Turner Classic Movies showing “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “Ben-Hur,” “The Robe,” more for Easter
Happy Easter! Turner Classic Movies has an excellent lineup of classic Easter films planned for today:
6:30 a.m.: “Ben-Hur” (1959)
While seeking revenge, a rebellious Israelite prince (Charlton Heston) crosses paths with Jesus Christ. (222 minutes)
10:14 a.m.: “Ben-Hur: Behind The Scenes With Glenn H. Randall & Yakima Canutt” (1959)
Behind the scenes promotional short for Ben-Hur, with Glen Randall, horse trainer, and Yakima Canutt, second unit director, who worked together to film the legendary chariot race from the movie. (7 minutes)
10:30 a.m.: “King of Kings” (1961)
Epic retelling of Christ’s (Jeffrey Hunter) life and the effects of his teachings on those around him. (160 minutes)
1:17 p.m.: “King Of The Duplicators” (1968)
This MGM short film highlights the work of master make-up artist William Tuttle. (12 minutes)
1:30 p.m.: “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965)
All-star epic retelling of Christ’s (Max von Sydow) life. (199 minutes)
5 p.m.: “Easter Parade” (1948)
When his partner leaves him, a vaudeville star (Fred Astaire) trains an untried performer (Judy Garland) to take her place, finding love in the process. (103 minutes)
7 p.m.: “The Robe” (1953)
Biblical epic in which the Roman military tribune (Richard Burton) who commands the unit that crucified Jesus Christ, tries to learn about the man he killed. (134 minutes)
9:19 p.m.: “Visiting Italy” (1951)
A moving postcard of Italy showing Rome, Assisi, Pisa and Florence, which highlights several of the most famous pieces of the country’s impressive architecture. (7 minutes)
9:30 p.m.: “Demetrius and the Gladiators” (1954)
The follow-up to “The Robe” follows a Greek slave (Victor Mature) who keeps Christ’s robe after the crucifixion is sentenced to be one Caligula’s gladiators. (101 minutes)
11:15 p.m.: “The King of Kings” (1927)
In this silent film, Cecil B. DeMille directs an epic retelling of the life of Christ. (157 minutes)
Today’s featured event:
Watch Austrian auteur Michael Haneke’s Oscar-winning drama at 2 p.m. today at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Noble Theater, 415 Couch Drive.
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Academy Award-nominated actress Emmanuelle Riva play a long-married Parisian couple whose relationship is put to the test when her health rapidly declines after a stroke. The harrowing drama was nominated for five Oscars and received the best foreign language film award.
To read my 3-star review, click here.
For more information, go to www.okcmoa.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Today’s featured event:
TULSA – Listen to country music star Kix Brooks at 7 tonight at the Osage Casino’s Event Center, 951 W 36 St. N. Information or tickets: www.osagecasinos.com or https://tickets.osagecasinos.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Give 18 random items to the employees of 11 local businesses and the results equal exhibition-worthy creativity at Science Museum Oklahoma. The second annual “Out of the Box” exhibition at the museum showcases the collaborations and concoctions of 11 of the most creative and inquisitive Oklahoma companies chosen to participate in the challenge.
A metal ball, air filter, hinges, springs and other arbitrary objects presented to “Out of the Box” participants whose day jobs range from ice hockey players and architects to interior designers and oil and gas control equipment salesperson to Prosthetists. These participants are challenged to think and pool their creative resources, use all the parts provided to them and produce a piece for the exhibit that can perform a specific function.
“We are excited to participate in this “Out of the Box” challenge because we see it as a celebration of the essence of our profession. That is, Architecture and Engineering is essentially creative problem solving. Over the last 68 years, FSB has developed a unique and holistic approach to the art and science of building design. It is that same approach we’ve implemented into this challenge. The volunteers working on this solution represent a near cross section of our office. Architects, Interior Designers, as well as Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers have collaborated to develop a solution which is intended to celebrate the creative process exemplified in the kinetic building design concept of David Fisher’s Twirling Tower – a powerful building concept which is claimed to be able to produce enough energy to power itself as well as 10 other similarly sized buildings. Our hope is that through this solution, people might consider the benefits of and recognize the need for thinking ‘out of the box’ said John M. Osborne Director of Design, Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates, in the release.
