For any organization, thriving for 50 years is a major accomplishment, and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma has defied the odds and will spend 2013 celebrating its 50th Anniversary in style. Deciding what show should open such a monumental season must have been challenging, but Lyric’s Artistic Director Michael Baron decided on SOME ENCHANTED EVENING, which will run January 30 through February 16 at the Plaza Theatre. The production is a rousing review of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s music featuring songs from CINDERELLA, OKLAHOMA!, THE KING AND I, SOUTH PACIFIC, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and many more.
“SOME ENCHANTED EVENING is the perfect way to open our 50th Anniversary Season because, in a way, the show is a celebration of theatre itself,” said Baron. “Rodgers & Hammerstein gave so much to the world of musical theatre and many of their creations have appeared on Lyric’s stages throughout its 50 years.”
There are five cast members that will make up the main characters of the show, but this production of SOME ENCHANTED EVENING will have a special feature: each performance will include a returning actor from Lyric’s past. Notable performers include Marilyn Govich, Lyn Cramer, Charlotte Franklin, Jane Hall, Bob Windsor, Lexi Windsor, Matthew Alvin Brown and many more. Performing during every show will be regional favorites Dallas Lish, Jamie Buxton, Heather Geery, Ethan Spell and Melissa Griffith.
To view a full schedule of guest performers visit LyricTheatreOKC.com. Tickets to all of Lyric’s 2013 shows are now on sale and are available for purchase online, at Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street or by calling (405) 524-9312. Performances will be held at the Plaza Theatre at 1725 NW 16th Street. Performance times are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Guest post by Michaela Webb
If you have never been stranded at the station, you’ve never had the chance to sit back and let your mind whirl with the daydreams that eliminate the mind’s fluff. These few moments when one is shed of responsibility are a rare godsend, because sometimes being stranded is a hassle. So, the best way to get stranded without the hassle and with the wonderful alleviation of responsibility is to just listen to Stranded at the Station a fascinating and wonderful group out of Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Stranded at the Station has been around for about 10 years entertaining folks in central Oklahoma with a great blend of folksy jazz Americana. Members are Justin Fortney on guitar and vocals, Amanda Fortney on violin and backup vocals (Mrs. Justin Fortney) and Stefani Fortney vocals (sis) three very talented individuals.
Instrumentally the combination of guitar and violin intertwine beautifully and the vocals are a crowning achievement. Although they perform a lot of old favorites there are quite a number of original tunes by either Justin or Stefani and the two of them collaborate on arrangements. Stefani leads with her works such as “Impossible” and “Tilt”, Justin leads the arranging for his works such as “Cottonwood and Cobblestone” and “Split Finger” with front porch collaborations on cover songs.
The most exciting thing about hearing Stranded at the Station is the joy they find in their music. The three voices blend beautifully and Justin has a unique sound that astounds the listeners. Stefani has a powerful voice that is inspirational, forceful and beautiful. She has an awesome set of pipes that really deliver passion.
In most settings an audience will wish only to listen, however, in an eatery, some are inclined to converse. Overhearing snatches of the conversations around one finds the conversation is about the music with only an occasional ‘pass the salt’ to be heard. Stranded at the Station is obviously a good choice for any restaurant, pub or wine bar where patrons like great entertainment.
As writers Stefani Fortney and Justin Fortney are excellent and their songs will be played by others. Their command of vocals is superb and backed not only by Justin’s guitar but Amanda’s virtuosity on the violin making this group one of the best around.
They occasionally appear at Full Circle bookstore at Penn Place in Oklahoma City as well as numerous places in Guthrie such as Kenney’s Pub and the 89er Wine Bar. This weekend they will be playing at the Guthrie Escape Art and Wine Festival so look for them there. They will be on the West stage (Oklahoma & First) Sunday at 20:00 pm. And they will be appearing at Vintage 89er on Harrison Street (just across from the Pollard Theatre) on Saturday night from 8:00pm to 10:00pm, so one can enjoy them while sipping a lovely glass of wine for either appearance this weekend. Also, like them on Facebook and keep track of where and when they are playing in your neighborhood. On Facebook, liking Kenney’s Pub and Vintage 89er can also keep one updated on where Stranded at the Station will be. And what’s not to like in a whiskey brisket or corned beef sandwich from Kenney’s along with a Guinness or a delightful wine from 89er? For great entertainment, Stranded at the Station is the best!
Over a century ago barbershop quartets became quite popular largely due to the versatility and beauty of the four voices harmonizing. In the middle of the 20th century boy bands became very popular, and the best elements of a male quartet harmony incorporated into those popular groups such as The Ames Brothers, The Four Freshman, The Four Lads and others. “Forever Plaid” now showing at the Pollard Theatre in Guthrie recreates the best elements of the boy band phenomenon with Jake DeTommaso, Clayton Blair, Jared Blount and Doug Rankin. These young men are very talented and harmonize as if they have been together for years. In short, they are pretty. In the same sense that the fluid harmony of a barbershop quartet is pretty; these fellows have that soothing sound. As Frank Sinatra, a barbershop quartet member prior to his successful career as a solo crooner provides that same prettiness that is so romantic.
