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11 Q&A: Chip Davis
The founder of Mannheim Steamroller is no one-trick pony. He also co-wrote the 1975 hit song “Convoy” and is working with the Mayo Clinic to reduce patients’ pain by simulating nature sounds Edited by Nancy Bizjack
14 The Spirit of Christmas Carols Past
When American Theatre Company staged its first production of A Christmas Carol at Philbrook in 1976, its creators had no inkling it would continue for decades by Matt Cauthron
19 Dreaming of a “Brown” Christmas
Gift for You by John Scott
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues Side by Side Tulsa Festival Ringers
Tuesdays With Morrie Jekyll & Hyde Rock the Presidents Frank Vignola Tulsa Gridiron
28 January/February Events
in the gallery Phill Cooper December 1-30
Playhouse Tulsa reprises its 2010 production of A Charlie Brown Christmas, complete with live music and “ice-skating” actors on rollerblades by Missy Kruse
20 Tradition in the (Re)Making
Tulsa Ballet puts some traditional ingredients back in this year’s recipe for The Nutcracker, including Uncle Drosselmeyer and the original spice girl, Mother Ginger by Natalie O’Neal
23 Everything Old Is New Again
S&J Oyster Company, The Vault and The Rusty Crane are bringing new life to old buildings and reviving popular foods and drinks from Tulsa’s past by Jennie Lloyd
A Smart Giant Pepper Can Always Keep Warm 16" x 16", oil on canvas
Cover artist Phill Cooper is a Tulsa native. He works with his wife, Fonda, at Cooper Design, specializing in graphic design and advertising. A graduate of the University of Tulsa's School of Art, Phill enjoys oil painting. His paintings are often described as whimsical. "Whimsical" is a good way to describe Phill's latest show, Big Stuff. It is a quirky portrayal of how ordinary objects become extraordinary with just a few brushstrokes. He asks the question, "What if the things you take for granted were suddenly in your face?" Big Stuff features big objects and big fun. IN TERMISSION Decemb e r 2012
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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 Amanda Watkins GRAPHIC DESIGNER Amy Frost ADVERTISING SALES Jim Langdon, Rita Kirk DESIGN INTERN Brooke Lawson
GIFT FOR YOU WE AT THE PAC have been wonderJohn Scott ing how to show you how special we think you are. We’ve been listening for hints and stealing glances at your wish lists, and I’m happy to say we’ve come up with something we think you’ll like. Our ticketing partner, Tickets.com, has developed a new interactive online purchasing system that allows you to choose the exact location of your seats in Chapman Music Hall and the John H. Williams and Liddy Doenges theaters. This new feature is now available for most events when you purchase tickets through either TulsaPAC.com or MyTicketOffice.com. The system is still in its beta phase, so I ask you to be patient, but don’t hesitate to give us your feedback. Your experience with this new opportunity and your comments after using it will help us help Tickets.com further develop and enhance this new software. Why not try it out on some of our December events? As always, the holiday season at the PAC is highlighted by Tulsa Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker and American Theatre Company’s presentation of A Christmas Carol. Also on the calendar are A Christmas Story from Encore Theatre Arts, A Charlie Brown Christmas by Playhouse Tulsa, Theatre Pops’ The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, presented by Celebrity Attractions. And speaking of gifts, I’ll make my annual holiday suggestion that you give the people you care about the gift of live arts performances. Whether you buy them tickets to a specific event or series, or give them a PAC gift certificate, it’s a present that can create lasting memories and, if you accompany your loved ones to PAC events, you’ll receive as much as you’ve given. Enjoy December’s special activities at your Performing Arts Center. Thanks for all your support. I’ll see you in the lobby.
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DIRECTOR John E. Scott ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Steven J. Fendt 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 Robyn Ewing ASST. SECRETARY John E. Scott TRUSTEES Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Robert J. LaFortune Kristin Bender Rodger Randle Connie Cronley Jayne L. Reed William G. von Glahn Kitty Roberts Jenny Helmerich M. Teresa Valero John H. Williams PAC TRUST PROGRAM DIRECTOR Shirley Elliott PAC TRUST MARKETING & PR Chad Oliverson OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Carol Willis I N T E R MI S S I ON is published monthly by
JOHN E. SCOTT Director, Tulsa Performing Arts Center
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ENTERTAINMENT TO APPLAUD
THE ATRE POPS
THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES IN THIS DARK, dark Christmas comedy by Jeff Goode, scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. As mass media descend upon the event, the other members of the sleigh team demand to share their perspectives, and a horrific tale of corruption and perversion emerges, which seems to implicate every-
one from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself. With each deer’s confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations becomes clearer and clearer, and murkier and murkier. December 13-15, 20-22 at 8 p.m. December 16, 23 at 2 p.m. C H A R L E S E . N O R M A N T H E AT R E Tickets are $15; $10 for students and seniors.
