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"Letters from the Heart" Highlights Oklahoma Love Story
By Tourism Industry Partner
Letters between Betty Blake and Will Rogers from January 1900 — a month or two after they met — are Letters from the Heart: Betty and Will Rogers, told in a one-woman, multi-media show written and performed by acclaimed New York actress Laurette Willis.
Willis’ first performed the show at the Claremore Will Rogers Memorial Museum in April and will return for encore summer performances Friday nights July 8, 15, 22 and 29 and August 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in the museum store, 1720 West Will Rogers Blvd., or by calling 918-343-8115 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show, produced with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council, has appeal for all ages.
War veterans and active duty military personnel will be honored July 8 and be given free admission with a paid ticket. As part of a Blue Star Museums program, they will also be given a 10 percent discount in the Museum store anytime between May 23 and Labor Day.
Veterans and active duty military are asked to identify themselves when they reserve a ticket so they can be properly identified and honored at the July 8 performance.
Original songs by Willis are enhanced by videos of vintage photos, newsreel footage, movies and rope tricks from Ropin’ Fool produced by Will Rogers. Will’s words evolve in song and words. His letters are read in his own voice (Will Rogers Memorial Museum Will Rogers interpreter Andy Hogan).
About Laurette Willis:
Since 2007, she has directed and performed in the summer outdoor drama Under the Cherokee Moon, which she wrote for Cherokee Heritage Center, near her adopted town of Tahlequah, capital of the Cherokee Nation. After the season closed in Tahlequah, it was presented in 2010 to a full house at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum Theatre
As a playwright and director of DoveTail Productions, she is known for bringing history to live in more than 20 original one-woman shows and ensemble productions for a variety of community and historical organizations.
Willis has authored books and produced DVDs and television fitness shows.
Known as “The Woman with 101 Voices,” she is not only beautiful, but also clever and funny and does a very good imitation of Betty Boop as well as great women of Shakespeare, a Highland Lassie and great women in the oil fields.
°About Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch
The magnificent museum of native limestone, overlooking the city of Claremore and honoring the famed Oklahoma humorist and philosopher, was opened Nov. 4,1938 on land donated to the state of Oklahoma by Will Rogers’ widow.
The museum, also source of a vast library and archives, is filled with art, saddles, memorabilia and interactive exhibits including radio replays and continuous playing of his motion pictures. Children can enjoy the hands-on Children’s Museum.
Will, his wife, three of their children and a daughter-in-law are interred in the tomb set in a beautiful sunken garden.
About 12 miles north of Claremore, on the banks of Oologah Lake sits the 1875 house where Will was born in a log-walled room. Goats and a burro roam the grounds, just waiting to be petted. Picnic under the trees and watch the Longhorn cattle and horses roam and chickens and ducks scatter as children romp in the shade.
Will Rogers Memorial Museum and the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year. Admission is by donation. Visit the website www.willrogers.com.)
Will Rogers Memorial Museums
1720 West Will Rogers Blvd
Claremore, Oklahoma 74017
(918) 343-8129 Direct Line
(918) 906-7258 Cell