Still on most people's list of top ten scariest moments in film is undoubtedly the scene from the 1967 Audrey Hepburn vehicle, Wait Until Dark. If you've never seen it, or don't know the scene in question, you're in luck as Encore! Theatre Arts presents the play this weekend at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
Starring the husband and wife team of Joshua Branson Barker and wife Mindy Barker as Roat and Susy, respectively, Wait Until Dark tells a tale of a blind woman at home in her New York apartment. She finds herself in possession of an item some very bad men want very badly, and once they come for her, she evens the odds by killing the lights, so she's not the only blind one. It's a gripping story, one that the Barkers have had experience with before.
"From the beginning, Mindy and I planned to play Susy and Roat because we played these roles with a different theater company awhile back, and this show became one of our favorites," Joshua Branson Barker said. "The actors playing these two roles must have great chemistry, especially to make the final scene of the play believable, as it is quite violent and physical."
The familiarity bred of marriage helps the actors devote all their attention to the scene in question, he said. "Because we are married, there is a deeper level of trust and honesty between us. There are no worries about each other's comfort zone."
Encore! Tulsa is barely a year and a half old, but already has quite a few productions under its collective belt, from Steel Magnolias to Fame to Alice in Wonderland. Barker -- who also directs Wait Until Dark and serves as the company's artistic director -- speaks to the wide variety of shows the company undertakes.
"We offer productions for all ages of actors and audiences. Each show has a different feel, and while one is great for families, another is perfect for a girl's night out, and another for date night," he said.
Rounding out the cast are Barker's brothers, Jared and Justin Barker as two of the criminals, as well as Blake Lewis and Victoria Hannath. With four of the six roles filled by Barkers, the idea of cast as family goes a lot further than most shows.
"With a small cast of six, it's hard not to become close and feel like family," the director Branson said, and performing with his brothers is new, too. "I have never performed in a play with both Justin and Jared. It's pretty cool to have three brothers playing the three con men," he said.
Wait Until Dark runs Oct. 14 at 7:30pm, Oct. 15 at 2pm and 7:30pm, and Oct. 16 at 2pm in the Liddy Doenges Theatre of the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $16, with student and senior tickets at $13, available online at tulsapac.com or by phone at 918-596-7111.
Elsewhere in the PAC, and boasting a completely different atmosphere, Tulsa Opera concludes its run of The Barber of Seville, often referred to as the perfect operatic comedy, and without a doubt one of the most recognizable operas of all (trust me, you've heard pieces of it).
This tale of lies and tricks cooked up by barber Figaro and Count Almaviva as they try to win the love of Rosina stars Tulsa native Sarah Coburn, who brings her fantastic voice back home. Sung in Italian with English supertitles, this is date night material, and a great opera for the opera-going novice. Think of it as entry-level opera, though that by no means indicates a lack of quality in the material or the production.
Two performances remain, these on Oct. 14 at 7:30pm and Oct. 16 at 2:30pm in the PAC's Chapman Music Hall. Tickets are available through the Tulsa Opera ticket office at 918-587-4811, or at tulsapac.com and range in price from $10 to $98.
Art on Display
As long as you're downtown, build a little extra time into your excursion to stop by Dwelling Spaces at 119 S. Detroit, currently displaying the artwork of Oklahoma City artist Matt Goad. The artist uses woodcut printing, stencils, silkscreen, and bold shapes to create his work, which he refers to as chunkism. His very geometric designs depict animals and nature, making for an interesting juxtaposition. His work ends up looking like that of the love child of Lichtenstein and Mondrian. Goad's use of negative space is also quite interesting. The artist's show is Oct. 15 from 6-9pm at Dwelling Spaces.
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