By Michael Pineda
Young girls and boys from across the area were transported into the world of the Nutcracker and the Land of the Sweets during the “Sugar Plum Fairy Tea” Sunday afternoon.
All tables were filled and all seats taken during the tea, held in the Fellowship Hall of Yukon’s First United Methodist Church as the event enjoyed its largest attendance ever.
“We were actually turning people away at the door because we ran out of seats,” Central Oklahoma Ballet President Allie Overton said. “We have never had that happen before.”
There were a little over 100 people at an event that generally draws between 80 to 90 people. Overton attributed the increase to the availability of online sales.
The tea serves as the final pre-production event for the The Nutcracker, which will be performed Dec. 3-4 in Yukon. Dancers from the ballet served the young ladies, mothers, grandmothers and some fathers with cupcakes, sugar cookies and punch. There was a photo area where the young ladies could take pictures with the Mouse King and Nutcracker Prince as well.
“The kids are real excited,” Overton said. “I think they enjoy the bingo with Godfather Drosselmeyer. They enjoy the games. One thing we started doing several years ago was we started crowning the little girls at the end of the show and I think they just love that.
“It’s one of the few ways you can actually have hands-on interactions with the ballet artists you will see on stage in a few weeks. These girls can take pictures with them, interact with them.
“They are serving cookies and punch to them. You just don’t see that at a lot of places where you could be up close and personal with the ones that will be on stage.”
In some instances, there were three generations of families present to see their youngest girls laugh and play “Drosselmeyer Says” and put in raffle tickets in hopes of winning an American Girl doll.
The event also helped pique interest in the Yukon Nutcracker as young girls could dream of one day being a dancer in the musical performance. Ginger Lacroix reading to the young ladies was also a hit.
“I don’t know that a lot of the kids understand what the Nutcracker is outside of it’s a story around Christmas,” Overton said. “So getting a quick breakdown of what the story really is here, it is a nice introduction and then they receive a free dance lesson at the end, as well. They can put the two together. It is wonderful story that includes ballet.”
Work on the tea began Saturday as organizers came in and transformed the fellowship hall into the Land of Sweets, complete with candy-filled centerpieces on each table.
“The Methodist Church is always so generous to let us use this place out of the goodness of their hearts,” Overton said.
After three pre-production events, it is full steam ahead for The Nutcracker performance.
“It will be pure performance oriented,” Overton said the schedule over the next few weeks. “We will put the final touches on the performances, costumes and stage. It is detail work.”
The Nutcracker, which will be accompanied by the Oklahoma Community Orchestra featuring National and International guest artists will be at 8 p.m., Dec. 3 and 2 p.m., Dec. 4 at the Yukon Fine Arts Center, which is located at 850 Yukon Avenue. Advance tickets are $20 and tickets at the door are $25. Tickets can be purchased at Yukon National Bank, Midfirst National Bank (inside Walmart) or online at www.centralokballet.org.