Sep 23, 2011 - Jazz Depot hosts 1950s-theme dance with Sweet & Hot Productions

by: JAMES D. WATTS JR. Tulsa World Scene Writer
Friday, September 23, 2011

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is letting the ladies take the lead this weekend with two concerts featuring some of the city's finest female musicians and singers.

The Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St., will transform itself into a 1950s-era dance hall on Saturday for "Dance to the Hits," the latest show by Sweet & Hot Productions.

Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

"It's been something I've wanted to do for a long time - a dance show with g
reat singers and a great band," said Cindy Cain, who with fellow singers Rebecca Ungerman and Pam Van Dyke Crosby and behind-the-scenes maven Casey Morgan are Sweet & Hot Productions.

"And that's the whole point of this show, to have a real dance party," she said. "We put together this set list with dancers in mind."

Another inspiration for the new show was the group's SummerStage production, which focused on music from the 1950s.

"We came up with all this wonderful music that we weren't able to include in when we did SummerStage," Ungerman said. "I think I like this material better than what we did for our 1920s-era show - and I love the music of the '20s.

"We're always trying to figure out ways of performing together more and doing so at a ticket price that will let more people come to see us," Ungerman said.

"That's the attraction of this group for me," Cain said. "I get to have a lot of fun with a lot of extremely talented people who also happen to be close friends."

The trio will be accompanied by a full band, featuring pianist Scott McQuade, bassist Bill Crosby and drummer Wade Robertson.

The Jazz Depot will have a special dance floor installed, and - as is the tradition for Sweet & Hot shows - there will be prizes awarded for the "best dressed" audience members.

The Jazz Depot's regular Sunday afternoon concert will feature vocalist Annie Ellicott and pianist Amy Cottingham.

This show begins at 5 p.m. Sunday; tickets are $15-$20. Ellicott is one of the city's most versatile vocalists, collaborating with artists as diverse as Tulsa Ballet music director Nathan Fifield and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey pianist Brian Haas.

The night before Ellicott performs at the Jazz Depot, she'll wrap her role in "The Blue Whale of Catoosa," the original rock musical at the Nightingale Theater.

Cottingham is a pianist and composer equally at home in classical music (she's conducted Tulsa's Signature Symphony in the premiere of one of her compositions, and often serves as the orchestra's pianist) and jazz.

For tickets, call 918-281-8600 or visit

Original Print Headline: Dance like it's the 1950s

James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478