Dancers, vocalists entertain at ‘Phantom of the Nutcracker’

Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Fall Follies benefit 28th annual production

After their dance performance, Eden Hanes (left) and Kasi Speegle encourage cash gifts from audience members for Central Oklahoma Ballet’s 28th annual Nutcracker production. (Photo by Dan Vossen)

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

Local ballet dancers were joined by special guest vocalists at Yukon’s “Phantom of the Nutcracker.”

A benefit for Central Oklahoma Ballet Co., the Yukon Nutcracker’s annual Fall Follies was staged Oct. 20 inside the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.

Yukon Nutcracker cast members performed several skits and dances to the delight of the audience. They followed featured singer Presley Harrington, who sang a few excerpts of his favorite musical “Phantom of the Opera” with Maison Dolphin.

“The singers were stunning,” Central Oklahoma Ballet President Allie Overton said. “And the performances by our dancers were, as always, out of this world.

“We had a great turnout even thought it was fall break. The audience was engaged the whole time.”

Earl Goolsby performed on the piano.

Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Fall Follies also featured a silent auction, raffle, heavy hors d’ouevres, and drinks.

“The hand-painted ballet shows were an even bigger hit than in the past,” Overton shared. “We had a great deal of enthusiastic bidding.

“We raffled off a Nutcracker quilt that included pictures of previous ‘Cookie’ dancers with Mother Ginger.”

Emcee for the evening was COB board member Sam Sims, who dances with his wife Jennifer in the opening “party scene” of Yukon’s Nutcracker.

Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Fall Follies raised funds to cover production costs of its 28th Annual Nutcracker set the first weekend of December.

The dance company relies on donations, grants and fund-raisers to be able to present this Yukon yuletide favorite.

Performing a dance to the song “Oklahoma” are: From left, Finnigan Cring, Madelyn Shropshire, Layla Major, and KatyAnn Fuerst. (Photo by Dan Vossen)
Yukon Nutcracker “party scene” cast members join Central Oklahoma Ballet company dancers to perform a skit: Front from left, Terry Martin and Carla Noble; and back from left, David Hodgkinson and Allen Noble. (Photo by Dan Vossen)


Central Oklahoma Ballet Co. will present the annual Sugar Plum Fairy Tea from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 at Yukon’s First United Methodist Church, 400 Elm.

Tickets are $15 each, with proceeds used to offset costs of the annual Nutcracker production.

“We will have characters from the Nutcracker serving snacks and Sugar Plum Fairy tea to the kids,” Overton said. “They will be available for pictures. We’ll also raffle off an American Girl doll.”

Guests will enter the “Kingdom of Sweets” to enjoy tea and treats while the Nutcracker characters visit each table.

They will listen to Mother Ginger’s story of The Nutcracker acted out with the help of the characters.

The young attendees will be invited to visit with the Sugar Plum Fairy or Clara and the Nutcracker Prince in the Snow Queen’s sleigh.

Central Oklahoma Ballet supporters with their winnings from the dessert auction: From left, Aaron Hanes, Chelsea Gallant and Maria Hanes. (Photo by Dan Vossen)
Featured vocalists Presley Harrington and Maison Dolphin sing an excerpt from the musical “Phantom of the Opera” for Central Oklahoma Ballet’s “Phantom of the Nutcracker” benefit. (Photo by Dan Vossen)
Central Oklahoma Ballet leadership includes, from left, President Allie Overton, artistic director Debra Vossen and Board Member Sam Sims. Sims, who dances in the opening “party scene” of Yukon’s Nutcracker, served as emcee for the Fall Follies. (Photo by Dan Vossen)


Central Oklahoma Ballet’s 2023 Nutcracker will be presented Dec. 2-3 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave.

The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

This Yukon production has become a true Christmas holiday tradition, attracting people from across the region.

Local dance company performers take the stage alongside professional guest artists, accompanied by a live orchestra.

“Our community is always very supportive of the Nutcracker,” said Overton, who has been involved for 22 years. “They’ve always come out in droves for our activities to show their support of the arts in Yukon.”

Yukon’s Nutcracker ballet was first performed in 1994 on a small stage inside the Yukon Museum and Arts Center (Old Central School), 601 Oak. After a few years, the production moved to the spacious Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium.

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Company dancer Taylor Endsley holds up one of the featured silent auction items, a handmake Nutcracker quilt featuring photos of the “Cookies” dance with Mother Ginger. (Photo by Dan Vossen)
Enjoying the Fall Follies’ festivities are, from left, Ann Sanchez, Debra Vossen (artistic director) and Pam Dean. (Photo by Dan Vossen)
Central Oklahoma Ballet benefactors Larry Rosson and Marge Brakefield prepare to have cake for dessert after tasting the heavy hors d’ouevres. (Photo by Dan Vossen)
Pianist Earl Goolsby provides background music before the singing and dancing performances. (Photo by Dan Vossen)