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The Snow Queen: Ballet Theatre of Toledo maintains its high standards

by Lindsay Smith

The beloved Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale “The Snow Queen” burst into life with Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s latest and innovative production March 18-19 at Trinity Church in downtown Toledo.

Choreography was by Sylvania resident and BTT’s own Nigel Burgoine, who has established himself not only as the artistic director for BTT but as an innovative and adventurous choreographer. Hopefully this Toledo Treasure will not be lured to other pastures!

Again the Company seems to grow and develop its professionalism and rises to every challenge with each new production it presents, and the Snow Queen, composed by Alexander Glazunov, was no exception.

And how fitting that this production, superb in every aspect, was dedicated to the memory of the late Dorothy Mackenzie Price who supported BTT since its inception some 12 years ago.

Whether on tour, or at established theaters such as The Valentine, or in this case the wonderful atmospheric Trinity Church with its stained glass adding to the stage effects, the company’s standard of professionalism never varies.

Stand-outs in this production were Hannah Pruiett as Gerda. Her fouettes turns were strong and exceptionally well-presented.

Hannah Pruiett as Gerda

Evan Long as Kai displayed technically the qualities of a professional dancer – his relevés in A La Seconde were sensational and his attitude pirouettes were flawless. His acting ability surpassed what a 13-year-old dancer should be able to accomplish!

Evan Long as Kai

Hannah Gerken as the guardian of Gerda portrayed her role most expressively and Regan Simon as the Snow Queen brought out the assertiveness of the character. Also showing great characterization was Rebekah Schmitz as the enchanted lady and Mackenzie Abodeely floated through her princess variation and had a handsome partner in Jared Davis.

Bringing humor and strong technique to the production were Jacqueline Weaner and Emma Hennessy as the robbers. There is no doubt that BTT’s strength lies in its ability to groom and develop up and coming dancers for principal roles.

In addition, the setting at Trinity Church gives the audience the advantage of being very close to all the dancers. In a lesser company this could have been to the disadvantage of the audience.

As I have mentioned in previous review, when it comes to BTT, the dedication of the principals and costs shows through, and illustrates there is nothing wrong with our youth when given the challenge to perform in the discipline of dance.

This latest production shows BTT going from strength to strength, due, in this critic’s opinion, to the fact that it is not tempted to diversify with other dance forms, but relishes in the challenges involved in specializing only in the art of classical ballet.

For information about instruction or performances for the Ballet Theatre of Toledo,
please visit:

Lindsay Smith is a former career diplomat with the Australian Government, having served as Counsellor (Culture and Information) in various postings including Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, United States and the South Pacific.


‘Legally Blonde’ is SV’s spring musical

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

The cast of “Legally Blonde” prepares for the upcoming production at Southview High School opening April 6.

The Sylvania Southview High School Theatre Department presents “Legally Blonde -the Musical” on

Thursday, April 6 – Saturday
April 8 at 7:30 p.m. and on
Sunday April 9 at 2:30 p.m.

The performances take place at Sylvania Southview High School,
7225 Sylvania Ave.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at

Tickets are $9 for students and senior citizens and $12 for adults.

Based on the novel and the hit movie of the same name, “Legally Blonde: the Musical” chronicles the journey of the famously perky Elle Woods (Allie Gehling), a fashion savvy, UCLA sorority girl who finds her life turned upside down when she is dumped by her boyfriend Warren (Peter Wurster). In an effort to prove to Warren that she is more than just some blonde sorority girl, she follows him to Harvard Law, where she struggles to fit in and do well. She finds out he has found a new love, Vivienne (Kendall Linnenkugel). No longer having her best friends Serena, Margot and Pilar (Serene Schwallie, Bridgette Dona, and Taylor Spurgeon-Hess) by her side, she befriends quirky stylist Paulette (Sena Abernathy) and helps her attract the attention of the UPS delivery guy, Kyle (Carson Greisiger). Elle struggles to succeed in school with the help of Emmett (Travis Hamman) on the legal team to defend Brooke Windham (Sunita Dhar). Unfortunately, she realizes the head lawyer, Professor Callahan (Nathan Davenport) is interested in more than her brain. Ultimately, she defies expectations and manages to stay true to her delightfully pink personality.

