Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko was a heralded former Soviet political dissident and literary figure who had taught at the University of Tulsa for 25 years.

For more than a decade, a Tulsa company called Theatre Arts would put on full-scale summer musicals, bringing together local performers with established stars.

The company has now been revived under the name Craft Productions, and is presenting its first production, the Disney & Cameron Mackintosh stage version of the classic film, “Mary Poppins.”

Bartlesville native Kennedy Caughell, whose credits include national tours of “Wicked” and “American Idiot” as well as being part of the original cast of “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” has the title role.

Tulsa native Cody Davis, who has performed on Broadway in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and in the national tour of “White Christmas,” plays Bert, the Cockney chimney sweep who assists Mary Poppins in restoring order and family ties in the Banks house of Cherry Tree Lane.

Artistic director Michael Fling directs the production, which will be accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Jim Gregory.

Performances: 2 p.m. Sunday, July 14 and 21; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, July 17-19; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20; at the VanTrease PACE, 10300 E. 81st St.

Tickets: $15-$100. 918-595-7777,

Yevtushenko Honored

Magic City Books will pay tribute to one of the most famous poets of the 20th century — and longtime Tulsa resident —Yevgeny Yevtushenko with a special celebration of his life and work.

Yevtushenko is best-known for the 1961 poem “Babi Yar,” which denounced the Soviet government’s anti-Semitism. The text of the poem was incorporated into Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13.

Yevtushenko taught at the University of Tulsa for many years.

The evening will feature readings of Yevtushenko’s work, both in English and Russian.

Event: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Magic City Books, 221 E. Archer St.

Admission: Free.

Starlight Band Goes to the Movies

The Starlight Band will feature organist Bill Rowland providing live accompaniment to two silent films: “Felix Gets the Can”, a Felix the Cat short from 1924 and Laurel and Hardy’s 1928 comedy “Wrong Again.”

The night will begin with Starlight Concert Band with some movie related music.

Performance: 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Guthrie Green, 101 E. M.B. Brady St.

Admission: Free.

‘Once on the Island’

The annual Broadway at Boston Avenue production will be the musical “Once on this Island,” the one-act musical that launched the careers of writer Lynne Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who would go on to write such musicals as “Ragtime” and “Seussical.”

The musical is the story of a young girl on an Antilles island whose unselfish sacrifice helps her people to realize how love and stories bring all people together.

Performances: 7 p.m. Friday, July 19 and 26, and Thursday, July 25; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21 and 28 at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, 1301 S. Boston Ave.

Tickets: $10.

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James D. Watts Jr.


Twitter: watzworld

Scene Writer

James writes primarily about the visual, performing and literary arts. Phone: 918-581-8478