TULS A SYMPHONY AND TULS A ORATORIO CHORUS
SIDE BY SIDE
LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL musicians and singers will perform a concert of choral and instrumental Christmas music, side by side with Tulsa Symphony and Tulsa Oratorio Chorus on the PAC’s biggest stage. This is the second time Tulsa Oratorio Chorus has partnered with the Tulsa Symphony for this highly acclaimed educational initiative. To help prepare for the event, Tulsa Symphony musicians provided a combination of over 60 coaching sessions, rehearsals and individual instruction for the students. Conducted by Dr. Tim Sharp, this year’s performance, “The Colors of the Season,” will include such classical traditions as the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah and the Vivaldi Gloria, as well as other choral music appropriate for the holiday season. December 2 at 2 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $20.
BROWN BAG IT: TULSA FESTIVAL RINGERS THE HALLS OF THE Tulsa Performing Arts Center will ring with cheer as the Tulsa Festival Ringers return for a holiday concert of classic carols and modern medleys. Founded in 1991, the Tulsa Festival Ringers have performed extensively throughout Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. Members of this elegant ensemble share a passion for handbell ringing and dedicate themselves to education, entertainment and promotion of their musical art.
Admission is free, and seating is first-come, first-served for both performances of this evergreen holiday tradition performed on the set of American Theatre Company’s longrunning musical, A Christmas Carol. Bring your lunch — and a Christmas cookie or two — for a fun, festive show by Tulsa’s only auditioned handbell choir! December 5 at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Admission is free.
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Q+A ChipDavis Edited by Nancy Bizjack
Grammy Award-winning composer, musician and entrepreneur Chip Davis is best known as the founder of the popular “Renaissance rock” group Mannheim Steamroller. But he first entered pop culture as part of
the Omaha, Nebraska, advertising duo that created the 1975 hit “Convoy,” about a cross-country trucker with the CB handle “Rubber Duck.” With the money he made from the record and subsequent movie, Davis left the jingle-writing business and recorded an album called Fresh Aire under the name Mannheim Steamroller. Music distributors couldn’t figure out how to market Davis’ unique mix of classical compositions, rock rhythms, baroque instruments and synthesizers, so he formed his own record label, American Gramaphone, which has become one of the most successful independent music franchises in the industry. In 1984, Davis’ first holiday album, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, hit radio’s Top 40 list, powered by its modernized version of “Deck the Halls.” Essentially a one-man-band at that point, Davis quickly assembled a group of classically trained but rock-loving musicians for Mannheim’s first Christmas tour. Twenty-seven years later, the evergreen tour continues, and Mannheim Steamroller has socked away 19 gold, 8 platinum and 4 multi-platinum albums. The band’s most recent album is 2011’s Christmas Symphony. Why do you think Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas albums have been so popular? At Christmas time especially, people want to listen to something that is familiar in their lives. And for over 25 years, millions of people have grown up listening to our music. It’s comforting to hear something from your childhood — kind of like comfort food. Also, Christmas time is family time, and our music and concerts are all family friendly. We often see three generations attending our shows.
Why did you launch your own record label so early in your career? My first album, Fresh Aire, was well liked by the big record companies, but they all turned us down because they couldn’t figure out how to market an instrumental group that combined Renaissance instruments with rock beats. So I had to start my own independent record label to get the album recorded. It was an accident that it took off. My engineer got the idea of sending our album
to a national consumer electronics show where there were hi-fi distributors from all over. They used it as a demonstration album because of its quality. Their customers would ask, “What are you playing?” People would buy the stereo — and our album along with it. Mannheim Steamroller has sold 40 million albums since then!
And you also couldn’t find a promoter to book your live shows? That’s right. In the beginning no one would book us. So I borrowed $385,000 from a local bank in Omaha and rented the theaters myself. We did a five-city tour including Omaha and Kansas City. That was the beginning of our success; this is the 27th year for our annual tour that now reaches over 90 cities.
Why are you no longer touring with Mannheim Steamroller? Unfortunately, I can no longer play with the band because I was involved in a car accident years ago — a head-on collision — where I hurt my
neck and right arm. Over the years, I had overwhelming pain because of the lasting effects and finally underwent surgery, replacing all the cervical discs in my neck. I’m pain-free now but have limited feeling in my right arm and very little mobility. That’s why I don’t perform on tour. So now I can instead focus on recording and producing the tours. We have two Mannheim Steamroller companies going out for the Christmas tour. Plus, another company headlines Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration throughout the month of December. And we often have yet another ensemble for performances on national television shows, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and other activities.
How many instruments do you play? I majored in bassoon at the University of Michigan, but I also play the drums, hammered dulcimer, cornamuse and crumhorn. I love to play old instruments. Continued on p. 12 IN TERMISSION Decem be r 2012
Q+A ChipDavis Continued from p. 11
What did you learn from the time you spent with the Norman Luboff Choir? It was my first job out of college. I not only sang tenor, but I also was given the opportunity to get some of my compositions published. The Norman Luboff Choir sang classical music for the first part of the program, everything from 14th-century works to classic pieces by Mozart. The second half of each concert included folk songs, jazz and pop. That taught me how one can blend the classics and popular music together to create a fresh and popular concert — and opened my eyes and my ears to a broader musical palette. During our many long bus rides on the tour, I had time to discuss compositional techniques with the master, Norman Luboff. We also used to discuss music and art, and I had time on the bus to write songs.
