The modern day story and what we know as “The Nutcracker” is made up of a combination of E.T.A. Hoffman’s 1816 book “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and Alexander Dumas’ reworking with lighter and not so scary themes. The score is by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Ever since I watched the documentary series, “On Pointe” on Disney Plus, I’ve wanted to see a performance of The Nutcracker. The series follows ballet dancers during a season in the School of American Ballet in New York City and it focuses on the audition process and getting ready for a production of The Nutcracker. The school was started in the 1930s by George Balanchine and they continue to teach his style of ballet.
The series came out in 2020 so it made me miss live theater and productions in general so now that theaters are open again I’m excited to be able to see a performance once again. I used to go see The Nutcracker during Christmastime in my hometown when I was growing up and I was able to see it again for the first time in about ten years!
While I didn’t see George Balanchine’s version of The Nutcracker, I saw a performance in the same theater I used to go to when I was younger. There’s something nostalgic and fun about seeing live theater or any kind of performance not involving a screen. I think that with more places open now it will be easier to see performances again.
It’s weird how memories come flooding back when you enter a place you used to visit as a kid. I remember the gold yellow paint of the theater, the maroon shade of the chairs and the dark floral design of the carpet out in the lobby. There is also a whole other section of seating upstairs in the balcony. This was the first time we were on the lower level of the theater. The wheelchair access was very easy to navigate. I pulled right in to an open section for wheelchair seating where you can remain in your own chair.
In the second half, each group took their bows at the end of each of their routines as well as at the end with the entire company. I’m not sure if that’s a new way to take your bows or not, but it felt sort of disjointed and took the audience out of the setting of the show. Other than that, it was very much like I remember and even used the same backdrops.
It was so much fun to see a live performance again. Hopefully I’ll see many more soon.