Director and choreographer Brandi Shepard, the drama teacher at Southview, chose this for its high energy and large chorus numbers. Shepard stated, “We have so many strong female performers, this show is a chance to really showcase them. The storyline may seem fluff, but I keep reminding the students ‘Elle is a real person. I’ve been in her shoes.’ She’s just a girl chasing after a boy. She’s a woman who learns to believe in herself, overcome stereotypes and be more than she ever thought she could be.”

Miss Shepard is assisted by vocal directors Lindsay Andrews and Dawn Kingman, assistant choreographer Taylor Zaborski, technical director Jon Austin and pit orchestra director Dawn Kingman. Student leadership includes stage manager Yasmine Abdouni and set crew-head Bethany Morgan. Over one hundred students are involved in this production through the cast, crew, and orchestra.

For more information, contact Brandi Shepard at
419-824-8580, ext. 6202.


Riding for a purpose

by Mary Helen Darah

A group of local American Legion Riders prepare to hit the pavement for the purpose of helping our military veterans.


An American flag, made by students and constructed out of small plastic toy soldiers, was escorted by riders to the Battle for Buddy Foundation event.

American Legion Riders hit the pavement for a purpose. The national organization was founded by motorcycle enthusiasts and long-time riders, Chuck “Tramp” Dare and Bill “Polka” Kaledas in 1993 to help veterans. The group that began with 19 founding members, has grown to 106,000 motorcyclists consisting of veterans and sons and daughters of those who served.

Tony Roemmele has been part of the local American Legion Riders 1st District through the American Legion Joseph Diehn Post 468, located on Centennial Road in Sylvania, for the past five years. “I have been involved with the American Legion for the past eight years. I joined as a ‘son.’ My father served in World War II and my brother was in the Army and National Guard. He is a true public servant,” stated Roemmele. “I learned about the American Legion Riders through my involvement with the American Legion. I have always liked toys–snowmobiles, dirt bikes, wave runners—and I had a bike. It seemed like a great way to help veterans. We have 111 chapters in Ohio that consist of male and female riders. It’s not just a boy’s club.”

The group has come together to assist vets in numerous and eclectic ways from participating in Rolling Thunder to helping to fund the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Mobile Education Center. “During the Flint water crisis, we filled a whole semi with donated water to be taken to Flint,” recalled Roemmele. “We received help from American Legion Riders in Maumee, West Unity, Swanton, Whitehouse, Elmore, Napoleon, and Morenci, Mich.”

Roemmele has also ridden with riders in Swanton to benefit the Battle for Buddy Foundation. “The organization gives veterans back from service with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) trained therapy dogs,” explained Roemmele. “Through that ride last year, they donated 15K to the foundation. That’s a great deal of money for a small group of bikers. Through that same event, a group of riders escorted an American flag, constructed out of toy army men, made by students in Indiana as a senior class project. We rode from Indiana to the American Legion in Swanton. It was very meaningful that kids would do that for our vets.”

The next event the riders are sponsoring is a
Blood Drive
May 5
American Legion Joseph Diehn Post 468,
5580 Centennial Rd.
f2 p.m.-7 p.m.

Roemmele will be volunteering at the drive and hopes the public supports their efforts. “I didn’t serve in the military and it is my way of helping,” stated Roemmele. “I get a lot out of it. An extra added-bonus are the friendships that I have made through my involvement with the organization. There are rides every weekend from the end of May through October throughout Ohio. There is something to do every weekend to help our veterans. All events are open to the public. Many times, there is entertainment and food and the public is welcome to the after-event as well. It is a requirement that riders be a son our daughter of someone who served in the military or a member of the military to be part of the American Legion Riders. But everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. It is wonderful to ride for a purpose; to help our veterans.”

For information or to sign up for the blood drive on May 5, call 419-276-3062.

For more information about the American Legion Riders please visit:

First-of-its-kind Indoor Auto Auction features ‘Anything on Wheels’

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Mike Jones looks over the 1970 Jeep Wagoneer and the 2003 Mini Cooper that will be on the auction block.

“Anything on wheels can be auctioned during our inaugural Indoor Auto Auction,” reported Mike Jones, the owner of
Michigan Technical Resource Park
8000 Yankee Rd. in neighboring
Ottawa Lake, Mich.

