The Friends of the Coleman will reach backto the days of Vaudeville as they host Miami's official Oklahoma Centennial celebration.
A variety of acts, including some widely recognized enteratiners, will take the stage Saturday in a centennial follie celebration currently being coordinated by Virginia Swanson.
It is not Swanson's first attempt at coaxing entertainers to Miami's “Crown Jewel” theatre. She organized a 2004 birthday celebration when the Coleman Theatre Beautiful turned 75 years old. Also a vaudeville-style event, that program packed the house floor and Swanson is hopeful that her current undertaking will do the same.
A dozen acts will take the stage, including Hunter Hayes and the Louisiana Hot. Hayes, teenage talent who has performed with the likes of Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley and Clint Black, is expected to surprise the audience with a toe-tapping performance of Cajun and country music.
Donald Ryan, a ragtime piano player, is also planning to perform as is the “Pop Bottle Lady” who Swanson said is back by popular demand.
Ryan, described as a “musical kaleidoscope” and “probably the premier performer of ragtime in the formal classical style active on the festival circuit today.” He is an inductee into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
The “Pop Bottle Lady,” otherwise known as Wilma Cummins, has performed on the Jay Lenno Show, appeared on “America's Funniest People,” and performed on the Lawrence Welk Show.
“It is going to be really fun night,” Swanson said.
Mixed between the acts will be prize drawings for crisp $100 bills and a $1,000 savings bond. A set of 1912 minted coins will also be given away.
The prize drawings are remeniscent of the early days of the Coleman Theatre when Miami residents would gather crowd into the theatre on “Bank Night” in hopes of winning a prize or cash drawing.
The evening will also showcase the 24-piece Coleman Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Robert Swanson and assistant director Steve Whitsell.
A “mystery guest” is expected to appear at some point during the show as will a host of dancers, singers and a portion of the Missouri State University marching band.
“Of course, we can't forget our Native American heritage,” Swanson said. “Gene Ortner, a very talented fancy dancer, will perform. He will be accompanied by singers Cat Ulrey and Kevin Dawes.”
The follies event will begin at the conclusion of a “Five Minutes of Fame” presentation which will feature a host of local talent. Each have auditioned for an opportunity to be part of the centennial celebration. Those selected to perform will take the state at 7 p.m.
Tickets for Miami's Centennial Follies Celebration are on sale now at the Coleman Theatre. Adult tickets are $10. Children age 12 and under will be admitted for $5.