Highlight, El Rancho Grande mark 70 years

Highlight, El Rancho Grande mark 70 years

Two Tulsa establishments will be a part of collectively to have a good time their seventieth anniversaries this 12 months.

The Highlight Theatre, 1381 Riverside Drive, has been the house of the favored melodrama “The Drunkard,” which has been carried out weekly since Nov. 14, 1953.

El Rancho Grande, 1629 E. eleventh St., has been serving up Tex-Mex dishes on Route 66 since shifting to its current location in 1953.

This Saturday, Nov. 11, the 2 teams will be a part of collectively for a particular occasion, with El Rancho Grande offering the meals prematurely of the common efficiency of “The Drunkard.”

El Rancho Grande might be serving steak fajitas starting at 7 p.m., with the present starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $70, and obtainable by calling 918-587-5030 or on-line at tulsaspotlighttheater.com.

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The constructing that homes the Highlight Theatre was designed by famous architect Bruce Goff and was in-built 1928. It served because the residence and studio of a neighborhood music trainer, who was pressured to depart the home due to the Nice Melancholy.

It was purchased in 1941 by actor and trainer Richard Mansfield Dickinson, who a dozen years later established the newbie dramatic ensemble that started performing an adaptation of “Ten Nights in a Barroom,” a nineteenth century temperance melodrama concerning the evils of alcohol.

The play has been operating weekly ever since, making it the longest frequently operating theatrical presentation in U.S. theater historical past. Solely “The Mousetrap,” the Agatha Christie thriller which opened in 1952, has had an extended run. (Each productions suspended their runs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; “The Drunkard” resumed performances in April 2021.)

It’s an audience-participation present, from the sing-alongs that happen between the acts to the encouragement to cheer the heroes and boo the villains. The night additionally features a brief selection program, known as “The Olio,” that includes native performers.

Nothing to do with the school athletic convention, the north Tulsa venue has hosted Ella Fitzgerald, Depend Basie, Ike and Tina Turner, The Temptations, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Little Richard and Etta James.

El Rancho Grande’s unique proprietor, Ruby Rodriguez, opened her restaurant in downtown Tulsa, however after a short while there relocated to a spot alongside the portion of Historic Route 66 that wound by means of Tulsa.

A lot of the dishes the restaurant serves are Rodriguez’s recipes, together with the favored “Evening Hawk,” a platter of two cheese-and-onion enchiladas with a comfortable cheese taco topped with queso sauce. This dish was chosen as one of many high 5 Tex-Mex dishes within the nation by Gustavo Arellano in his ebook, “Taco USA: How Mexican Meals Conquered America.”

The restaurant went out of enterprise in about 1982 and was bought in a tax public sale in 1984. The Walden household, who owned the constructing, purchased the restaurant and determined to reopen it later that 12 months, hiring cooks and wait workers from the unique incarnation to take care of the restaurant’s traditions.

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