How did you get your first big break? I worked as a jingle writer at the start of my career. One of the ad executives was Bill Fries, and we wrote a series of commercials about a fictional truck driver named C.W. McCall and his waitress girlfriend, Mavis, at the “Old Home Filler Up and Keep on Truckin’ Café.” Bill was the voice of McCall. Well, those jingles became extremely popular with radio listeners. We eventually produced one in 1975 that became the song “Convoy,” which went on to sell 10 million copies.
What were you trying to do with music when you formed Mannheim Steamroller? I wanted to explore new ways of expressing music and created a sound I call “18th-century classic rock.” I don’t believe in all-acoustic or all-electronic, all-digital or all-analog. My style is where they all meet.
Where did the name Mannheim Steamroller come from? From Mannheim, Germany. That’s where Mozart and composer/ music theorist Joseph Stamitz both lived. Stamitz came up with the idea of the crescendo: music building and getting louder 12
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in order to excite the audience. The 18thcentury musical phrase “Mannheim Valse” literally meant “roller,” and people used to joke that the loud music would roll over the crowd and flatten them. When it was time to start selling my band, I had to come up with a name to market. At the time, the big rock groups had interesting names like Jefferson Airplane and Iron Butterfly. So I came up with the name Mannheim Steamroller.
If you could have dinner with any musician, who would that be and why? Mozart. I think he was a lot of fun and probably had a good sense of humor — a screwball like I am. He’d be very interesting to be around.
Do you come from a family of musicians? Yes, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been around music. I have third-generation musicians on both sides of my family. My dad was a saxophone player in a big band during the World War II era. My mother played trombone for the NBC Symphony. She was even a poster girl for the famed music center, Interlochen Art Academy. Both of my grandmothers were piano teachers, as well.
Are your three children also into music? All three are talented musicians. My oldest daughter, Kelly, is a marketing and advertising student, but she is also a fabulous singer and quite a competitive equestrian. My 16-year-old son, Evan, is into rock and roll. He plays electric guitar and also composes at the piano. He has a real future in music. And my youngest, 13-year-old Elyse, can sight-read and play the piano. She’s also a great singer. My kids all learned to play music on the same piano that I did, my grandmother’s baby grand.
Why are you in Omaha rather than on the East or West coasts? I grew up in a small farm town in Ohio. That community atmosphere and those values helped shape
who I am today. I now live on a 140-acre farm that covers all kinds of natural terrains and surroundings. So I guess the farm boy is still in me.
What are some of the other businesses you’re involved in? We have a whole line of Mannheim Steamroller products, including food items, apparel, a bath and body line, gift products and more. They are all items that complement the musical experience. Our most popular food product is Cinnamon Hot Chocolate. We sell tons of it during the holidays.
You’re also working in the medical field and with NASA? I’ve been involved in the medical business for several years with a project I created called Ambience Medical. It uses four-channel audio algorithms to simulate nature sounds that can trick the brain into lessening the pain signals it sends out, or even fooling the body into believing that it is in a much larger space than it actually is. We’ve done pain studies that have shown that playing these sounds lowers the pain perception by 35 to 40 percent in many patients. We built an audio unit that is currently installed in 96 hospital rooms around the country, including the Mayo Clinic. NASA is also experimenting with the product to see if it will be useful for astronauts going on long-range space travel. I see all of these latest developments as yet another way to bring music into people’s lives and enrich all of our experiences. It is something that I have always wanted to do — and will continue to do.
