With the holidays just around the corner, families are making plans to experience Milwaukee’s most magical holiday tradition, Milwaukee Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Artistic Director Michael Pink brings toys to life onstage with incredible scenery, lavish costumes, impeccable dancing and Tchaikovsky’s rich score December 11–27 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. As part of the 40th anniversary season, The Nutcracker is an extraordinary and fun-filled holiday extravaganza perfect for audiences of all ages.
The Nutcracker story is based on the Tannenbaum family holiday celebration – a place where delicious food, festive dancing and gift-giving commemorate the special occasion. When young Clara falls asleep holding the nutcracker doll she received as a gift, her dreams take her and siblings, Marie and Fritz, into a land of make-believe where twirling snowflakes, flying angels and magical, fantasy characters tickle their imaginations.
In its humble beginnings, Milwaukee Ballet’s The Nutcracker began as a simple, yet grand pas de deux. A few years later, the Company expanded the production and performed what was a second-act excerpt of Tchaikovsky’s familiar score. Over the years, it’s grown into the holiday performance Milwaukeeans know and love today. Known for putting his own twist on classical stories, Pink shifted the production to a traditional version, enhancing the tale with new characters and a unique vision. Expanding upon Milwaukee Ballet’s outreach efforts, today’s production includes over 150 children from the nationally accredited Milwaukee Ballet School, young singers from the Milwaukee Children’s Choir and live accompaniment by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. The Nutcracker is not only a ballet; it’s a holiday spectacle, featuring 132 costumes and over 300 costume fittings in preparation for the big show.
Milwaukee Ballet has performed a full-length version of The Nutcracker since 1977. In 1998, the Joan, Jack and Victor Stein Foundation provided Milwaukee Ballet with a $1 million gift to create an all-new version of The Nutcracker. The costumes alone took over seven months to build and more than a dozen seamstresses to complete. Milwaukee Ballet continues to build on this gift and the support of sponsors to create an unforgettable theatre experience.
The Nutcracker runs December 11-27, 2009 at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street, Milwaukee. Tickets to the performance range from $18-68. To order or for additional information, call (414) 902-2103 or visit www.milwaukeeballet.org. The Nutcracker is presented by the Joan, Jack and Victor Stein Foundation, and generously sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and MillerCoors.
There’s still time to become a Milwaukee Ballet subscriber! Mini-Series and Flex-Pass subscriptions packages are available and are the best way for audiences to take advantage of great seats and savings for The Nutcracker and three remaining shows – Innovative Motion, Pure Dance, and the world premiere of Peter Pan.
Nutcracker Show Times
Friday, December 11, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 12, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 12, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 13, 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 17, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 18, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 19, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 19, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 20, 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 23, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 24, 11 a.m.
Saturday, December 26, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 26, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 27, 1:30 p.m.
Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet strives to inspire its audiences to think within and beyond traditional ballet through the presentation of quality performances and the implementation of educational opportunities. Milwaukee Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet School are recognized among the top companies in the nation. Milwaukee Ballet School is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. With an annual operating budget of more than $5 million, Milwaukee Ballet presents more than 40 performances to more than 50,000 people each year. Its resident company includes 25 professional dancers along with 18 trainees in its Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program and is one of the few dance companies in the country to maintain its own symphony orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School, the official school of the Ballet, has an enrollment of nearly 900 students at three locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.
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