Seven touring musical and comedy acts will stop in Ada during East Central University’s 2012-13 Fine Arts Season, which also includes “The Nutcracker” by the Oklahoma City Ballet and ECU’s theatre and opera productions, concerts and art exhibits.
In addition to the visiting productions, the season includes four ECU Theatre productions, an Opera Gala, nine vocal and instrumental concerts, a dance concert and ongoing art exhibits.
To kick off ticket sales, ECU is offering a drawing for two free season tickets to be given away before Mother’s Day on May 13, valued at $280. The deadline to register is at noon May 11 [FRIDAY] at three locations, Gem Jewelers, 101 W. Main St.; Every Nook & Cranny boutique, 110 E. Main St.; and the box office in the lobby of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. The winner will be contacted by 5 p.m. May 11 [FRIDAY].
Two season ticket packages are available. For details on purchasing season tickets, visittickets.ecok.edu or call the box office at 580-559-5781.
Included in the season will be:
Classical guitarist Brad Richter
Classical guitarist Brad Richter will open the season at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 [THURSDAY] in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. Richter, a native Oklahoman, began teaching himself to play guitar and compose at age 12. At 19, with no formal musical training, he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he began performing, composing and eventually teaching professionally.
After completing undergraduate degrees in performance and composition, Richter received a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. He completed a master's degree and returned to the United States to continue his concert career.
Bobby Hendricks’ Drifters
Bobby Hendricks’ Drifters will bring their doo-wop and rhythm and blues music to ECU’s Ataloa Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14. Among their songs are “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Under the Boardwalk” and “Up on the Roof.”
From 1961, off and on through 2008, Hendricks worked as lead singer with Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters and appeared with them on PBS in the ever popular Doo Wop 51 television broadcast and Doo Wop Love Songs, singing “Stand By Me” with Bill Pinkney, Charlie Thomas and Ben E. King.
Route 66: Finding Nat King Cole
Film and stage actor Jeff Obafemi Carr will perform his one-man show “Route 66: Finding Nat King Cole” at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Ataloa Theatre.
The show takes the audience backstage to the dressing room of the actor tasked with bringing to life the music and memory of the great Nat King Cole, while struggling to maintain his own distinctive voice. The audience is taken on a remarkable journey filled with humor, sentimentality and the songs of the “greatest generation.”
Carr reveals little-known details about Cole’s life while singing some of his greatest hits, including “When I Fall in Love,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Smile” and “Unforgettable.”
The Oklahoma City Ballet will bring “The Nutcracker,” which is usually performed during the Christmas season, to the Ataloa Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. The ballet portrays the magic of Clara's fantastic journey through a land of snow and into a glittering land of sweet confections.
‘I’ve Got a Little Twist’
Take Gilbert & Sullivan, add a twist of Broadway and stir. What do you get? A mixture of “The Mikado” meets “The Music Man.” Where the “HMS Pinafore” sets sail for “Brigadoon.” Or where “The Pirates of Penzance” take shore leave “On the Town.”
It's “I've Got a Little Twist,” a one-of-a-kind show to be performed by the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24, 2013, in the Ataloa Theatre.
Broadway by Jeri
Jeri Sager, best known for her portrayals of “Grizabella” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical “Cats” and as Gwyenth Paltrow’s stylist in the movie “Country Strong,” will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 13 in the Ataloa Theatre.
Sager, who performs all over the United States, England, the Caribbean, Japan, Mexico and Canada, studied opera at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She made her Broadway debut as Frumah-Sara in the 25th anniversary production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” She has enjoyed critical acclaim for her portrayal of Fantine in “Les Miserables” and Eva Peron in “Evita.”
An Evening with Groucho Marx
Award-winning actor, director and playwright Frank Ferrante will recreate his acclaimed PBS, New York and London portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in a fast-paced 90 minutes of hilarity at 7:30 p.m. April 9, 2013, in the Ataloa Theatre.
Described as a perfect show for all ages, the two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs, including “Hooray for Captain Spalding” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” The audience becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style.
Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Jim Furmston, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints the audience with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo, Marx Foil, Margaret Dumont and MGM’s Louis B. Mayer.
ECU Theatre will open its season at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and 2 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Ataloa Theatre with “Chickasaw Tales,” an original production by Dr. Steven Phillips and Lorie Robins. Student-directed one-act plays will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15-17 in the Chalmers Herman Theatre.
“Once Upon a Mattress,” the Broadway musical based on the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” will take the Ataloa Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16. William Inge’s “Picnic” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. April 18-20 in the Chalmers Herman Theatre.
The ECU Opera Gala will present selected opera scenes performed by ECU students. The gala will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-10 in the Dorothy Summers Theatre in Science Hall.
ECU Musical Performances
The ECU Singers and the University Chorale will perform Nov. 19 and April 22. Both concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
The seventh annual ECU Faculty, Students and Friends Composers Concert will be held Feb. 25 in the Ataloa Theatre. The concert of original musical works will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Instrumental Ensemble Concerts are scheduled Nov. 13 and April 11. The Jazz Ensemble will perform Dec. 6 and April 30. The Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will perform on March 7 and April 18. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre.
Pogue Art Gallery
Artists exhibiting works in the Pogue Art Gallery in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center will be Edgar Heap of Birds, Sept. 3 to Oct. 12; Tammy Brummell, Oct. 15 to Nov. 9; Stuart Asprey, Jan. 7 to Feb. 8; and Narciso Arguelles, Feb. 18 to March 15.
The spring dance concert on April 26-27 will feature Collage, ECU’s dance ensemble, and dance students.
Two season ticket packages are available. The full package of seven touring shows and five ECU theatre and opera productions costs $140. The Pick 4+ option costs $100 and includes all ECU productions plus four of the special events, excluding classical guitarist Brad Richter and “The Nutcracker.”