Nutcracker Ballet coming to Pawhuska this Christmas Season

By: Roseanne McKee

The Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy will host an elegant evening of hor d’oeuvres and dessert at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21, at the Elks Lodge in Pawhuska to preview plans to produce the Nutcracker Ballet at Pawhuska’s Constantine Theatre on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. For reservations to the catered event, at no charge, call 918-607-3044. After-five attire is requested.

“The evening will be an opportunity for the community to learn more about the Academy and its partnership with the Osage Ballet to train the next generation of dancers in the tradition of the late Maria Tallchief, America’s first prima ballerina, an Osage member, who was born in nearby Farifax, Okla.,” said Osage Ballet Director Randy Tinker Smith.

The evening will include a short presentation by award-winning journalist, author and former manager of the Tulsa Ballet Theater, Connie Cronley. Catering will be provided by highly-esteemed chef, Brian Lookout of Ah Tha Tse Catering.

Although the evening is at no cost, attendees are encouraged to make their best donations to help support the Nutcracker Ballet production by Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy at the evening’s conclusion.

Another opportunity to support the Academy will be attendance at the Nutcracker Tea Party to be held Dec. 3 at the Short Community Center in Pawhuska from 2 – 4 p.m. This is a ticketed event costing $10 each. For reservations to this elegant afternoon of high tea and an opportunity for photos with the Nutcracker characters, call 918-607-3044. Tea sandwiches, a selection of teas and sweet treats will be served. “This is a wonderful event for the children your family,” said Dance Maker Academy Director, Jenna Smith.

The community may also support the upcoming Nutcracker performance by shopping at the Nutcracker Boutique at the Old Firehouse #1 Art Center on Main St. in Pawhuska. The gift boutique will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mon. – Sat. Nov. 1 – Dec. 23.

Tickets for the Nutcracker Ballet at the Constantine Dec. 9, will be $8 for students and $15 for adults.

“We thank our sponsors, Osage Casinos, Pawhuska Community Foundation, Osage Foundation, Blue Sky Bank, Jerry and Marlene Mosley, for helping us to continue the legacy of ballet in the Osage, and look forward to others joining our efforts,” Smith said.

Plan to Attend the One-Day Ben Johnson Film Festival June 11 at the historic Constantine Theater in Pawhuska

By Roseanne Sutton

The Osage County Historical Museum’s Ben Johnson Film Festival will be held for one day only, June 11. Two family-friendly movies starring Ben Johnson will be shown at the historic Constantine Theater in Pawhuska.

“Chisum,” which will be shown at 2 p.m., with costars John Wayne and Forrest Tucker. “Chisum” is historical fiction loosely based on the Lincoln County War of 1878 in New Mexico territory, said Museum Manager Barbara Pease. Infamous characters as Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid are depicted in the film, she added.

The evening film, “Bite the Bullet,” will begin at 7 p.m. In this film, Ben Johnson’s co-stars are: Gene Hackman, Candace Bergen and James Coburn, among others. This film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Sound Mixing and Best Music.

The Constantine Theater will open at 1 p.m. so that patrons may meet members of Ben Johnson’s family and view memorabilia on display.

Souvenirs and copies of the book “The Nicest Fella,” a biography about Johnson, will be available for purchase. The author, Richard D. Jensen, hopes to attend and be available to sign autographed copies of the book, which will be on sale for $35 each.

Concessions, such as freshly made popcorn, fountain sodas and candy, will be available at very reasonable prices.

Tickets for the two-film event, which include one free souvenir per ticket, are $15. Children 12 and under are free, when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. The museum is asking patrons to purchase their tickets in advance, to facilitate planning.

A visit to the Constantine Theater is an event in itself. The opportunity to celebrate Pawhuska’s own Ben Johnson should not be missed.

This unique film festival will bring to the silver screen two classic movies and give patrons the opportunity meet the Johnson family, and celebrate one of Hollywood’s most talented actors.

For more information, call the OCHS Museum at 918-287-9119.