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9 Q&A: Ken Busby
Go to just about any arts-related event in Tulsa, and you will see Ken Busby, executive director of the Arts & Humanities Council and the new chairman of the PAC Trust Interview by Missy Kruse
New Year, New Opportunities by John Scott
12 Both Sides Now American Idol rocker and Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis blends his Broadway and rock careers in a revival of Jekyll & Hyde by Nancy C. Hermann
16 A Life of Tuesdays
Tom Berenson and Freddie Tate star in Theatre Tulsa’s Tuesdays With Morrie, based on Mitch Albom’s bestselling book by Barry Friedman
Lady of the Camellias The Lost Pages of Rumpelstiltskin Ann Compton Barefoot in the Park Tulsa Symphony: Red Othello Strange Planet The Most Happy Fella Radio Golf by August Wilson
26 February Events
in the gallery Landscapes From the Heart: New Works by Janice Wright January 4-27
18 The Virtuosic Vignola
Guitarist Frank Vignola, who helped revive gypsy jazz and has toured with Madonna and Ringo Starr, brings his acoustic artistry to Tulsa by Matt Cauthron
21 Vision Trouble or Help! We’ve Fallen Off the Fiscal Cliff and We Can’t Get Up The Tulsa Gridiron roasts Vision 2, Congress, the new trash service, messed-up celebs, bed bugs and more by Nancy Bizjack
Contemporary landscape painter Janice Wright is inspired by the rhythm she sees in nature. “When I paint, I strive to paint the way nature does, with a sense of rhythm that is present in every brushstroke. Like a tightrope walker on a wire, I try to balance the elements of shape and color, size and weight, texture and transparency. When I achieve harmony or balance, the individual parts form a synergy that makes the piece feel whole.”
IN TERMISSION Januar y 2013
Thereâ€™s a reason why NatureWorks is the second largest art show & sale of its kind in America. Actually, there are over 1,000 reasons. Over 50 nationally-renowned artists will bring more than 1,000 pieces of amazing nature and western art to Tulsa for the 31st rendition of NatureWorks, the spectacular two-day event held annually at the Tulsa Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center! Benefitting local, regional and national wildlife education and conservation projects, NatureWorks has donated well over $1 million since its beginning. Priced from around $10 to the thousands, thereâ€™s a personal treasure at NatureWorks for virtually everyone because the artistic talent is just that remarkable. Save the date now. Saturday and Sunday, March 2 & 3. Tickets only $5 at the door.
Featured Artist: Matthew Higginbotham
Encore Artist: Jerry Ricketson
Guest Artist: Jeff Ham
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
NEW YEAR, NEW OPPORTUNITIES THE NEW YEAR is a good time John Scott to plan completely new activities or perhaps revise previous plans. One New Year’s resolution I made was inspired by a patron’s comment that I’m often spotted greeting people in the Third Street lobby but not so much in the Second Street lobby. Therefore, I hereby resolve to put in more lobby time for events in the Williams, Doenges and Norman Theatres. Speaking of new things, hopefully you’ve noticed a couple of projects we’ve already completed in this fiscal year. Those include renovated Chapman Music Hall elevators and an upgrade of plumbing valves. Well, okay, you probably won’t notice the plumbing valves, but that project was extremely important to our ability to fix plumbing problems as they occur around our 36-year-old building. Also, we have acquired new hearing assistance units designed specifically for patrons using hearing aids that contain a telecoil, a relatively new technology. One other “project” accomplished was the filling of our new stagehand position. The PAC is delighted to welcome Scott McClarty to our team. Other capital projects still on tap this fiscal year include a major upgrade of our closed circuit television system, installation of a permanent sound system in the Westby Pavilion, renovation of dressing rooms for the Williams and Doenges Theatres, and renovation of the Promenade elevator. We’re always at work keeping the PAC in the best possible condition for patrons and performers. Theatre Tulsa’s Tuesdays With Morrie kicks things off the week after New Year’s, and later in the month Broadway’s touring Jekyll & Hyde production featuring Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox should rock the house. Special shows include Tulsa Gridiron and two PAC Trust presentations, Rock the Presidents for the young ones and world-renowned guitarist Frank Vignola for all ages. We again welcome the Oklahoma Music Educators’ annual All-State Music Festival, and landscapes by Janice Wright will be on display throughout the month in the PAC Gallery. Get the new year off to a great start by taking in one or more of these outstanding shows. Thanks for all your support. I’ll see you in both lobbies.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Brooke Lawson 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 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 Stanton Doyle Kitty Roberts William G. von Glahn M. Teresa Valero Jenny Helmerich 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
1603 S. Boulder, Tulsa, OK 74119
JOHN E. SCOTT Director, Tulsa Performing Arts Center
For advertising information, Tel. 918-585-9924, ext. 217, Fax 918-585-9926. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center: 918-596-2368, email@example.com. IN TERMISSION Janu ar y 2013
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Q+A Ken Busby Interview by Missy Kruse
Ken Busby is definitely “Mr. Arts” in Tulsa.
