The Norman Transcript

Columns

April 28, 2013

Norman’s art scene thriving

NORMAN — It’s been nearly 50 years since I’ve seen many tears inside the Sooner Theatre. It was the mid 1960s and Disney’s “Old Yeller” finally made it to the Norman screen.

Young Travis Coates’ adopted dog develops rabies defending his ranch family from an infected wolf. When Travis is forced to shoot the rabid “Old Yeller,” most of the theatergoers wept like hungry babies. Not even the new pup from his litter would help us.

My brother and I waited a long time to leave the theater that day. We feared someone seeing our red eyes. Big boys don’t cry, we were taught from birth.

There were some Sooner Theatre patrons lingering with tears on a weekend earlier this month. But unlike the sad tears of “Old Yeller,” these were tears of joy. The crowd didn’t want to leave after the Sunday matinee performance of “Hello, Dolly!”

It was the final time for the show which ran for the past two weeks. What a treat for the Norman community. Jennifer Baker, in celebration of her 10 years as the Sooner’s executive director, performed the role of Dolly Levi, matchmaker and meddler extraordinaire. She joined with a cast of university students, at least one faculty member and community performers in the show.

Norman is blessed with an abundance of arts offerings. Sure, the university gets great performances from its annual roster of stellar students. This past week saw a number of performances on campus. But we also get to see our neighbors who have artistic talent that would otherwise go unappreciated.

They are painters, sculptors and weavers. They play the saxophone, the drums and bass guitar. All have day jobs that pay the bills but their passions for art in whatever form comes through.

They show that artistic side at community theater at the Sooner, live performances at singer-songwriter nights, at late-night festivals in Lions Park and in galleries on Main Street. There’s a community band that is open to anyone whoever held an instrument, choral groups that perform several times a year and lots of opportunities to paint murals in parking lots, skateparks and on buildings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014