The historic Constantine Theater was ablaze with activity Saturday night as this grand lady hosted a variety show filled with surprises for everyone.
CAC President Garrett Hartness served as Emcee. Opening the lineup was 10-year old Bryanna Swan who sang ‘Stay’ by Rihanna and ‘Angels among Us.’ Swan recently appeared in Bartlesville’s production of “The Little Princess.” Only two hundred youngsters auditioned for ninety spots. Swan played one of the ‘mean’ school girls in this full-scale, two-hour production.
Next up was 16-year old Constantine newcomer Katrina Randolph. This Bartlesville native performed ‘Watch What Happens’ from the operatic musical Newsies. She also sang ‘God Help the Outcast.’
Randolph was followed by Ron Red Eagle and Sean Standingbear in a guitar duet. Red Eagle sang 1971 ‘Me and You and A Dog Named Boo.’ Written by Kent Lovie, this single peaked at number five on Billboard Hot 100.
Also making his Constantine debut was Austin Partridge who sang ‘I Need to Know’ from Tarzan. Tre Harper entertained the audience with his a cappella rendition of ‘Bright Lights, Bigger City.’ This gifted 11-year old also worked as number one stage-hand and has aspirations of becoming president of the Constantine Theater.
Lovely Emily Hudson sang and played the piano with two gospels, ‘You brought me Home’ and ‘You’re Beautiful.’
Multi-talented Leah Strahm sang ‘Count on Me’ and displayed her piano abilities with her rendition of ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’ Strahm is no stranger to the Constantine, having appeared in numerous children’s productions. She is also a 2013 Constantine Sassy Award nominee.
Returning performer Alleen Gaither sang ‘Love Your Brother’ and ‘God Bless the USA.’ Making her debut at the Constantine was Chloe Maye who sang ‘Almost There’ from Princess & the Frog and Etta James ‘At Last.’ Newcomer Brett Pelligrino sang ‘Honey Bun’ from South Pacific and ‘Adele-Skyfall.’
Following intermission, Hartness announced, “The Constantine is excited to present an out-of-the box treat with a 1926 silent film featuring “Rinky Dink.” Before showing this delightful slapstick-filled spin-off of the Little Rascals, Hartness relayed a bit of Constantine trivia. He explained, “One of the most important contributors to a silent movie was the piano player.” As the film progressed, it was up to the piano player to set the tone with accompanying music. “Mr. Constantine’s piano player was blind,” said Hartness. “He was able to play the appropriate music because his wife would sit next to him and whisper what scene was unfolding – such as a fight, chase or love scene.”
Swan, Randolph, Partridge, Strahm, Maye, and Pelligrino are all students of D’lynn Everett School of Dance in Bartlesville. Hartness said he and Everett are discussing an April production of ‘A Night on Broadway.’ Next Saturday, the Constantine will host its first Walt Disney classic, Cinderella. Admission is only $2.
In keeping with their mission of preserving the Constantine’s historical integrity while providing family-style entertainment, the variety show was open at no charge to the public. Donations and memberships are welcome. This 501(c)3 organization operates with a 12-person volunteer board who serve in virtually every aspect of theater management, including janitorial duties.
Hartness shared some of the perks CAC members receive, such as pre-event invitations and the Constantine’s annual Christmas Open House. He also invited the audience to ‘like’ the Constantine on Facebook and get a sneak peak at upcoming productions.