POSTED ON MAY 15, 2013:
New projects arrive and retirees get a shout-out
Dan Call taught at Memorial High School for 30 years. When he left in 2004, he had directed 30 musicals on the Memorial stage in what is now known as Call Hall. However, he didn't start that tradition.
"I don't know of anyone around here who's had a musical every year for 50 years," Call said. "I think around the early '60s, they did a sort of variety show, but then they were doing Bye, Bye Birdie, The Sound of Music, and things like that."
By the time he took the reins of MHS's choral music program, it was just expected that every spring, there would be a show.
In celebration of 50 years of musicals, Call and a boatload of former students will descend upon the school on Saturday, May 18 for Music to Remember, an evening dedicated to the shows that built Memorial's music legacy.
"We want to invite everybody back," Call said. "It's exciting to have all those people who have the common bond of having performed on that stage. It really is a high for some of these people."
And many of those people are coming in from out of town.
"Everybody is kind of zeroing in on that weekend and saying, 'I'll be there,' or 'I'm flying in that morning,'" Call said with the characteristic smile in his voice. "They just want to be in the auditorium and reminisce about what it meant to be in a musical together."
The show itself will focus mainly on three shows that were performed the most often over the past half-century: Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, and The Sound of Music.
"We'll sing songs from those," Call said. "We'll have choruses, trios, 'Fugue for Tinhorns.' We'll have three principal parts -- Tevye from Fiddler, Harold Hill from The Music Man, and Curly from Oklahoma, and we'll have a kind of leads face-off. They'll talk about what it meant to be in that leadership position in those shows. Somebody that's given that responsibility, they can either make or break that entire production by the way they treat the other students."
Call, once he had been interviewed, actually made a point to call back to sing the praises of his wife, Kathy.
"Kathy Call was there every step of the way," he said. "She did her job at Jenks, and then she'd come across the river and do costumes or whatever. She was always the wind beneath my wings. She really has. She was the calming voice of reason that the kids could talk to or complain to about me. She was always there to make things right."
While he has a general idea of what the night will hold, he doesn't seem overly married to any single concept.
"People have asked, 'What are you up to? What's going to happen?'" he said. "And I have always said, 'I don't know, man. We only do this every 50 years.'"
Music to Remember will be held Saturday, May 18 at 7pm at Memorial High School, located at 5840 S. Hudson Ave. The event is free.
One More Time
As Tulsa Ballet Theatre's 2012-2013 season winds down, we all prepare to say goodbye to three spectacular dancers who will be retiring this year after spending many years as superb pillars of our resident ballet troupe.
People like me are quite distraught about the departures of Alfonso Martin, Ma Cong, and Alexandra Bergman, but it seems these people feel like they need to be allowed to have lives outside of ballet. After what they've given us over the years -- both artistically and of themselves -- I suppose we owe them the chance to try different things in life.
To honor the trio, Tulsa Ballet presents The Last Dance, a one-night only performance celebrating their respective careers.
The hybrid evening will be held at the University of Tulsa's Lorton Performance Center at 550 S. Gary Place on Friday, May 17. While there is a private reception at 6pm, the doors open to most ticketholders at 6:30pm, and the performance starts at 7pm.
"The first part will be the interview with Jim," according to Tara Grotzke, TBT's marketing coordinator, referring to Tulsa World arts writer James D. Watts, sitting in as the James Lipton of the evening, and damn, I'm jealous. "And then they have each selected one of their favorite roles, and they'll each perform one of their all-time favorite roles."
While TBT has yet to announce what roles they've chosen, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't praying for Bergman to choose The Woman in Black from Nacho Duato's stunning Arenal.
Finally, the trio will perform together.
"Ma has choreographed a special piece for the three of them," Grotzke said.
While the onstage dinner with the three dancers sold out long ago, there are various ticket levels still available, starting at $75 and going up. Different ticket levels offer different perks, among them autographed posters of the retiring dancers and tickets to the pre-reception. Tickets are available at 918-749-6006 or online through tulsaballet.org.