According to Jones, Mark Oberly of Mark Oberly Auction Service, will call the sale on
Saturday, March 11 at 10 a.m.

“We are opening up the 400 seat auditorium for this first-ever auction. Everything to be sold will be wheeled in one at a time to center stage, where hundreds of potential buyers in theater-style seats will be able to see the exterior. Thanks to technology, they will also be able to view the interior on the big screen above the sale item,” he explained.

“Vehicles of all kinds have started to come in,” Jones noted. “We have several motorcycles, classic cars, boats and an airplane will be registered for the sale,” he said. “We are hoping to have a variety of classic cars and trucks, hot rods, commercial trucks, ATVs, agriculture equipment, boats on trailers and more. We are also hoping to have automotive collectables such as license plates and other items, including ‘mantiques’ and more available for sale,” Jones said.

While vehicles can be registered any time,
check in begins March 7 through March 10
from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and
on sale day from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

If you want to sell a vehicle, an insertion fee of $50 will be charged at registration and there is a buyers’ and sellers’ fee of 7.5 percent. “All registered vehicles will be stored in a gated, secured parking area,” Jones promised.

Potential buyers will have the opportunity to preview all the registered vehicles on Friday, March 10 from 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m.

According to Oberly, owners can register their vehicle or collections with a reserve.

During the auction, food and beverages will be available.
Each potential buyer will also be eligible to receive a variety of prizes and give-a-ways donated from local merchants.
In addition, a driving simulator, developed by building tenant Bill Bales, will be available for guests to try during the auction.

According to marketing director and co-host Melissa Prielipp, each registered vehicle will be posted on Facebook along with a descriptive write-up. “The more time a vehicle is on Facebook, the more exposure this will bring,” she said.



Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center expands to adjoining space

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Jackie Moore gets a helping hand with the coffee pot from Tracy Wilson.

In less than two years, Jackie Moore and her husband, Michael, have achieved another milestone as they expand the TBIRC to include the space next to the center. “We have known we needed more space since the center opened,” Moore reported. “So we were delighted when this space next to us became available. We have big plans for each of the three rooms we will be adding.” Of the many possible programs Moore is looking to add, she is most enthusiastic about a nutrition program.

“Many with TBI, including me, lose their appetite and forget to eat and drink. The brain needs protein and hydration to function so we need to offer visual and tangible ways to help TBI participants to develop healthy eating habits. This is just one example of what we can do in our every day lives to further our recovery,” Moore related.

According to Moore, the new space will allow participants a place to make the no-sew fleece comfort blankets and do other crafting projects. There will also be a space for classes and support groups to meet, and even a multi media room along with a quiet room, which is so important for participants according to Moore. “This new space will also be used for our speech groups and offers us the opportunity to have an educational room where we can do ‘lunch and learn’ programs and presentations. We can have a recreational area with enough room for our two Wii games and a place to play corn hole. We will also have dinner and movie nights.”

“This additional space will allow us to use our present space for greeting new participants, taking care of administrative duties, to house our resource library and more,” noted Tracy Wilson who serves as Moore’s administrative assistant

Wilson also serves as a caretaker for her husband who suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident two years ago. “She knows how to talk with and work with people with TBIs. She also complements me and what I do. She is very good at all those thing I need help with and we make a great team,” Moore explained.

“This is such a wonderful place,” Wilson said. “People who come here soon learn this is a judgment-free area. People are accepted for where they are.” People can enjoy support groups, speech, cognitive and memory groups and crafting opportunities. There are also educational seminars for healthcare professionals, students, survivors and caregivers.

“We started the center so that people who are survivors of traumatic brain injury, and their caregivers, have a safe place to go. We also serve as a resource center providing people with the kind of help they need,” Moore said. “There is no judgment here. We work as a team and everyone helps each other.”

According to Moore, people receive support, art and music therapy, nutrition assistance, counseling, help with paperwork, yoga classes, information about clinical trials, rehabilitation, crafts and much more. “We even have presentations by professionals pertaining to traumatic brain injury.”

Moore, who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an auto accident, cannot read or write and requires constant supervision. “After my injury, there was no information readily available and no support available. My husband, Michael, has been wonderful, helping me to put together all of this information so that we can share it with others who are in this same situation,” Moore said. “We are compiling quite a library for survivors and caregivers.