Presented by Celebrity Attractions December 29 at 8 p.m. December 30 at 2 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $25-$75. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111
8222 East 103rd Street Suite 123 918.583.1966 www.zollerdesigns.com
by Matt Cauthron
The Spirit of Christmas Carols Past
or many Tulsans, young and old, getting into the Christmas spirit involves spending an evening with some Christmas spirits. American Theatre Company has staged A Christmas Carol every holiday season since 1976, and the musical adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel has become an annual rite of yuletide passage for generations of Tulsans. “It’s not Christmas until I’ve seen A Christmas Carol,” says Bob Odle, a founding member of American Theatre Company and the playwright who originally adapted the musical Tulsa has come to cherish. The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformative Christmas Eve adventure was an instant hit when Dickens released it as a novella in 19th-century England. Various adaptations of Scrooge’s encounters with ghosts of Christmas past, present and future — and the life-changing lessons he learns about kindness and the spirit of giving — continue to captivate and inspire audiences across the world. American Theatre Company first tackled its own version of A Christmas Carol 14
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while serving as the resident theater company at the Philbrook Museum of Art. Odle and fellow ATC founding member Rick Averill decided to adapt the story as a musical to be staged at the museum. “The process included many long nights with a pencil and yellow legal pad,” Odle says. “I would tell Rick about the scenes I wanted to include and he advised
about the musical structure. His knowledge of musical theater is superb.” Odle wrote the script and Averill wrote the music, and the two collaborated on lyrics for the musical numbers. “Generally, I wrote the lyrics to the goofy songs while Rick wrote the more serious, beautiful, thoughtful lyrics,” Odle says. Set designer Richard Ellis, another founding member of ATC, created the set for that first production, which he says was a modest couple of structures adorned with makeshift props. It was a far cry from the set currently used in the show, which has grown (under Ellis’s direction) to feature intricate buildings and revolving platforms for scene changes. Ellis says the trio never imagined they were building a lasting legacy. “We had no clue when we started this that it was going to do anything, really, other than run for one year,” Ellis says. “But the next year we decided to move over to the Performing Arts Center to try it for another year or two. The next thing you know, it had been a decade, then 20 years, and now we’ve done more than 35 of them.” The move to the PAC, where the
uted mightily to its success. “I’m not even sure he knows how long he’s been doing it,” Ellis says with a chuckle. “Easily a over a decade. He started out playing Marley and other spirits and sort of worked his way up to playing Scrooge. He has really grown into the role. People love his performance.” Tulsa audiences will be glad to know that Krause will don his top hat, spectacles and mutton chop sideburns once again for this year’s production. He’ll be joined by Seth Paden as a young Ebenezer; Robert Young as Bob Cratchit; and the trio of Steven J. Fendt, Melissa Starkweather and Mvnte July as the spirits of Christmas past, present and yet to be. Set to begin its 2012 run at the Performing Arts Center beginning December 6, ATC will provide a welcome holiday ritual for countless Tulsa families, and hopefully entice the uninitiated to embrace the tradition with their own families. “Everyone’s looking for something to do around the holidays,” Ellis says. “You’ve got family in town, you’re looking for ways to entertain the kids, and this
show is the perfect way to please everyone, no matter their age.” That’s the real trick, Ellis says, and the reason the show has endured all these years — its appeal for people of all ages and a message that resonates with people of all walks of life. It’s no wonder so many Tulsans consider it a Christmas tradition as ingrained in their family’s holiday celebrations as trimming a tree or exchanging gifts. “Our first year, the Tulsa World’s review raved about the show and said it should be a Tulsa tradition,” says Odle. “I had no idea that it would be. “I just enjoy the show and enjoy the story.” Thirty-six years after that prophetic review, it’s safe to say he’s not the only one.
A Christmas Carol
Presented by American Theatre Company December 6-8, 12-15, 19-22 at 7:30 p.m. December 9, 16, 23 at 2 p.m. JOHN H. WILLIAMS THEATRE Tickets are $24; $21 for students and seniors, $12 for children. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111
production has been staged every year since its initial Philbrook run, gave a huge boost to the up-and-coming ATC during the Christmas season and beyond. “It’s always been a big boon,” Ellis says. “For many theaters across the country, doing A Christmas Carol is kind of like a department store’s Black Friday. There are a lot of shows a theater company does that don’t make money, so a show as popular as this one helps make up some of that deficit.” But Ellis is quick to point out that it’s not all dollars and cents. Putting on a show that brings joy to audiences of all ages and spreads a message of love and kindness during the holidays is its own reward. “Every night after the show the cast meets and greets the audience out in the lobby and the response from audiences — especially the kids — is amazing,” he says. According to Ellis, over the years more than 150,000 people have seen ATC’s production, which has featured more than 750 actors and eight different directors. Although he wasn’t a member of the original cast, Karl Krause, as Ebenezer Scrooge (pictured on p. 5), has contrib-
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Dreaming of a “Brown” Christmas W
ho doesn’t relate to good ol’ Charlie Brown? In spite of his naïve dreams being crushed time after time, he carries on. And who doesn’t love his inevitable holiday triumph in the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas? Playhouse Tulsa reprises its 2010 production of this sweet seasonal story with an all-student cast, live music, and scenic artistry by designer Nathan Pennington of Jonathan Martin Creative, says Courtneay Sanders, associate artistic director of Playhouse. “It’s so nostalgic. The set will look just like the book.” And the cast will “ice skate” around the set on rollerblades. The players include students from Oral Roberts University, where Sanders directs the theater program, and from Tulsa Community College. Two Broken Arrow High School students landed major roles — David Watson will play Charlie Brown, and JohnTom Knight returns as Linus. Also returning are Shannon Garcia, who played Peppermint Patty and now takes on the role of Lucy, and Rueben Wakefield as Pig Pen. Teens and young adults playing children requires something extra from the actors. “It’s a fine line,” says Sanders, who founded Playhouse Tulsa with Artistic Director Chris Crawford in 2007. “It’s not the actors going in playing kids. They have to channel their inner child and find where these people really live inside of them, so we are not commenting on these characters, but actually getting to become these five- and six-year-olds living in this cartoon world.” After the one-hour play, children and parents can meet the cast, make Christmas ornaments, sing carols and have photos taken on the set. On December 6, the troupe will perform for the students, families and staff of The Little Lighthouse. It’s part of Playhouse Tulsa’s S.MASH community program
to provide a night of theater for those affiliated with local charities. (The S.MASH name honors the founders’ grandmothers, the late Shirley Bates and Laquitta Mash.) In addition to children’s theater, Playhouse offers a wide variety of other genres: musicals, Shakespeare, farce and contemporary realism, to name a few. In only four seasons, Playhouse has made a strong mark on the local theater scene, winning five of the coveted TATE awards, which honor excellence in Tulsa’s theater community. Recently, Playhouse Tulsa began using Tier 1 Actors’ Equity guest artist agreements, says Sanders, a step both she and Crawford consider critical to the organization becoming a professional regional theater. Although this is just the first step, the designation allows them to use Actors’ Equity stage managers as well as actors, she explains. And although they are not Actors’ Equity Union members, the same goes for using professional technicians and set designers. “It just bumps us up to a different level,” she says.
