74°F
weather icon Windy

Chautauqua brings ‘Shapers of Modern America’ to BC

America in the early 1900s was a nation in the midst of changes. The country was continuing to expand and add states. Transportation was evolving as Henry Ford introduced his Model T and the Wright brothers took their first flight. Geopolitical maneuvering ultimately resulted in the start of World War I.

It was during these years that friends President Theodore Roosevelt and Gen. John J. Pershing made their marks.

Area residents can learn more about the two historical figures when Boulder City Chautauqua presents “Shapers of Modern America” on Sept. 15 at the historic Boulder Theatre. Chautauqua scholar Doug Mishler will bring both men to life, Pershing at 1:30 p.m. and Roosevelt at 6:30 p.m.

Mishler said through Pershing and Roosevelt he will talk about World War I and what it meant to American society and culture, as well as how it changed the nation and introduced modern developments.

Pershing offers “quite a view of World War I from a military standpoint, with a little bit of politics. Theodore will talk more about the (war’s) context and American involvement in that,” Mishler said.

The challenge in presenting Pershing’s life was getting into his military mindset, Mishler said.

“He is much more about the battle than himself. He had an amazing career — fought Indians in the Plains War, fought in the Philippine-American War, chased Pancho Villa across Mexico and then led all the troops in Europe during the First World War.”

Mishler said he was distant in a way. “Most of my characters have a strong emotional center, but because he’s a soldier he has to keep his emotions locked away.”

To help bring Pershing to life and make him more relatable for Chautauqua audiences, Mishler said he incorporates stories and things he wrote in letters to his wife to get a “more complete measure of the man … the things he faced in the field and how he felt about them.”

He has been portraying Pershing for about two years.

Roosevelt, on the other hand, is like a second skin to him.

“I do him so much he has become so much a part of my character, personally, as well,” he said.

Mishler said Roosevelt — or Theodore, as he calls him — was his second character, though it took him a couple of years to get ready because he’s so complex.

Roosevelt also is one of the characters that completely takes over and inhabits his entire being, Mishler said. “He takes me where he wants to go.”

Mishler called Roosevelt, the nation’s 26th president, a mythical figure in American history.

“People really like Theodore Roosevelt. He is such a larger-than-life character … even if his policies don’t align with their political point of view … people like him.”

One of the stories Mishler will bring to light is a fight Roosevelt had with Woodrow Wilson, whom he ran against in the 1912 presidential election.

Mishler is a frequent visitor to Boulder City, having portrayed journalist Ernie Pyle last year. In 2015, he appeared as both P.T. Barnum and Jack Warner, and the year before he portrayed Henry Ford.

“I love coming down there,” he said of his frequent Boulder City Chautauqua appearances. “I love the community feel of it. I love being in the theater. The people are great. The conversations are great.”

Sara Weber, who serves on the local Chautauqua’s board, said Mishler is good at what he does and enthralls his audiences, which is one of the reasons the group continues to bring him back. She said the group hopes his performance as Theodore Roosevelt will attract a larger audience to the evening event.

Michael Green, an associate professor of history at UNLV, will serve as moderator, while Charlie Shaffer will provide a musical prelude on piano.

Tickets are $15 per performance. They can be purchased by sending a check or money order to Boulder City Chautauqua, P.O. Box 61994, Boulder City, NV 89006, or by visiting Ace Hardware, 541 Nevada Way; Boulder Dam Hotel, 1305 Arizona St.; or the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, 465 Nevada Way. Advance purchase is recommended.

For additional information, call 702-293-7853 or visit www.bcchautauqua.org.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

THE LATEST
Hall makes a musical journey from Charleston to BC

When the 2023 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced last week, one newer resident of Boulder City had more of an emotional stake in the outcome than most.

Boulder City a popular spot for Hollywood shoots

Filming movies, television shows or commercials in Las Vegas is very common. But over the years, Boulder City has seen its fair share of moments on the both the big and small screen as well as the pages of many magazines.

Best Bets, March 9-15

1 READY TO ROCK: The Rock, Roll & Stroll fundraiser for the Senior Center of Boulder City’s Meals on Wheels program will be presented from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Bicentennial Park, 999 Colorado St. The fifth annual event will include a car show, games, food and music by DJ Mike Pacini. For more information, call 702-293-3320.

Best Bets, March 2-8

1 MUSIC MAKER: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ted Sablay will perform at the Boulder Dam Brewing Company from 7-10 Saturday night. A native of Wisconsin, Sablay now calls Las Vegas home. He has spent much of the past 20 years as a touring member and regular collaborator with The Killers. He debuted his first album as a solo artist in 2022. The Brewpub is at 453 Nevada Way. Call 702-243-2739 or visit www.boulderdambrewing.com for more information.

Best Bets, Feb. 23-March 1

1 FANTASTIC THEATER: The Young Hearts Theater Group, sponsored by Boulder City United Methodist Church, will present C.S. Lewis’ classic fantasy tale “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St. Admission is free.

Best Bets, Feb. 16-22

1 MORE MOVIES: The Dam Short Film Festival returns for its 19th incarnation and with in-person screenings, but at a new location. Scheduled Thursday through Monday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St., the festival will screen 153 short films in about 30 programs. Tickets are $12.50 per program, $45 for a full-day pass and $150 for an event pass. Visit www.damshortfilm.org for more information.

Best Bets, Feb. 9-15

1 RED CARPET READY: Celebrity couples will be roaming the streets downtown Saturday as the Best Dam Wine Walk hosts its monthly event. Scheduled from 4-8 p.m., with check-in through 6:30 at My 4 Sons Comic Cards, 1308 Wyoming St., the wine walk provides an opportunity to visit local businesses, often after their regular hours. Admission is $25 per person, plus Eventbrite fees, in advance or $30 at check-in.

Film fest returns to in-person schedule

After two years of trying to do everything online, Lee Lanier is ready to welcome live audiences back to the Dam Short Film Festival. The latest edition of the popular festival is scheduled to run Feb. 16-20 in downtown Boulder City.