American Repertory Ballet's "Nutcracker" on November 23 at 7:30 p.m., or Saturday, November 26, at 5:30 p.m.

McCarter Theatre Center

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The Deal

American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker

Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure around one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King’s head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate.

But not all Nutcrackers are created equal, and American Repertory Ballet’s version comes with its own celebration. Company founder Audrée Estey created a lively party scene that’s unique to ARB’s annual production—a joyous affair that perfectly sets the stage for the festive journey into the Land of Sweets. It’s not the production’s only unique feature, either: designer Carl Sprague’s growing Christmas tree ascends toward the ceiling like a very slow-moving rocket, and Gina Ricci’s costumes—most notably a giant Nutcracker mask—create the illusion of having walked into a dream. This year also features stunning new sets and new first-act scenery to thrill audiences form the get-go.

The Fine Print


Expiration varies. Limit 8/person. Valid only for option purchased. Redeem on day of show for a ticket at the venue box office. Refundable only on day of purchase. Must purchase together to sit together. Discount reflects merchant's current ticket prices, which may change. ADA seating cannot be guaranteed; contact box office prior to purchase for availability. Ticket value includes all fees. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

About American Repertory Ballet


“This talented company is a gem in New Jersey," declared Broadway World's Marina Kennedy. It would seem the residents of the Garden State agree—American Repertory Ballet was crowned Favorite Dance Company six separate times by the Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards (2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017). Its journey to this distinction began in 1963 when Audrée Estey, the founder of Princeton Ballet School, created Princeton Regional Ballet Company as the professional arm of the institution. By the time its name changed to the current incarnation, the Ballet had already been showcasing an array of both classic and contemporary masterpieces by Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, and Dominique Dumais. It's continued to celebrate the art of the dance and test tippytoes to their limit via original productions, tours to Portugal, and traditions such as its annual staging of Nutcracker, an ARB fixture since 1964.

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