W. Jerome Stevenson, Musical Director and Timothy Stewart, Director have combined their talents with these four men to create a show that is humorous, poignant and most of all – mellow with “Forever Plaid” written by Stuart Ross. More of a Musical Revue than a play, “Forever Plaid” allows a discriminating audience to be thoroughly entertained and emotionally stimulated. Because the boy bands flourished during the 50’s, “Forever Plaid” is a show for the 50-plus crowd, but also, for any vocal music lover the show is a delightful escape. It is an experience appreciated by lovers of any age without resorting to titillation.
Todd Malicoate on Piano, Jason Hunt on Bass and Aaron Marshall, Percussionist accompany the singers discreetly yet flourishingly, adding a nice dimension to the presentation. Michael James, Costume Designer, executes perfect tuxedos and the cast looks as snappy as they sound.
The four singers, Jinx, Frankie, Sparky and Smudge invite romance so couples may have the greatest appreciation for the program.
“Forever Plaid” shows through September 15th 2012 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm. There are two Sunday and Thursday performances (September 5th and 14th for Thursdays and 2 pm Sundays September 2nd and 9th.) Tickets are available online at www.thepollard.org or at the box office at 120 W. Harrison Avenue or simply dial 405-282-2800 for reservations.
Capt Norm’s Dockside Bar in Bricktown really rocking with Stereodeck. Stereodeck is an absolutely awesome 90′s band–a decade that has a lot of fans but is often overlooked. Stereodeck fills that niche with excessive talent exploding all over the streets of Bricktown. Capt Norm’s posts a sign that says ‘drink, smoke, relax’ and since it is outside the cigarette and cigar smoke is blown away just like the music blows patrons away! The seating is awesome with wonderful shaded swings instead of regular booths and a long bar by the soothing waterway. Capt Norm’s has a great selection of brews and shots, friendly bartenders and an awesome wait staff. And Saturday night proves they have a great ear for entertainment delivering what patrons want — Stereodeck!!! Check out Stereodeck on fb as well as Capt. Norm’s Dockside Bar at www.captnormsdocksidebar.com. for a great patio cigar bar and waterhole experience. Either way you’ll know the next time Stereodeck is playing as well as the other great acts performing for patrons. Norm’s — Stereodeck — Party — oh yeah!!!
Guthrie Escape, this falls Art & Wine Festival was truly an escape from the humdrum! Held in downtown Guthrie and complimenting the absolutely dynamite International Blue Grass Festival, Guthrie Escape always brings together the best in wine, music and art.
The International Blue Grass Festival is always a major success and brings together the best of Blue Grass Musicians for an outstanding music festival. Featured as always, is the Byron Berline Band, and if that isn’t enough, many exceptional talents in the Blue Grass genre are brought together for an outstanding weekend of blue grass. It is always fun to slip into downtown Guthrie for a few hours to catch the Art and Wine Festival held the same weekend. This is a great opportunity for those who are not quite as enamored of blue grass. The street is blocked off and shops and vendors on the street display the finest in goods.
This year four wineries brought excellent wines to sample. As it turns out, Oklahoma is a phenomenal location for the grape! Many fine crafts are also available. At each end of the street musicians perform. There is rock and roll, folk, a little cross-over country, and many fine groups perform such as Stranded at the Station and others.
The highlight of the show has to be the artists on display. While rolling a sip of delicious ambrosia around the tongue, wandering about and taking in the magnificent displays is worthwhile and fun on a breezy fall afternoon. The show brings together some of the finest Oklahoma artists in the area and is a juried show. The two categories in art are two dimensional and three dimensional. This categorization simplifies the event for the public and judges alike rather than separating pottery, sculpture, painting and photography. There is also a best of show award.
Harvey Pratt (Gallery Grazioso) has always been a premier Oklahoma artist and this year he earns the first place award in two dimensional art. Second place in two dimensional is Jeron Johnston, followed by Kim Norton in Kim Norton in third. In the three dimensional category, first place is earned by Terry Frazier, outstanding wood carver and flute maker, followed by Bill Holmes in second and Brenda Dewald in third. Another outstanding painter is Cletus Smith the deserving honoree with the Best of Show Award.
Saturday night’s festivities end with a Street Dance! The vendors and artists batten down the hatches and the party begins!
