bit better than they are.’ But then he brings out what’s below the surface and then he’s got you … so you’re laughing, but you’re wincing. He uses humor to set up a truth that’s disturbing.” On that surface, there is not much that separates Kevin and Lena, the black couple selling, and Steve and Lindsey, the white couple buying. “Roughly the same ages, all collegeeducated. They seem like the same kind of people. Steve and Lindsey want to believe that. They’re wrong.” Fifty years between Acts One and Two, and the paranoia, jealousy, fear, xenophobia, and perception are still there, still palpable. “I went to see Do the Right Thing [Spike Lee’s 1989 film about a whiteowned pizza place in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section] at the old Southroads Cinema. In the audience — I’m not kidding — the left half of the theatre, everybody’s white; the right half, everybody’s African American. And at the end of the movie, a person gets killed … for no good reason. A riot ensues. Okay, it’s an over-generalization, but the left half, the white half, is watching, reacting like it’s a Wagnerian Opera, like it’s the worst thing they could ever imagine. The right side of the theatre, the black side, is roaring with laughter. One side sees chaos in the riot; the other sees a measure of justice. And I thought to myself — pretty obvious — ‘There’s a difference in how we watch the same thing.’ So, in doing the ‘right thing,’ nobody did the right thing. Clybourne Park continues that dynamic.” It is a dynamic, a breach, that Norris has given up trying to mend, telling New York Magazine, “I see a lot of plays that help sustain the flattering illusion that we are a noble and uplifting generation. In reality, we’re a destructive, incredibly corrosive force in the world, and we should stop reproducing.” D. H. Lawrence said, “Never trust the teller; trust the tale.”

“The play is marketed, and perhaps rightfully so, as being about racism in America. It’s important for our era because, yes, it gets people to come out and talk about race — and I think it’s good, I think we should — but the reason it won the Pulitzer is because it captures this era right now … of all of us being so self-centered, so confident and sure that our perspective is the right one, that we don’t notice there are other perspectives. We don’t notice that other people are hurting. And maybe the reason they are is because some horrendous thing has happened in their life and there’s no human contact, nobody reaching out. You have people thinking, ‘I’m going to stay over here and hope those people over there change’ instead of any attempt to reach out, any attempt at understanding. That’s why I think the play is great.” If the Youngers, referred to in Act One, sound familiar, they should. They are the family from Lorraine Hansberry’s historic A Raisin in the Sun, a play about race and place and a nation’s resistance to upward mobility for African Americans (although they weren’t called that back then). It is to Clybourne Park — Russ and Bev’s home, specifically — that the Youngers were moving. Lena is the niece of those original owners. She is the historical link, saying at one point to Steve and Lindsey, “Look, I just want you to know this building, this neighborhood, carries our memories. This means something.” “In Act One, you have whites saying, ‘This is our neighborhood’; in Act Two, you have blacks saying the same. It’s sad — generation after generation bumping down the same road. All leading to Clybourne Park.

CLYBOURNE PARK

Presented by Theatre Tulsa February 21-22, 27-28 and March 1 at 8 p.m. February 23 and March 2 at 2 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E Tickets are $18; $14 for students and seniors. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111

February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

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A Choice Concert by Susan Young

he Tulsa Symphony Orchestra has Performing The Carnival of the Animals, a rare treat in store for its audience as well as Mozart’s Concerto No. 10 in on February 8: two of the works on the E-flat for Two Pianos, will be the guest program were selected by the audience performers of the evening, Christina and members themselves, through social Michelle Naughton. The Naughtons, media polling. Both are by Romantic-era identical twin sisters, are natives of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Unsurprisingly, The Carnival of the Animals, scored for two pianos and a few other instruments, was one of the choices. It’s one of the first classical compositions introduced to children, and it is remembered fondly by adults. Saint-Saëns wrote it in 1886, partly as a distraction from composing his Symphony No. 3, and only allowed it to be performed privately during his lifetime, as he thought it frivolous and unsuited to comparison with the rest of his oeuvre. It was published after his death, and now adults and children alike are able to savor its joyous, light-hearted evocation of the animal kingdom. The other Audience Choice selection on the program is Christina and another Saint-Saëns work, the Michelle Naughton Symphony No. 3 in C minor, also known as the “Organ Symphony” — which he was supposed Madison, Wisconsin, and graduates of to be working on when he created The Juilliard School and Philadelphia’s The Carnival of the Animals! Of this Curtis Institute of Music. In their midmasterpiece, the composer said, “I gave twenties, they are several years into a everything to it I was able to give. What brilliant touring career that has taken I have here accomplished, I will never them all over the world. The Philadelphia achieve again.” It incorporates several Inquirer describes their performance as passages of two- and four-hand piano “paired to perfection,” while the Sing parts, as well as the organ parts from Tao Daily described their Asian debut which it received its popular name, and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic as has an unusual two-movement structure. “electrifying and moving.” Specializing in

