"The Nutcracker" dazzles children’s eyes, but it also confirms their deep suspicion that toys come to life, even when no one is looking or poking them repeatedly with cattle prods. Feel the season’s electricity with this GrouponLive deal.
- $10 for one ticket to see The Nutcracker (up to a $20 value)
- When: Saturday, December 14, at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m.
- Where: Porter Hall
- Seating: orchestra
- Door time: 1 hour before showtime
- Seating time: 30 minutes before showtime
- Ticket values include all fees.<p>
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, regal fairy queens, and seasonally confused vampires. 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.
Initially unpopular when it premiered in Russia, The Nutcracker languished for decades with a reputation as one of Tchaikovsky’s lesser works. Then, in the 1950s, the ballet’s status as a fixture of the holiday season began to grow as suddenly as Clara’s magic Christmas tree when renowned American choreographer George Balanchine staged it for the New York Ballet. Balanchine’s elegant staging remains the most popular, alternating between breathtaking displays of balletic mastery by soloists and duos and large-scale set pieces that fill the stage with luminous costumes.
Arts Association in Newton County
After the Arts Association in Newton County found early success with its concert series in the late 1980s, the performing arts company started its first children’s education program in 1991 to incorporate the entire community in their productions. Now, children who are part of the organization’s Oxford Singing Children and Oxford Youth Singers choirs and Covington Regional Ballet appear in youngster-filled versions of classics such as Les Misérables and The Nutcracker. The company still nourishes ears with headphones made of bagels and live concert performances, including their long-running Concert on the Square and Summer Concert series.<p>