The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will join forces with the homegrown pop-rock Hanson for its “String Theory” project, featuring new and classic Hanson songs arranged by David Campbell for full orchestra. The concert will be May 17 at the Tulsa PAC. The Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College is celebrating its 40 anniversary this season, with concerts that include program suggestions from the orchestra’s audience. One of those suggestions will be the recreation of the orchestra’s very first concert, “Bach & Sons,” which features music by J.S. Bach and several of his songs (including the notorious P.D.Q. Bach). The concert will be Jan. 26 at the VanTrease PACE.
Local Theater/arts Tulsa’s history of local theater is almost as lengthy and as colorful as the history of the city itself — Theatre Tulsa, for example, has been producing shows continuously since 1922. And of the shows Theatre Tulsa has scheduled for the coming months, perhaps the most intriguing is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night,” May 16-26. This Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens, based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, is about a teenager with a form of autism whose investigations into the mysterious demise of a neighbor’s dog leads to disturbing truths. American Theatre Company will take on one of Stephen Sondheim’s masterworks, “Sunday in the Park with George,” Feb. 15-24. Inspired Georges Seurat’s pointillist “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of Le Grand Jatte,” this musical examines the conflicts between love and art, commerce and integrity, and what it takes to go about “Finishing the Hat.” The Tulsa PAC Trust’s Orbit Initiative, a community-wide endeavor to bring people from all parts of the city together through the performing arts, will culminate June 8 with a special production of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that will feature all participants in the program — community theater is the grandest sense of the word.
Opera Tulsa Opera will send “The Little Prince” soaring Feb. 15 and 17, the first time the company has presenting this Rachel Portman adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s fable since 2007 (the company was one of five involved in commissioning this work). But the production that will likely garner the most attention is “Don Giovanni,” May 3 and 5, which will feature the U.S. debut of transgender baritone Lucia Lucas in the title role of Mozart’s operatic masterpiece. It will also be the first time a transgender woman will appear in a principal role on a U.S. opera stage.
Ballet Tulsa Ballet will present one of its most ambitious projects March 29-31, with the world premiere of “Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music,” which explores the composer’s struggles against the constraints of 19th-century Russian society as he was creating what would become some of the most beloved music of all time. Resident choreographer Ma Cong is creating the ballet, with a libretto by Oliver Peter Graber, and sets and costumes by Tracy Grant Lord. The company will also premiere the very first ballet by Andy Blankenbuehler, the Tony Award-winning choreographer of “Hamilton,” as part of its “Signature Series” mixed bill, May 9-12.