Category Archives: Broadway

Oklahoma! at Tulsa’s Clark Theater

Clarkies singing Oklahoma

We have been very busy lately, really busy. We weren’t too busy though to attend Clark Youth Theater’s performance of “Oklahoma!” the Rogers and Hammerstein Musical. It was fun and it was good. If you live in Oklahoma you should know the title song by heart because it is not only one of the great tunes of musical theater, it is also Oklahoma’s state song.

The musical is about optimism and hope, love, and good versus evil. it has it’s fun parts and it has it’s dark parts. The kids did a great job putting it on. ┬áLogan wasn’t in it but he auditioned for and got a part in Clark’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever which is going to play several times in December.

In the meantime, if you live in the Tulsa area go see Clark’s Oklahoma! If you miss it, goodness forbid, go see Augustine Christine Academy’s production which I think is going to be in November. Or you know, you could go see both productions.

Or what the heck watch the movie version above?

I have seen Oklahoma! on stage only three times I think. The first time in Jackson, Wyoming back in the late 60’s. The last time maybe fifteen years ago here in Tulsa in an outdoor theater where they brought real horses on stage. It was cool,

Have you ever seen Oklahoma! live?

Jersey Boys – the Musical

Last night Sweetie and I ventured downtown to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center to see the touring production of “Jersey Boys.” It is the story of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons starting from way back when a few kids from New Jersey gathered under a street light and came up with their new sound.

They get into the business and go on tour playing clubs all over the USA looking for their big break under names “The Lovers,” “The Royal Teens,”  and “The Romans” looking for the big hit.

A little past halfway in the first act the band finally finds their hit “Sherry.” When that song starts it almost explodes off the stage and has a visceral effect on the audience. These guys nail the song and they follow it up with “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man.” It might be the best three consecutive songs I have ever heard in a musical.

From then on the production is about band dealing with their success and the pressures and problems of trying to keep a family together while touring. It is also about the complicated business dealings in the musical business and the effect that has on the band. It is also how the band held their own against the British Invasion of the 1960’s.

It also shows the musical evolution of the group from upbeat teen pop songs to more grown up and introspective fare such as “Stay”, “Bye Bye Baby”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, and “Rag Doll.”

I loved this show, Five Stars out of Five for Musicals as far as I am concerned. It’s here in Tulsa until June 24 and then it goes to Denver. Go see it, you’ll love it.

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Fiddler on the Roof with John Preece as Tevye

Last night Sweetie and I dropped the kid off at Nana’s and drove downtown to Tulsa’s Performing Arts Center to see the touring Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof.

John Preece played the lead character, Tevye. He certainly has the beard for the role. He has played Tevye just over 1900 times and is on his tenth touring production. He lives the role, he certainly didn’t call his performance in last night.

This production is wonderful. Preece did a great job as Tevye, the rest of the cast was wonderful and even though the musical is kind of long at almost three hours including intermission it never dragged. It is the complete musical package of story, singing, and dancing.  If this production comes to your town check it out. I give it four stars out of five.

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The Addams Family – The Broadway Musical

All of the Yogi’s went downtown last week to see the Addams Family touring production at the Performing Arts Center. If you are a Baby Boomer of a certain age surely you remember the Addams Family on television.

(I loved this show.)

All the characters are in the musical: Morticia (with lots more cleavage than on television), Gomez, the dad, the lovable siblings Pugsley and Wednesday (who is not the little girl she was on television),  Lurch, and Grandma.

This musical is not about the songs which are not that great, it is about the comedy. It really is funny and much of it is PG13 as is the language. SuperPizzaBoy kept leaning over alternating between, “I don’t get.” to “Did he say what I thought he said.”

Overall it was a well done show. It’s not like I’ll not be following it from town to town though. It is a three star out of five production to me.

I didn’t know it until recently but the Addams Family television show was loosely based on the New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams’ work. The show had a display of some of his cartoons. So that was interesting.

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Burn the Floor

Sweetie and I ventured to downtown Tulsa on Saturday to see “Burn the Floor” at the Performing Arts Center. It was a wonderful show. It is just dancing, ballroom dancing and the dancers are wonderful. They alternate the fast paced dances with the waltzes. It is a great show.

I give it five stars out of five. Go see it.