dual piano performances and known for occasional pranks such as dressing exactly alike onstage, Christina and Michelle Naughton are sure to delight Tulsa audiences. Sarah Ioannides, who will conduct the February 8 performance, has been mentioned in the New York Times as a conductor with “unquestionable strength and authority,” and was listed in 2009 by the Los Angeles Times as one of six female conductors who are breaking the “glass podium.” She is a native of Australia and, like the Naughtons, is a graduate of Juilliard and the Curtis Institute of Music, and also Oxford University. She has been music director of the Spartanburg (S.C.) Philharmonic Orchestra since 2005, was also music director of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2011, and her conducting engagements span five continents. Ioannides is dedicated to promoting the work of living composers as well as maintaining a vibrant approach to the traditional orchestral repertoire.

Saint-Saëns and Mozart Presented by Tulsa Symphony February 8 at 7:30 p.m.

CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $15-$70. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111

February 2014 IN TERM ISSION

21


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ON UPCOMING EVENTS

THE ATRE NORTH

AMERIC AN THE ATRE COMPANY

THE MOUNTAINTOP THE MOUNTAINTOP by Katori Hall is a gripping fictional depiction of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on earth. On April 3, 1968, after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King (Justin Daniels) retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious stranger (Sonya Rochelle Wallace) arrives with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people. The Mountaintop premiered in London in 2009 to great critical acclaim, winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play. It

THE NEVERENDING STORY

opened on Broadway in 2011. This is the play’s Tulsa and Oklahoma premiere. February 28 and March 1, 7, 8 at 8 p.m. C H A R L E S E . N O R M A N T H E AT R E Tickets are $20; $15 for students and seniors. For mature audiences

THE PL AYHOUSE TULS A

THREE DAYS OF RAIN

BASED ON Michael Ende’s book of the same name that gave birth to the movie adaptation, The Neverending Story is the tale of Bastian Bux, a bullied boy who becomes lost in the pages of a magical book, and Atreyu, a young hero chosen to save a fantastical world and its dying empress from annihilation. Directed by Jana Ellis and suitable for all ages, The Neverending Story is an enchanting tale that celebrates the triumph of imagination. March 7-8, 13-15 at 8 p.m. March 9 at 2 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E

Courtneay Sanders, Cody Daigle and David Lawrence

THE CHILDREN of two famous American architects square off over their parents’ greatest achievement, Janeway House. Who actually designed it — Walker and Nan’s father, Ned, or Pip’s father, Theo? Who was meant to inherit it? In the second act of this Pulitzer-nominated drama, the three actors (David Lawrence, Courtneay Sanders and Cody Daigle) who performed the roles of the children portray their parents 30 years earlier, challenging the assumptions the children had about their parents. Tony-winning playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out) spins a lyrical and heartbreaking tale of love, creativity and the present’s uncomfortable relationship with the past. Garrek Reed

March 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E Tickets are $24; $21 for seniors and students, $9 for children.

TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM February 2014 IN TERMISSION

23


ON UPCOMING EVENTS PAC TRUST

THE ATRE TULS A

FLIPSIDE: THE PATTI PAGE STORY

“You can’t handle the truth!” MOST PEOPLE know this line from the 1992 film A Few Good Men. Theatre Tulsa presents the story the way it was originally written, as a play by award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, Moneyball, The Newsroom). Military lawyers uncover a highlevel conspiracy when a rookie Navy lawyer (Mitch Adams) is assigned to defend two Marines (Daniel Fugatt and Cassidy Begnoche) who are on trial for the murder of one of their platoon members. The play explores what it means to have honor, dignity and humanity in an increasingly complex world. Directed by Jarrod Kopp, cast members include Brian Rattlingourd as Colonel Jessup and Brittany Boyer as Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway.

Wendy Mutz

ENJOY a musical about Oklahoma’s own Clara Ann Fowler, who became the best-selling female artist of the 1950s as “The Singing Rage, Miss Patti Page.” Written by Greg White of the University of Central Oklahoma, Flipside is based on personal interviews with Page and features 28 of her hits, including “Tennessee Waltz” and “Mocking Bird Hill.” Page was born in Claremore, graduated from Tulsa’s Webster High School, and in 1997 was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. She died in 2013 at age 85 and was honored that year with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.

A FEW GOOD MEN

March 16 at 7 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $25-$50.

