OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University will give the gift of entertainment with three productions by its performing arts schools in music, dance and theater in December.
The Wanda Bass School of Music will present its annual Christmas Vespers concert Dec. 11 and 12; the Ann Lacy School of American Dance & Entertainment will bring it “Home for the Holidays” Dec. 10 through 13; and the School of Theatre will invite “The Man Who Came to Dinner” Dec. 4 through 12.
Tickets for all performances are available for purchase online at okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227. OCU’s Christmas shows are sponsored by The Oklahoman and Newsok.com.
Vespers Concert Sings Christmas Praises
More than 250 Oklahoma City University singers and orchestral musicians will celebrate the 37th annual Christmas Vespers concerts at First Presbyterian Church of Oklahoma City, 1001 N.W. 25th St. Performance times are 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and 4 p.m. Dec. 12.
The OCU Symphony Orchestra will perform with four OCU vocal ensembles: University Singers, Ad Astra Women’s Chorus, the University Men’s Chorus and the Chamber Choir.
“Among the many ways that these talented students contribute to the community, perhaps none is more moving than the combining of all of our choirs with our symphony orchestra and organ at Christmas Vespers,” said Mark Parker, dean of the music school.
The Vespers will include an a cappella processional from 15th-century Italy as well as a majestic closer—the “Finale” from the Vaughan Williams’ “Dona nobis pacem.”
The concerts will feature University Organist Melissa Plamman and the Vespers Orchestra directed by Eric Garcia, the OCU orchestral conductor.
The narration, congregational singing and choral music all contribute to a moving experience. A candlelight recessional “Night of Silence,” which incorporates “Silent Night,” concludes this annual favorite.
Tickets are $15.
Broadway-Style Dance Extravaganza Energizes Christmas at OCU
Oklahoma City University’s world-renowned American Spirit Dance Company will celebrate Christmas through tap, jazz, ballet and music theater dance as the annual “Home for the Holidays” Christmas show returns to the historic Kirkpatrick Auditorium stage Dec. 10 to 13.
Nearly 150 dancers, under the direction of OCU Dance Chair Jo Rowan, will perform longtime audience favorites and a wide array of new numbers representing scenes from the 1860s to the modern era.
The show opens with a candlelit ballroom and expresses the romance of Christmas Eve, which then transcends to a sparkling, icy winter wonderland where dancers heat things up with “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.”
“We warm up the whole stage just in time to take everyone to the North Pole,” Rowan explained. Several reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa and other character favorites make appearances throughout the show, rocking to high-energy beats from the 1960s and today. The audience-favorite “Santa Kickline” will be back by popular demand.
As the show draws to a close, dances intensify with the classic Christmas themes of peace, love and goodwill.
“Our meaningful staging of the nativity is a reverent celebration of Christ’s birth,” Rowan explained.
The show is recommended for ages 6 and up. Show times are 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 12 and 2 p.m. Dec. 13.
Tickets are $29.20 each. The auditorium is in the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center at N.W. 24th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.
Play Rings Christmas and Dinner Bells
TheatreOCU will present the comedy play “The Man Who Came to Dinner” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman in the Burg Theatre in the Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. Show times are 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 with a 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 6.
In this classic and revered American comedy from the middle of the 20th century, famous writer Sheridan Whiteside, having dined at the middle-class home of the Stanley’s, slips on ice on their doorstep, breaking his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow. The Stanley living room is monopolized by the irascible invalid, ex-convicts are invited to meals, and transatlantic calls bring a $784 phone bill. The arrival of strange gifts from his friends further destroys domestic tranquility. It would take a stoical housewife to harbor penguins in her library, an octopus in her cellar, and 10,000 cockroaches in her kitchen. When Maggie, Whiteside’s secretary, falls in love with a local reporter, Whiteside pulls out all the stops to thwart the relationship and keep his secretary by his side.
A glamorous actress, a crazed movie comedian, and a mummy case all feature prominently in this story of love triumphing over all. This holiday story is appropriate for all ages. It is directed by Hal Kohlman.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.