The Wizard of Oz

Saturday night Sweetie and I loaded up SuperPizzaBoy and drove to Tulsa’s Performing Arts Center to see the touring production of The Wizard of Oz.

We, including SPB, loved it. The show moves along quickly and the singing and dancing is very good.

This is a good show to take the kids. Totally G rated.

Find more videos like this on Friends of NETworks

I give the show 3 stars out of 4. Go see it, take the kids. Have a good time.

Cirque Dreams Illumination

Saturday afternon we left SuperPizzaBoy in the hands of a capable sitter and Sweetie and I ventured downtown to the Performing Arts Center to see Cirque Dreams Illumination.

It was amazing. The things I saw I didn’t know people are capable of doing. If I hadn’t seen it live I would think it was done on a computer.

(Photo from their website)

Their own website best describes the production:

“CIRQUE DREAMS ILLUMINATION blends world renowned imagination, critically acclaimed theatrical innovation and breathtaking presentation into a story that illuminates a city of everyday people, workers and pedestrians into feats of disbelief. Marvel as 27 world-class artists illuminate objects, balance on wires, leap structures and redefine flight with entertaining variety, comedy and extraordinary occurrences that reinvent everyday life. Urban acrobatics, dazzling choreography and brilliant illusions are ignited by special effects performed to a stylish original score of jazz, salsa, ballroom, pop and trendy beats from the streets.”

I hate to be such a shill but they are telling the truth. We saw some unbelievable things yesterday done in a very stylish and entertaining manner. Today is its last day in Tulsa.

I give it four stars out of four.

August: Osage County

Sunday afternoon Sweetie and I ventured downtown and maneuvered through the ice and snow on the parking lots and sidewalks to see the national touring production of  “August: Osage County” at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. I mean we had to go see it, we have some ties. First the play is set in Pawhuska, OK about 60 miles northwest of Tulsa, in Osage County. Second the play was written by Tracy Letts. I have never met him but I have met his mother, the author Billie Letts, (an experience that I am sure changed her life.). Third Mrs. Letts and her late husband,  Dennis Letts, were associated with my Sweetie’s alma mater, Southeast Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK. ( You may recall that Durant is home of the world’s biggest peanut, but that is another post.)

The play is about the Weston family. The patriarch, Beverly disappears after a brief appearance at the beginning of the play. His three daughters and others in the family show up to join his wife Violet Weston in figuring out what to do. Beverly is a drunk and Violet is a druggie. He says they have “an arrangement.” The play is about the dysfunctional family and how no matter how bad things are, it can always get worse.

Estelle Parsons plays the role of Violet. She is one foul mouthed abusive domineering mother. Ms. Parson’s steals the show in the second act during a dinner scene. With a foul leer on her mouth she lets each of her daughters have it in an explosion of language of cursing and venom that blistered my ears.

The play is advertised like a drama but the audience laughed a lot. The characters, but one, are cynical and you know cynicism plays funny, like sarcasm, but empty. Much of the dialogue is funny but its the kind of funny that doesn’t really make you feel good. I am not talking about the quality of the script. I am talking about the desperation of the characters.

The family members are living desperate lives. They don’t have anywhere to go. The source of grace in the show is Johnna Montevata, a Cheyenne Indian whom Beverly Weston hired, to cook and clean, before he disappeared. She is the one source of grace and solace in the show. Violet calls her “The Indian in the attic.” The attic is where the characters go for comfort.

The set is an important part of the play. It is huge, three stories high and looms over everything like a separate presence. Its like a cathedral.  I am not smart enough to figure out how it is all supposed to work, but the Weston family is in sliding into chaos and needs some sort of deliverance.

I loved this play. The script and the characters rang true. Beware, it is very very intense and the language is rough This isn’t a play for children

I give it four stars out of four.

Check out the National Tour web site. Lots of good info there.

Legally Blonde

Sweetie and I went to see the touring edition of the Broadway musical “Legally Blonde.” It is a lot of fun and  is well done and we enjoyed it tremendously. Check out the show’s web site. Lots of good information their as wells as links to Youtube videos of segments of the show.

The lead was played by Becky Gulsvig. She was a ball of fire on stage.  Check out her website. It has links to her blog. (She hasn’t posted for months but I bet she is busy.)

Her website linked to this Youtube video that intersperses her performance with an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

It was a lot of fun. I give it 3 stars out of 4.