Cracking Yukon nuts for 25 years

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A unique group of Yukon notables and local “semi”-celebs have started practicing for what will be a side-splitting performance later this month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Yukon’s Nutcracker.

You may already have heard about the “Nutty Nutcracker” gala on Friday night, Oct. 25 at the Dale Robertson Center. The venue will be decorated in 25th anniversary silver for the big event.

Central Oklahoma Ballet, which presents the Nutcracker Christmas classic each December in Yukon, wanted to do something extra special this year to mark 25 years of cracking nuts.

Yukon’s Nutcracker was first performed in December 1994 on a small stage at the now-closed Yukon Museum and Arts Center (Old Central School). That auditorium had capacity for about 125 people and folding chairs often had to be brought in for overflow audiences.
In the early 2000s, the local ballet company moved to the 3,000-seat Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, and crowds have grown steadily since. For much of the past two decades, I have been fortunate to have a part in the opening “party scene” of the annual production (this is before the “real” performers take over).

It is something that I and several other largely untrained dancers greatly anticipate on the first weekend each December. The show is performed for the public only twice, but rehearsals start two months earlier.

There are three notable residents still dancing in Yukon’s Nutcracker who were there that very first time 25 years ago – Larry Taylor, Maggie Fuchs and Ginger LaCroix.

Ginger, a longtime Yukon storyteller, performs both as a maid in the opening party scene and as “Mother Ginger” during an especially popular dance.

Ginger and her fellow “maid”, Alecia Day, will have their own story told during the Oct. 25th Nutty Nutcracker gala. It will be the story of Yukon’s Nutcracker – told from the maids’ perspective!

HINT: Several new budding male ballerinas will take the stage to perform. You must see it to believe it.

Male and female adult performers will include several former city and county officials, local business leaders and one of Yukon’s school principals. The upcoming gala will include local company dancers as well, performing the money dance from “Cabaret.”

Buy a ticket to find out how this “Nutty Nutcracker” story unfolds.

Ginger LaCroix is deserving of extra praise for her efforts to make the Oct. 25th gala a special (and memorable) night of homespun entertainment. Ginger has been very passionate about this project, spreading enthusiasm among her fellow adult performers.
The 25th anniversary Yukon Nutcracker celebration will include entertainment from Caleb Peebles, who will sing timeless classics from vocal artists like Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra.

Another gala highlight will be a silent auction featuring point shoes decorated by local artists, large ballerina painting, restaurant gift certificates, and more.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest so you’ll buy tickets to the Oct. 25th show. It really will be a fun night with an impressive cast of characters; many of whom you probably know.

Advance tickets to the Nutty Nutcracker 25th anniversary gala are $20 each, which covers admission, two drinks and appetizers.

The easiest way to secure tickets is by visiting Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Facebook page or calling 354-1743. You can get tickets at the door … for $5 more.

SHOUT OUT: My “shout out” this week goes to Yukon’s Tom Thomas. Tom is adjutant of American Legion Post 160, making sure things run smoothly for Post Commander Eddie “Mac” McFadden.

Tom was recognized at the recent Yukon Veterans Museum meeting after ending 5-1/2 years of outstanding service as the museum’s treasurer. Way to go Mr. Thomas!