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Weekly Arts and Entertainment Highlights (Apr 19, 2012)

A long time jazz organist visits Norman, an Oklahoma college takes on a sinister musical, a ballet rendition of a classic story comes to the stage, and young musicians play for the public during this week’s calendar of events.

Not many people can say they’ve done something for half a century. On April 25th, the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio performs giving concert goers the opportunity to see his skills on the Hammond B-3 organ that have been brewing for the past 50 years. Smith began playing the organ in the late 50s, and has since played with the George Benson Quartet and lent his skills to more than 70 albums. The Jazz Journalist Association named him the Organ Keyboardist of the Year for the fifth time in 2009. Heartland Summit Jazz presents him and his trio at OU’s Oklahoma Memorial Union next Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.

The Oklahoma City University Musical Theatre department performs a dark musical for a very limited run. “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” first became a musical in 1979, with several film and stage adaptations preceding it. Most recently Johnny Deep portrayed the title character in a film adaptation of the musical by Tim Burton. OCU’s theatre students bring the words and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler to the stage of the Kirkpatrick Theatre this weekend only. The story of revenge and murder begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Oklahoma City Ballet celebrates its 40th anniversary season with a unique and special production of the classic story “The Wizard of Oz.” The ballet collaborates with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic for live orchestral music during the performances. The classic scene where Dorothy is swept up by a tornado is brought to life with a three-dimensional tornado by ZFX Flying Effects based in Las Vegas. The Civic Center Music Hall is taken over by yellow brick roads and witches for a short time. Shows begin at 8:00 p.m. on April 20th and 21st followed by a matinee at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman hosts the seventh biennial symposium of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West on Friday. Various scholars and artists discuss everything from Rockwood Pottery to regionally inspired art and silver-mounted saddles during "Decorative Arts and the American West." That evening, the museum opens its newest exhibit “Oklahoma Clay: Frankoma Pottery” with a reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. John Frank created this style of pottery using local red clay and Southwest designs and founded the ceramics program at OU in the 1970s.

ACM@UCO students show off their talents and work during the school’s third annual festival in Bricktown on Friday, April 20th. 70 bands perform at 13 stages around the downtown area beginning at 5:00 p.m. with shows going well into the night. All performances are open to the public. Most venues are all ages as well, with the exception of the Capt. Norm's Dockside Bar, JJ's Alley, and Tapwerks stages.

More events of interest include:

The University of Central Oklahoma Women’s Outreach Center in Edmond presents “The Vagina Monologues” in the Pegasus Theatre on April 19th at 7:00 p.m.

American pianist Alpin Hong performs at Oklahoma City Community College’s Bruce Owen Theatre this Friday at 7:00 p.m. His classical training combined with modern musical influence creates a unique sound.

The Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery in Oklahoma City hosts the University of Central Oklahoma “Central Senior Capstone” exhibit and holds a reception from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. this Friday.

For more events, visit our calendar page.

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