By Conrad Dudderar
The audience was “quacking” with delight during a side-splitting send-up of two classic ballets that highlighted last Friday night’s Yukon Nutcracker benefit.
Civic leaders who headline the local cast of Central Oklahoma Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” helped stage a hilarious skit for an engaged audience Oct. 29 inside the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.
“Nutty Nutcracker Visits Duck Lake” was written by acclaimed Yukon storyteller Ginger LaCroix and performed by adult cast members from the Yukon Nutcracker’s opening party scene.
“I’m very, very grateful to Ginger for writing such a wonderful story,” Central Oklahoma Ballet artistic director Debra Vossen said. “She really worked hard on it and did a great job!”
The routine featured comical versions of dances from both the Nutcracker and Swan Lake ballets, featuring music by the composer Tchaikovsky.
“It was a hilarious and so much fun to watch,” Central Oklahoma Ballet board president Allie Overton said. “All the featured ‘dancers’ played their roles well with perfect comedic timing.”
Yukon’s David Hodgkinson, dressed as a duck hunter, performed the role of the Kissy Doll.
Yukon Shelli Selby, dressed as a duck, performed the role of the Harlequin Doll.
And Yukon’s Laura Castrop, also dressed as a duck, performed the role of the Kissy Doll.
Selby and Castrop were joined by Yukon’s Terry Martin – and then the rest of the cast – for a uniquely entertaining swan dance.
Meanwhile, Yukon’s Chris Day showed off his acting chops as Godfather Drosselymer – the butcher!
To top it all off, Yukon’s Faith Blose demonstrated just how funny the featured role of Clara can be.
NIGHT OF ‘FUN-RAISING’
The Friday night skit, silent auction and raffle raised several thousand dollars to cover production costs of the 26th annual Yukon Nutcracker this December.
After “Duck Lake” concluded, Central Oklahoma Ballet’s youth dancers performed the “Money, Money Dance” to encourage an appreciative audience to give to the cause. More than $500 was collected.
Presenting the dance were Finnigan Cring, Lola Yanda, Madelyn Shropshire, Gabi Hudspeth, Abigail Ankrom, Lorelei Sharp, and Avery Hansen.
The auction featured five ballet “point” shoes decorated by local artists, books written and signed by local author Tina Hawkins and an Oklahoma beer basket.
Attendees bought chances in a raffle for an entertainment package highlighted by a night at the new Lucky Star Casino & Convention Center in Watonga, dinner for two at the Rez restaurant and $200 in free play. Lucky winner was Tess Shropshire.
The event was catered by Clint Eaves.
“Overall, it was a great night with supporters of Central Oklahoma Ballet,” Overton shared. “Friends of our ballet never fail to show up and contribute.
“This was a great night of ‘fun’-raising for Yukon’s Nutcracker.”
COMING UP ….
Next up for Central Oklahoma Ballet is the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea set Sunday, Nov. 14 in Yukon (read more in an upcoming edition).
This will be the non-profit ballet company’s third fundraising benefit for the Yukon Nutcracker.
Yukon’s 26th annual production of this yuletide classic will be staged Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 4-5 at the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave.
The production will feature guest artists, world-class dancers, magical theatrics, and beautiful costumes.
This year’s two public performances will include new stage backdrops and costumes.
Local dancers from Yukon, Mustang, Piedmont, and El Reno will perform alongside seasoned professional artists.
Live music will be provided by the Oklahoma Community Orchestra directed by Irv Wagner.
For more information, visit centralokballet.org or call (405) 354-1743.