Opening reception for the exhibit is set for 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Satellite Galleries of Science Museum Oklahoma. This exhibit is free to the public and refreshments and a cash bar will be available. Visitors are invited to come and vote for their favorite innovative company.
The 11 companies who accepted Science Museum Oklahoma’s “Out of the Box” challenge:
· Oklahoma City Barons
· Hom by WarHall
· SAIC, a Benham company
· Kimray Inc.
· Red Earth Systems
· The Boeing Company
· Hanger Inc.
· @Link Services, LLC
· Buy For Less/Uptown Grocery
· Frankfurt Short Bruza
· Funnel Design Group
“SMO believes a key to improving science literacy is to drive creative thought. Challenging people to take risks, acknowledging failure is part of the creative process, learning how to take independent ideas and funneling them to the final working solution which is what this exhibition is all about,” said Suzette Ellison Vice President, Science Museum Oklahoma, in the release.
For more information about “Out of the Box” and the museum, visit www.sciencemuseumok.org.
Video: Blake Shelton, Jimmy Fallon & Nick Offerman don chicken suits to cluck out The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”
Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton visited “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” Thursday to promote his new album “Based on a True Story …” and everything got fowled up.
Shelton, Fallon, “Parks & Recreation” star Nick Offerman and TV writer Chris Tartaro donned chicken suits and hilariously performed an all-clucking version of The Lumineers’ smash “Ho Hey.”
That’s right. They bocked and strummed their way through the radio hit.
I didn’t think Shelton and Fallon could top their performance two years ago of “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” with Fallon’s exceptional house band, The Roots. I was so very, very wrong.
Richard Griffiths, the British stage and character actor best known for portraying Uncle Vernon Dursley in the “Harry Potter” movies, has died. He was 65.
He died Thursday at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, from complications following heart surgery, according to the Associated Press.
Griffiths won a Tony Award for “The History Boys” and appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows. He had a big stage presence and particularly excelled at playing larger-than-life characters from the buffoonish knight Falstaff with the Royal Shakespeare Company to King George in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
On television, he played a crime-solving chef in 1990s’ British TV series “Pie in the Sky,” and he had parts in movies ranging from historical dramas “Chariots of Fire” and “Gandhi” to slapstick farce “The Naked Gun 2 ½.”
But he will be most widely remembered as a pair of contrasting uncles — Harry Potter’s magic-fearing Uncle Vernon Dursley and Uncle Monty in cult film “Withnail and I.”
According to the AP, Griffith once said he took the role of Uncle Vernon “because that gives me a license to be horrible to kids.”
But Radcliffe recalled Griffiths’ kindness.
“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career,” said Radcliffe, who in 2007 starred with Griffiths in a London and Broadway production of “Equus.”
“In August 2000, before official production had even begun on ‘Potter,’ we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys’, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous, and he made me feel at ease.
“Seven years later, we embarked on ‘Equus’ together. It was my first time doing a play, but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humor made it a joy.”
Griffiths was born in northeast England’s Thornaby-on-Tees in 1947 to parents who were deaf and mute — an experience he and his directors felt contributed to his exceptional ability to listen and to communicate physically.
“The first language he learned was sign. And therefore his ability to listen to people with his eyes as well as his ears is incredible,” Thea Sharrock, who directed “Equus,” told The Associated Press in 2008.
Griffiths’ last major stage role was in a West End production of Neil Simon’s comedy “The Sunshine Boys” last year opposite Danny DeVito. The pair had been due to reprise their roles in Los Angeles later this year.
Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans.
