Episode 17 of the SallyPAL podcast features Steve Barker, beer and booze professional, and a terrific actor who originated the role of Drover in the musical, Hank the Cowdogby David Blakely (based on the books by John R. Erickson) and produced by Tulsa Repertory Musicals.
Steve is currently performing in a new play by Bruce Dean Willis titled Time for Chocolate. The play opens October 6, 2017 and you can purchase your tickets to this exciting original work at www.hellertheatreco.com. The play has metaphysical debates, fight scenes, historical riddles, bawdy rhymes, and of course, mushroom laced hallucinogenic chocolate (no beer and booze) and it all takes place among the Aztecs. Heller Theatre is working in conjunction with Tulsa Latino Theater.
Steve and I didn’t just talk about beer and booze. I did, however, ask him to name what beer and booze went with what playwright. We
Steve has a lot of talent packed into his 6’5″ frame. Most of the time he has to work around his job schedule to be an actor. He is the evening manager of a high end liquor store where he gives advice and offers suggestions on beer and booze. In fact, Steve started a YouTube channel where he talks about beer. He combines his wonderful way of describing the brews he reviews with years of experience in the field. The videos are fun and informative. ThinkinBoutDrinkin is worth a look.
Steve and I also talked about Heller Theatre Company in Tulsa. After 30 years on the scene, Heller Theatre announced this year that is is committing to producing all original work. The group has also hired a resident playwright. That’s where Hank the Cowdog creator David Blakely steps in. This is a thrilling leap of faith for Heller. As Steve and I discussed, producing new work is exciting, but it’s a tough sell. Many theatre goers would prefer to see something they know about or that has a recognizable title. For new works, this doesn’t always happen.
I encourage you to go see all kinds of live performances. But I especially want to encourage the support of new work. New work doesn’t mean it’s set in the modern world, either. The new show this month at Heller by Bruce Dean Willis takes place in ancient Mexico among the Aztecs. There are new works by dance companies, choirs, symphonies, local bands, and, yes, theatre companies. The cool thing about seeing a world premier is that you are the first audience to be part of that work. The final collaborator of a new work is still a collaborator. You influence the work just by being there. I encourage everyone reading SallyPAL.com the blog and listening to SallyPAL the podcast to go see something new. Be the first. If you like it, tell everyone to go see it. You are not simply seeing a show, you are supporting the creation of new work.
Be sure to listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.