News Column

Arts roundup: This week's offerings on stage and at museums

November 3, 2013


Nov. 03--This week's arts offerings include beginnings and endings, and classics getting twisted in all kinds of modernist ways.


Seventy-five years ago, Tulsa oilman Waite Phillips announced that he was giving the large, Italianate-style villa known as Philbrook and the 23 acres on which it was constructed to the city of Tulsa, with the idea that it would become an arts center.

That gift has become one of the region's top museums, the Philbrook Museum of Art, 2727 S. Rockford Road. And the story of the museum's ongoing evolution is the subject of the exhibit that opens there Sunday, titled "Collective Future: Gifts in Honor of Philbrook's 75th Anniversary."

The exhibit, created by the museum's curators Catherine Whitney, Lauren Ross and Christina Burke, will feature a group of recent donations to the museum from a new generation of art collectors and patrons, whose philanthropy continues the tradition established by people such as Clark Fields, Laura Clubb, Samuel H. Kress and the Gussman family, whose donations are the foundation of Philbrook's permanent collection.

Among the new works in the show are pieces by Edward Ruscha, Willem de Kooning, Milton Avery, Andrew Wyeth and Mathieu Ignace van Br e. The exhibit will also include an array of archival items tracing Philbrook's history.

The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 26.

918-749-7941, www.

Sunday is also the final day to view "Alexander Kanchik: Jewish Life and Folk Tales" at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, 2021 E. 71st St.

Kanchik's work in painting and sculpture has a cartoonish quality to it, with slightly exaggerated forms, lush colors and a genial wit. And his view of Jewish life resembles that of the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, mixing the quotidian and the fantastic.

The museum also has on display "Alexander Calder: Abstraction/Creation," a collection of 12 lithographs that capture the sense of line, color and balance that made Calder's "mobile" sculptures world-famous.

918-492-1818, www.


"Deathtrap" takes its final bow with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Tulsa PAC's Norman Theatre, 110 E. Second St. Tulsa Project Theatre, the city's Equity-affiliated company, has put together an exceptional cast for the Ira Levin play, which delivers laughs as effectively as shocks.

918-596-7111, www.

Two classic plays open later this week, which take two of the most famous comedies in the literature and shake them into the 21st century.

Theatre Tulsa's version of "The Importance of Being Earnest" transports Oscar Wilde's comedy from its Victorian roots to a futuristic England, where the rigid society roles take on some new and different twists. Look for more about this show at the Tulsa PAC in Monday's Scene section.

Meanwhile, Heller Theater is opening "The School for Lies" by David Ives. The play uses Moliere's "The Misanthrope" as its starting point and ramps up the bawdiness of the humor, mixing modern slang and vulgarities with 17th-century rhyming couplets.

At the center of the play is Frank, a man whose contempt for the majority of the human race knows few bounds, and who takes delight in pointing out the hypocrisy of all relationships. Then, he meets the widow Celimene, who proves to be more than his match in many ways.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 12, 15 and 16, 2 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Henthorne PAC, 4825 S. Quaker Ave.



Tulsa Ballet gives its final performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Tulsa PAC, 101 E. Third St. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon turns William Shakespeare's beloved comedy into a magical full-length story ballet.

918-596-7111, www.

Take acrobatic displays that would fit easily within any Cirque du Soleil production. Combine that with the expressive movement of the legendary mime troupe Mummenschanz. Top it off with innovative costumes and masks that transform people into outlandish animals.

What you end up with is "Frogz," Imago Theatre's internationally acclaimed show for all ages. The Boston Globe called it that "rare theatrical event: family-friendly entertainment that is actually friendly to everyone in the family."

"Frogz" has been described as a "carnival of the absurd," as animals and inanimate objects engage in some surreal human activities.

"Frogz" will have one show only, 7 p.m. Friday at the Tulsa PAC, 110 E. Second St.

918-596-7111, www.


Walt Disney came up with the idea of mixing cartoon animation with classical music in 1936. When "Fantasia" was released four years later, the film was hardly a financial success (it would not recoup its budget until 1969). But now, the film is considered one of Disney's greatest artistic triumphs.

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra's annual film-with-live-orchestra concert will feature Disney's "Fantasia," with the orchestra performing such works as Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," as the film is shown on a giant screen above the stage. The film combines some pieces from the "Fantasia 2000" film along with the original.

The performance is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tulsa PAC, 101 E. Third St.

918-596-7111, www.

James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478


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