The new chairman of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust is also executive director and CEO of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa (AHCT), chief fundraiser for the Hardesty Arts Center (AHHA), and a member of the Tulsa Arts Commission. In addition, he just finished a two-year term as president of the Tulsa Symphony and four years as president of Tulsa International Mayfest. Busby held three different positions at Gilcrease Museum and was Tulsa Zoo Friends development director before joining AHCT more than 10 years ago. He calls it “the perfect job for me.” A man about town, you are likely to see him at multiple events each week. “I knew I had arrived when I was tagged on Facebook at an event that I hadn’t actually attended,” he says.
How did you get into an arts career, and why are you so passionate about the arts? My parents were always very good to take me to the Opera and the Philharmonic, and to art classes at Philbrook and Gilcrease. I was never a great artist or musician, though I play a decent piano, but I always have appreciated the arts. My parents always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do and to follow my passion, whatever it was. I went to the University of Tulsa and became involved accidentally with KWGS, the radio station. I wound up being a classical music announcer. For my master’s, I attended Indiana University at Bloomington with an arts journalism fellowship. While there, I wrote music and arts reviews for the Bloomington Herald Tribune. When I came back to Tulsa I went to work for Sabre Computer Services, which was a division of American Airlines at the time. They hired me for my journalism background. I worked with a bunch of attorneys in vendor relations and contract services… basically proofing contracts.
So how did you get back into the arts? As much as I enjoyed my work, I couldn’t see myself for the next 40 years finding my way through a giant corporate structure.
I wanted to do something where I could really see the impact of my work. One day a friend called me about a job as membership director at Gilcrease Museum. I sent in my resume, I was hired, and that really cemented my life in the arts.
Are you the project director for AHHA? No, as executive director and CEO of the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, I am the chief fundraiser and strategic thinker. Kathy McRuiz is the Hardesty Arts Center director, and she’s done an amazing job as project manager. I spend about 80 percent of my time fundraising, making connections, building relationships, explaining why the arts are important, being the face — such as it is — for the Council and representing us in the community.
You jump in with both feet and get yourself into so many projects. How do you juggle all of these? It’s hard. Sometimes I feel I am not able to give to one organization as much as I would like. I’m getting better over time. I do say no every once in awhile. I’m very careful about the boards on which I serve. I never intended to be president of the Tulsa Symphony, but it was very near and dear to my heart. I always loved the Philharmonic and was so sad to witness its demise. I had
just come to the Council when Mayor Bill LaFortune appointed me to head a taskforce to figure out how to revitalize it. I had so much invested in it, because I knew we had to have a professional symphony in Tulsa. It’s the backbone of the arts in a city. Besides its own concerts, it plays for the Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, various churches, and other civic organizations. It’s critically important for the well-being of our community!
Tell us what kinds of projects the PAC Trust supports and why. It works to provide entertainment and arts experiences that simply would not have a voice otherwise. We work really hard to present culturally diverse, ethnically diverse, spiritually diverse organizations, so they can have opportunities to have their stories told and have people hear them. The Trust supports the performing arts groups in our community any way that we can. I am most proud of our children’s Imagination Series, really trying to get the arts to young people so that they have those experiences and so that we will develop future arts audiences. Arts education is really the main focus of AHCT and all the major arts groups. The only way to be successful is to be relevant. That Continued on p. 10 IN TERMISSION Janu ar y 2013
Continued from p. 9
means people have to understand what you do. If they don’t, they have no reason to be interested in what you are doing or in supporting it. The arts feed the soul. If we can expose children to the arts sooner, and fan the flames of their creativity, they will do better in their academic subjects because we’ve given them a creative outlet. The arts are absolutely bridging that critical gap in learning.
of already done it… The Guthrie Green partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Our September kickoff was a hugely positive experience, and it is making a tremendous impact on downtown Tulsa and certainly the Brady Arts District. It was a challenging task, because the PAC Trust is all about the PAC — and being a home for the arts. We asked ourselves if this project was going outside of our mission. We came to the conclusion that this community outreach — with the Trust staff coordinating the programming for the Guthrie Green — makes us stronger and allows us to engage a broader audience than simply those coming into our building.
How did the Trust’s relationship with the Kaiser Foundation develop? It all started with the award-winning play August: Osage County. The foundation wanted to bring Tracy Letts’ Broadway play to Tulsa for an Oklahoma premiere. The Trust and AHCT had already been working with GKFF on the Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence (TATE). GKFF funded $250,000 upfront to take care of any costs August might incur. We were thankful to have them as a financial backer, and the run of the play was phenomenal! The Guthrie Green became a natural progression in the relationship. Stanton Doyle from GKFF needed to hire staff to do programming for Guthrie Green. He knew Shirley Elliott and Chad Oliverson and wanted to form a partnership with the PAC Trust rather than hire new staff. The Trust staff stepped in and did an excellent job. 10
Ja nu a r y 2 01 3 I N TE R M IS S I O N
2012 Jonnu Singleton/SWA
What would you like to accomplish in your term as Trust chair? We’ve kind
What other ways does the Trust affect the downtown revitalization? By continuing to be a home for the arts — continuing to help subsidize the longstanding groups and provide a good hall for them to present in. Together the Trust and the PAC generate ticket sales and contribute sales tax. We are certainly part of the vibrancy of downtown; we help make downtown a destination. And with the Guthrie Green, more musicians and performers are being hired.
