George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker"

Academy of Music

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In a Nutshell

Tchaikovsky’s classic score twirls to life in a holiday classic which sees young Clara venture into a dreamland of snow and ice

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Dec 31, 2016. 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 redeem 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. Offer is not eligible for our promo codes or other discounts.

The Deal

Dates and Times

  • Friday, December 30, at 12 p.m. or 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 31, at 12 p.m.
  • Seating availability varies by date and time.

The Nutcracker

Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, The 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.

Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. The “Waltz of the Snowflakes” floats weightlessly above the angelic voices of a youth choir, whereas the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” tiptoes to the haunting, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances—including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak—add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.

Pennsylvania Ballet

Pennsylvania Ballet has deep ties to dance history. The company was formed in 1963 by Barbara Weisberger, a protégé of the great George Balanchine. Perhaps due to that remarkable connection, the ballet's mission has always been to celebrate the classics. An annual staging of Balanchine's The Nutcracker and other favorites pay tribute to dance's traditional beauty. But the artists still look to the future of the art form, which surprisingly doesn't involve pieces set to laserbeats. The group is known for innovative takes on canonical fixtures, from a re-imagined Swan Lake to the world premiere of Matthew Neenan's Carmina Burana.

Customer Reviews

The seats were surprisingly good & my two daughters (9 & 12) loved the show!
Louie S. · January 6, 2017
Show and seats were both fantastic!!!
Mary Pat C. · December 30, 2016

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