Participants come to the center during the week to hang out or to take part in some activity from making no-sew fleece comfort blankets and other activities. Scheduled speech, cognitive and memory groups and support groups meet regularly

Moore credits the generosity of the community with the center and all of its furnishings. “We have been extremely blessed to have the center and to receive so many donations and items to furnish it and make it work,” she stated.

In addition to the help the center has received from community donations, Moore and Wilson are hosting a fundraiser:
“In An Instant”
at the Pinnacle
March 11
featuring guest speaker Lee Woodruff, best-selling author, speaker and caregiver to her husband, Bob Woodruff, a TBI survivor and ABC TV anchor.

Registration is from 4-5 p.m. with appetizers, books signing and viewing the live auction item.
The program begins at 5 pm.
with dinner at 5:25 p.m.
The Woodruff speech at 6:15 p.m.
Followed by the live auction at 7:30 p.m.

Proceeds benefit the Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center and tickets are available online at


The 2017 HBA House & Home Show has it all!

Whether your dream is to replace your windows, create a backyard oasis, upgrade your kitchen,
remodel or finally build the home you’ve always wanted…
the HBA House & Home Show has it all!

February 17-19, 2017
SeaGate Convention Centre
401 Jefferson Ave, Toledo

+ Showcase Home +
Visit the all new 2017 Showcase Home!
Walk through this inspiring display of the latest design trends, current home technologies and outdoor features.

+ Meet the Experts +
Join us in the stage area for presentations by our exhibitors on various topics throughout the show.

+ Kids Zone +
While mom and dad work on creating their dream home, the little ones can discover their dreams, too!
Bring them by the Kids Zone to meet Belle and Cinderella or a Storm Trooper and Rey presented by Laurel’s Princess Parties, see a magic show with Pattrick the Magician, build with Lowe’s and snap a photo in the construction equipment display by CAT.

Friday  3pm – 8pm
Saturday  10am – 8pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm

$10 at the Door
$7 in Advance @ The Anderson’s 

 or the Seagate Box Office

Kids 12 and Under – Free

There is plenty of parking in the downtown area including the SeaGate Centre parking garage. Prices vary and are set by the individual lots and garages.

For all the details visit:

HBA_Sylvania Advantage_10x14_013017_v2



New film contest with compassion theme offered

by Sylvania AdVantage Staff


The Sylvania United Church of Christ, Sylvania Baha’i Community, and the MultiFaith Council of NWOhio have come together to create the Sylvania Compassion Film Contest.
This contest is intended to bring together area film makers/producers in the making of a 3-minute video that shows “What Compassion Looks Like” featuring local talent and props.

The intention of this group is to offer vehicles of community transformation using the arts – particularly the film producers.  This contest is open to everyone to consider and submit. Prize money for First, Second and Third Place winners will be awarded during the Sylvania Film Festival  in March 2017.  We are hopeful that the finished videos could be used by local government and non-governmental agencies in the promotion of this area being a community of compassion.

The final date for submissions is:
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 5 p.m.

The prizes awarded will be $400 First Place,
$200 Second Place and
$100 Third Place.

Judges shall be selected from two members of each sponsoring community. All judging will be made less on technical merit and more on taste, inspiration, and transformation.

The submission criteria is as follows:

1. Each submission shall center on the theme:  “What Does Compassion Look Like?”

2. Each submission shall feature local props and talent.

3. Each submission shall not exceed 3 minutes in total length.

4. Each submission shall be created in a digital format and able to be integrated with various social media.

5. All submissions shall remain the ownership of the film producer/creator.

The Sylvania Compassion Film Contest will reserve the right to judge, copy and distribute all submitted films to area organizations for promotion.
The Sylvania Compassion Film Contest panel will not alter, in any way, film submissions.

The showcasing of all contest entries will take place during the Sylvania Community Arts Commissions Tree City Film Festival
Saturday, March 25,
and Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Neither the Sylvania Community Arts Commission nor the Tree City Film Festival is sponsoring this event but has allowed its venue to be used as a showcase.

For more information and specifications, contact:
John Krochmalny at 419-979-9080
or email:

Gang intervention subject of talk

–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J.

Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J.