How does the Trust envision itself in five years? One of the things we are trying to do is grow our endowment. It’s a small endowment, a little over $2 million. We’ve never had a real campaign, because we don’t want to compete with other arts groups raising money. But if we had a larger endowment, we could help more and give back more. In the broadest sense, we see ourselves weaving what we do into the fabric of Tulsa more and more. The PAC is our home, we’ve reached out into Brady, we don’t know what the next thing will be, but we are asking, What can we do to bring the community together and be an even larger community partner going forward?
What’s your vision for the future of arts in Tulsa? Tulsa is the arts capital of Oklahoma. There are wonderful arts in many of the communities around the state, but
The PAC Trust works with other local organizations to provide a series of free music, theater and film events at the Guthrie Green.
we really are the pinnacle. I think we can sell arts and culture to develop tourism, to increase our visibility regionally and even nationally. I think we are really positioning ourselves, with the revitalization of downtown, in a way that will draw people from Kansas City, Dallas, Northwest Arkansas, and we will continue to see that increase. We have visual, performing, and literary arts, too — we have it all. We have so much and we are so fortunate in this community, that I think that’s where the future is going to be, using arts as the hook for awareness, attention and tourism.
If you have any spare time, how do you like to spend it? I like to travel and read, but I don’t have much time to read anymore, except skimming articles related to arts education and the arts in general. I love to read The New Yorker, because it has shorter pieces that I can finish. I enjoy wines and I love to eat and enjoy restaurants and dining with friends and just chilling, but it’s hard in Tulsa because I don’t go many places without seeing someone I know, and that engenders a conversation. To really have a break, I have to basically be at home alone.
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Both Sides Now
Photos by Chris Bennion
by Nancy C. Hermann
Constantine Maroulis as the lascivious Mr. Hyde with Deborah Cox as Lucy
hen Constantine Maroulis was voted off of American Idol in the 2005 season finals, no one believed he would simply fade away. That lyric tenor voice. Those looks. The charisma. Idol winner or not, the man had star power. Back in 1997, when this Brooklynborn, Greek-American was still “Dean” to those who knew him, composer Frank Wildhorn was electrifying Broadway with Jekyll & Hyde. At that time Constantine was “fixed on” popular rock musicals like Rent (in which he later starred) and Jesus Christ Superstar, but Jekyll & Hyde was not on his radar. “It just sort of missed me somehow,” he recalls. As a student at The Boston Conservatory, he became 12
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Teal Wicks as Emma Carew with her fiancé, Dr. Jekyll
aware of Jekyll & Hyde’s signature song, “This Is the Moment,” but it would be more than a decade — after several years as lead vocalist for a rock band and after his Tony-nominated turn in Rock of Ages — before Constantine would fully grasp Wildhorn’s masterwork and make the show’s “Moment” his own.
Now on a limited tour across the U.S., Jekyll & Hyde, with Constantine in the title roles, will have its moment once again when the musical returns to Broadway in April 2013. “We haven’t seen something like this on Broadway in a long time,” emphasizes Constantine. “Not since Les Miz premiered; not since Phantom of the Opera. This is a modern steampunk sort of a cool, edgy version of a Victorian tale.” The musical is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which an attorney attempts to fathom what proves to be a dissociative identity disorder in one of his clients. As in the book, the so-called “split-personality” is shared by the upright
and brilliant Dr. Henry Jekyll and the murderous Mr. Edward Hyde. “I do think Henry sits in a softer, mysterious, more complex sort of place emotionally, and when we meet him, we see his relationship with his father, and we see the stakes and how high they are for him personally,” interprets Constantine. “We really get a sense as to who he is and what is going on in his world. We see his strength as well.” Jekyll is trying to save his father and watching him die before his eyes. Constantine says it’s a situation to which he can easily relate. “We have the first song, ‘Lost in Darkness,’ which is like a prayer to his father, and then you have ‘I Need to Know.’ Every son, every daughter — we have all felt like that — ‘Why can’t we cure Mom or Dad?’” Refusing to abandon hope and yield to helplessness, Jekyll concocts in his lab a risky experiment that he ultimately performs on himself in an effort to find a cure. Involved in his world are his friend and lawyer, John Utterson, and his betrothed, the prim and posh Emma Carew. Both are careful not to overstep their roles in his life that they accept are secondary to his work. When Utterson and Jekyll are on the town one night in bachelor-party mode, they land at The Red Rat club. There they meet one of its denizens, Lucy, and Jekyll is drawn to her. Later, when Jekyll’s chemical experiment takes an evil turn, Lucy falls into the clutches of the dominating and lustful Mr. Hyde, who feels most alive when acting out his repressed desires. “What is going on in the story dictates what happens with the voice,” explains Constantine regarding his transformation between characters. “There is a change in tempo and vibe. An aggressiveness takes over musically, and when we meet Hyde, he comes on very strong and powerful. Where Henry is more reserved and complicated, Hyde is more of a bull [chuckling]. He can have and take anything he wants. Hyde is everything that is inside Henry that he can’t do