CHAMBER MUSIC TULS A

THIS VIBRANT ensemble from England made its North American debut in 2012 to great acclaim, including a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. For three years, they were part of the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists program. The Elias’

concerts and educational outreach in Tulsa are part of their threeyear Beethoven Project, which will culminate with a recording of the complete Beethoven quartets. In this concert, Sara Bitlloch (violin), Donald Grant (violin), Martin Saving (viola) and Marie Bitlloch (cello) will perform Haydn’s Quartet in F-Major, Op. 77, No. 2; Sally Beamish’s “Reed Stanzas”; and Beethoven’s Quartet in E-Minor, Op. 59, No. 2.

March 21-22, 27-29 at 8 p.m. March 23, 30 at 2 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E Tickets are $18; $14 for students and seniors.

Steven Michael Hall

Ettore Causa

ELIAS STRING QUARTET

March 23 at 3 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $25; $5 for students.

TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM 24

Feb rua r y 2 0 1 4 I N TE R MI S S I O N


RAGTIME FOR TULS A

THE OKL AHOMA CENTER FOR POETS AND WRITERS/OSU-TULS A

DUAL RAGTIME PIANO: BRYAN WRIGHT AND DALTON RIDENHOUR

Bryan Wright

College of William and Mary and the University of Pittsburgh. Dalton Ridenhour first performed at the Scott Joplin Festival when he was nine. For the next eight years, he was a featured performer at many ragtime festivals around the country. He earned degrees from Berklee College of Music and the Eastman School of Music. He now lives in New York City, where he performs regularly with numerous jazz, indie rock and funk bands. March 25 at 7 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $25; $5 for students.

PAC TRUST

THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE A TINY SNAIL longs to see the world, so she hitches a ride on the tail of a giant humpback whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, encountering sharks and penguins, icebergs and volcanoes. But when the whale gets beached, how will the tiny snail save him? This Tall Stories of London production is based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, which won the 2004 Early Years Award for the best pre-school book, the 2005 Blue Peter Award for Best Book to Read Aloud, and the 2007 Giverny Award for Best Science Picture Book. The show features storytelling, live music and lots of laughs for everyone aged four and up. March 28 at 7 p.m. March 29 at 11 a.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $10.

Kem Lee

BRYAN WRIGHT was the 2013 Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation’s Artist in Residence. Classically trained, he now specializes in ragtime and early jazz piano styles. Wright has performed and lectured on ragtime across the United States and abroad and has released two fulllength solo CDs. He holds degrees in historical musicology from the

AN EVENING WITH KATHRYN STOCKETT, AUTHOR OF ‘THE HELP’

March 27 at 7 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $10.

TULS A CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

MAXWELL STREET KLEZMER BAND

CHICAGO-BASED Maxwell Street is one of the Midwest’s most popular klezmer bands. Rooted in Jewish and Eastern European folk music, klezmer has been adapted to American tastes to create an organic fusion of everything from Russian dances to Hungarian gypsy bravado blended with Dixieland, jazz, swing and rumba. Audiences of all backgrounds are delighted by Maxwell Street’s high-energy performances that bring the optimism, pathos, irony, zest for life, and unique humor of the American Jewish immigrant to the modern stage. March 30 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $10.

TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM February 2014 IN TERMISSION

25


ON UPCOMING EVENTS MARCH

CHAMBER MUSIC TULSA

Mia Farrow

ELIAS STRING QUARTET Mar. 23 at 3 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre

LINDA STILLEY

DWELLING SPACES Mar. 6-27 PAC Gallery

RAGTIME FOR TULSA

DUAL RAGTIME PIANO: BRYAN WRIGHT AND DALTON RIDENHOUR Mar. 25 at 7 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre

NEW GENRE FESTIVAL

ACTS OF ABSENCE Mar. 7-8 at 8 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre

PAC TRUST

BROWN BAG IT Mar. 26 at 12:10 p.m. Kathleen Westby Pavilion

AMERICAN THEATRE COMPANY

THE NEVERENDING STORY Mar. 7-8, 13-15 at 8 p.m. Mar. 9 at 2 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre

OKLA. CENTER FOR POETS AND WRITERS

PAC TRUST

BROWN BAG IT Mar. 12 at 12:10 p.m. Kathleen Westby Pavilion

AN EVENING WITH KATHRYN STOCKETT Mar. 27 at 7 p.m. Chapman Music Hall

THE PLAYHOUSE TULSA

PAC TRUST

THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE Mar. 28 at 7 p.m. Mar. 29 at 11 a.m. John H. Williams Theatre

THREE DAYS OF RAIN Mar. 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre TULSA TOWN HALL

