weather icon Clear

Chautauqua makes headlines with Hughes, Pyle

Businessman, pilot, film director, philanthropist and eccentric recluse. All have been used to described Howard Hughes, whose life is intertwined with modern-day Southern Nevada.

Area residents will get a glimpse into his life when Boulder City Chautauqua presents “Rule Breakers and Headline Makers” on Sept. 16.

Chautauqua scholar Brian Kral will bring Hughes to life, accompanied by Chautauqua scholar Doug Mishler, who will present a program on famed journalist and war correspondent Ernie Pyle.

“It’s almost impossible to go anywhere in Southern Nevada without him,” Kral said of Hughes. “His footprints are everywhere.”

Kral said Hughes was involved with the economy of the area and Las Vegas’s transformation as it stepped out of the shadow of the mob.

He began researching and performing as Hughes after being requested by the Nevada Humanities office to find a Nevadan, particularly a Southern Nevadan, for Chautauqua performances as part of the state’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2014.

“As I did the research, he became more and more interesting to me,” Kral said. “Sure, he had obsessions and he was certainly crazy to a degree, but he had a real interesting sense of humor, and I enjoyed finding that and the normal aspects to him.”

For Kral, coming to Boulder City as a Chautauqua scholar is kind of like a homecoming. He first became aware of Chautauqua attending a program in town watching a portrayal of noted author Louis L’Amour.

A playwright and theater educator, Kral said he “didn’t think it was a club I could belong to. Clearly, they were history scholars and me, I was a theater person.”

Believing that the scholars had to have doctorates before they could perform, he casually submitted a few names of historical figures when the Nevada Humanities put out an open casting call for Chautauqua in 2000.

“They got back to me and asked me to perform at Great Basin Chautauqua.”

His first portrayal was of Yugoslavian freedom fighter and eventual dictator Josip Broz Tito. Later he added Capt.. William Clark, Eugene O’Neill and Buffalo Bill Cody to his repertoire.

During a radio interview about his presentation of Tito, Kral was paired with Mishler, who had just added Pyle to his resume.

Mishler is a frequent visitor to Boulder City, having presented both programs last year, appearing as P.T. Barnum and Jack Warner. The year before he portrayed Henry Ford.

Those are just a few of the approximate 20 historical figures he portrays for Chautauqua.

Mishler teaches American history at the University of Nevada, Reno, and also directs and acts in plays.

A Pulitzer Prize winner, Pyle was a correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain and a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 200 papers nationwide. His column offered a glimpse into the lives and hopes of typical Americans across the nation.

When World War II broke out, he brought his folksy style to the war, writing about the enlisted men and their experiences rather than the battles. He traveled from Europe to the Pacific before he was killed April 18, 1945, by Japanese gunfire on the island of Ie Shima in the Pacific.

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 Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, 465 Nevada Way.

For more information, call 702-293-0833 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.

Boulder City Chautauqua

■ What: Rule Breakers and Headline Makers

■ When: Sept. 16; 1:30 p.m. Brian Kral as Howard Hughes and 6:30 p.m. Doug Mishler as Ernie Pyle

■ Where: Boulder Theatre, 1225 Arizona St.

■ Tickets: $15 per performance

■ Info: www.bcchautauqua.org

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Best Bets, June 30-July 6

1 AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY: Celebrate Independence Day with a daylong celebration. Festivities for the 74th annual Damboree begin at 7 a.m. Monday in Bicentennial Park, 1100 Colorado St., with a pancake breakfast presented by the Rotary Club of Boulder City. A parade through downtown begins at 9 a.m. and ends at Broadbent Park. The pool will host the annual coin toss at 11 a.m. The celebration concludes with a party in the park starting at 4 p.m. at Veterans’ Memorial Park, 1650 Buchanan Blvd. Admission to the park is $20 per vehicle. Fireworks will start at 9 p.m.

Best Bets: June 23-29

1 ANIMAL CARNIVAL: The Fratello Marionettes will present the “Carnival of the Animals” marionette show at 11 a.m. Monday in the community room of Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd. The troupe, founded in 1989, hails from the San Francisco area. There is no charge to attend.

Best Bets: June 16-22

1 FAMILY MOVIE: Boulder City Library will show “Turning Red” at 10 a.m. Monday in the community room. Released earlier this year, the Pixar Animation Studios produced/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributed picture tells the story of 13-year-old Mei Lee, who suddenly becomes a giant red panda when she gets too excited, and her relationship with her overprotective mother, Ming. The movie is rated PG. The library is at 701 Adams Blvd.

Best Bets: June 9-15

1 GO FISH: If you ever wanted to learn more about becoming an angler, Saturday is your day. The Nevada Department of Wildlife will host Free Fishing Day from 7:30-10 a.m. at the upper pond at Veterans’ Memorial Park, 1650 Buchanan Blvd. Loaner equipment and bait will be available, plus there will be activity stations, volunteers to provide fishing tips and prizes. Advance registration is requested. Visit https://www.register-ed.com/events/view/182746 to register or for more information.

Best Bets: June 2-8

1 B-I-N-G-O: There are no farmers involved, but plenty of doggone fun when See Spot Run hosts Bow Wow Bingo on Thursday at The Patio at Chilly Jilly’z, 1674 Boulder City Parkway. The evening event, scheduled to begin at 5:30, includes a plated dinner and six games of bingo. Tickets are $35 for a single and $60 for a couple. There also will be a raffle. Those who bring in a donation of dog or cat food for Emergency Aid of Boulder City will receive an extra bingo card for the final game. Call 702-539-7526 or 702-339-8616 for more information.

Best Bets: May 26-June 1

1 FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD: The 18th annual Best Dam Barbecue Challenge returns to Bicentennial and Wilbur Square parks on Friday and Saturday. In addition to the barbecue challenges for adults and children, the festivities include a car show, entertainment and vendor marketplace. New this year is a steak cook-off. Hours are 1-11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Best Bets: May 19-25

1 THEY HAVE HEART: First responders will be honored when Boulder City Hospital Foundation hosts its 11th annual Heart of the Community Gala on Saturday in the pavilion at Boulder Creek Golf Club. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. and include silent and live auctions. Those who are unable to attend can bid on silent auction items at https://HospitalGala22.givesmart.com. For more information, visit https://bchcares.org/heart-community-gala or call 702-293-0214.

Best Bets: May 12-18

1 MOVIE MUSIC: Soloists from Vegas City Opera will join the Red Mountain Choir for “Opera in the Movies.” The show, which will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Elaine K. Smith Building, 700 Wyoming St., will include songs and scenes from “The Godfather,” “Casino,” “Wall Street,” “The Fifth Element,” “Moonstruck,” “Pretty Woman,” “Up,” “The Aristocats” and “The Untouchables.” Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission is $10 for adults and free for students and children. Children younger than 5 will not be admitted.

Best Bets, May 5-11

1 GET READY TO JAM: There’s practically something for everyone at the annual Spring Jamboree, to be presented Saturday and Sunday by the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce. Held in four downtown parks, there will be arts and crafts, a car show, a gem and mineral show, entertainment, contests and food. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Visit springjamboree.com for more information.

Best Bets, April 30-May 4

1 ENCHANTING EVENING: Gather the family and head to the amphitheater at Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd., to watch the animated film “Encanto.” It tells the story of the Madrigal family, who have special magical abilities, and is filled with catchy songs. The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Friday and those attending are welcome to bring comfortable chairs or blankets.