Constantine Maroulis as the well-intentioned Dr. Jekyll performing a risky experiment in his lab
because he emotionally can’t get there, and, physically, he can’t make those choices because of society, his fianceé and the conservative setting they live in.” The vocal strengths of this Jekyll & Hyde touring cast have already garnered outstanding reviews. Playing opposite Constantine is Canada’s leading R&B singer, multi-platinum recording artist Deborah Cox. She is no stranger to the Broadway stage, having sung the title role in Elton John’s Aïda. Singing the part of Jekyll’s fianceé, Emma Carew, is Teal Wicks, who played the focal role of Elphaba in Wicked, in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Northwest Country Times, covering southern California, wrote in October 2012, “They both have lush voices — Cox’s is dusky and rich, Wick’s is big and crystalline — and their show-stopping duet, ‘In His Eyes’ is one of the evening’s highlights.” Constantine is effusive about the talents of the entire cast, singling out the ensemble’s work in “Façade,” — “a beautiful new arrangement and orchestration” — and says he enjoys listening to a different orchestra at every tour stop. “We have a core group that we travel with, but essentially we pick up 10 new chairs [musicians] each week, so it’s nice to hear them.” He says his favorite parts of the show are when he is not on stage. “I can listen to Teal Wicks and
Deborah Cox sing ‘In His Eyes’ and know they are singing about me, basically, and my character. I can sort of absorb that and get ready to push the story even further in the next scene.” Whether fronting a band, spending three years on Broadway in a rock musical, or taking on non-singing, dramatic roles, Constantine labors at his craft. “You should see my back and the bruises all over my body right now,” he says of the role’s physical demands. “Not to be so actor-ish about it, but clearly there is an entertainment flair mixed in,” he continues. “People come expecting to see me; they want to hear the high notes; they want to hear a little rock and roll. They want to see the hair kind of, you know, tossed around a bit. There is going to be a little of that. Let’s face it. We’re putting on Jekyll & Hyde. It’s entertainment as well, but we go about the work as artfully as we possibly can.”
Presented by Celebrity Attractions January 22-27 CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $20-$60. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111 Recommended for ages 13 and older. IN TERMISSION Januar y 2013
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A Life of Tuesdays
by Barry Friedman
What is it with sportswriters?
Read Frank Deford on the death of his daughter, Alexandra, in The Life of a Child … Jerry Izenberg on Muhammad Ali, walking along the banks of the Lualaba in Kinshasa after beating George Foreman and describing both the fame and loneliness of a champion … Charles Pierce on finding the embodiment of the American commonwealth in an old post office in Geneva, New York, and you will discover how the best writing of our generation often comes from the sports guys — those who are just as often relegated to the kids’ table of American journalism. Mitch Albom, a graduate of Brandeis University and Columbia Journalism School, sat at that table for years. He was successful; his work appeared in Sports Illustrated, The Philadelphia Enquirer, The Detroit News; he was a regular on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters. Something was missing, though, a void that neither success nor money was filling. And then he saw an old friend on Nightline. Morrie Schwartz, his old sociology professor, was telling Ted Koppel about being afflicted with ALS, talking about the inexorable journey into decay. 16
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, (you know it as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that attacks the neurons that connect the brain, the spinal cord, and the muscles throughout the body. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. It does not end, as it did in The Pride of the Yankees, at home plate in Yankee Stadium with thousands cheering. It is an ugly, humiliating way to die. Albom decided to visit, to spend, as he said at the time, only an afternoon. But he kept coming back — every Tuesday for the last five months of Schwartz’s life.
“I like myself better when I’m with you.” — Mitch Albom to Morrie Schwartz What came from those weekly afternoon visits was Tuesdays with Morrie. Before you can tell the story, you have to hear it. But let’s back up. They met when, as a freshman, Albom walked into Schwartz’s Introduction to Sociology class at Brandeis. Inexplicably, he immediately had second thoughts on
the course, but as he turned to walk out and head to the registrar’s office to drop it, he heard a voice. “Albom?” He stopped. “Yes.” “Do you prefer Mitchell or Mitch?” the voice asked. “My friends call me Mitch.” “Well then, I will too. I hope we can be friends.” Albom wound up majoring in sociology and taking every class Schwartz taught. Upon graduation, he promised to stay in touch. He didn’t. For 16 years, he didn’t. It was time to keep a promise. What Albom found when he saw Schwartz that first Tuesday was a man who was dying, clearly, but a man who was just as clearly engaged in life, whose memory and wisdom were intact. As the visits increased, Albom saw a man dispensing advice to others, talking of religion, youth, forgiveness, hope. Albom watched Schwartz’s health decline; he helped feed him, get him dressed. But the stories, the lessons kept coming. As he told Schwartz, after realizing he was pursuing the wrong goals and shortchanging the wrong people in his own life, “I like myself better when I’m with you.”