Best Bets for March 29-31, 2013: H&8th Night Market, Edge Art Now, Wilson Phillips and OKC Zoo’s “HOPabaloo”
Here are my picks for the Best Bets in entertainment around Oklahoma this weekend, as listed in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
1. Hear Oklahoma musicians Horse Thief, Tallows, Ripple Green and Blake Fischer from 7 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday at the H&8th Night Market, NW 8 and Hudson in MidTown. Information: http://h8thokc.com.
2. See the works of Oklahoma artists creating in mixed and new media at the 22nd Annual Edge Art Now at Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, 706 W Sheridan. The opening reception is 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, with an after-party set for 9 p.m. to midnight. Information: 232-6060 or www.iaogallery.org.
3. SHAWNEE — Listen to pop trio Wilson Phillips at 7 p.m. Friday at Grand Casino Resort, Interstate 40 at Exit 178. Information: 964-7777 or www.grandcasinoshawnee.com.
4. Celebrate Easter with “HOPabaloo,” featuring brunch, bunny encounters and Easter egg scrambles, starting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50. Information: 424-3344 or www.okczoo.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Festivals spring into action
Springtime brings outdoor festivities throughout Oklahoma.
From the mellowing of the temperatures to the greening of the land, Oklahomans love spring.
I’m talking total adoration, as proven by the unusually cranky attitudes about last week’s unseasonably cold weather surrounding the springtime equinox.
Here in the Sooner State, spring means many, many festivals, grand outdoor celebrations that have become as much a part of the season as longer days and budding trees.
In the Oklahoma City metro area, the downtown Festival of the Arts has become a veritable rite of spring, the Norman Music Festival has grown into a seasonal powerhouse, and Norman’s Medieval Fair has annually revived jousting tournaments, human chess and minstrels of the Middle Ages.
Throughout the state, festivals centered on themes ranging from area wildlife and regional cuisine to native plant life and local heritage are planned for the coming weeks. Even better, many events offer free admission.
Here is a sampling of the festivities, and to learn more about Oklahoma’s spring festivals, go to www.wimgo.com or www.travelok.com.
Festival of the Arts: For many Oklahomans, it just isn’t springtime until the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and its legion of volunteers convert downtown into a sprawling community celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts. Complete with Strawberries Newport, naturally. Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com. (April 23-28)
Norman Music Festival 6: Retro rock singer-songwriter JD McPherson, who hails from Broken Arrow, and alt-pop/rock band The Joy Formidable, which started in North Wales and is now based in London, are headlining the growing festival, which annually transforms the downtown Arts District into a massive celebration of original music of many genres and the local, regional and national performers creating it. Information: www.normanmusicfestival.com, www.Facebook.com/NormanMusicFestival or Twitter.com/NormanMusicFest. (April 25-27)
Medieval Fair, Norman: Get your chain mail and other period finery ready for the 37th annual fete, which brings arts and crafts, food, games, jousting tournaments, human chess games, costume contests, minstrels, mermaids and more to Reaves Park, 2501 Jenkins. Information: www.medievalfair.org. (April 5-7)
89er Days Celebration, Guthrie: Oklahoma’s first capital commemorates the 1889 Land Run that birthed it with a carnival, rodeo, chuck wagon dinner, parade, old-time baseball game, the Stake Your Claim 5K run and more around town. Information: www.89erdays.com. (April 16-21)
Montmartre Chalk Art Festival, Chickasha: Hundreds of imaginative minds of all ages get down at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma every April to create original but temporary works of art on 6-foot-by-6-foot squares of pavement. Information: 574-1303 or http://projects.usao.edu/usao-art/montmartre.html. (Thursday)
El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival: Live music, children’s entertainment, a car and motorcycle show and more are annually featured at the event in downtown El Reno. But the primary draw is the 850-pound version of El Reno’s famous delicacy that local firefighters cook up every year. Information: www.elrenoburgerday.com. (May 4)
Prague Kolache Festival: If you prefer your festival-focused local fare on the sugary side, it’s hard to beat the flaky, fruity tastiness of these Czech pastries. But this festival isn’t just about snacking on little sweet breads filled with cherry, apricots and my personal favorite, poppy seeds, it’s also a fun salute of the town’s Czech heritage. Other activities happening on Main Street and around town include polka music, dancing, a parade, carnival and fireworks. Information: www.praguekolachefestival.com. (May 4)