by Missy Kruse
“It’s being excellent in every area of theater… in order to be the caliber of Steppenwolf or the Goodman Theatre in Chicago,” Sanders adds. In short, she says, Playhouse Tulsa wants to be the theater equivalent of the regional and nationally respected Tulsa Opera and Tulsa Ballet. If you have not attended a Playhouse performance, start with the feel-good Charlie Brown story and its message. Says Sanders, “It’s about appreciating the people in your life and the people that you love, and not getting all wrapped up in the material mess of Christmas, in the tinsel and the glitz, the stockings and the stuff… It’s about keeping it simple, seeing and appreciating each other.”
A Charlie Brown Christmas Presented by The Playhouse Tulsa December 7 at 7 p.m. December 8 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. December 9 at 2 p.m. LIDDY DOENGES THEATRE Tickets are $20; $18 for students and seniors, $10 for children. MyTicketOffice.com or 918-596-7111
IN TERMISSION Decem be r 2012
Tradition in the
(Re)Making by Natalie O’Neal
f there’s one thing we remember from our childhood, it’s the memories shared through holiday traditions like putting up the Christmas tree or decorating gingerbread houses with loved ones. This year, one of Tulsa’s most beloved seasonal traditions returns to the stage, and it’s a little more…well, traditional. Famed children’s choreographer Bruce Wells of Pacific Northwest Ballet has created new scenes for Tulsa Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker. The result is a more traditional story line, more opportunities for young dancers, and the addition of the traditional role of Mother Ginger. In 2003, Tulsa Ballet’s artistic director, Marcello Angelini, created a new interpretation of The Nutcracker. Set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved music and loosely based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Angelini’s Nutcracker follows the story of young Marie and her new Christmas toy, a wooden nutcracker in the shape of a soldier. After the toy comes to life, the Nutcracker and Marie battle the Mouse King and find 20
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themselves in an enchanted dreamland. Instead of taking place in Hoffman’s 19th-century Germany, Angelini’s ballet is set in the vibrant and visually stunning era of 1920s Paris. “The production sweeps you away from the very beginning to a very romantic time, resplendent with beautiful sets and costumes,” Wells says of Angelini’s twist on the traditional ballet. “The 1920s were a groundbreaking decade for fashion, especially for ladies’ fashion,” Angelini says. “Their attires reflected their aspirations for a new role in society. At the same time, Art Deco was starting to flourish, especially in France where it originated, becoming an influential design style that eventually would inspire our own architecture in Tulsa.” The sophisticated 1920s costumes designed by Luisa Spinatelli remain a visual highlight of this year’s production, but longtime fans of Tulsa’s pre-2003 Nutcracker will be delighted with the new choreography and plot line in the first and second act.
