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  • ‘The Nutcracker’ opens; will continue throughout weekend

  • Want a delicious holiday treat that’s not fattening? “The Nutcracker” is a feast for the eyes and ears.

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  • Want a delicious holiday treat that’s not fattening? “The Nutcracker” is a feast for the eyes and ears.
    Midwest Regional Ballet opened the classic holiday ballet on Thursday. Performances will continue at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.
    The curtain rises on a Christmas Eve party scene in the 1915 home of Dr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum, played by local theater veterans Linden Little and Susie Lundy. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of family and friends are the couple’s two children, pesky little Fritz, played by Tanner Movkck, and his older sister, Clara, danced by Jordan Luton.
    A family friend, Drosselmeyer, played by Doug Musick, shows up with gifts for the children. Clara receives a nutcracker — but it’s no ordinary nutcracker. Later that night, the young lady goes on a magical journey through a snow forest and a fantasy land of sweets, accompanied by her nutcracker, which is really an enchanted prince danced by Nathan Carr.
    Kaye Lewis, known as “Ms. Kaye” to her ballet students, created the production, along with the help of some other people, including Jason Huffman, Dan Williams, Little, Mark Lewis and Lori Stotler, who created the set, and C.C. Gould, who did the lighting.
    The Tchaikovsky score is played by the Southeast Kansas Symphony under the direction of Stella Hastings. Vocal music was provided by the Pittsburg Community Middle School choir under the direction of Virginia Darling.
    Lewis said that her previous productions of “The Nutcracker” were done with recorded music.
    “I’ve had a new excitement for ‘The Nutcracker’ this year because of the live music and the singers,” she said. “I thank them for bringing one of my dreams to life. I had done some other things with Stella Hastings before, and I hope this won’t be our last big adventure together.”
    Jason Huffman said it had been a privilege for him to work with Lewis and Hastings.
    “They will make this performance unbelievable,” he said. “Having a production of ‘The Nutcracker’ with a live symphony is a first for southeast Kansas, and it should be a real treat for the area.”
    The costumes for the show are also remarkable.
    “About 70 percent of them I made, and the rest I ordered pre-made and decorated,” Lewis said.
    The Nutcracker and the wicked Rat King both wear large headpieces, which were designed by Lewis and made by Brandi Graeber .
    “The Rat King mask is made of fake fur, chicken wire, muslin and papier mache,” Lewis said.
    She said that she is proud of her all dancers.
    “Jordan Luton, my Clara, is 13 and she’s had a tremendous growth spurt in her dancing,” Lewis said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Others in major dancing roles are Taylor Mann as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Joe Tiner as her cavalier; Emily Fite and Trey York as kissing dolls; and Morgan Prather as the harlequin doll. Murl Medley and Lori Stotler are the governor and his wife in the party scene.
    Anyone needing ticket information may call Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium at 231-7827.

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