Tulsa International Mayfest: Downtown Tulsa takes its celebration of arts and music outside with an array of fine arts and crafts, four stages of performing artists and a KidZone. Plus, five indoor galleries will be showcasing a variety of artwork. Information: (918) 582-6435 or www.tulsamayfest.org. (May 16-19)
Italian Festival, McAlester: Southeastern Oklahoma honors its Italian immigrant heritage with two days of arts, crafts, live entertainment, games , of course, scrumptious food at the Pittsburg County Expo Center. Information: www.themcalesteritalianfestival.org. (May 18-19)
Downtown Edmond Arts Festival: More than 100 artists from around the country will exhibit their wares, ranging from pottery and paintings to jewelry and sculptures, and the 34th annual event will offer a children’s area, live music and a cornucopia of festive food. Information: www.downtownedmondok.com. (May 3-5)
May Fair Arts Festival, Norman: The two-day fest features many fine artists and quality craftsmen, plus artist demonstrations, live entertainment, children’s art activities, a student art show and Art & Sole 5K in Andrews Park, 201 W Daws Street. Information: www.norman.assistanceleague.org. (May 4-5)
Bare Bones International Independent Film and Music Festival, Muskogee: Founded in 1999, Bare Bones has been named one of the top 25 indie film festivals in the country by MovieMaker magazine. Taking place at various venues in Muskogee, the fest annually screens more than 150 entries, including features, short films, documentaries, music videos, comedies, dramas, sci-fi/horror films and thrillers. The grassroots event also includes live screenplay readings, filmmaker panels and an awards ceremony Information: www.barebonesfilmfestivals.org. (Thursday-April 14)
Bixby BBQ ‘n Music Festival: Billed as the largest barbecue competition in the state, the two-day event is part of the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s Great American BBQ Tour. Live music and children’s activities are on the menu, but naturally, the food is the main attraction at Washington Irving Park, 137th and S Memorial. On the second day, festivalgoers can buy a People’s Choice Award taster kit that will let them sample a select number of the teams’ offerings and help pick a winner. Information: www.bixbyrotarybbq.com. (May 3-4)
Azalea Festival, Muskogee: Thousands of people flock to Honor Heights Park each year to enjoy the 30,000 blooming azaleas, as well as dogwoods, redbuds and other blooming plants. The festival also features paddleboats, carriage rides and more. Information: (918) 684-6302 or www.muskogeechamber.org. (Monday-April 30)
Brickfest, Pauls Valley: The festivities include the Field’s Pie Eating Contest, Valley Rally Bike Tour, Toy & Action Figure Museum’s Star Wars Weekend and, of course, the famous brick toss competition in downtown and at the Santa Fe Depot. Information: (405) 238-2555 or www.mainstreetpaulsvalley.com. (May 3-4)
Rose Rock Music Festival, Noble: Commemorating the town’s designation as the “Rose Rock Capital of the World,” the annual downtown event will feature live music, car show, poker run, disc golf tournament and more. Information: www.nobleok.org. (May 3-5)
Cimarron Territorial Celebration and World Championship Cow Chip Throwing Contest, Beaver: Remembering the pioneers of the Oklahoma panhandle, the festival includes a carnival, craft show, chili cook-off, car races, golf bash, old-fashioned church services, horseshoe throwing, a parade, children’s events and the cow chip throwing competition at and around the Beaver County Fairgrounds, 1133 Douglas. Information: (580) 625-4726 or www.beavercountychamberofcommerce.com. (April 13-21)
Yukon‘s Festival of the Child: Yukon celebrates youth with an array of activities, including storytelling, pony rides, kayaking, crafts and more at Yukon City Park and Yukon Community Center, 2200 S Holly Ave. The activities are aimed at children ages 12 and younger. Information: www.cityofyukonok.gov. (May 4)
Claremore’s Lilac Festival: Festivalgoers can buy and plant a lilac bush in honor of Claremore-born writer Lynn Riggs, who penned the play “Green Grow the Lilacs,” which was adapted into the musical “Oklahoma!” Children’s activities, live entertainment, a wiener dog race and a car show also are on the lineup for the downtown event. Information: http://visitclaremore.com. (May 4)
Waynoka Rattlesnake Round-Up: Sponsored by the Waynoka Saddle Club, the downtown event, which dates back to the 1940s, features a carnival, ham and bean supper and, of course, the main attraction: the Snake Pit. Information: www.waynokasnakehunt.com. (April 5-7)
A version of this feature appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read my review of “Tijuana Bible,” click here.