But how do you write that story? Another sports guy, The New York Times’ Red Smith (In 2010, Albom was named recipient of the Red Smith Award by the Associated Press) said trying to capture such a narrative was both simple and impossible. “Just sit down at a typewriter,” he said (when such things existed), “open a vein and bleed.” Or watch an old friend do so. “You know the biggest thing I dread?” Schwartz said. “When I can’t wipe my own rear end. For some reason, that really bothers me. But that’s coming. Pretty soon I think.” And it did. It’s what happens when people die, when friends do. Still, it was not the death, or even the dying that stayed with Albom, but Schwartz’s refusal to give up the memories — his love, for instance, of dancing or the touch from his granddaughter — that reminded him of who he was. “Death ends a life,” Albom wrote, “not a relationship.” “Living is giving,” Schwartz told him. The book has sold more than 15 million copies; the TV movie, starring Jack Lemmon (in his final role), won Emmy Awards; then came the play, which premiered in 2007.
Seventy minute long, no intermission. It is Act III of the relationship (let’s call Act I their time together at Brandeis; Act II the 16 some-odd years when there was no contact between them). Tuesdays with Morrie, the play, The New York Times wrote, was “crisper, cleverer and more palatable.” It’s more than a role for Tom Berenson, who stars in the show, because his mom also died of ALS. Berenson, though, is not playing Albom, but Schwartz. “The most vivid and, I must say, painful memory was seeing her in the hospital,” Berenson says of his mother, “just days before her death. She could no longer speak but still could grip your hand.” And here Berenson remembers Schwartz remembering. “Morrie talks about his own mother, her sickness and the fact that as a child he couldn’t face her suffering. He says that he abandoned his mother when
she needed him most. When I saw my mother in the hospital, I, too, couldn’t face her suffering and, as a result, I never said the words that I should have said to comfort her. “I carry that guilt to this day.” Guilt. Loss. Death ends a life, not a relationship. And even now when Albom talks about the book — and he still does on the lecture circuit, still taps into its themes in his other books: Have a Little Faith, The Time Keeper, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day — you still can see that freshman walking into a sociology class. Morrie Schwartz is still teaching.
Tuesdays With Morrie Presented by Theatre Tulsa January 10-12 at 8 p.m. January 13 at 2 p.m. LIDDY DOENGES THEATRE Tickets are $16; $12 for students and seniors; $10 for groups. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111
Tom Berenson as Morrie
IN TERMISSION Janu ar y 2013
c i s o u t ir la o n g i
by Matt Cauthron
THERE IS LITTLE in this world so awe-inspiring as witnessing total mastery of a musical instrument. Like seeing Yo-Yo Ma play the cello or Placido Domingo belt out an aria â€” sometimes a performerâ€™s perfection can elevate a piece of music to heights beyond the realm of imagination. By all accounts, Frank Vignola conjures just that sort of magic with his acoustic guitar. 18
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Vignola, a bona fide virtuoso who specializes in the brand of lightning-fast jazz picking made popular by the legendary guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt, has been hailed by critics and peers alike as one of the greatest guitarists alive. The late Les Paul, a guitar legend both as a player and technical innovator, once named Vignola among the top five guitarists in the world. Coming from a man whose name is synonymous with guitar excellence, that is high praise indeed. Vignola will grace the Williams Theatre stage with his acoustic artistry at a one-night-only performance on January 26. He likens his touring show to the vaudeville revues of the early 20th century, incorporating some comedy and audience participation into a musical showcase. He’s accompanied on tour by guitarist Vinny Raniolo. “Vinny and I perform songs that everyone knows — from Beethoven’s 5th to Simon and Garfunkel,” he says. “We have fun with the audience and even have sing-alongs. It’s a lot of fun.” Vignola was born on Long Island in 1965 and grew up in New York with a family that always appreciated and celebrated music. He first picked up a guitar at age six and hasn’t been without one since. “My father plays banjo, and he used to play all the classic jazz guitar recordings — from Django and Les Paul to Joe Pass and Charlie Christian,” he says. “One day he showed me the chords to play along with
the records, and it was then I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to music.” That dedication led Vignola to study music privately throughout his childhood, then to attend a high school for the performing arts on Long Island, where he honed his guitar chops but also acquired a deeper understanding of composition and music analysis. Barely into his 20s, Vignola had gained a reputation as one of the top pickers in the New York music scene and began getting gigs to record and tour with some of the area’s top acts. He would later tour with national acts such as Madonna, Ringo Starr and Leon Redbone. Vignola eventually came into his own as a bandleader in the late 1980s with a tribute band that paid homage to Reinhardt’s Hot Club of France, a five-piece outfit that invented the unique, string-driven style known as “gypsy jazz.” The New York Times named the tribute one of the top ten acts in New York City at the time, and the group’s success heralded a torrent of Hot Club tributes from Django disciples across the world. Vignola followed up the success of Hot Club by signing with a record label, Concord Jazz, and recording his first album as a bandleader. Called Appel Direct, the collection of gypsy jazz takes on jazz and blues standards. Several more releases on the Concord label followed, as well as a few albums playing with the jazz band Travelin’ Light.