“I’ve wanted to rework the story of The Nutcracker for a while, in order to make it more traditional and accessible for our audience,” Angelini says. “In talking with Bruce Wells, we realized that by removing the ballet studio scene and starting the action in the ballroom, this goal could be accomplished with ease.” The prologue now includes the wellknown Christmas scene with Uncle Drosselmeyer delivering gifts to his favorite niece and nephew. The original first scene of Angelini’s Nutcracker “was created for a specific reason, that of showcasing the quality of our students in the Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education as well as the top students from other area schools,” Angelini explains. “I have been thinking about changing it for years, and when I finally decided to do it, I wanted to make this section of the ballet absolutely stellar. Since my expertise is not in working with children, I asked Bruce to come and help.” Wells has over 100 ballets to his credit, including Snow White, Hansel & Gretel
“I’ve wanted to rework the story of The Nutcracker for a while, in order to make it more traditional and accessible for our audience.” — Marcello Angelini and Pinocchio (all three of which include children). “Bruce is a genius when it comes to working with kids and streamlining story lines for dance,” Angelini raves. “His children’s ballets are in great demand and always included in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s main season. I am happy to be working with him to make our Nutcracker one notch better.” “All Nutcrackers need to be reworked and re-tweaked from time to time for the audience to experience something different,” Wells agrees. “I came in and rechoreographed the first 15 minutes of the ballet, up until Marie falls asleep.” Opportunities for young dancers abound in this year’s Nutcracker with the added role of Mother Ginger and her children as a tribute to Tulsa Ballet’s late founders, Moscelyne Larkin and Roman Jasinski. Their original costume for the big-skirted woman will be used in honor of the ballet’s history and tradition. Wells derives his inspiration from The Nutcracker’s original choreographer and creator of Mother Ginger, Marius Petipa, who frequently used children in his ballets. “It’s a great introduction to dance for kids,” says Wells. For him, it’s not just about entertaining the audience, but also about educating children on and off the stage. Though his choreography and story lines have a simplicity about them, he continually challenges his dancers. “It’s part of their education. There’s a rich history of having the entire organization on stage and not necessarily separating
the professionals out from the rest,” he explains. Can you imagine what it must be like for children aged 7 to14 to dance alongside the prima ballerina? “It’s one of the most exciting things that’s ever happened to them — the dream of becoming a dancer is right in front of you!” Wells exclaims. And the seriousness of being on stage really hits home in Angelini’s production. “They are not on stage to just fill the space, they are an integral part of the story,” Angelini says. “The atmosphere backstage is
charged during the performances, and the children absorb and understand, on an unconscious level, that [the right mental attitude and concentration] is the road to success in anything we do.” Tulsa Ballet’s Nutcracker gives 60 young dancers in each cast (up to four casts, if needed) the opportunity to be in a professional environment, to rehearse with seasoned dance professionals, and be on stage with the professional company, Angelini says. “Through this process, and the expectations of being integrated in a top-notch professional environment, they learn about commitment, hard work, concentration, teamwork and performing under a fair amount of pressure. Now, aren’t those the kind of attributes that will make an adult successful in anything he or she decides to pursue?”
Nutcracker Presented by Tulsa Ballet December 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 at 2 p.m. December 15 and 22 at 7 p.m.
CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $10-$78; discounts for children. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111
IN TERMISSION Decem b e r 2012
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by Jennie Lloyd
“We’ll order now what they ordered the�, ’cause everythin� old is new agai�.”
hen actor Hugh Jackman sang those Peter Allen lyrics in Broadway’s The Boy From Oz, he could have been referring to a trio of downtown’s newest hot spots. These three are reviving vital pieces of nostalgic, historic, lovable Tulsa. The Rusty Crane serves up creatively crafted casual fare in an old warehouse turned cheerful café, outfitted with rich historical details. S&J Oyster Company was a long-time Brookside favorite before it shuttered its doors a few years ago. But now it’s back in a new downtown location — and better than ever. The Vault is a stylish two-story nod to AMC’s Mad Men with ’60s flair and snappy eats and drinks to match.
‘A Ragtag Band of Gypsy Chefs’ Lee Brennan is in a great mood. The infectiously cheerful owner of The Rusty Crane has transformed a vacant downtown warehouse into a casual and inviting café. It’s the kind of place, Brennan says, where people can come together over highquality, tasty eats at reasonable prices. Brennan and what he calls his “ragtag band of gypsy chefs,” have brought their experiences of cooking in kitchens all over Tulsa to create a one-of-a-kind menu. They mixed spices, ingredients and cooking styles from all over the world to come up with entrees like the “yumlada,” a playful take on the enchilada. Except, Brennan says, “It’s not Mexican food.” The Signature Yumlada is a sun-dried basil tortilla loaded with fresh goodies like locally sourced garlic, spinach, chicken
The Rusty Crane’s East Meets West wrap
and Monterey cheese, topped with creamy house-made alfredo sauce. And it’s quickly becoming a big hit among guests, Brennan says. During their marathon cooking sessions, Brennan and his crew, including executive chef Gary Kessler, also created “Rusty Dust,” a spicy, cumin-y signature rub to complement a variety of meats.
Other tasty offerings include tacos, wraps, hummus, easy vegetarian options, and crispy tortilla chips. “Someone called [our menu] ‘gourmet food with flip-flops on,’” Brennan laughed. And The Rusty Crane’s drinks have been just as carefully and lovingly built as the food. “We have a list of 11 signature drinks created here,” Brennan says. In addition to new drinks, the bar serves up classic cocktails as a hat-tip to the history of the building where The Rusty Crane now roosts. Experienced mixologists on staff create Manhattans and mint juleps with local fruits and herbs according to decades-old recipes and serve up the concoctions in vintage Mason jars. Built in 1919, the airy, red-brick building was a factory, then a warehouse, then sat vacant for decades, until Brennan fell in love with its bones, all concrete and brickwork. But, he says, “We didn’t renovate. We just worked with what was there.”