Dustin Welch returns to the Blue Door
The Austin, Texas-based musician, the son of Oklahoma-bred Americana singer-songwriter Kevin Welch, is touring in support of his sophomore album, “Tijuana Bible.”
A dizzying array of influences, from musical and literary to geographical to familial, can be heard zipping by on the carnival ride that is Dustin Welch’s second album, “Tijuana Bible.”
“It’s always a hard question for me talking about like the influences, how direct or overt that gets in the music, but I guess coming to Texas has definitely changed my sort of attitude about being able to perform. I’d never even thought about having a band of my own until I moved here, in fact. But it’s not really a Texas country-sounding record, either,” Welch said in a recent interview from his adopted hometown of Buda, Texas, about 20 miles south of Austin.
Indeed, the follow-up to his 2009 debut “Whisky Priest” springs from country and punk to folk and blues like neon lights bouncing up and down a midway. The singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist named both albums after the hand-drawn pornographic pamphlets that were passed around Depression-era work camps. While the tunes on “Tijuana Bible” reflect that period with their gritty, almost desperate vibe, story-songs like “Party Girl,” “St. Lucy’s Eyes” and “Sparrows” also have a timelessness about them.
“I’ve been saying it’s a trilogy (in progress), basically just because there’s a particular kind of sound, I guess, or a style that these records have. … But I felt like this record was a nice companion piece,” said Welch, who released “Tijuana Bible” last month on his own Super Rooster Records.
“I think in this record, there is a little more sophistication, at least in some of the arrangements. And I was exploring some other kind of writing styles a little bit more with this album.”
Welch, the son of Oklahoma-bred Americana singer-songwriter Kevin Welch, will play Friday night at a venue that has been an important touchstone for his family: the Blue Door. His father performs at least once a year at the celebrated Oklahoma City listening room, and his sister, Savannah Welch, brought her band The Trishas to the Blue Door earlier this month before Austin’s South by Southwest festival, where the three Welches played an increasingly rare family show.
“The Blue Door is one of my favorite rooms in the country. I think the first time I played there I was maybe 16. I’m 32 now,” Dustin Welch said.
Born in the Nashville, Welch grew up fully steeped in music. In high school, he and singer Cary Ann Hearst, now of acclaimed Americana duo Shovels and Rope, played in a hippie jam band called the Groundlings. In his 20s, Welch and fellow “Music Row brats” Justin Townes Earle, Travis Nicholson and Cory Younts (Old Crow Medicine Show, Jack White) went to school — metaphorically speaking — with their old-time country/blues outfit the Swindlers.
“We were all like real students,” he said. “We weren’t ever actually in school, but we were always researching like old pre-World War II, Depression-era musicians and that kind of old folk/blues and even pre-bluegrass stuff and jug bands.”
He got another kind of education when he joined a West Coast Celtic punk band called the Scotch Greens.
