When was the last time you saw a Molière play produced? Theatre Pops' Artist Director Randall Whalen contends not many local companies produce Molière -- except his.
Theatre Pops presents The Misanthrope, Molière's 17th Century comedy of manners, June 24-26 at The Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St., in the Charles E. Norman Theatre.
"I chose Misanthrope for the language," Whalen said. "I liked the idea of pretension and the arts. Alceste to me was an artist surrounded by others whom he didn't like, and I see the humor in that.
"I've certainly been there in the past."
The Misanthrope centers around Alceste, who, by rejecting the polite social conventions of the French aristocracy, has made himself rather unpopular.
His disdain for his culture produces a conflict, though, when he falls in love with Célimène, a young woman to whom social conventions are of great importance.
Although he has other potential suitors, Aleceste's sights are set on Célimène, which forces him to re-examine his distaste for mankind.
Whalen chose to modernize the tale, updating all areas of the play except its language.
"I just wanted to modernize it to help tell the story, to make it relevant to today; right now," he said. "I want (audiences) to see characters that they know, that will make the show fun for them.
"The language is the key -- it works, the humor. It doesn't need to be fixed or updated anything.
"It's perfect as is," he said. "Audiences will see real people doing stylish dialogue and beautiful comedic language."
Ed Dill directs Whalen as Alceste and Hanna Nobles as Célimène. The play also features Grey Cavitt, Brigid Kimery Vance, Jenny Guy, Charles Kevin Smith, Trey Hammond, Adam Billings, Jory Cline and Beau Dill.
Tickets are $15 each, and the show begins at 8pm each evening. Visit www.tulsapac.com for more information.
Also this weekend, June 24-26 at 8pm and June 27 at 2pm, The Actors Company of Tulsa present Friedrich Durrenmatt's The Visit, starring Amy Carlin Lee and Andy Axewell.
In The Visit, the town of Guellen is in a state of disrepair, suffering financially. A former resident-turned-billionairess, Claire Zachanassian, returns to Guellen, promising to revive it by donating a billion dollars, half of which will be injected into the town and the other half will be divided amongst the townspeople.
There is a catch, though -- the town's receipt of the money is dependent on their murdering one of its most promising citizens, Anton Schill, who shamed Claire and forced her from the town many years ago.
The Actors Company, technically in existence since 2008 but operating under different names each year, is lead by Starr Hardgrove, who said his choice of this play for production is relative to current events.
"This play is very timely in the same way that our city is dealing with the budget crisis of its own," he said. "I think we all relate to hopefully having a rich uncle or someone else who will save us from the utter dispair and mess of a life that we have gotten ourselves into.
"This show also deals with strong moral questions that would be perfect for a Sunday school lesson or a town hall debate. Which is more important, the needs of the many or the needs of the few? How much is one man's life worth? This play not only entertains on a sometimes Vaudvillian level, but it informs the audience members and may even enlighten them."
The cast also includes Iris Ballou, Catrina Berner, Morgan Biggs, Paul Henry, Jenn Thomas, Stephen Brown, Bryan Dale Walker and Robert Young.
It's part of the PAC's SummerStage Festival and plays in the venue's Liddy Doenges Theatre. Tickets are $15 and available at the PAC's website.
A Little Light Music
Light Opera Oklahoma, which has so far this season entertained us with The Boy Friend and Patience presents Kiss Me, Kate June 23-26 at 8pm, June 27 at 2pm, July 1 and 3 at 8pm and July 3 at 2pm.
Cole Porter's classic musical has its characters putting on a musical production of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Essentially, a play within a play.
Its director, the egotistical Fred Graham, played by Ron Loyd, stars in the play as Petruchio, opposite his diva ex-wife Lilli Vanessi (Christina Hager), who plays Katherine Minola.
Graham's new girlfriend, Lois Lane (Andrea Leap) is also in the show as Bianca, but she is secretly interested in Bill Calhoun (Erick Castille), the actor playing Lucentio.
As the story unfolds on stage, so does another backstage, as confusion erupts between the four lovers.
This show plays in the PAC's John H. Williams Theatre, and tickets are $25.
LOOK also continues its runs of The Boy Friend, June 27 and 29-30 at 8pm and June 30 at 2pm in the Doenges, and Patience, June 26 at 2pm and July 2 at 8pm in the Williams. Tickets to all three shows are available at the PAC's website.
Fab is Back
On Friday, June 25, at 8pm in the PAC's Chapman Music Hall, Celebrity Attractions presents 1964: The Tribute, the ever-popular tribute to The Beatles.
The show, which Rolling Stone magazine called the "best Beatles tribute in the world," is back in town for its 25th consecutive summer performance in Tulsa.
According to the site, "1964 has accomplished what many other acts could only dream of: An astonishingly accurate recreation of the energy and the magic of those touring years."
Tickets to the show are $25 and $46 and available at the PAC's website.
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