The Rusty Crane
IN TERMISSION Decem be r 2012
Warehouse bay doors are now tabletops; a freight elevator, a cozy corner booth; the elevator doors, partitions. Works by local artists hang prominently on rough, exposed-brick walls. Above the bar is a historic 1922 carving commemorating the rebuilding of north Tulsa after the infamous 1921 Race Riots. The Rusty Crane’s kitchen stays open late, closing time is flexible, and no reservations are needed.
Return of a Fan Favorite In-the-know Tulsans know about S&J Oyster Company, the seafood café and oyster bar that found fervent followers after opening in 1983 on South Peoria Avenue, where Leon’s is now. Over two decades and in several locations in Brookside, as well as in south Tulsa, Fayetteville and Kansas City, S&J also earned the loyalty of its employees. Eight years after the last location closed, former employee Michael Denson teamed up with business partner Bill Parkey to bring back one of Tulsa’s favorite fresh seafood joints. Denson isn’t the only former employee to return — about a dozen other old S&J players are again serving and hustling on those black-andwhite tiled floors. Denson says they worked hard to recreate the look of the old S&J. Along with those floors, S&J fans will recognize a large clock that once hung in the Brookside restaurant. “We tried to recreate the [look of the] original building on South Peoria,” Denson says. They’ve also painstakingly recreated the menu. All the recipes are nearly identical to their originals. S&J serves up muchloved Cajun dishes like a barbecued shrimp skillet, gumbo, red beans and rice, hushpuppies and fried crawfish. The menu has plenty of oyster offerings and too many tasty fish entrees to list. The new location features a happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. and is open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Stop in without a reservation, but call ahead for parties of eight or more. “We’re all about good food and good fun,” Denson says. “I’ve done this for a lot of years and it’s been a lot of fun for me to do it.” 24
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Taste the Swingin’ ’60s The First National Autobank, with its white, crinkle-cut overhanging roof, cuts a dapper figure in downtown Tulsa. And Eloté Café owners Jeramy and Libby Auld have breathed new life into the 1959 building with their newest restaurant, The Vault. Inside, the old Autobank was restored with its mid-century modern roots in mind. The stunning location boasts every sleek 1960s accoutrement but shag carpet, plus two bars, two dining areas, two parking areas, and floor-to-ceiling glass revealing stunning urban vistas, especially upstairs. That’s where you’ll find the Tom Tom Room, a former private meeting area that’s now a casual-dining rumpus room. The menu, replete with retro touches, could easily please the palates of the glamorous Mad Men cast. Hearty appetizers like bruschetta three ways, Waldorf hearts, and Marshall’s pretzels are yummy and filling. The entrees emphasize all things local, fresh and seasonal, with more than a passing whiff of the 1960s throughout (hello, green goddess dressing, ginger pineapple upside-down cake, and pimento mac-and-cheese!). The Vault’s imaginative pretzel sliders are made with Natural Farms beef and fresh daily accompaniments, while the fish specials are sent over from Bodean’s. The chicken is free-range; the filet, an allThe Vault's Tom Tom Room
Pretzel sliders at The Vault
natural beef tenderloin; the veggies, ripe and in season. The Vault’s specialty cocktails — both the first and second floor bars are fully stocked — top off the chic bistro’s locally sourced vibe. Classic drinks are reinvigorated with plush ingredients. The syrups are house-made, and drinks are constructed by staff mixologists. The Vault also offers two Oklahoma wines on tap and a nice selection by the bottle or glass (all organic, sustainable and eco-friendly), plus a varied selection of domestic, local and craft beers.
All of these restaurants are within walking distance of the PAC. There’s also ample parking available nearby. The Rusty Crane 109 North Detroit Avenue (Brady Arts District) 918-947-5454
S&J Oyster Company 308 East First Street (Blue Dome District) 918-938-7933
The Vault 620 South Cincinnati (Deco District) 918-948-6761
November 16 – December 16, 2012 Large Cobalt Carved Cutter by Kenneth J. Gonzales
Handcrafted art SHow and Sale Glass artists participating in the show include: Ron Fleming Roy Loman Kenneth J. Gonzales Rachel Haynes Rory McCallister Matthew Everett Paul Bevilacqua Natalie Legener Carson Smith Erich Minton
124 East Brady • 918-631-4400 tU is an eeo/aa institution.
THE PLAZA 81st & Lewis 918.298.9700
BROOKSIDE 3515 South Peoria 918.747.4141 IN TERMISSION Decem b e r 2012
ON UPCOMING EVENTS THE ATRE TULS A
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE WRITTEN BY Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, and derived from Albom’s best-selling book, Tuesdays with Morrie is a sensitive, uplifting play based on the time Albom spent with his dying former professor, Morrie Schwartz. Veteran Tulsa actor Tom Berenson (The Gin Game) stars as the 78-year-old Schwartz. The book, subtitled “An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson,” demonstrates the importance of seizing every moment and treasuring every friendship. It topped the New York Times’ weekly bestseller list 23 times in 2000. The play, says New York Magazine, is “unforgettable! No matter how well you tell the story, the play makes it more vivid, more shattering, more humorous.” January 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. January 13 at 2 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E Tickets are $16; $12 for students and seniors, $10 for groups.