While another year must go by for another Guthrie Escape there is no reason not to escape to Guthrie at any time. Tracking down these great artists and musicians can bring a weekend escape anytime. Come to Guthrie and check in at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop. Visit the Guthrie Chamber for general information and check in with Aunt Gertrude’s Gallery and Doll Hospital for information about art shows. Visit Gallery Grazioso for specific information on the many fine artists in Central Oklahoma!
Friday night and Stereodeck is back at Dan McGuinness in Edmond. This show was again, outstanding. Guitarist, Matt Crossno is always excellent and in performance his emotional renditions capture the audience. For several songs during the second or third set he asked his brother to play instead, and WOW! Justin Crossno has a different style although he exhibits the same strong and raw talent full of emotion. However, Justin’s music displays a very 60′s feel. The baby boomers in the audience were not the only ones to appreciate those numbers with Justin. It is quite interesting to see how these two brothers grew and developed into superb guitarists and yet have such distinctive styles. Justin is part of the Joel Wilson Band which is a country group. This, we gotta check out!
While Matt is the perfect guitarist for Stereodeck, it’s a lot of fun when Justin doesn’t have a gig and can sit in for a few numbers. Not only is his sound great, but Matt’s return is absolutely awesome. Thanks guys! Everybody had fun, and everybody danced!
Stereo Deck rocks at Dan McGuinness and the beat balances the blood with crisp heat that energizes the spirit—just the thing after a day of heat that drains everyone’s brains! Stereo Deck is an enterprising band specializing in the classic music of the 90’s through current selections in the genres of Rock, Alternative Rock and some grunge. They are considered a cover/tribute band with over 50 songs in their catalogue. Stereo Deck consists of four young men who are not just a ‘boy band’ but a group of dedicated quality musicians who love their craft.
Lead vocalist is Larry V. and his interpretation of raw rock and roll is tempered with the voice of a true crooner. His voice is as caressing and alluring as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Roy Orbison from days gone by. His vocals are supported by back up vocalist and lead guitarist Matt Crossno. Together the romantic sensitive sounds appeal to the audience on a very basic level, and the young ladies are particularly taken with the vocals. Crossno’s talent as lead guitarist is unmistakable and drives the tunes for the band beautifully. Tyler Nichols as bass guitarist is a new addition to the band, yet he blends in perfectly with the other members and his mastery and confidence is evident. On drums is Thomas Hurd. Hurd’s perfect timing is evident as he plays with complete control and gives the rhythm and tempo needed for a perfect rendition of every song.
The venue of Dan McGuinness is absolutely perfect for an excellent band. The stage is tucked away behind a large screen TV and when the screen rises and the band plays a night of fun begins. The acoustics are perfect and the patrons of the pub are drawn in to the music without being overpowered. For those who wish to converse with a lower decibel level there is a room to the side, and in back for anyone who wishes a game of pool. However, with Stereo Deck, almost everyone is front and center with a large group of young ladies dancing to the throbbing beat in front.
Dan McGuinness, An Irish Pub is located at 3005 Broadway in Edmond, Oklahoma. The phone number is 405.359.2222. Another location is 1003 SW 19th in Moore, Oklahoma. That phone number is 405.703.3367. “Shock” will play July 29th and “DJ Dance Party” will play July 30thin Edmond. For future schedules don’t hesitate to call the numbers listed above. Dan McGuinness has superb acoustics, an excellent menu, and a great selection of specialty drinks, beer and whiskey and is exactly how one imagines a modern Irish Pub.
For information on Stereo Deck future gigs visit them on Facebook: facebook.com/Stereodeckband. Have a great rock and roll experience for ladies and gentlemen of all ages who want to let their hair down a little bit! Whether swooning with the crooning or throbbing with the drums Stereo Deck pulls the listener in and everyone has fun.
While this article is an unprejudiced opinion, it is only fair to state that I am very proud of my son, Thomas Hurd. He also has some very talented colleagues!
Stereo Deck at Dan McGuinness in Edmond Saturday night
Back in the days of the Great Rebellion, many of us didn’t know much about bluegrass. Hearing the term made us think of Kentucky, but not Bill Monroe. Everything was about Rock & Roll. New and original, Rock & Roll is the music of a generation. Eventually we ran across The Flying Burrito Brothers and one of the best Rock & Roll experiences ever – “The Last of the Red Hot Burritos”. We discovered Byron Berline on the fiddle and we finally discovered bluegrass. We began to trace back Byron’s history in music and fell in love with bluegrass, and every album of every group Berline has been affiliated with. What a fiddle!
The first British music invasion really takes hold in Appalachia. Scottish, English, Irish and Welsh ballads evolved into distinctly American folk music and became the foundation of Country Music, Gospel Music, Bluegrass and Rock & Roll.
Some years ago a beautiful and talented young lady saw a photo of a tall drink of water in the athletic department of the University of Oklahoma. He was holding a football in one hand (his strength) and a fiddle (his soul) in the other. He had a twinkle in his eye (his heart), and that certainly looked interesting. Sooner or later they teamed up and Bette and Byron Berline have been the basis of a strong collaboration ever since.