Vignola says that although he relishes recording, nothing beats the satisfaction and joy of playing live. “Music concerts are an awesome experience,” he says. “I truly believe that next to silence, music is the highest form of prayer.” In the early part of this century, Vignola got a dream opportunity to play alongside one of his music heroes when Les Paul invited him to sit in with his band at a standing gig on Monday nights in New York City. Vignola has continued to appear as guitarist for the Les Paul Trio since Paul’s death in 2009. The steady local gig, as well as his role as a writer of instructional guitar books, allows Vignola to stay closer to home for longer stretches, but he still enjoys touring whenever possible. “I love to practice and really enjoy the feeling after a concert. Seeing all those smiling faces keeps me going,” he says. “The traveling is the tough part for me. Leaving my family to tour is always tough, but then the performing and the audiences make me realize why I do what I do.”
FrankVignola Presented by the PAC Trust 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. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111
Also from the PAC Trust this month: ROCK THE PRESIDENTS THIS HIGH-OCTANE, multimedia musical revue spans 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. With songs like “The Sons of Washington,” a driving rock anthem honoring Washington’s revolutionary idea of peacefully giv-
ing 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. IN TERMISSION Januar y 2013
Song Lyrics as Wall Art!
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OR HELP! WE'VE FALLEN OFF THE FISCAL CLIFF AND WE CAN'T GET UP by Nancy Bizjack
Gridiron cast members poke fun at the doomed Vision 2 tax proposal
Before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, before Saturday Night Live, before Mark Russell and The Capitol Steps, before Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, there was the Tulsa Gridiron. This ever-evolving band of writers and performers has been turning the previous year’s happenings into a hilarious evening of skits and songs for 80 consecutive years — more or less. “The 1933 show is generally considered to be the first true Tulsa Gridiron,” says Head Writer Randy Krehbiel, “but it’s all a little hazy. I’ve seen references to similar shows put on by the Tulsa Press Club at least as far back as 1912… Some old-timers have said it was not held during World War II. And we skipped a year a decade or so ago.” That’s why they’re calling this year’s production “The First Annual 80th Annual Gridiron.” But the subtitle gives you a better idea of what’s in store this year: “Vision Trouble or Help! We’ve Fallen Off the Fiscal Cliff and We Can’t Get Up.” Krehbiel hesitates to reveal much more about this year’s topics. As a writer for the Tulsa World, he knows a juicy news story, ripe for parody, could fall into his lap at
any moment. “The script typically evolves almost daily, depending on what’s going on in the world,” he explains. But he will allow that state, local and national newsmakers will be skewered, along with the weather. “We have found it is very safe to make fun of the weather.” Not that anyone seems to mind being satirized in the show. The mayor and other local VIPs are often in the audience — and laughing the loudest. “The ones with thin skins just don’t show up,” Krehbiel observes. And some hefty-hided ones are actually eager to be roasted. “I’ve had a couple ask why we haven’t made fun of them yet,” laughs Director Rebecca Ungerman. The gregarious singer and entertainer, who says she has been with Tulsa Gridiron
since 2004 as a writer, a performer, the vocal director, and, for the past few years, “wearing the director’s straitjacket,” was more specific when outlining some of this year’s targets: “We’re going to town on the new trash service, horribly messed up celebrity 20-somethings from the Jersey Shore to Hollywood, folks in Colorado and Washington toking up, the British Royals getting knocked up…and Paula Deen is going to drop by!” Other topics that may prove irresistible are the 2012 election, the General Petraeus scandal, and Tulsa Library’s bed-bug problem. The Gridiron originally consisted of a male-only cast performing for an all-male audience — behind closed doors. “Basically, it was an excuse for men to get out of the house for five or six weeks of ‘rehearsals’ that involved doing things they weren’t allowed to do at home,” Krehbiel says. “Gridiron is still fun to put on, but rehearsals are less like poker night and more like, well, rehearsal. We have more women than men in the cast now, and performances are geared more toward the general public than politicians and political insiders. The cast is drawn from many walks of life, from entertainment professionals to people who do not perform in any other event. For the most part, Gridiron is written and performed by regular people poking fun at the high and mighty.” What could be more fun than that?
