Celebrity Attractions President Larry Payton Dies at age 64
Broadway has one less light burning today as Celebrity Attractions'
President Larry Payton unexpectedly passed away Monday, February 18th at
approximately 9:50 p.m. at St. Francis Hospital due to an illness.
The memorial service to celebrate Larry's life and legacy will be held
Saturday, February 23rd at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Downtown Tulsa.
There will be a viewing Friday, February 22nd at Floral Haven from 6 p.m.-8
p.m. and also Saturday at First Baptist Church using the Detroit Avenue
Lobby entrance from 12:30 p.m.-1:45 p.m. Interment will be at Floral Haven
immediately following the service.
Flowers can be sent to Floral Haven 6500 S 129th E. Ave. Broken Arrow,
OK 74012. In lieu of flowers, a Scholarship Fund has been established at
Southwest Baptist University, University Relations Office, 1600
University Avenue, Bolivar, MO 65613 in Larry's memory. All checks must
be made out to Southwest Baptist University and a note on the check
should be directed to the Larry Payton Scholarship Fund. These funds
will be used to provide scholarships to members of the SBU Tennis Teams.
Not only Larry, but also his father, uncle, and brother were graduates
of SBU. Larry was a member of the SBU Tennis Team, worked briefly at SBU
after his graduation and was serving as a member of the Board of
Trustees for the University.
Larry Payton, his wife Kay Payton, his son Drew Payton and his brother Ed
Payton have kept the lights of Broadway burning bright out west as the
leadership of Celebrity Attractions. Larry and Kay started Celebrity
Attractions in 1983 and are now celebrating 30 years of bringing the best of
Broadway and more to you! The company has been presenting major theatrical,
musical and family entertainment and handling the marketing and group sales
for national touring events. Celebrity Attractions presents a Broadway
Series in seven different regional markets- including Tulsa, OK; Oklahoma
City, OK; Little Rock, AR; Springfield, MO; Amarillo, TX; Abilene, TX; and
Lubbock, TX. He was actively involved in the Independent Presenters Network
comprised of over 50 markets throughout the United States that present and
In addition, Larry invested in several shows for Broadway and the road,
including: ONCE, KINKY BOOTS, Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY,
JEKYLL & HYDE, WONDERLAND, 9 TO 5, GREASE, Monty Python's SPAMALOT on
Broadway,the road & in London, PETER PAN starring Cathy
Rigby, LEGALLY BLONDE, THE COLOR PURPLE, MOVIN' OUT, BOMBAY DREAMS and
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE for which he won a Tony Award.
Over the years, Larry's dedication to presenting quality family
entertainment and growing a business from the ground up were acknowledged by
both The Broadway League as the recipient of the 2006 Outstanding
Achievement in Presenter Management Award and by the Metropolitan Tulsa
Chamber of Commerce as the recipient of the 1997 Small Business Person of
the Year Award.
Larry was an active member of Parkview Baptist Church in Tulsa where he was
a deacon and served on the church council. He also served on the Lifeway
Board of Trustees and was secretary for the Retail Committee and served on
the Financial Review Committee. Lifeway is the largest Christian Retailer in
the United States. He was actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian
Athletes since college and served on the Board of Directors for the State of
Oklahoma. FCA is one of the few Christian Organizations which is still
active in public schools. Larry served on the Board of Southwest Baptist
University for which he was also an alumnus. A supporter of education, he
was a former employee of the University of Tulsa as the student activities