There are so many versions of The Nutcracker that have really cool characters and have different variances.  Most however have the basic story. It’s Christmas Eve, there is a battle between the Nutcracker Army and mice who live at the Stahlbaums, who happens to be the Mayor.  Clara goes to a pine forest and land of the snow on her journey to the land of sweets and then home again.

Tchaikovsky's most famous composition was The Nutcracker.  He wrote it on December 18th, 1892. At that time, it was not overly popular, however Tchaikovsky went back to the drawing board and created a most amazing ballet.  The Nutcracker is very popular today, but it didn’t become popular in North America until San Francisco’s Ballet performed it in 1944.

Exploring the mind of Tchaikovsky and his masterpiece.  I am more and more in awe of this creative genious and most colorful characters.  The Nutcracker is a staple of many dance or ballet companies due to the diverse characters and levels of training required.  Choices that ballet companies use for characters will varies as well from dance to dance.

Stageworks version includes the following characters, and I must say it is difficult to know which is more powerful and colorful.

  • Of course you have the party goers who come to the Stahlbaums on Christmas Eve to celebrate the festive season.  These characters are during the Victorian Time Period.  They arrive to dance celebrations from the young children and Tutors Lady Candice and Lady Melissa.
  • Clara - the eldest child of Stahlbaum - who receives a Nutcracker from her Godfather.  She loves this most amazing gift, however, the Nutcracker becomes broken from the jealousy of some of the local children.
  • The eccentric Drosselmeyer - Clara’s Godfather and a magician give the greatest gift.  He entertains the kids with a magic show and presents to Clara the Nutcracker.
  • The King Mouse who battles with the mice in the house fight the Nutcracker.  As the clock strikes 12, the mice of the house take over to win the house, however they are foiled when the magic of the Nutcracker and his soldiers arrive to defeat them.
  • Snowflakes welcome Clara and her Nutcracker Prince in a beautiful bed of snow.  On their way to the Land of the Sweets, it is apparent, Clara and the Prince must go through the land of the snow.
  • Sugar Plum Fairy, who is the Ruler of the Kingdom of Sweets, welcomes Clara and the Nutcracker Prince into her kingdom.  She greats them as the angels look upon them fondly and appear to be a welcome committee. 
  • Mother Ginger is a larger than life character who has many children that she hides.  A very strange and colorful character with children that provide a playful adaptation in the Land of the Sweets meeting Clara and the Prince.
  • The Land of the Sweets meets Arabian Dancers, Chinese Dancers, Russian Dancers, Meriltons, Spanish Dancers, Sugar Plum Fairies, Angels, and Flowers.  They are all joining the Sugar Plum Fairy by greeting them to the sweets of coffee, candy canes, tea and so much more.
  • Then, Clara goes home and is welcomed back while knowing she can visit the land of the sweets when she wants.  Do you think her parents knew she left her room, the house, the country, or this world?

There is something that you can't help but love in the Nutcracker.

 

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