Brandy McDonnell
Features Entertainment Reporter

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1 million page views a year for the past two years. Raised on a crop and cattle farm near Lindsay, McDonnell started her journalism career in seventh grade, when she was elected reporter for her school’s 4-H Club. Taking her duties seriously, she began submitting stories to The Lindsay News and worked for the local weekly through high school. An Oklahoma State University graduate, she will celebrate her 10th anniversary at The Oklahoman in May 2012.


  • With 'Inside Out,' Disney/Pixar shows signs it has been 'Spirited Away' by Miyazaki's strong female characters

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    With Miyazaki’s retirement from filmmaking last year, his Studio Ghibli animation house has suspended the production of new features. Sadly, what could be the final movie from Studio Ghibli, “When Marnie Was There,” will show July 24-26 and July 30 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

  • The Damn Quails wing back to Okemah's Woody Guthrie Folk Festival with new music

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    The 18th Annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival is set for Wednesday through July 12 at various venues in Okemah, the late, great folk legend's hometown. The nonprofit, all-volunteer Woody Guthrie Coalition organizes the festival each year around the famed minstrel’s July 14 birthday.

  • Oklahoma entertainment ticket ticker

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Oklahoma entertainment ticket ticker.

  • Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park goes beyond The Bard with 'You Never Can Tell'

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park will continue its 31st summer season in July with Shaw’s “You Never Can Tell,” opening Thursday on the Myriad Gardens Water Stage in Oklahoma City.

  • Oklahoma singer-songwriter Susan Herndon revisits France with new album 'Vagabonde'

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Oklahoma singer-songwriter Susan Herndon will play a release show Saturday at the Blue Door in Oklahoma City for her new independent album “Vagabonde,” 10 songs she sang in French or a melange of French and English.

  • Iconic country boy Hank Williams Jr. does more than just survive in music business

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer  bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Hank Williams Jr. will play his well-known hits along with the fiddle, piano, electric guitar and a full acoustic set Saturday night at the second annual OKCFest in downtown Oklahoma City.

  • After deep run on 'The Voice,' Corey Kent White returns to Oklahoma to play OKCFest

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Bixby native Corey Kent White, who finished his deep run on Season 8 of “The Voice” two months ago, will play this weekend at the second annual OKCFest in Oklahoma City.

  • Oklahoma event Ticket Ticker

    Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Oklahoma event Ticket Ticker

  • Science Museum Oklahoma piques families' love of learning with CurioCity

    By Brandy McDonnell  Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com    | Published: Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    The curtain goes up Sunday on CurioCity, one of the biggest changes in Science Museum Oklahoma’s almost six-decade history: a new 20,000-square-foot, $9 million family exhibition designed to teach children, parents and grandparents about science through exploration and creative play. The museum is in Oklahoma City.

  • Oklahoma event Ticket Ticker

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    Oklahoma event Ticket Ticker

  • RINGMASTER: When the Ringling Bros. circus comes to Oklahoma City, Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over the spectacle

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 19, 2015

    Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents “Legends” will play Thursday through June 28 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

  • Healing with 'family' at OK Kids Korral

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Mon, Jun 15, 2015

    Sawyer and McKoy Beard are a matched set, with the same bright eyes, button noses and world-class smiles. But when McKoy takes off his natty hat, instead of sandy hair like his twin brother, the 3 ½-year-old sports a bald head, a telltale sign, along with his frailer stature, of his recent bout with cancer.   “Sawyer’s been to every appointment, everything, except one time when he had to go to the dentist,” the twins’ dad, Shawn Beard, said. “Having a twin, we wanted him to be at the hospital as much as possible, but we also wanted to get him out of the hospital and have somewhere to stay,” added their mom, Machelle Beard.

  • Toby Keith calls joining Songwriters Hall of Fame his ‘ultimate trophy’

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM  bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Sun, Jun 14, 2015

    NORMAN — On Thursday, the “Big Dog Daddy” will have his day. Oklahoma country music superstar Toby Keith will be enshrined next week into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.    “I’ve won entertainer of the year awards. I’ve won a dozen CMT video awards. I’ve won Billboard Awards. I’ve won artist of the decade. And all of them put together don’t mean as much as this award,” Keith said in an interview backstage at Norman’s Riverwind Casino during his annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic fundraising dinner and auction. “My 60 or 70 awards I have at my house, you put ’em all together and melted ’em into one trophy, that’s still not as big as this

  • Oklahoman Toby Keith calls joining Songwriters Hall of Fame 'ultimate trophy'

    By Brandy McDonnell BAM  bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    Oklahoma country music superstar Toby Keith will be enshrined next week into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

  • Oklahoma entertainment event ticket ticker

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writer bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    Oklahoma entertainment event ticket ticker

  • State hall of fame will add Durant, seven others in 2015

    By Brandy McDonnell Features Writerbmcdonnell@oklahoman.com  | Published: Thu, Jun 11, 2015

    Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock, Chickasaw painter Mike Larsen, country music manager Jim Halsey, Victoria's Secret CEO Sharen Jester Turney, Inasmuch Foundation Chairman William J. Ross, University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham, and Oklahoma Career Tech system pioneer Francis Tuttle will be enshrined in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame this fall.

  • Cleats for Kids helps Oklahoma City-area kids in need get in the game

    By Brandy McDonnell

    Features Writer

    bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com

    | Published: Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    Oklahoma Cleats for Kids is working to keep children in need equipped and playing ball. The nonprofit will host its second annual Summer Kick-Off from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday on the Great Lawn of the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City.

