POSTED ON JANUARY 18, 2012:
Dead Is the New Alive
The new year is off to a great start on stage and in the galleries
Creepy and kooky they may be, The Addams Family has made a remarkable mainstream journey over several decades. Making their debut in 1933 as a bizarre, yet cozy couple in American cartoonist Charles Addams' work in the New Yorker, to the popular television show in the '60s, several movies in the '90s, to the Broadway hit that was nominated for multiple Tony awards in 2010, the Frankenstein of a show is arriving in Tulsa on Jan. 24 for eight performances.
The cast includes Tony Award nominee Douglas Sills and Sara Gettelfinger to star as Gomez and Morticia, the uber-sexually charged couple who are facing every parent's nightmare: their deliciously dark daughter, Wednesday, played by Courtney Woflson, has fallen in love with a sweet, normal fellow from a respectable family. Oh, the horror!
Wednesday convinces Gomez to keep her secret love under mummified wraps, but this creates a terrible wrinkle in the macabre-oriented parent's marriage. Morticia cannot abide secrets and the crisis escalates into entertainment alchemy-created-gold.
Shall Gomez keep Wednesday's secret relationship from his beloved wife Morticia? Everything may change for the Addams family, but it is the Tulsa audience who are on the receiving end of a fantastic show, which has been revamped from the Broadway version.
Also featured are instantly-recognizable characters of Pugsley, played by Patrick D. Kennedy, the electric and strange Uncle Fester, played by Blake Hammond, and the long, tall, lovable and loyal family servant Lurch, played by Tom Corbeil.
It's not all cobwebs and monsters, the love interest of Wednesday is part of the Beineke family, whose parents Mal and Alice, played by Tony nominated actors, create a foil of "normal" against the dark Victorian backdrop. Even Grandma Addams and the Addams Ancestors weigh in on the horror-kissed, and family-centered action.
"I think the audience will find Uncle Fester's romantic interest very amusing," Kennedy said. "I won't say who it is, but it is one of the funniest parts of the show. The most surprising theme would have to be that the kooky Addams' clan is really a loving and normal family that shares themselves with their houseguests, the Beinekes. You get the feeling that you would be welcome in their home."
Patrick said he is thrilled to be playing the part of Pugsley in the national touring company, after performing in several regional musicals, from Mame to Les Miserables.
The original Broadway version of the show featured Bebe Neuwirth as Morticia and Nathan Lane as Gomez. The musical contains many catchy tunes, such as "Trapped" sung by Gomez as he realizes he is indeed being pulled in several directions by wife and daughter. The climax culminates in a paternal pas de deux in a song called "Tango de Amor" which is akin to the tango scene made famous by Raul Julia and Angelica Houston in the movie Addams Family Values.
The Addams Family, a new musical comedy, opens their crypt at the Tulsa Performing Arts center at 8pm, Jan. 24-29; and at 2pm on Jan. 28-29. Tickets can be purchased via phone at 918-596-7111, in person at the Tulsa PAC Ticket Office, or online at myticketoffice.com.
Method, Mode and Opportunity
James Fields has made a name for himself as the ringmaster of the Murder Mystery Series. One of the most popular shows, an '80s themed mystery, Do U Really Want 2 Hurt Me, Do U Really Want 2 Kill Me Now? has been performed 108 times.
How does this format of glorified dinner theater draw such a following that the next two shows are already sold out?
"The Ultimate Murder Mystery is a unique experience in that guests are allowed to try to solve the mysteries that will unfold during their dining experience," Fields said. "This is a format which allows them to witness the mystery, speak out to suspects, get handwriting samples, discover evidence, crack a 'coded' message, go on a scavenger hunt and write down who they believe is responsible for the murder or murders and give method, motive and opportunity.
"For the public shows, people arrive as couples, as a small group, or a large block of tickets have been purchased for a birthday, wedding anniversary or business party."
These shows are mixed with wildly entertaining spectacles for the audience and laced with the challenge of ad-lib plus learning lines for the actors lucky enough to land a role.
James has created several 'theme' mysteries in which the audience is encouraged to dress according to the theme of the evening. For the upcoming show, Curse of the Phantom Cowboy, and the other country-laced show, Trailer Trash Karaoke Death Match, audience members frequently show up bedecked in Western attire.
Never fear, you haters of all things country! James has also created other themed dinners, such as Dead Dudes Don't Disco, and the Halloween special Vampire Prom Night.
The next available show is a special Pre-Valentines performance of the show Love Never Dies! (But YOU ain't LOVE!) Saturday Feb. 11, 7:30-10:30pm -- a partnership with the Hyatt Regency Tulsa. Packages, which include the performance, formal dining, dancing, and limited seating start at $85. An overnight stay at the Regency with the show is $239. Tickets can be purchased by calling 918-857-8092.
Perhaps you have a budding, young artist at your house, in need of an affordable outlet for their creativity? Youth Services of Tulsa, working with some of Tulsa's finest art partners, including 3rd Street Clayworks and Tulsa Glassblowing Studio, has created several art studios to choose from. These Spring Art Studios encourage originality and inventive self-expression.
At the heart of these studios is George Romero, Arts and Activities Coordinator for Youth Services, who tells about a bright star enrolled in one of the programs.
"We have a lot of young artists here who excel at what they love to do and go on to try out a variety of our studio offerings. One of them, Kaitlyn McBryde, has been exploring everything from comic book art to cut glass mosaics since she joined us in 2008.
"A thoughtful girl, she had been quite shy. This past year she has expanded her skills into our performing arts studios, performing as a lead in an original play, learning how to direct other actors, and playing guitar for an audience," Romero said.
No experience is necessary, the classes are for those ages 12-18, and tuition includes supplies. Studios are held at Youth Services, 311 S. Madison Ave. Some studios end with a gallery showing at Philbrook Museum of Art. For more information regarding enrollment or tuition assistance, please contact George Romero, Arts and Activities Coordinator, at 918-382-4427 or GRomero@yst.com. A complete listing of studios can be found at yst.org.
Chaos Meets Watercolor
The Alexander Hogue Gallery, on the campus of the University of Tulsa, will host artist Karen Kunc. She will give a lecture of her work on Jan. 19 at 4pm in the Jerri Jones Lecture Hall, with a reception following in the Hogue Gallery.
"The Nature of Abstraction presents my print works in woodcut and etchings covering a range of years and in different series, but all my work has relationships due to my own invented vocabulary of forms and colors relationships, and abstract references to how the world is formed, with natural forces and human affects, Kunc says.
"So, recent prints have addressed the Urban/Rural Divide, with imagery of geometric compressions and fruitful potent seed forms; while the works in the series Aqua Alta are inspired by my residency in Venice, Italy, surrounded by water, which provoked thoughts for me on this life-giving element and the precarious balance of resources," she said of her exhibit.
From the urban experience of seeing nature stunted, the imbalances occurring in the waste of resources and space, to the politically charged awareness through her visual vocabulary, the concept of place and identity existing everywhere and "nowhere" are themes presented in her work.
"I have always been affected by landscape as a conceptual issue and a powerful visual element, so it has been inspiring to think on the opposite of land and mass -- water as the fluid, immaterial, translucent element -- yet from my own Great Plains perspective of our own water issues."
Her mix of watercolor on natural materials creates an abstract play of color, sure to delight the senses. The show runs through Feb 15. The Hogue Gallery is located in Phillips Hall 102.
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