POSTED ON AUGUST 15, 2012:
Two Artists, Two Theatres, and 100 Years
Theatrical art and art for theater while The Great White Way Invades Tulsa.
"As an artist, I feel I am 'on call,' always responding to light, texture, dreams, and spiritual input. My awareness of these elements takes me to my studio to realize or mirror them," said artist Marty Olson, whose exhibit Different Strokes opens at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery August 20.
Olson's work can be described as neither male nor female; however, the undeniable movement and texture of each piece begs the audience to study it from many perspectives. The vibrant play of texture upon texture can be viewed Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, and during events, at the Chapman Music Hall.
Olson honed his craft in Northwest Missouri as an art scholarship student. The scholarship helped keep him focused on growth as he blossomed into the artist he is today.
Olson's work graces the covers of many theatrical works.
"The painting used for the published play Sonnets for an Old Century by Jose Rivera was sheer happenstance," Olson said. "I had done artwork for a production of Duke University's Angels In America. The director, Jeffrey Storer, knew me and recommended my painting for the cover. Networking at its best!"
Olson is also philanthropic with his works, donating pieces to the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence Humane Society and the Douglas County AIDS Project.
"These organizations are huge benefits to my community, raising the bar for the arts, the essential care for domesticated animals, and the ongoing education of the community about HIV/AIDS and care of those affected by this insidious disease."
Different Strokes is on display at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center gallery through September 28.
For the Right Reasons
Theatre Pops celebrates its 20th season by offering a line-up of courageous pieces of theater about life, love, loss, and of course, something fun for the SummerStage crowds.
"I'm extremely pleased to be involved in their 20th Anniversary as they focus on new opportunities," said Theatre Pops publicist Cara Lenard. "These people truly love this art; the type of people who work hard for the simple joy of the craft are not as numerous as we would like them to be. But I lucked out."
"It's a first for me, but I'm passionate about it," Lenard said.
Theatre Pops opens their 2012-2013 season with David Mamet's November in November, Reindeer Monologues the second and third weekends of December, Love, Loss and What I Wore by Norah and Delia Ephron in April, and finishes up with Tinkerbell and a Night of Langenkamp for SummerStage 2013.
Passion is something this group seems to keep simmering at just the right temperature with a great mix of people, such as another name familiar with Theatre Pops: Randall Whalen.
"I am really excited about the season and the people I can work with," Whalen said. "(I) have always been a big Mamet fan, probably done more than anyone here in town, and love that I get to work with Mike Pryor again. We last worked together on Santaland Diaries for ATC. We have been trying to get Love, Loss and What I Wore for the last two years, and excited about the chances for female actors and with the death of Ms. Ephron, I think it is really timely."
Whalen said he is also grateful to another big name in the Tulsa theatre scene.
"Any conversation about Theatre Pops should include Ken Spence. My best friend, mentor, and theatrical partner until he passed away. Anything I know about theatre, acting directing, I got from him," Whalen said.
The idea behind the "RAW:natural born artist" movement has swept many cities in the U.S. and other countries, such as Australia. What is RAW?
RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization, for artists, by artists -- a community made up of creative minds from across the nation. Striving to provide artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. The genres of art have a wide range: visual art, performance art, hairstyling, makeup art and more are part of this movement.
One local artist who will be showcased at the August 16 installment of the monthly artist gathering is Alexander Walter.
"My work is a very, very pretty boy -- slightly disconcerting yet brilliantly mesmerizing," Walter said.
Taking a few art classes growing up, Walter admits he bumped heads with a couple of teachers along his path, as he rarely follows explicit directions. This is not to say he is not completely grounded and claims that portico and olive shades of green would make excellent choices, if one had to choose one color to paint ones abode.
"I am most inspired and 'fed' as an artist by seeing others operate in their vein. There's a profound sexiness about someone when they use their talent," Walter said. "Observing such ability and raw skill is very easy to spot and empowers me to function at a heightened level of creativity." The next RAW installment, RADIATE, will be taking over club 3340 on Peoria Aug 16 from 8pm to midnight. Tickets are $10 and available at the door. Patrons 21 ages and over are welcome.
Tulsa Project Theatre announces its long awaited 2012-2013 season as they tackle the enormous task of operating as Tulsa's first Equity company.
Opening with the cult favorite from another dimension, The Rocky Horror Show will feature the infamous Chad Oliverson as Dr. Frank-n-Furter, but never fear, kiddies! He has some new tricks up his PVC laced sleeves for a new twist on this classic favorite. The jump to the left begins a bit earlier this year Rocky Horror will open September 28 and run through October 7.
The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors will bring the musical parable to vivid life, just in time for the holidays. Treat your family to something decidedly different from the normal Christmas offerings by scooping up tickets for the December 14 opening night. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs through December 23.
Keep those cans of Aquanet handy for the April installment of the Tony award winning family friendly romp of plus-size Tracy Turnblad as her dreams come true in Hairspray. Be transformed to turbulent segregation of 1962 Baltimore March 1-10.
To round out the romp through Broadway musical wonderland is the classic Music Man. Filled with sentimental ballads, rousing marches, barbershop quartets, this charmingly predictable, critically acclaimed masterpiece runs June 14-23.
All TPT performances are in the Assembly Hall at either 7:30pm or 2pm. Season subscriptions are available at tulsaprojecttheatre.com. Individual tickets start at $20 and are available at tickets.com, Arby's Box Office at the BOK Center, The Tulsa Convention Center box office the day of the show or by calling 877-TULSA-CC.
A Little Broadway
Celebrity Attractions brings audiences back in from the August summer Tulsa Performing Arts Center hiatus with the crowd pleasing 100 Years of Broadway August 21-26.
This musical revue of Broadway's most celebrated shows features five Broadway stars and is accompanied by an all-star New York Band. Neil Berg guides the audience through productions such as Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Phantom of the Opera with amusing commentary.
Joining Berg onstage for the Tulsa performances is Broadway star Chuck Wagner. Wagner originated roles in Jekyll and Hyde and Svengali. He has also played everything from Athos in The Three Musketeers, Javert in Les Miserables, Van Helsing in Dracula, and The Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
One must wonder how performing on the Great White Way differs from performances on the road.
"Truly there is very little difference," Wagner said. "Broadway in New York is the Major League to be sure, but I believe that Broadway Magic can happen anywhere, and that is what we bring with these concerts. Broadway is a state of mind."
Come enjoy your own little piece of Broadway heaven as Celebrity Attractions Aug 21-26; tickets are available by calling 918-596-7109.
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