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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Best-Selling Author Kicks Off an Eventful Month at PAC

By NANCY HERMANN

Khaled Hosseini: The author of the international bestselling The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and the newly released And the Mountains Echoed, opens Tulsa Town Hall’s 2013-14 season Oct. 4 at the Tulsa PAC.



Tulsa is abuzz and making kites. And almost everyone I know is reading Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed. The Afghan author, who also penned A Thousand Splendid Suns and the international blockbuster The Kite Runner makes appearances in Tulsa Oct. 3 and 4.

In anticipation of Hosseini’s Tulsa Town Hall talk, I interviewed the author for Intermission Magazine. He was surprised and pleased to hear of the many Tulsa community projects — everything from kite-building workshops to comprehensive exhibits — that were being created around his books. One such exhibit, “Kite Traces — Words and Images,” a collaboration of The University of Tulsa Art Department and The Center for Poets and Writers, OSU-Tulsa, will be displayed in the PAC’s Gallery throughout October.

The power of Hosseini’s pen has changed the face of Afghanistan for 38 millions readers worldwide. Many of us would have a much different view of Afghan people and history had it not been for the author’s heartfelt writing about duty and family, with Afghanistan as a touchstone. His native country, he told me, is not much different from America in many respects. “The vast majority of Afghans have the same hopes and aspirations of anybody else in the world: a sense of security, a sense of predictability in their lives, and a reasonable expectation of happiness,” he says.

Hosseini’s lecture, “Afghanistan Through the Decades: An Émigré’s Perspective,” opens Tulsa Town Hall’s 79th season at the PAC Oct. 4, and that is just the first event in a high-flying month of entertainment.

The PAC Trust’s Imagination Series hosts Stuart Little Oct. 4-5. This is E. B. White’s charming story about a mouse learning to live in a big world. The exceptional Dallas Children’s Theatre is always a treat.

Tulsa Symphony presents the music of Brahms on Oct. 5. American pianist William Wolfram will be showcased during the evening, which also features the debut of guest conductor Steven Smith.

When Theatre Pops produced Love, Loss and What I Wore last season, it was a hit. A friend of mine made the show a centerpiece for her all-girls birthday party. Book clubs came. Men were spotted in the audience. Laughing. Everyone can identify with those painful/blissful coming-of-age moments and rites of passage that authors/sisters Nora and Delia Ephron have drawn from in their play. Theatre Pops responds to popular demand, Oct. 10-13.

Tulsa Opera opens its 2013-14 season with The Marriage of Figaro, a masterwork by Mozart about lust and class. It’s a comedy, sung in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage. Expect a few Tulsa Opera newcomers, such as Tulsan Lauren McNeese, who plays Cherubino. Opera audiences will recognize veterans in the cast, including Peter and Linda-Roark Strummer. You can see this opera Oct. 18 and 20 for as little as $10. Tickets range up to $98 a ticket.

The son of a jazz musician and a gospel singer, Mississippi Delta blues icon and Grammy Award winner Taj Mahal has music in his blood. He’ll take the stage with Vusi Mahlasela, whose African folk music, powerful and poetic, was an inspiration during the anti-apartheid movement in his native South Africa. A rock and roll band, New Zealand’s Fredericks Brown, featuring Taj’s daughter, Deva Mahal, also performs Oct. 23, presented by the PAC Trust.

Theatre Pops frequently presents provocative, witty, adult plays, and Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar (Oct. 24-27) is one of them. This piece is about a famous literary figure, played by Randall Whalen, who coaches writing students. We’ll use the term “coaches” loosely here. The four novelists get schooled in more subjects than writing. Randy will be perfect in the role that Alan Rickman nailed on Broadway.

Another play presented at the end of month (Oct. 25-Nov. 3) is Tulsa Project Theater’s production of Ira Levin’s mystery/thriller Deathtrap. This, too, is about a writer, acted by the PAC’s Chad Oliverson. (No Dr. Frank N. Furter costumes for Chad this October.) He shared that he’s going gray in this role — literally! His aging character, Sidney, is desperate for a hit play. When a student (Jonathan Gilland) brings Sidney an amazing script that no one else knows exists, things get a bit wicked, which is perfect for Halloween time. Liz Masters, one of Tulsa’s finest actresses, plays the Swedish psychic, Helga Ten Dorp. What fun!

Closing the month is funnyman Rickey Smiley, with friends, Oct. 26 (mature audiences), and Ariel Quartet for Chamber Music Tulsa, Oct. 27. Ariel Quartet had its beginning in Israel and has earned a glowing international reputation. You’ll hear some Beethoven and Britten. Vaunted pianist Menahem Pressler joins them for a Dvorak piece.

Not much in life is free, but the Brown Bag It concert series is special that way. Check out its schedule, Oct. 16, 23 and 30 at TulsaPAC.com. Enjoy this beautiful month in Tulsa and take time for theatre!

Nancy Hermann is Director of Marketing at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Updated 10-10-2013

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