The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., New York Times best-selling author and founder/executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, the world’s largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program, will speak at:

St. John’s Jesuit
5901 Airport Hwy.
Tuesday Jan. 31
at 7 p.m.
in the Chapel of St. John Berchmans.
The program is open to the public.

“Gang violence is about a lethal absence of hope,” Father Boyle said. “Gangs are the places kids go when they discover their life to be a misery, and misery loves company. It’s about kids who can’t imagine their future, so they plan their funerals. Hope is an essential thing. Nobody has ever met a hopeful kid who joined a gang.”

Father Boyle is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award.

Father Boyle was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984, and in 1986, he was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles. At the time, Dolores Mission was the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located between two large public housing projects with the highest concentration of gang activity in Los Angeles. He witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during what he has called “the decade of death” that began in the late 1980s. In the face of law enforcement and criminal justice tactics and policies of suppression and mass incarceration as the means to end gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members adopted what was a radical approach at the time: treating gang members as human beings.

By 1988, having buried an ever growing number of young people killed in gang violence, Father Boyle and parish and community members sought to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth by developing positive opportunities for them, including establishing an alternative school and day care program, and seeking out legitimate employment. They called this initial effort Jobs for a Future.

In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Jobs for a Future and Proyecto Pastoral, a community-organizing project begun at Dolores Mission, launched their first social enterprisebusiness in an abandoned bakery that Hollywood film producer Ray Stark helped them purchase. They called it Homeboy Bakery.

Father Boyle’s term as pastor ended in 1992, and he spent his tertianship (the final year of Jesuit formation) serving as a chaplain at the Islas Marias Federal Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom State Prison in California.

Father Boyle returned to Jobs for a Future in 1993, and the success of Homeboy Bakery created the groundwork for additional social enterprise businesses. This  led to Jobs for a Future in 2001 becoming an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries.

Today, Homeboy Industries employs and trains former gang members and felons in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to 15,000 men and women who walk through its doors every year seeking a better life.

Father Boyle is the subject of Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary, G-Dog. He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the James Beard Foundation, the national culinary-arts organization.

Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English from Gonzaga University, a master’s degree in English from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Weston School of Theology, and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

For more information on Homeboy Industries:

A New Spin on a Holiday Classic

–by Mary Helen Darah

Rabbi Sam Weinstein of Temple Shomer Emunim in Sylvania performs as Mother Ginger during the Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker. —Photo Courtesy of Brooks Photography

Rabbi Sam Weinstein of Temple Shomer Emunim in Sylvania performs as Mother Ginger during the Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker. —Photo Courtesy of Brooks Photography

Annually, I take the matriarch of our family to see “The Nutcracker,” presented by the Toledo Ballet. The longest running production of the holiday classic is in its 76th year. Miraculously, the talented artistic and school director of the Toledo Ballet, Lisa Mayer Lang, choreographer Gen Horiuchi and a posse of talented performers, manage to continually give the production a new spin.

This year was quite unique and brought national attention to the production by casting a priest, a rabbi and an imam in the role of Mother Ginger. Father Ron Olszewski, retired president of St. Francis de Sales High School, Imam Telal Eid, of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo and Rabbi Samuel Weinstein, of Temple Shomer Emunim, symbolically unified to become a living example of peace and acceptance.

It isn’t the holidays until I see my mother weep during the dance of the Snow Queen and Snow King. Once again, visiting artists, Prima Ballerina Mary Carmen Catoya and Principal Dancer Renato Penteado, both of Miami, Fla., did not disappoint in dazzling the audience. It was “a pass the tissue” moment for my mom and a priceless moment for me when seeing her moved by precision and beauty.

It was fun to learn that Sylvania was well represented in the production. Among its cast members was Kristi Delverne, a second-generation Toledo Ballet dancer, and her three daughters Sophia, Nikki and Amanda. The oldest Delverne daughter, Amanda, is studying dance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Another Sylvanian, Cheryl Walter, who is a faculty member at the Toledo Ballet, was excited to wear one of the new gowns when she performed in the The Party in scene one.

The Toledo Symphony, conducted by Adron Ming, honored the music of Tchaikovsky with its superb playing. In fact, the orchestra was so phenomenal that it was difficult to not hold them responsible for the elderly woman sitting next to me humming along to EVERY note.

