Posts tagged Medora ND

The Dickinson Press: Medora shines light on Johnny Cash with special Broadway musical

The following story by Jackie Jahfetson appeared in the September 21, 2021 edition of The Dickinson Press:

The Broadway musical made its way to the Western Edge, where a schedule of nearly a month-long series of showings is expected to shed light on the man in black. “Ring of Fire” will continue through Oct. 10, with live performances at 7:30 p.m. MDT each day from Wednesday to Saturday, and with a special 2 p.m. MDT on Sundays at the Old Town Hall Theater in Medora.

Actor Dorian Chalmers noted in an interview with The Press before opening night, that not many people understand all of the struggles and trials Johnny Cash went through in his life. 

“I think a lot of it is his honesty about his life because we’re telling his story through his songs… He’s being really honest about what he’s done and what he’s experienced in his life through his music, so I think that’s why his songs touch people because they identify with that honesty,” Chalmers said.

Throughout the theatrical production, the cast reveals how the musical legend crafted his heartfelt songs through the experience of loss and pain, such as losing his older brother Jack after he was seriously injured from a table saw accident as well as overcoming pill addiction. 

“When someone falls down and struggles in life but then kicks themselves back up, that’s always inspiring to people too. So I think that’s probably an important part of his story also. And the fact that he and June went through a lot and they stuck it out,” Chalmers said. 

Through hits such as “Cry Cry Cry” carved a rockabilly sound that would inspire several acts to follow in the country music industry, actor Tim Drake noted. With “universal themes” of love, loss and humor, Johnny Cash had a way to spin a situation he dealt with into a motivational message. 

“His songs are all songs that people can relate to,” Drake said, adding, “… He plays in different genres (such as) rockabilly and a while back… he reimagined the Nine Inch Nails’ song ‘Hurt’ with Rick Rubin and it was a big big hit that they did together.”

Johnny Cash’s 1974 spoken song “Ragged Old Flag” — which was penned following the political turbulence resulting in Nixon’s impeachment and the Watergate scandal — is highlighted within the “Ring of Fire” musical. Performed by Drake, the song tells the story of an American flag and the trails it has gone down. With its patriotic lyrics and sentimental simplicity, Drake’s performance of “Ragged Old Flag” left many in a standing ovation on opening night. 

“I just love this show, it’s so much fun to do… We rarely don’t get standing ovations with this show. Because it’s impressive to people to see (actors) moving around, playing different instruments, dancing and singing at the same time,” he said. “… And it’s Johnny’s music so you can’t go wrong with that.” 

Tickets can be purchased at medora.com, or at any location in Medora that tickets are sold.

Relive the 2021 Medora Hot Air Balloon Rally & Badlands Kite Fest!

The final weekend of the Medora Musical had us looking skyward.

We sent off summer in Medora in a picture-perfect way: by inviting kite fliers of all skill levels to the 5th Annual Badlands Kite Fest. Watch the video above to meet a few of the kite lovers who made the weekend special!

And on Sunday, September 12th, we were treated to another colorful sight: the 18th Annual Medora Hot Air Balloon Rally!

Although less-than-ideal weather conditions required the balloons to be tethered to the ground for safety, it still made for an amazing finale to what was a wonderful summer in the Badlands. Enjoy a few photos below!

Celebrating a record year at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue… with a pitchfork!

The Pitchfork Steak Fondue in Medora has come a long way in the last 50 years.

What started with a single pot in the back of a truck has grown to become a big, nightly undertaking. We’ve gotten used to serving thousands of tasty steaks fondue-style each summer. But we’ve never had a summer like this!

For the first time in our history, we served more than 50,000 steaks at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue in a single summer in 2021—50,383, to be exact!

So to celebrate the milestone, we decided to give away a very special gift to the lucky 50,000th guest: an authentic Pitchfork Steak Fondue pitchfork. (Don’t worry, we deep cleaned it!) Have a watch!

We’ve Achieved Our 2021 Medora Musical Attendance Goal!

Thursday, August 26th, 2021 was a red-letter day in Medora, North Dakota.