JEKYLL & HYDE TWO RED-HOT STARS. One cold-blooded thriller! American Idol finalist and Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages) and Grammy nominee and Canadian R&B superstar Deborah Cox bring their soulful vocals and smoldering sexiness to Jekyll & Hyde, the classic tale of good and evil. After four thrilling, chilling years on Broadway and multiple worldwide tours, this dark and dangerous love story from Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse returns in a stunning new production that is touring the U.S. before heading to Broadway this spring. The show’s popular songs (“This Is the Moment,” “A New Life,” “Someone Like You”) have been reinterpreted to suit the powerful and contemporary vocal stylings of Cox and Maroulis, but the story, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella, remains unchanged: a devoted man of science tries out experimental treatments on himself, unleashing his inner demons. January 22-27 CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets ($20-$60) go on sale December 17.
TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM 26
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ON UPCOMING EVENTS PAC TRUST
ROCK THE PRESIDENTS
PAC TRUST ROCK THE PRESIDENTS is a highoctane, multimedia musical revue spanning 223 years of the American presidency — from George Washington to Barack Obama. The 44 men who have risen to the highest office in the land are brought to life through all new rock, pop and folk music. Audiences young and old alike will learn something new about our Presidents, while perhaps seeing something of themselves reflected in the stories on stage. With songs like “The Sons of Wash-
ington,” a driving rock anthem honoring Washington’s revolutionary idea of peacefully giving up power, and the jazz-inspired “Who In the World is Millard Fillmore?” celebrating some of the lesser-known Commanders in Chief, Rock the Presidents will entertain and inform audience members of all ages, especially those age seven and older. January 25 at 7 p.m. January 26 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.
TULS A PRESS CLUB TRUST
THE FIRST ANNUAL 80TH ANNUAL TULSA GRIDIRON
THE ANNUAL Gridiron show features sharp-edged satirical skits and songs skewering politicians, celebrities, and all sorts of wacky developments on the local, state and national scenes in the past year. Likely topics for this year’s show: the 2012 election, Congress’ self-imposed “fiscal cliff,” the downfalls of General
Petraeus and Lance Armstrong, and Tulsa’s new trash collection system. Proceeds from the performances are dedicated to scholarships for students involved in the support of free speech and political and social commentary. January 25-26 at 8 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E Tickets are $25 and $50.
FRANK VIGNOLA ONE OF THE MOST extraordinary guitarists performing today, Frank Vignola’s stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the world’s top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Wynton Marsalis and Tommy Emmanuel. Guitar legend Les Paul put Vignola on his “Five Most Admired Guitarists” list for the Wall Street Journal. Vignola started playing the guitar at the age of six and grew up admiring a variety of guitarists, ranging from gypsy jazz man Django Reinhardt to rock icons like Frank Zappa and Eddie Van Halen. As a young adult, he studied at the Cultural Arts Center of Long Island and was a sought-after sideman in the 1980s. He came into his own in 1988 with his famed Hot Club of France tribute, which was hailed in the New York Times as one of the top 10 acts in New York. January 26 at 7:30 p.m. J O H N H . W I L L I A M S T H E AT R E Tickets are $28; $12 for students and seniors.
TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM 28
Dece m b e r 2 01 2 I N TE R MI S S I O N
National Trunk Show
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ON UPCOMING EVENTS JANUARY
Lady of the Camellias
ART EXHIBIT Jan. 4-27 PAC Gallery
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE Jan. 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre CELEBRITY ATTRACTIONS
J. Shelton Photography
JEKYLL & HYDE Jan. 22-27 Chapman Music Hall
TULSA PRESS CLUB TRUST
TULSA GRIDIRON Jan. 25-26 at 8 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre PAC TRUST
ROCK THE PRESIDENTS Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. John H. Williams Theatre
FACULTY ART SHOW Feb. 1-27 PAC Gallery
ENCORE! THEATRE ARTS
FRANK VIGNOLA Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre
FEBRUARY TULSA BALLET
LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS Feb. 1-2 at 8 p.m. Feb. 3 at 3 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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THE LOST PAGES OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN Feb. 1, 7-8 at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2, 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, 10 at 2 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre TULSA TOWN HALL
ANN COMPTON Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m. Chapman Music Hall
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.
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK Feb. 8-9, 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre TULSA SYMPHONY
RED Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Chapman Music Hall THE PLAYHOUSE TULSA
OTHELLO Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. John H. Williams 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.
CHAMBER MUSIC TULSA
TESLA QUARTET Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre THEATRE NORTH
RADIO GOLF BY AUGUST WILSON Feb. 23 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. Mar. 1-2 at 8 p.m. Charles E. Norman Theatre TULSA OPERA
THE MOST HAPPY FELLA Feb. 23 and Mar. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Mar. 3 at 2:30 p.m. Chapman Music Hall
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 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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