I always enjoy hearing the traditions that many people have surrounding the annual production. I know one family who had their daughters wear matching holiday dresses until the preteen years brought about the need for self-expression. A neighbor of mine, originally from China, brings chocolates in delicate small porcelain cups. She gives them to her children during the show as her grandmother did for her when they went to the ballet in her former country. Maybe having your mom “lose it” in the waterworks department during Act I-Scene III, in the Land of Snow, pales in comparison, but it is tradition none the less and one that I hope to experience for years to come.

Christmas is alive and well with BTT’s Nutcracker

–by Lindsay Smith

Sylvania resident Evan Long thrills the audience with his Russian dance.                     —Photo courtesy of  Patrick Wolff

Sylvania resident Evan Long thrills the audience with his Russian dance. —Photo courtesy of Patrick Wolff

Christmas in Toledo without Nigel Burgoine’s Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s Nutcracker would be similar to waking up on Christmas morning and finding no tree or presents! This, together with the setting of the wonderful Valentine Theatre, with its plush Christmassy red seats, transports the viewer to another time and another world, something that no other venue or production in Toledo can give at this time of the year.

Even the audience seems to exude “Christmas” adding to the pre-curtain-up excitement for this definitely family event, with every little girl looking their prettiest and every little boy scrubbed up to his presentable best to match the wonderful costuming of the principals and cast in this, the twelfth season for this remarkable and truly successful, near professional home-grown company.

And yet it is not the “same old same old” as so many beloved traditions can become. The freshness and sparkle continues as new routines are introduced and traditional ones refined or given a new perspective to the delight of the audience. Of the production itself once again the sheer discipline of the corp-de-ballet, the backbone of any ballet company, shines through, with every member obviously enjoying the thrill of dancing to a full house.

Added to the always effective staging was a new scrim for the font of curtain action. The strength of the Company lies in the high standard it maintains. The professional guest artists in no way outshone the company dancers but rather inspired them to reach even greater heights.

Besides the wonderful simpatico and technical perfection exhibited between guest artists and Dawnell Dryja and Christian Griggs-Drane, both with the Grand Rapid Ballet, the Company’s own principals showed an expertise that many professional ballet companies would gladly accept as the standard required.

Particularly obvious in the Spanish Dance was the vibrant energy of Jacqueline Weaner and Larissa Huffman. The elegant extension of Fiona Connolly supported by a confident Mason Bassett highlighted the technical accomplishment that the Company has achieved. Hannah Pruiett added a strong interpretation to the Chinese Dance. The Mirlitons shone in their glamorous tutus and Mackenzie Abodelly displayed very strong technique in her demanding fouette turns.

This discipline and technical ability was particularly obvious in the Dance of Flowers with Regan Simon as Queen of the Flowers and the Corp de ballet of “flowers” in perfect unison throughout and all thoroughly enjoying the wonderful music of Tchaikovsky. Now in his fourth year at BTT young Evan Long as Fritz allowed not only his technical ability to show but also his infectious personality.

And at the Sunday performance (Sydney Kutcher) was a believable and dreamy-like Clara. Coupled with the success of this production of course was the orchestra, under Lloyd Butler, which provided just the right support and depth – making it as much part of the performance as the dancers themselves.

It was fitting that Toledo’s leading choral group, Masterworks Chorale, should provide the choral accompaniment for this very professional company

Coupled with the experience of Richard Helldobler, (has there ever been a better Drosselmeyer?) and James Norman – so well-known to Toledo audiences and of course Anne Marie Getz and you have a strong and very experienced cast from which to build, and Nigel Burgoine used this to perfection.

Overall, one comes away from such a performance with a tremendous hope and optimism for the youth of today. All that the art of the ballet requires – discipline, the teamwork and cohesion needed, and the hours of training and rehearsal, well and truly showed in this year’s performance of Ballet Theatre of Toledo’s Nutcracker.


Lindsay Smith was a career diplomacy in Australia’s foreign service, being consul to information and cultural affairs in postings in Europe, Scandinavia, the South Pacific and the United Nations in New York.

Tell Us Your GOOD NEWS!

Phone: (419) 824-0100
Address: 5657 N. Main #1 Sylvania, OH 43560

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