‘Nutcracker’ fund-raiser offers surprises

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Since we’ve been dealing with 100-degree temps and the 2019-20 school year is just starting this week in Yukon, it’s probably too early to start talking about Christmas. But you’ll have to indulge me a little today.

I wrote my first Christmas-related news article this week, to promote the Sunday, Aug. 25 auditions for Central Oklahoma Ballet’s traditional production of “The Nutcracker.”

Those of you who have enjoyed this classic dance performance over the past quarter century in Yukon realize how important The Nutcracker is to our yuletide season.

The Christmas In the Park lights display, Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Sounds of the Season concert, Main Street Open House, and The Nutcracker head Yukon’s holiday entertainment line-up.

The 2019 Nutcracker production will have special meaning. This marks the 25th annual Yukon Nutcracker. A local ballet company, then known as Yukon Civic Ballet, started performing the Nutcracker during the mid-1990s on the modest stage of the Yukon Museum and Arts Center (Old Central School) on Oak Street.

Yukon Civic Ballet soon reformed as Central Oklahoma Ballet and the early December production was moved to the expansive Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium on Yukon Avenue.

There it has remained, always presented on the first weekend in December to larger and larger audiences. The Nutcracker hasn’t quite filled the 3,000-seat venue, but it’s still early yet.

Several performers who were part of The Nutcracker from those early years are still performing and contributing to the local ballet. People like Ginger LaCroix, Maggie Fuchs, Larry Taylor, Marge Brakefield, and others are longtime supporters who help “behind the scenes” and on stage.

Well, this year will provide an extra-special treat for Nutcracker followers. The Central Oklahoma Ballet board of directors, headed by Allie Overton, is planning a memorable celebration to mark the 25th anniversary. The board has been meeting for the past month as they ramp up plans for some pre-Nutcracker events.

An annual Nutcracker fund-raiser is just a month away, on Sunday, Sept. 15 at Grady’s 66 Pub on Main Street. This will feature live music, tasty onion burgers, cold beverages, and an amazing craft sale. More details to come!

This ballet benefit has been moved up several weeks to accommodate a once-in-a-lifetime, you-don’t-want-to-miss extravaganza.

Central Oklahoma Ballet will stage a 25th anniversary gala featuring “A Nutty Nutcracker” on Friday night, Oct. 25 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore. Tickets are $20 with proceeds supporting the local ballet company.

You’re sure to be surprised and entertained by this hilarious parody of the classic holiday tale. A Nutty Nutcracker is a show where anything can happen … and probably will!

An evening of laughs is guaranteed. I don’t want to ruin the surprises, but attendees of the Oct. 25th gala may be amazed who dons a tutu and ballet shoes that night!

Nutty Nutcracker’s director and choreographer would only say the audience will see some “truly outrageous situations” along with several Yukon “celebrities” and Nutcracker alumni.

Those who have helped Central Oklahoma Ballet develop over the past 25 years will be honored as well.

The Oct. 25th show will be an event everyone is talking about. As a longtime Nutcracker supporter, performer and Central Oklahoma Ballet board member, I’m helping spread the word (and excitement) about this 25th anniversary celebration.

Please clear your calendar for that Friday, Oct. 25. After work, have dinner in Yukon and then come to the Dale Robertson Center for an unforgettable event!

That night, you are invited to join people like Earline Smaistrla, Terry Martin, Kirk and Jean Marie Otto, Phil Carson, Debra Vossen, former Oklahoma Czech Queen Kim (Landes) Rex, and other local notables for a truly incredible occasion celebrating a uniquely special year.

The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m.

Well, I hope I got you thinking a little bit about Christmas. Or at least about a tremendous Yukon Christmas tradition – The Nutcracker. Get ready to mark your calendar again because performances of the yuletide classic ballet will be Saturday night, Dec. 7 and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8.

In the meantime, please contribute to the local ballet company by attending the Sept. 15th fundraiser at Grady’s Pub and/or the Oct. 25th silver anniversary gala.

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You may have missed it, but the Yukon Chamber of Commerce recently reached a milestone! The 500th member to join the local chamber was the Spanish Cove catering department.

Hooray, and a job well done by Yukon Chamber CEO Pam Shelton, her team and Ambassadors! To celebrate, the chamber will present a “Fantanza 500 Festival” on Sept. 9 at the 10 West Main Event Center.

Yes, I had to Google search the word “fantanza” too. Let me save you some time … it means “uber fantastic” or “purely awesome,” according to the online Urban Dictionary.
Expectations have been set high …