Theatre Tulsa has been doing a lot of great things of late. There was the collaboration with Odeum on a fantastic production of Hamlet, there was the theatrical ménage-a-trois that gave us the story of California's Prop. 8, and now, the oldest community theatre west of the Mississippi is opening up theatrical doors to even the most time-pressed of actors.
The Theatre Tulsa Readers' Club is a regular workshop that offers performers a lighter version of theater -- with the "light" part being the time commitment.
Sara Phoenix, president of TT, offered an explanation of the project, centered mostly on being a solution to the inordinate amount of time your average theatrical actor about town must commit to a production from casting to the closing night.
"We consider this 'low-impact' performing," she said. "It's for people who love theatre and want to read with other fans, but don't want to take the plunge into spending a full month rehearsing and performing in a large production."
As of UTW's press time, performance dates had yet to be set, but the plans are in the works for a bi-weekly meeting where actors will enjoy reading short plays and some longer-form works, as well.
Led by Susan Apker, the TTRC will perform locally, but will also be getting early looks at works planned for TT's main season, which will kick off in the fall.
"We have a few events scheduled this summer to perform readings, and any group that wants to have a performance at one of their events can book us as well," Apker said. "We take requests for readings, and can customize them to a specific event on request."
TTRC is intended for participants age 18 and up, and is open to actors of all abilities and experience.
As more information becomes available, it can be found here on the Arts pages of UTW and at theatretulsa.org/education.
Send all comments and feedback regarding Arts Experienced to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tulsa's newest theatre company, Certain Curtain Theatre, is kicking things off with a fundraiser, because doing theater costs money, boys and girls.
Friday, May 17, CCT will present a cabaret entitled SupercaliFragilisticDiningwiththeChorus! at the Crowne Plaza at Southern Hills, located at 7902 S. Lewis Ave. Dinner and the show will set you back $35, and tickets are available at certaincurtainthreatre.org.
The cabaret will feature songs, skits, and information about CCT's 2013-2014 season, and will mostly center around Victor / Victoria-style interpretations of popular Broadway songs -- think "Bring Him Home" sung by a soprano, or "Take Me or Leave Me" sung by two straight guys.
"We don't want to just give our audience a few songs and a meal," said Jennifer Thomas, who will direct the show. "Certain Curtain will give them their money's worth. We want everyone to leave with fond memories of how Certain Curtain made him or her feel on the evening of May 17, 2013."
The company's upcoming season will include a few heavy pieces like A Raisin in the Sun and Romeo and Juliet, as well as an original musical, among others.
SupercaliFragilisticDiningwiththeChorus! Starts at 7 pm in the Crowne's Tulsa Room.
The ever-present South Asian Performing Arts Foundation offers Remembering Mukesh... Down Memory Lane with Nitin Mukesh and His Band this weekend, a show dedicated to the memory of Mukesh Chand Mathur, the Hindi music and movie superstar from the Golden Age of Indian Film Music. What makes this particular show different from your average tribute show is that it stars Mukesh's own son, Nitin. Mukesh himself died in 1976, but his voice and his music have remained beloved throughout the world. Nitin Mukesh and friends come to town May 17 in the John H. Williams Theater downstairs at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center at 110 E. 2nd St. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 and are available by phone at 918-596-7111, in person at the Second Street box office, or via tulsapac.com.
I Got Your Reclamation Right Here
The Tulsa Children's Museum presents artwork created by the students at Hawthorne Elementary School. An Earth Day event at the school gave children the chance to take an object out of its original context and breathe new life into it as a work of art based on their still-fertile kid imaginations. In addition to exposing the little ones to more art, which is never a bad thing, TCM's Reclaim This! Old Stuff, New Art program also aims to raise awareness in the students of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
The art from this project is on display in the PAC Gallery, which is open Monday through Friday from 10am-5:30pm and during Chapman Music Hall events. Free.
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