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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Leader of 'Twilight's' Wolf Pack to be in Wichita

By Rod Pocowatchit
The Wichita Eagle

I may not be in the target audience for the ooey-gooey "Twilight" films based on the ridiculously best-selling books, but I appreciate them, mainly because they're giving nonstereotypical high-profile roles to Native American actors.

In the movies, Chaske Spencer plays Sam Ulee, the leader of the frequently shirtless and overly abbed "Wolf Pack" guys who induct Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) into their clan.

Spencer, who is from the Lakota nation, will be in Wichita as a special guest at the upcoming Keeper of the Plains Celebration and powwow, along with soap opera star Tyler Christopher ("General Hospital") and actor/choreographer (and ex-Mr. Jennifer Lopez) Criss Judd.

The group Friends of the Keeper, which runs the powwow, will host a meet-and-greet event with the actors on May 13.

The event, a fundraiser for the organization, will be held in two sessions starting at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Tickets for either time slot are $100 and can be purchased in advance at the Keeper Kafe inside the Indian Center at 650 N. Seneca. Cash or money orders will be accepted.

The cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. For more information on the event, call Susan Seal at 316-706-9242.

The powwow will be held May 14-15 at the Indian Center and is open to the public. Admission is free.

Orpheum gets jazzy — The Orpheum Theatre will present a Jazz Animation Festival at 7 p.m. Thursday featuring two hours of cartoon shorts.

Orpheum programmer/ projectionist Chris Wren says he hopes to "introduce people to the world of imagination of jazz and vintage animation."

Some of the films haven't been seen in decades and will be shown in categories that include pure jazz/scat, swing jazz and Dixieland jazz.

"Many of the cartoons are very surreal and focus on the improvisation of jazz," Wren said.

Work by such artists as Max Fleischer, Walter Lantz, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones and others will be shown. The films will feature music by Louis Armstrong, Don Redman, Cab Calloway and other jazz greats.

Admission is $5, $4 for children and seniors. For more information, go to www.wichitaorpheum.com.

Presenting props — The Tallgrass Filmmakers Lab will present a workshop titled " Props for Stage and Screen" with local prop master/art director Tom Mittlestadt from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Hewitt's Antiques, 228 N. Market, second floor.

The lab will teach filmmakers the basics of prop use and development, and will cover the creation of props on a budget and the importance of props in production design.

Mittlestadt is the owner of Mittlestadt Props & Design, and his film credits include "Twister," "Mystery Train" and "Crude Oasis." He has also worked with several local organizations, including Opera Kansas, Wichita Art Museum and Exploration Place.

Registration for the workshop is limited to 30 people and costs $15 ($10 for students, teachers, seniors, military and Tallgrass Film Association members).

To pay by credit card, go to www.tallgrassfilmfest.com. To pay by cash or check at the door, make a reservation by e-mailing lela@tallgrassfilmfest.com.

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