TULSA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

MIA FARROW Mar. 14 at 10:30 a.m. Chapman Music Hall PAC TRUST

FLIPSIDE: THE PATTI PAGE STORY Mar. 16 at 7 p.m. Chapman Music Hall

HOUSE NOTES THE TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER was dedicated in 1977, the fulfillment of many Tulsans’ long-held dream. Built with a combination of public and private funds, the facility is operated by The City of Tulsa. The Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust is a non-profit organization of mayoral-appointed citizens who lend expertise and guidance in promoting Performing Arts Center goals. Local arts organizations and entertainment promoters are the Center’s main clients. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES are located at 110 E. Second Street, Tulsa, OK., 74103-3212. Office hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Telephone 918-596-7122. Fax 918-596-7144. Please subscribe to our monthly PAC broadcast e-mail online at TulsaPac.com. LOCATION. Downtown Tulsa at Third Street and Cincinnati Avenue, accessible from the Broken Arrow Expressway, Interstate 244, Hwy. 75 and Riverside Drive. PARKING. Convenient underground parking is located west of the building, accessed from Second Street. Event parking also is available in several lots across the street to the east and south of the PAC.

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Feb ru a r y 2 0 1 4 I N TE R M I S S I O N

PAC TRUST

BROWN BAG IT Mar. 19 at 12:10 p.m. Kathleen Westby Pavilion

ADMISSION AND LATE SEATING. Lobby doors open two hours prior to an event. Chapman Music Hall doors normally open 45 minutes prior to curtain. The remaining theaters open 30 minutes before curtain. Late seating is at the discretion of each sponsoring organization. Latecomers may be temporarily held out of the theater or asked to take seats at the back if available. TICKET OFFICE HOURS are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A free parking zone is available in front of the Third Street ticket office,101 E. Third Street (Third and Cincinnati) on the south side of the PAC. In addition to regular hours, it opens two hours prior to curtain for events scheduled in Chapman Music Hall. The Second Street ticket office,110 E. Second Street on the north side of the building, opens two hours prior to each curtain for tickets to events scheduled that day in John H. Williams Theatre, Liddy Doenges Theatre or Charles E. Norman Theatre. PHONE ORDERS. Call the PAC ticket office, 918596-7111, or from outside Tulsa call 1-800364-7111. Nominal service charges are added to all phone and Internet orders. The PAC ticket office accepts DISCOVER, MasterCard or VISA. Subscriber hotline: 918-596-7109.

THEATRE TULSA

MAXWELL STREET Mar. 30 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre

A FEW GOOD MEN Mar. 21-22, 27-29 at 8 p.m. Mar. 23, 30 at 2 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre

ONLINE TICKET ORDERS SERVICE OPTIONS. Buy tickets online and print them at home when you purchase at TulsaPac.com and MyTicketOffice. com. Use DISCOVER, MasterCard or VISA for online purchases. View our website and purchase tickets on your cell phone at TulsaPAC.mobi. In addition, purchase tickets through TulsaPAC. com or MyTicketOffice.com, choose the Tickets@ Phone option and have your tickets sent to your cell phone. Tickets will be scanned by ushers at the door. EXCHANGES. The ticket office gladly exchanges tickets to events with more than one performance, subject to certain guidelines. Otherwise, all sales are final. 24-HOUR EVENT LINE. For recorded information about ticket prices, dates, theater locations, upcoming events, Broadway series and season tickets, call 918-596-2525. GROUP SALES AND BUILDING TOURS. Group discounts are available. Please call 918-5967109 for group sales assistance. Tours of the PAC are offered free of charge and last approximately 45-60 minutes. Arrangements may be made by calling 918-596-7122.

Ticket prices are subject to change.

SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. All Performing Arts Center facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. Please ask about wheelchair-accessible seating when purchasing your ticket. Parking is located on the street level of the parking garage near the PAC elevators. Use the south elevator to reach Chapman Music Hall. Restroom facilities are located in the Third Street Lobby for Chapman Music Hall events, and adjacent to the John H. Williams Theatre Lobby for events in the PAC’s other theaters. Headsets and telecoil units for the Sennheiser infrared hearing assistance system in Chapman Music Hall may be picked up at the Coat Check in the Third Street Lobby for Chapman events, or from the House Manager on duty in the Williams Lobby for John H. Williams and Liddy Doenges Theatre events. The PAC’s TDD number is 918-596-7211. PLEASE NOTE: Smoking is prohibited inside the PAC. Also, as a courtesy to the performers and audience, please turn off all audible message systems and cellular phones. Cubic, A Creative Agency is the PAC’s exclusive Internet solutions provider. The PAC’s Internet ticketing is powered by Tickets.com.


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02-2014  

The February issue of Intermission magazine for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

02-2014  

The February issue of Intermission magazine for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.