StudioTulsa

Arts & Culture of interest to Northeastern Oklahoma

Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme" is, of course, the musically sumptuous tale of four young Parisienne bohemians and their loves and losses. (It's also, as many of us know, the basis for "Rent.") Tulsa Opera's 68th season gets underway this weekend with this popular opera. Karin Wolverton stars as Mimi, and Sony Music recording artist Nathan Granner (of "American Tenors" fame) makes his company and role debut as Rodolfo. We're joined on this edition of ST by Tulsa Opera's artistic director, and conductor for the production, Kostis Protopapas, who talks in detail about this opera.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with acclaimed playwright Lee Blessing, who's best known for his 1988 Tony-nominated play, "A Walk in the Woods." Back in January, he workshopped his most recent play, "The Hourglass Project," here at the University of Tulsa. It's a comedy, with interesting ethical overtones, about several elderly couples who, though an experimental procedure, regain their youth.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the first-ever Tulsa American Film Festival, which, per its website, "showcases independent feature and short films from across the U.S., highlighting Native American films, Oklahoma-based filmmakers, local student short films, a classic Oklahoma-centric film retrospective in addition to panels and parties." The festival happens later this week, from the 15th through the 18th, with screenings at the Circle Cinema and other events at the Woody Guthrie Center and the Gilcrease Museum.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair who spent fifteen years as the architecture writer for The New Yorker and began his career at The New York Times. Goldberger tells us about his new book, a widely praised biography entitled "Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry." As was noted in the pages of Architectural Digest, Goldberger is "a riveting storyteller and accomplished reporter . . .

In the 1960s, during the tenure of LBJ, a so-called "war on poverty" was decalred in the U.S. Could or should such a "war" be waged again, and if so, how would it fare? On this edition of StudioTulsa, and interesting discussion in that regard with David Grusky, who is the Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. He's also the director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford, and he co-edits Pathways Magazine as well as Stanford's Studies in Social Inequality Book Series.

Our guest on today's StudioTulsa is the Oregon-based author Craig Ryan, who tells us about his new book, just out from Liveright: "Sonic Wind: The Story of John Paul Stapp and How a Renegade Doctor Became the Fastest Man on Earth." This biography offers readers, per a starred review in Kirkus, "[the] remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer....

On this edition of ST, we learn about a locally based conference on the prevention of child sexual abuse, which is happening today and tomorrow (the 8th and 9th) at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center (at 41st and Yale). "Shifting Child Sexual Abuse Paradigms" -- hosted by the nonprofit Empowering Adults-Protecting Children, Inc. -- will bring together a range of experts who work every day in this regard with children and families throughout Oklahoma.

This evening, Wednesday the 7th, the TU College of Law will present the 19th Annual John W. Hager Distinguished Lecture in the John Rogers Hall on the University of Tulsa campus. The lecture is free to the public and begins at 6pm. Our guest on ST is the well-regarded author and journalist who will be giving this lecture: Lincoln Caplan is the Truman Capote Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and his writing about legal matters appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, and elsewhere.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a newly opened exhibit at Gilcrease, "Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley," which will be on view through January 3rd. As is noted of this show at the Gilcrease Museum website: "More than 150 years after his Smithsonian gallery burned to the ground, John Mix Stanley is receiving a long overdue retrospective exhibition.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Erik Larson, the bestselling nonfiction writer whose page-turning historical narratives include "The Devil in the White City," "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin," and (most recently) "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania." This last named book -- exploring the events before, during, and after the 1915 sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania -- is the main thrust of our conversation, although Larson also speaks about how he locates, happens upon, researches, and writes his remarkable stories.

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