TULSA GRIDIRON Presented by the Tulsa Gridiron Educational and Charitable Trust 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 $27 and $50. MyTicketOffice.com and 918-596-7111 IN TERMISSION Janua r y 2013
Westby Pavilion on the PAC’s Promenade Rental information 918.596.7124
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ON UPCOMING EVENTS TULS A BALLET
LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS
J. Shelton Photography
THE WORLD OF 19th-century Paris comes alive in this touching tale of a beautiful courtesan and her suitor, and a love that family and fate intervene to destroy. Choreographed by Val Caniparoli to music by Chopin, Lady of the Camellias is based on a play that was based on the novel La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas (the younger). The play inspired Verdi’s 1853 opera La Traviata, and the timeless story has been retold in several movies titled Camille, and in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge! Tulsa Ballet first performed Lady of the Camellias in 2000. The company then danced it for sold-out audiences at their international debut in Sintra, Portugal, in 2002, and again later that year in Tulsa. Ten years later, the Lady returns! February 1-2 at 8 p.m. February 3 at 3 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $20-$95.
ENCORE! THE ATRE ARTS
THE LOST PAGES OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN
AND THE BEANSTALK CONSPIRACY ENCORE’S original “fractured fairy tale” series continues! After Snow White and Prince Charming get married, Rumpelstiltskin arrives, causing mischief. Apparently the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk is a cover story for a deep, dark secret in fairytale land. Phantom, Merlin, Puss in Boots, Maleficent, the Fairy Godmother and Godfather, and other fanciful characters seek to uncover The Beanstalk Conspiracy. They must find the Dark Scrolls and the Prime Merlinian, then battle the evil Morgan LeFay. With sword fights, special effects, comedy and more, this exciting production written by Joshua Branson Barker and Mindy Barker is fun for the whole family. February 1, 8 at 7:30 p.m. February 2, 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. February 3, 10 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; $13 for students and seniors, $11 for children and groups.
TULS A TOWN HALL
ANN COMPTON THE FIRST full-time female network news White House correspondent, Ann Compton is now covering her seventh U.S. president. Reporting for all ABC News broadcasts, Compton has traveled around the globe and through all 50 states with presidents, vice presidents and first ladies. Twice during campaigns (1988 and 1992) she was invited to serve as a panelist for presidential debates. On September 11, 2001, Compton was the only broadcast reporter allowed to remain onboard Air Force One during the dramatic hours after the attacks when President George W. Bush was not allowed to return to Washington. Her reports were singled out by the judges who awarded ABC News an Emmy for the network’s coverage that day. The title of Compton’s talk is “Up Close and Very Personal.” February 8 at 10:30 a.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are sold by subscription; call 918-749-5965
TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM IN TERMISSION Janua r y 2013
ON UPCOMING EVENTS PL AYHOUSE TULS A
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK PLAYHOUSE artistic directors Chris Crawford and Courtneay Sanders star in this romantic comedy by Neil Simon. Adjusting to married life isn’t easy for free-spirited Corie and strait-laced attorney Paul, even though they’re madly in love. At their tiny fifth-floor walk-up in Manhattan, the couple must contend with a lack of heat, a skylight that leaks snow, their oddball neighbor Vincent Velasco, and Corie’s well-meaning mother. Barefoot in the Park premiered on Broadway in 1963 and ran until 1967, making it the prolific playwright’s longest-running hit and the tenthlongest-running non-musical play in Broadway history. In 1967 it was made into a movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.
TULS A SYMPHONY
TYPICALLY associated with energy, passion, love and intensity, the warm color red is an excellent backdrop for guest artist Mark O’Connor (pictured), who will perform his energetic, jazzy and swinging Double Violin Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music — any music — today,” O’Connor is a product of America’s rich folk tradition as well as classical music. His first teacher
February 8-9, 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. February 10 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 $25; $22 for students and seniors, $10 for children.
was Texas old-time fiddler Benny Thomasson, and later he was mentored by famed French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Now, at age 51, O’Connor has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing. Also on the program are Michael Daugherty’s Route 66 and Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 1. Timothy Myers is guest conductor. February 9 at 7:30 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $15-$70.
