Live At The Ritz


C O M I N G   S O O N

February 28  at 7:30           Comedian Baxter Black 

TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE. Ticket prices have been set at $35.00 and $45.00. All seating is reserved.  To order tickets, call the theatre at 8064470090 or order from the website using the link that will be available on the 16th.


Baxter Black

Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, former large animal veterinarian and entertainer of the agricultural masses. As he puts it, “he has a narrow following, but it’s deep!” For over 25 years he has traveled the U.S. and Canada, scattering his wit and left-handed observations to folks looking for a bright spot in their day.

When asked how many books he has written, he quotes the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Altogether, too many.” Over one million books and audios sold, a weekly column, a weekly radio program, a weekly television program …there’s no place to hide if you live in the country!

He has poked his head above the horizon long enough to attract urban followers (gentiles, he calls them), through National Public Radio, public television, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, Random House and USA Today.

Baxter says his life has been blessed, “I like what I do. I have a great home to come home to, a couple good horses, a few cows, a good dog, and friends everywhere I go. I’m square with God and I make a living entertaining people I care about.

“My audience is my inspiration,” he says, “Every cowboy, rancher, vet, farmer, feed salesman, ag teacher, cowman and rodeo hand has a story to tell, and they tell it to me. I Baxterize it and tell it back to ‘em! It doesn’t seem fair, does it?”

If you look around, you’re not more than one or two degrees of separation from his omni-cowboy presence! He’s kinda like a good pair of boots, a faithful cowdog, or even the flu. Try him out, he’s contagious!

You can find him in Benson, Arizona at He’s the real thing. Because, as he says, “You can’t be what you aren’t!”


Harrington String Quartet, mezzo-soprano Sara Baumgardner, to perform at Wellington’s Ritz Theatre March 29

Concert to honor the memory of Frances Hill Schmidt, arts benefactor and Ritz past president

WELLINGTON, Texas – The life and contributions of Frances Hill Schmidt will be remembered with a classical concert featuring the Harrington String Quartet and a performance by mezzo-soprano Sara Baumgardner of Lubbock at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29 at the Ritz Theatre in Wellington.

Schmidt was past president of the Wellington Ritz Theatre, Inc. board of directors, and was the organizer behind the Ritz’s first “Live at the Ritz” concert series that began shortly after the theater was restored in 2007. She passed away on April 25, 2012.

“Our dear friend Frances Schmidt supported the arts in the Texas Panhandle through financial and volunteer assistance for many years,” said Melanie Baumgardner, current board president.

“Frances especially loved classical music, and her dream was to tap some of the finest musicians in the area and bring their music to our beautiful theater. We know Frances is here with us in spirit every time her favorite music is performed.”

Tickets for the event are $15 and go on sale for Co-Star, Producer’s Circle and Oscar Nominee members at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, and to the general public beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27. Tickets may be purchased at the box office, over the phone at (806) 447-0090 or through the website,

The Harrington String Quartet was established by a generous gift from the late Sybil B. Harrington to benefit the Panhandle community. From its founding in 1981, the quartet has brought “stellar credentials” and “a refined sense of ensemble and musical integrity” to performances across the nation and internationally.

For more than thirty years, the quartet has delighted audiences with their finely blended sound and heart-felt interpretations of a wide spectrum of repertoire, which ranges from Bach and Purcell to Bartok and Crumb. Harrington String Quartet’s collaborative recording with the Phoenix Chorale, Northern Lights, was distinguished as iTunes’s Best Classical Vocal Album of 2012. In 2005, the quartet also released a Grammy nominated album of works by American composer Daniel McCarthy on the Albany Records label.

The Harrington String Quartet is in residence as string faculty at West Texas A&M University. Committed to both performing and teaching, the quartet regularly provides concerts, master classes, lecture-recitals and presentations for audiences of all ages, as well as collaborative projects with artists from various fields.

Current members are Rossitza Jekova-Goza, Keith Redpath, Vesselin Todorov and Emmanuel Lopez. The group will perform selections from Beethoven’s String quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127 and Bartholdy’s String Quartet in D major, Op. 44 No. 1.

Sara Baumgardner is a lyric mezzo-soprano, and the daughter of Wellington native David Baumgardner and his wife Kelley of Oak Point. Her grandparents are Bettye Baumgardner and the late David Baumgardner Sr., longtime Collingsworth County residents. Sara Baumgardner fell in love with singing as a child in church, and she began singing classically when she was in high school. She is currently in the third year of her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Texas Tech University; and will receive her degree in May 2016.

Baumgardner has interpreted the roles of La Zelatrice in TTU Opera Theatre’s production of Suor Angelica and Prettyella in the children’s opera Why Dinosaurs Don’t Smoke. She has also sung as a chorus member in Iolanthe and the Lubbock Moonlignt Musicals production of Les Misérables. In 2015, she will appear as the Soprano II soloist in Beethoven’s Phantasie for Mixed Chorus, Piano, and Orchestra at the TTU Scholarship Concert. She has studied at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. Baumgardner lives, studies, and works in Lubbock.

Accompanied by Wellington pianist Mary Johnson, Baumgardner will perform selections from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Strauss’s Mädchenblumen, Op. 22 (Dahn), Schuman’s The Mighty Casey, and Rossini’s La Cenerentola.

The Ritz was built in 1928, and formally opened in 1929 as the first “talking” movie theater in the county and one of the first in the region. It used the Vitaphone and Movietone systems that brought silent movies to life through synchronized sound. The Ritz closed in the early 1980s and fell into ruin until a local group, Historic Wellington, rescued the building and launched a restoration effort. The Mission-Revival theater was completely rebuilt with community support and reopened in 2007, and shows first-run movies and stages live musical and theatrical events. It is managed by the nonprofit Wellington Ritz Theatre, Inc. board.



Coming in 2015


May 3                     Comedian Chonda Pierce  – Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, March 27      
September 6       Riders In The Sky
November 7        Little Texas