“I really learned a lot, almost even more about performance working with those guys; they were really kind of opening me up to a whole other style and great new music that I’d never played attention to growing up in Nashville,” he said. “Like, I’d never really listened to Joe Strummer or Billy Bragg or any of that stuff even, where those guys were drawing from that same stuff. So it was interesting being able to then find ways to kind of interpret that myself.”
Along with his musical influences, Welch said authors like Graham Greene, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy and Joseph Campbell have helped shape his songs.
“Growing in up in Nashville, there were so many really brilliant songwriters that I was exposed to, a lot of guys that were totally under the radar that weren’t necessarily writing for top 40 country — Mark Germino or David Olney or Kieran Kane, those kind of guys. — but then every once in awhile somebody would come along — Waylon Jennings or Emmylou Harris or Johnny — and cut one of their songs. … I think I was more influenced by writers like that and then like the stuff that I read. I try and take a lot of that kind of style and put it into song form, like short stories or novels or film even,” he said.
One aspect of the Nashville school of songsmithing Welch has embraced: working with co-writers, including rising Oklahoma star John Fullbright. He and Welch co-wrote “Gawd Above,” the opening track of Fullbright’s 2012 Grammy-nominated debut “From the Ground Up.”
“I’ve been doing it in some of my sets, but I don’t do it nearly the justice he does,” Welch said, noting that Fullbright rocked the house with fiery anthem at the Grammys pre-televised ceremony in Los Angeles. “He’s been one of my favorite co-writers and … it’s been really cool seeing his success.”
When: 8 p.m. Friday. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley.
Information: 524-0738 or www.bluedoorokc.com.
A version of this review appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Blake Shelton “Based on a True Story …” (Warner Bros.)
Oklahoma country music superstar Blake Shelton handily serves multiple masters on his seventh studio album “Based on a True Story …”
As much as it might pain his longtime fans, especially Oklahomans who have followed the Ada native’s career since the 1990s, Shelton is no longer just a likeable country boy with a big voice and even bigger personality. Still, he continues to leverage those assets with affable ease, delivering songs that will appeal to both venerable devotees and newfound fans the Tishomingo resident has gained as a coach on the smash reality TV show “The Voice.”
Despite its rushed feel, Shelton, 36, manages to equalize his expanding sonic horizons and his enduring — although recently questioned — affection for old-school country music with “Based on a True Story …,” his first album since he truly broke out as a crossover superstar.
The follow-up to his 2011 Grammy-nominated effort “Red River Blue,” which debuted just after Season 1 of “The Voice,” “Based on a True Story …” also balances his gift as a balladeer with his reputation as a swaggering smart aleck.
The album’s chart-topping first single, “Sure Be Cool if You Did,” made it clear that the laidback country singer would be exploring a more pop-infused sound. The experimentation isn’t limited to the lead-off single: Shelton’s new “Story” opens with the freewheeling hip-hop beat of “Boys ‘Round Here,” which features his wife Miranda Lambert and her Pistol Annies bandmates contributing harmony vocals and sassy catcalls.
The three-time Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year clearly doesn’t need AutoTune, but the high-tech trickery is used for effect on the autobiographical Southern rocker “Small Town Big Time,” which expresses his homesickness for small-town living during his Hollywood residencies for “The Voice.”
The say-anything bravado that has earned Shelton so many admirers is given full rein on the brash “I Still Got a Finger,” which is sure to draw comparisons to David Allan Coe and Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It.” He also channels his Countrypolitan hero Conway Twitty on the seductive “Lay Low,” while “Granddaddy’s Gun,” previously covered by rock/country crossover artist Aaron Lewis, has all the hallmarks of a classic country story-song.
But the ballads are the best parts of Shelton’s “Story,” particularly the weeper “Mine Would Be You” and the sultry “My Eyes.” The newlywed bliss that flowed on “Red River Blue” seeps in with the good-natured “Doin’ What She Likes” and the earnest “Ten Times Crazier.”
Shelton will bring his “Ten Times Crazier Tour” to Tulsa’s BOK Center on Oct 4. For more information, go to www.bokcenter.com.