Nothing says summer vacation like an evening spent lounging on a blanket on the lawn at the Philbrook Museum of Art, with the stars acting as stage lights to a local community theater's production of William Shakespeare's most misogynistic play.
OK, so maybe the aforementioned scenario isn't the stereotypical definition of summer, but it does have the makings of a pleasant night.
This weekend and next, audiences will trade their theater seats for folding chairs and blankets as American Theatre Co. spends Friday and Saturday nights acting out William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew on the museum's expansive lawn.
The tale is of Petruchio (Jeremy Geiger), a gentleman from Verona, and Katherina (Rebecca Blackmore), the "shrew" he is intent on marrying -- one he must "tame" first to do so.
In Shakespeare's version, which has been copied many times over my modern filmmakers, Kate is obstinate and temperamental, and there isn't a fellow in Italy who'd wish to marry her. Her younger sister, Bianca, has many suitors, but the girls' father, Baptista Minola, a lord in Padua, won't allow Bianca to marry until Katherina does.
Lucentio, who has recently arrived in Padua to study at the university, falls in love with Bianca the moment he sees her, but he hears of her father's ultimatum. Petruchio has come to Padua at the same time, hoping to strike fortune, and is recruited by Lucentio's pal Hortensio to woo Kate.
Lucentio and Petruchio infiltrate the girls' music lessons, pretending to be tutors, and attempt to work their charm. Petruchio does so using an odd brand of reverse psychology: He pretends that every hateful thing Katherina says is sweet. His method works well enough that Kate agrees to an engagement and is later married to him in a farcical ceremony against her will. After Petruchio drags his new bride home, then the taming really begins.
The story, if not the play itself, is one familiar to many, and the fact that it's performed outdoors and under the stars, rather than within the four walls of a theater, should prove inviting enough to attract an audience of unlikely theater-goers (with some likely theater-goers in attendance, too, of course).
Audiences are welcome to bring a picnic basket and dine al fresco prior to or during the show. The show starts at 8pm this Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28, and next, June 3 and 4. The lawn opens at 6:30pm. Tickets are $13 for Philbrook members and $15 for non-members, and they're available in advance at myticketoffice.com or any Reasor's grocery store and on the day of the show at Philbrook, at 2727 S. Rockford Ave. More information is at philbrook.org.
This weekend, May 27-29, Theatre North presents Nilaja Sun's No Child..., a one-woman show starring Whitney Davis, about a teacher who tries to build self-esteem and respect for others among a group of unruly Bronx 10th graders.
When it was performed off-Broadway in 2006, Sun's play received critical acclaim -- and also earned her 17 awards, including an Obie and two Outer Critics Circle awards.
The play is based on Sun's experience working with inner-city students as a visiting artist in the New York City public school system. Davis portrays the playwright, who transforms into teachers, students, parents, administrators, janitors and security guards in order to display the school system's innards.
In a review for offbroadwayworld.com, Michael Dale writes: "Sun sees the dehumanizing effects of a childhood barely different from prison and tries to instill self-esteem into her charges by treating them with respect, expecting respect in return, and challenging them to achieve more than anyone has ever expected from them. There's no storybook ending to the tale, but there is realistic optimism."
The curtain goes up at 8pm May 27 and 28 and at 3pm May 29 in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Liddy Doenges Theatre, 110 E. Second St. Tickets are $15 and are available at tulsapac.com.
Also playing at the PAC is Andrew Lloyd Weber's Cats, presented by Celebrity Attractions, in the Chapman Music Hall Tuesday, May 31 and Wednesday, June 1.
Winner of seven Tony awards, Cats is based on poems by T.S. Eliot and first opened in London's West End in 1981 and on Broadway in 1982.
The musical, which is the second-longest running on Broadway, is about the different cats in the Jellicle Tribe who are preparing for the Jellicle Ball.
Tickets to the show, which begins at 7:30pm both nights, with an additional 2pm performance on Wednesday, are about $50 and available through the PAC's website.
Also this weekend, Living Arts hosts its annual ArtCar Weekend, with various events happening between May 26 and 28.
An art car is a vehicle, motorcycle, scooter or bicycle that has been transformed into a personalized creation of art.
"The degree of transformation is a personal choice made up from the imagination, skills and resources of the art car artist," said Nicole McMahan, ArtCar Weekend chair. "Some artists alter their creation with materials of a temporary nature. Others treat their art car as a canvas and visually alter their creation with paint or change the original structure of the car body to create a moving sculpture.
"Anyone can be an art car artist -- even welders or mechanics. Cutting torch or Krazy Glue, there are no rules to how you make an art car."
Tulsa ArtCar Weekend kicks off on Thursday, May 26 at Joe Momma's, 112 S. Elgin Ave., for Live Event Trivia, benefiting Tulsa ArtCar Weekend and Living Arts, from 8-10pm.
On Friday, May 27, from 8:30am-1pm, the art cars will travel to several local schools to give students an opportunity to view the vehicles and discuss them with the artists. Also on Friday evening, the art cars will be on display at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady St., beginning at 6pm, along with the current exhibits in Living ArtSpace. Admission is $5 per person.
On Saturday, May 28, from 8-11am, the art cars will be on display at the Cherry Street Farmer's Market, 15th Street between Peoria and Utica avenues. Beginning at 1pm, the art cars will travel to a series of prescheduled stops in the midtown and Brookside areas.
More information, including a complete schedule of events, is available at livingarts.org.
Share this article: