Tulsa's Celebrity Attractions' Larry Payton dies
BY Staff Reports
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
2/19/13 at 11:15 AM
Larry Payton, who built Tulsa's Celebrity Attractions into one of the most successful presenters of Broadway shows in the country, died Monday night at a Tulsa hospital. He was 64.
According to family members, Payton had been admitted to the hospital suffering from pneumonia, and his death was due to complications stemming from that.
Payton's last public appearance was in January, to announce Celebrity Attractions' 2013-2014 season and to welcome the production of "Jekyll & Hyde" to Tulsa.
Payton founded Celebrity Attractions in 1983, while still working as director of activities at the University of Tulsa's Allen Chapman Activity Center. The first show he presented was "Cotton Patch Gospel," which told the story of Jesus Christ through country music and a uniquely Southern vernacular.
From that start, Payton developed the company into a leading presenter of Broadway touring musicals, bringing such landmark productions as "Cats," "Les Miserables," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Wicked" and "The Lion King" to Tulsa.
Payton also was a producer of a number of Broadway shows, including "Thoroughly Modern Millie," which earned the Tony Award for Best Musical, and the Cathy Rigby production of "Peter Pan," which returns to Tulsa March 5.
Funeral services are pending.
Larry Payton back in 2002. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World File