  • Cleats for Kids helps kids in need get in the game

    By Brandy McDonnell

    Features Writer

    bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com

    | Published: Mon, Jun 8, 2015

    From rural backroads to suburban streets, distinctive lights shine across evening skies this time of year. It’s the gleam of bright ball field lights illuminating youth baseball games across the Oklahoma City area. The glow of those lights also means it’s time for parents to shop for baseball pants, cleats, bats, gloves and other items needed to get their little sluggers out on the field. But for families who can’t afford to shell out for their youngsters to gear up, it may mean lights out on sports. Oklahoma Cleats for Kids is working to keep children in need equipped and playing ball.

  • Oklahoma native Kelli O'Hara wins first Tony Award on sixth nomination

    By Brandy McDonnell

    Staff Writer

    bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com

    | Published: Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    Oklahoma native Kelli O’Hara literally danced off the Radio City Music Hall stage Sunday night as she finally received her first Tony Award after six nominations in a decade.    “My parents, who are sitting next to me for the sixth time, you don’t have to pretend. It’s OK this time,” she said, her smile bright and her voice shaking with emotion. O’Hara, who was born in Elk City and raised in Edmond, danced into theater’s biggest honor with her graceful portrayal of English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens in the new revival of the 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite “The King and I,” opposite Oscar nominee  Ken Watanabe.

  • For Oklahoma City University voice teacher and mentor to Tony nominees Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O'Hara, the love of teaching endures

    By Brandy McDonnell

    Features Writer

    bmcdonnell@oklahoman.com

    | Updated: Sat, Jun 6, 2015

    As a longtime professor of voice at Oklahoma City University, her alma mater, Florence Birdwell helped hundreds of students find both voice and purpose, including a pair of Broadway stars who are the belles of this year’s Tony Awards: Kelli O’Hara and Kristin Chenoweth.




Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 06:50:21 PM CST RT @PatrickDempsey: In my memory, she will always be vibrant and young. Gone too soon. Sending my thoughts and prayers to Amanda's family.
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 06:49:56 PM CST RT @nmitch: From NewsOK: Han Solo to Get ‘Star Wars’ Standalone Film from ’21 Jump Street’ Directors LINK
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 06:49:47 PM CST RT @EW: ICYMI: @ElodieYung to play Elektra in season 2 of #Daredevil: LINK LINK
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 06:49:25 PM CST RT @NewsOKThunder: Worried about @Enes_Kanter's future with the Thunder? You shouldn't be yet says @JonMHamm: LINK http:/…
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 06:48:49 PM CST Getting ready to see #Minions. My kids are so excited. #reviewsoon #Beedo
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 12:26:10 PM CST Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional show at Zoo Amphitheatre delayed to Wednesday due to weather forecast LINK
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 12:17:09 PM CST Third Eye Blind, Dashboard Confessional show @ZooAmpOKC delayed to Wednesday due to weather forecast #okwx LINK
Brandy McDonnell Tue, Jul. 07 2015 09:18:03 AM CST What to do in Oklahoma on July 7, 2015: See 'Top Gun' at Harkins Bricktown 16 LINK
Brandy McDonnell Mon, Jul. 06 2015 04:07:38 PM CST RT @OKFilm_Music: Celebrating the life of Woody Guthrie, @WoodyFest hosts @johnrfullbright @travislinville + more July 8-12 in Okemah! http…
Brandy McDonnell Mon, Jul. 06 2015 11:25:33 AM CST Video: Get revved up with Thompson Square's 'Trans Am' official video LINK
Brandy McDonnell Mon, Jul. 06 2015 11:01:58 AM CST Something for your Monday post-holiday blahs - Video: Get revved up with @thompsonsquare's 'Trans Am' official video LINK
Brandy McDonnell Mon, Jul. 06 2015 11:00:08 AM CST What to do in Oklahoma on July 6, 2015: Hear @JasonIsbell and @JohnMorelandOK @CainsBallroom in Tulsa LINK
Brandy McDonnell Mon, Jul. 06 2015 10:18:11 AM CST Monday Catchy Quote No. 373 LINK
Brandy McDonnell Mon, Jul. 06 2015 09:15:52 AM CST Oklahoma City Museum of Art, National Cowboy Museum exploring new frontiers with Google Cultural Institute LINK
Brandy McDonnell Sun, Jul. 05 2015 07:30:36 AM CST What to do in Oklahoma on July 5, 2015: Hear Elizabeth Speegle Band play a Sunday Twilight Concert in the Myri... LINK
Brandy McDonnell Sat, Jul. 04 2015 09:06:22 AM CST What to do in Oklahoma on July 4, 2015: Hear Nicnos play for free at Bricktown 4th Fest LINK
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Jul. 03 2015 11:23:56 PM CST RT @Baseball_Photos: 76 years ago today, Lou Gehrig delivered the greatest speech in the history of American sports. LINK
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Jul. 03 2015 08:50:59 AM CST Listen: Amber Hayes' patriotic new song 'Hero's Heart' is inspired by her uncle, a Medal of Honor winner LINK
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Jul. 03 2015 07:22:10 AM CST Extended interview & video: @thedamnquails flying back to Okemah's Woody Guthrie Folk Festival with new music LINK
Brandy McDonnell Fri, Jul. 03 2015 07:21:29 AM CST What to do in Oklahoma on July 3, 2015: Hear the @CharlieDaniels Band at Frontier City LINK

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