POSTED ON JUNE 10, 2009:
Summer arts season brings audiences an array of reflections on human nature
Heating Up. Part of SummerStage 2009, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, with Ed Dill, Grey Cavitt, Brigid Kimery Vance and Meghan Hurley, examines the sex lives of 20-somethings living in Chicago in the 1970s.
Last month's spectacular performance of Speed-the-Plow by the Odeum Theatre Company (a new spin off of Choregus Productions; check out Arts Experienced in the May 29-June 3 issue for more) reignited my lust for David Mamet.
Following the opening night performance (which was beautifully acted by Will Carpenter, Leslie Long and Whitson Hanna; can't wait to see more out of those guys) I rushed home, yanked my worn copy of True and False off the shelf and got lost in Mamet's words for two days.
And this week, Theatre Pops, as part the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust's annual SummerStage Festival, will attack two of the Pulitzer Prize-winner's one-act works, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Duck Variations.
Sexual Perversity in Chicago, with Ed Dill, Grey Cavitt, Brigid Kimery Vance and Meghan Hurley, examines the sex lives of 20-somethings living in Chicago in the 1970s. Ripe with Mamet's distinctive biting dialogue, the tale follows two couples who, because they can't talk openly with one another, fail to function properly together in relationships.
The companion piece, The Duck Variations, starring Darrell Christopher and George Spelvin, centers on two old men who meet on a park bench near a pond. As they fumble over what to talk about, their conversation continues to drift toward the ducks swimming in the pond. Through their seemingly meaningless conversations about ducks, they actually touch upon topics of life, death and human nature.
Randall Whalen directs both shows. The curtain rises at 8pm June 11-13 and at 2pm June 14 in the Charles E. Norman Theatre of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Second St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Get 'em by calling 587-5221 or go to www.tulsapac.com.
A Little Light Opera
Also opening this week at the PAC is Light Opera Oklahoma's season, which includes My Fair Lady, The Gondoliers and A Little Night Music.
Directed by Eric Gibson, My Fair Lady tells the story of a reasonable man who challenges a pompous professor that he cannot transform a common, Cockney flower girl into a Duchess.
Based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, My Fair Lady stars Andrea Leap as Eliza Doolittle, Ron Loyd as Henry Higgins, Patrick Jacobs as Alfred P. Doolittle (Elza's lush father) and Patrick Howie as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the nobleman who falls in love with the changed Eliza.
My Fair Lady plays June 11-July 5 in the John H. Williams Theatre of the PAC. Tickets are $15.
The Gondoliers, June 14-July 1 in the PAC's Norman Theatre, is a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan exploring social class and noble pretensions.
Two couples fall in love and get married in a double wedding. But, on the big day, the males discover that one is already married and is the king of Barataria.
Gibson directs April Golliver as Tessa, Howle as Giuseppe, John Bernard as Marco and Claire Connelly as Gianetta.
Tickets are $15.
A Little Night Music, June 25-July 3 in the Williams Theatre, is a Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim involving the romantic lives of several couples and set to waltz music.
John Bowen directs Jenna Harris, Judith MacDonald, Andrea Leap and Ron Loyd.
Continuing this weekend is the Nightingale Theater's One Man's as Good as Another, written by John Cruncleton and directed by Sara Cruncleton.
An all-star cast acts out a tale of two small-time criminals fleeing the police in Hot Springs, Ark., who are mistaken for Pretty Boy Floyd and his accomplice, George Birdwell.
Expecting to gain riches and notoriety, the two assume the men's identities and all hell breaks loose in a "notorious health resort hootch-house for the wealthy elite and the criminally renowned."
The curtain rises at 8pm this Friday and Saturday at the theater at 1416 E. Fourth St. Tickets are $8. More at www.nightingaletheater.com.
Orasi Productions delivers its second run of BBQ Angel: A Controversial Farce, written by Joshua Oakes and presented as the official theatre selection for Tulsa Pride 2009.
The play follows the fictitious founding of an anti-gay evangelical ministry. The play explores the role hate plays in society, connections between religion and sexuality and the role of fundamentalism in America.
"The only way to fight extremity is to laugh through it," recites the play's founder. "Fighting intolerance one joke at a time."
The YWCA presents "Wine, Women and Shoes" June 11-13. The event began two years ago to benefit the clients served by YWCA with programs ranging from childcare and senior services, immigrant and refugee programs and fitness centers.
The event was expanded this year to include art, which will be on display at Pearl Gallery, 1201 E. Third St., and is inspired by the YWCA's mission of "eliminating racism and empowering women."
The exhibit opens on Thursday at 5:30pm and will include a wine and shoe pairing event (do you know which vintage goes with your stilettos?). The event is $40 per person.
The weekend also includes "A Taste of Wine Country," held in three area homes (Paula Marshall, Brian Close and Steve and Marla Bradshaw) on Friday, featuring wine presentations and catered food prepared by local chefs. Individual tickets are $150.
On Saturday, the Luncheon, Fashion Show and Marketplace, at the Renaissance Hotel, 6808 S. 107th East Ave., will feature more wine, plus a fashion show and a marketplace for shoes, accessories. Reservations are $75 per person.
For more, visit www.ywcatulsa.org.
A Piece of her Heart
Opening June 11, M.A. Doran Gallery, 3509 S. Peoria, presents new paintings by Tulsa native Jeannie Gooden. Formerly employed by Philbrook Museum, Gooden retired and now paints full time in her new home of San Miguel, Mexico.
In her newest body of work, titled "Signed in Red," the abstract artist incorporates a red mark in each painting "used as a reminder to focus on love, hope and all things good."
"The 26 paintings in the show are the result of working from a very personal perspective at an unusually pivotal time," writes Gooden in her artist's statement. "From the time the first 10 paintings were in progress, 'Signed in Red' became the space in which I could place all of my thoughts, feelings and ideas."
Gooden said that, while painting, she began to reflect on the things that mean the most to her--love, life and family--as well as the choices available to every individual and issues of health and creativity.
"Red is passionate, powerful and never passive. Each red mark is meant to underscore the similarities of our thoughts and emotions," she writes.
"Signed in Red" opens with an artist's reception Thursday, June 11 at 5pm. The artist will be in attendance. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. More at www.madorangallery.com.
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