No trip to Tulsa is complete without visiting The Old Lady on Brady, a.k.a. The Brady Theater. Originally called Convention Hall, it eventually became known as The Brady, I can only assume because of its location on the corner of Brady Street.
The Brady Theater was completed in 1914 for use as a municipal auditorium and convention hall. It was a simple space. Then in 1930, Bruce Goff, a well-known architect, was commissioned to renovate the interior. He had 30 days to complete the task. He took the space from a humble hall to an Art Deco showpiece.
In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For a few years, it fell into disrepair but then after extensive remodeling, it was reopened and again became the premier locale for entertainment.
Some of the biggest names in show business have played The Brady. Just to name a few: Tony Bennett, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Roy Clark, Rosemary Clooney, David Allen Coe, Genesis, Merle Haggard, Buddy Holly, Tom Jones, Journey, Kansas, B.B. King, Cyndi Lauper, Motley Crue, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Will Rogers, Styx, Ed Sullivan, U2, & Robin Williams. And the list goes on and on.
But one entertainer seems to play nightly. That would be the ghost of The Brady, Enrico Caruso. Caruso was an opera singer who performed there in 1920. According to legend, while Caruso was in Tulsa for his sold-out show, he was stuck outside in the rain for a lengthy period of time. He contracted pleurisy, languished for 9 months, and eventually perished. It’s said that he and his manager both blamed the Oklahoma weather. It is rumored that he still lingers at the Brady, haunting the city in retribution for his death.
So, if ever given the chance, visit The Brady Theater. You’ll be walking the same floor as legends of entertainment history. And who knows? Maybe Mr. Caruso will come up and say hello!