In 1995 they moved to Guthrie Oklahoma (Bette’s hometown) where The Double Stop Fiddle Shop is located. What a great place for fiddles and fiddlers, violins and violinists – if one doesn’t know the difference it’s easy to find out – mandolins, banjos and guitars. Buying, selling, repairing, but most of all playing and pickin’. Just above the friendly music store is the music hall where the Byron Berline Band often plays on a Saturday night of joy.
Berline was taught to play by his father Lue Berline and his many collaborations from The Bluegrass Boys with Bill Monroe to Byron Berline and Sundance, then Berline, Crary & Hickman have given him the foundation to assemble the best of the best. They came to jam and jelled into The Byron Berline Band. John Hickman on banjo, Richard Sharp on the bass fiddle, Greg Burgess on fiddle and guitar, Jim Fish on guitar and Steve Short keeping tempo on the drums join Byron for a little bit of string heaven. Everyone vocalizes a bit, but the voices of Sharp and Fish are especially melodious.
The Byron Berline Band also has frequent guest artists from Mason Williams to Barry “Bones” Patton (on cowbones –isn’t it great?) adding to the fun and great music. Cowboy crooner Jim Garling is a favorite and his voice and guitar add a wonderful dimension to the evening.
Saturday evening performances take place at 7:30 at the Double Stop Music Hall above the Double Stop Fiddle Shop at 121 E. Oklahoma Avenue. The spring schedule continues with April 9 and 23, May 21 and June 11. May 7 features a special appearance at the fairgrounds for Western Swing featuring Leon Rausch so pull out the dancin’ boots! For more information about finding oneself at the best place and the best time visit www.doublestop.com or call 405.282.6646. The Byron Berline Band, wherever they are is where there is “fiddlin’, pickin’, and a whole lot of grinnin’ goin’ on!”
Jim Garling is just about the most versatile crooner around. Garling frequently appears with Byron Berline and is also a member of the Sons of Sage – a group consisting of Garling, with Greg Burgess and Richard Sharp. Sharp and Burgess are regular members of the Byron Berline Band. Garling frequently appears solo, as well as with Berline or the Sons of the Sage, and occasionally with others. His performances are often scheduled at the R & R Restaurant & Event Center, 209 W. Oklahoma, Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Wherever Garling appears, and whoever he is accompanied with, his melodious voice soars and soothes the soul. Approximately four or five times a year Garling’s concerts at the R & R Restaurant attract many of his long standing fans and his latest performance is no exception to a group of long standing fans. Appearing with Janine Handler whose voice compliments Garling in tone and ambiance, Garling transports his audience to a simpler time and a beautiful place. The type of music is certainly not country, it is cowboy. The type of music is definitely not modern country, it is western. The vocals are not harsh, the themes are not raucous and the chords have no discord. Cowboy western is what we think of with Gene Autry or Roy Rogers, the singing cowboy, yet only Garling could make Frank Sinatra fans this happy!
The evening is soft and the music is romantic. A barbeque buffet is always available when Garling performs at the R & R Restaurant. With a comfortably full tummy the audience can sit back and enjoy as the ears take a little break from the guttural and high decibel level of life in the 21st century. Garling, sometimes just using a simple 3 chord progression on his guitar, accompanies himself with pure vocal tones that fill the room with honesty and purity. Handler has a voice that blends beautifully with Garling’s yet soars alone as well. Keeping time is George Wilkinson on drums whose talent is unmistakable. Joining them this night is Stacy Conley an old and dear friend. Her rendition of “Shenandoah” is incomparable. The music is romantic above all, yet it is the romanticism of the west, the romanticism of the singing cowboy and romanticism that is not found on the radio dial.
When & where is Jim Garling going to appear next? Perhaps it will be with the Sons of the Sage or with the Byron Berline Band. Call the Double Stop Music Hall at 282-6646 or visit www.doublestop.com. For solo appearances or appearances with Janine Handler or the Sons of Sage visit Garling’s website: www.cowboyjimgarling.com. Garling’s April schedule includes Oklahoma City at the downtown library on April 2nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm for the International Festival. Garling will be appearing with Handler and Richard Sharp – the Prairie Drifters! Then on April 23, Beck’s Implements will be hosting their annual Beck Implements Customer Appreciation celebration with Sons of the Sage – Garling with Sharp and Burgess. Beck Implements is located on Highway 33 just east of Guthrie. Exit east instead of west & start slowing down just before noon!
Anyone who loves country music or western music will, of course, love Jim Garling. Those who are not country and/or western fans but love good music will love Garling’s vocals, guitar work and his presentation. Because Garling is not only a musician – he is a story teller and the story he tells is the story filling us with joy and we can never forget.