Holiday Time Entertainment 10

Put one of Tulsa PAC’s heartwarming options on your calendar this season.


At the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, programs for November and December have been in the planning stages for months. From the tried-and-true classics such as Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker and American Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol, to new shows like November’s Broadway offering, A Christmas Story: The Musical, there is an abundance of shows around which to schedule holiday playtime. Even if the program doesn’t relate to one of winter’s religious holidays, families are likely to come together as the year draws to a close to enjoy each other’s company while being entertained.

Children’s programming is a big hit at the PAC, and so is Dr. Seuss. The PAC Trust presents The Cat in the Hat, November 6. It’s the story of the dude in the red-and-white-striped hat who shows up on a rainy afternoon at the home of the little girl Sally and her brother to show them a thing or two about fun. Also on November 6, political commentator James Carville delivers the talk “Politics Today and Tomorrow” for Tulsa Town Hall.

A concert featuring Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. He appears November 7 in Tulsa as part of his “Never Too Late” tour with special guest Jackie Bristow. Tommy has been playing guitar for five decades and is a showman extraordinaire. The PAC Trust has brought him to Tulsa several times, but audiences can’t get enough.

There is a great deal of advance interest in A Christmas Story: The Musical, November 10-15, so I would encourage you to buy tickets early. This is a touring Broadway musical, based on the writings of radio humorist Jean Shepherd. It’s about young Ralphie Parker who schemes to get the present of his dreams — a Red Ryder Action Air Rifle BB Gun. The production is brought to Tulsa by Celebrity Attractions.

Following several popular productions already this season, Theatre Tulsa stages The Great Gatsby, November 13-22. You may know this classic story about a self-made millionaire’s pursuit of a married woman, Daisy Buchanan, whose voice “is full of money.” The F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is far more complex than that, however, filled with well-drawn characters that make for an excellent stage drama. This adaptation is by Simon Levy.

A wildly popular musical that local audiences have been clamoring for is The Book of Mormon. Written by the team behind “South Park,” The Book of Mormon has material and explicit language not suitable for children, but, as critics point out, it has a sweet message. This hilarious nine-time Tony-award winning Best Musical is the story of a group of young Mormon missionaries who are assigned to Africa. The PAC Trust presents The Book of Mormon November 17-22.

On November 15, The Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio will perform for Chamber Music Tulsa, playing new work as well as the classics in their debut concert at the PAC. During the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 20-21, you can enjoy the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater from Chicago, presented by Choregus Productions. Working with choreographers from across the nation, the company performs modern, ballet and African dance with an emphasis on storytelling and universal themes.

In December, we have a couple of events that are not necessarily holiday-themed, but they have all the dream-like enchantment that we associate with the season. Theatre Tulsa Family series presents a condensed version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella that is well suited to a younger audience, and with a plot that highlights important lessons for children. The show runs December 1-13.

December is bookended by another musical that has the elements of a fairy tale — Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast. This is the spectacular Broadway production, presented by Celebrity Attractions. It plays December 22-23.

Area choruses, handbell choirs and soloists join Tulsa Symphony December 5-6 for Home for the Holidays. And then, of course, the PAC is proud to host two shows that are Tulsa classics:  American Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol, playing December 10-23 and Tulsa Ballet’s The Nutcracker, December 11-20.

We invite you and your family and friends to celebrate the season enjoying heartwarming entertainment at Tulsa’s home to the arts.

Nancy Hermann is director of marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.