PL AYHOUSE TULS A
OFTEN CALLED Shakespeare’s most intimate tragedy, Othello’s realm is not of great kingdoms lost and won, nor of courtly politics. Othello, an esteemed general in the service of Venice and a Moor, has recently wed Desdemona, the daughter of a senator. When he promotes Cassio to be his lieutenant, the ambitious Iago is enraged. Othello aspires to belong to Desdemona’s world and instead becomes victim to its bigotry and his own monstrous terrors. Playhouse Tulsa will tell this tragic tale with a cast of only six actors. Carl Collins (Doctor in Playhouse’s TATE Award-winning production of The Unmentionables) stars in the title role. Rounding out the cast is Shannon Garcia as Desdemona, Chris Crawford as Iago, Courtneay Sanders as Emilia/ Brabantia, Tyler Humphries as Cassio/ Ensemble and Brittany Hamilton as Bianca/Ensemble. Chris Crawford will direct Othello. February 13 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 $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM 24
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LIVING ARTS OF TULS A
TULS A OPERA
INSPIRED BY the experience of acculturation to a new home and characterized by disorientation and a pervasive undercurrent of aggression, Strange Planet is a dance theatre work that disperses choreographic power to the performers, who are able to direct the work and each other from within the performance. As the past, present and future comingle, the six performers struggle to navigate a world disintegrating around them, trying to remember what must happen, recognize what has already happened, and be ready for what has never happened before. Strange Planet is performed by the Jordan Fuchs Company, a collaborative, project-based dance company directed and instigated by Jordan Fuchs, assistant professor of dance at Texas Woman’s University. The company
FROM Frank Loesser, the composer of Guys and Dolls, this original 1956 production of The Most Happy Fella has been termed “one of the most ambitiously operatic works ever written for Broadway.” Tony, an aging Italian vineyard owner, proposes to a young waitress, Rosabella, by mail but, leery of revealing his age, sends her a picture of his handsome foreman instead of one of himself. Celebrated Metropolitan Opera baritone and current Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Oklahoma Kim Josephson (pictured) stars as Tony. Soprano Katrina Thurman, an Oklahoma native recently acclaimed for her performances with Lyrique en Mer, Shreveport Opera and Sacramento Opera, portrays his beloved Rosabella. Dorothy Danner directs this Tulsa Opera premiere, which will be sung in English.
THE ATRE NORTH
RADIO GOLF BY AUGUST WILSON IVY LEAGUE-EDUCATED businessman Harmond Wilks could become Pittsburgh’s first African-American mayor. But will secrets from the past derail him from his country club future?
THE MOST HAPPY FELLA
NEW GENRE FESTIVAL: STRANGE PLANET
seeks to extend the expressive possibilities of live performance through explorations of form and formlessness, physical relationships at close-quarters, and through experiments with staging and technology. February 22-23 at 8 p.m. L I D D Y D O E N G E S T H E AT R E
Radio Golf is a fast-paced, dynamic and wonderfully funny work about the world today and the dreams we have for the future. Set in Pittsburgh in the late 1990s, it’s the story of a successful entrepreneur who aspires to become the city’s first black mayor. But when the past begins to catch up with him, secrets get revealed that could be his undoing.
February 23 at 7:30 p.m. March 1 at 7:30 p.m. March 3 at 2:30 p.m. CHAPMAN MUSIC HALL Tickets are $54-$98.
The most contemporary of all of August Wilson’s work, Radio Golf is the final play in the Pulitzer Prize winner’s unprecedented 10-play cycle chronicling African-American life in the 20th century. February 23 at 8 p.m. February 24 at 3 p.m. March 1-2 at 8 p.m. C H A R L E S E . N O R M A N T H E AT R E
TULSA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • TULSAPAC.COM • BUY TICKETS AT 918-596-7111 AND MYTICKETOFFICE.COM IN TERMISSION Januar y 2013
ON UPCOMING EVENTS FEBRUARY
LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS Feb. 1-2 at 8 p.m. Feb. 3 at 3 p.m. Chapman Music Hall ENCORE! THEATRE ARTS
THE LOST PAGES OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN AND THE BEANSTALK CONSPIRACY 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 VARIOUS ARTISTS
FACULTY ART SHOW Feb. 1-27 PAC Gallery TULSA TOWN HALL
ANN COMPTON Feb. 8 at 10:30 a.m. Chapman Music Hall PLAYHOUSE TULSA
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 PLAYHOUSE TULSA
OTHELLO Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre
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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CHAMBER MUSIC TULSA
TESLA QUARTET Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. John H. Williams Theatre LIVING ARTS OF TULSA
THE MOST HAPPY FELLA Feb. 23 and Mar. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Mar. 3 at 2:30 p.m. Chapman Music Hall
STRANGE PLANET Feb. 22-23 at 8 p.m. Liddy Doenges Theatre
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.
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 may change without notice.
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
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.
Reader Leader. More Tulsans read TulsaPeople than any other local magazine according to new data from The Media Audit. The readership statistics below reflect the just-released results of the national research firm’s annual consumer survey conducted in Tulsa. Readership difference between TulsaPeople Magazine and other magazines
Ranker Report 4 Edition cume
Urban Tulsa Weekly
Community Spirit Magazine
Nu Redo Magazine
High School Sports
While some publications boast about the number of copies they reportedly print, TulsaPeople is proud to be the magazine read by more Tulsans than any other non-daily publication. If you are interested in knowing more about The Media Audit, a division of International Demographics, Inc., and the latest statistics on Tulsa consumers and their retail buying and media usage characteristics, please email Susie@langdonpublishing.com.
The Media Audit BASED ON 700 RESPONDENTS OUT OF THE TOTAL SAMPLE OF 700 BASE # OF RESPONDENTS Information is Subject to All Limitations and Restrictions as Stated in the original Survey. THE MEDIA AUDIT PROGRAM & REPORT COPYRIGHT 2009 BY INTERNATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS INC. 1033 RICHMOND AVE. SUITE 200 - HOUSTON, TX 77402 713/626-0333 The Media Audit’s Tulsa Survey - June-September 2012, Adults 18+
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