To most anyone, it might have seemed like any other day. Guests were greeted. Tickets were scanned. Folks headed onto the escalator, descended into the theatre, and enjoyed another night of the Greatest Show in the West.

So what made it so special? Well, on Thursday, we sold our 115,000th ticket to the Medora Musical—and for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, that marks a huge success. It means we’ve reached our 2021 attendance goal, and we still have a whole lot of shows left!

After what was an unusual year in 2020, it was truly amazing to see so many of our friends return to their summer tradition in 2021. If you made it to the Medora Musical this summer, thank you.

If not—or if you’re itchin’ for an encore—now’s your chance to help us make history! With a few more big weekends at the Medora Musical2021 could go down as our #1 highest attended summer ever!

So from all of us at TRMF: thanks for making this summer so special, and we hope to see you again real soon!

Engelstad Foundation Awards $1 Million Lead Grant to New “Access Medora” Initiative

Gift to the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation kicks off new efforts to improve the Medora experience for people with disabilities.

(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) is pleased and humbled to announce the receipt of a $1 million kick-starting gift from the Engelstad Foundation to support a new “Access Medora” initiative – an initiative aimed at improving the Medora experience for guests with disabilities through creative, adaptive solutions and unique amenities in North Dakota’s #1 Tourist Destination.

The first project of the initiative is a pair of high-capacity elevators at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre dedicated to guests with mobility challenges. Currently, guests who require mobility assistance are shuttled in golf carts on a walkway shared with pedestrians, and on busy nights, can experience up to an hour wait for a ride out of the theater. These new, high-capacity elevators will take up to 12guests from the top level of the theater to the midlevel plaza, and back, and should reduce wait times to just a few minutes.

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The 2020 Medora Musical Cast!

This Medora Musical opens in a week and a half and is full of high-caliber entertainment and top-notch performers from across the nation!

So, we figured you’d want to know who’s in the Show! Get on now, scroll on down to see the entire cast of the 2020 Medora Musical!

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Hatzenbuhler to Serve as TR Library Fundraising Director, Retain Leadership of Medora Foundation

(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TR Medora Foundation), in cooperation with the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation (TRPLF), announced today that Randy Hatzenbuhler will serve as the Executive Director for Development for the TR Presidential Library, while continuing his role leading the TR Medora Foundation as its
President. He will join newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Edward O’Keefe, for the next phase of this historic project.

Hatzenbuhler, a Mandan native, has worked for the TR Medora Foundation for over 30 years and has been part of raising over $60 million in gifts that have further developed Medora, the gateway community to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. He began his time there working alongside the TR Medora Foundation’s first president, Rod Tjaden, and the organization’s founder, Harold Schafer; Hatzenbuhler has served as its President since 1997. During his time in Medora, he has been instrumental in leading growth in tourism, fundraising, and physical development in and around Medora.

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Here’s What’s Next in Medora: Point To Point Park

Originally Published in the 2019 Spring Newsletter

We’ve been looking at that big open space beside the Badlands Motel, as you first arrive in Medora, for many years, wondering “What would be the best use of that land?”

Finally, we’ve settled on an answer to that question: Welcome to Point to Point Park!

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Women of Medora: Emily Walter

This article was originally posted in Inspired Women Magazine and was written by Stephanie Fong.

Emily Walter has spent a three-decade career traveling the world as a professional vocalist and actor. She’s served as a singer in the U.S. Air Force Band, entertained in shows on cruise ships, and —among many other things — has personified the title of Medora’s “Queen of the West.”

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Theodore Roosevelt Dakota Datebook Podcasts

We at the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation are proud to support the independently-produced Dakota Datebook segments done in cooperation by Prairie Public Broadcasting, TR Repriser and historian, Steve Stark, and the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most influential and iconic Presidents in the history of the United States — and he believed that he would not have reached the heights he did, had it not been for his time here, in the Badlands of North Dakota.

Enjoy these weekly podcast installments shared with permission from our friends at Prairie Public Broadcasting.

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