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Macaroni Review ~ The Nutcracker

December 4, 2013

Playing at Ellie Caulkins Opera House through Dec. 28th

By: Leslie Risley, Macaroni Kid Thornton-Northglenn-Brighton
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Artists of Colorado Ballet - photo by Mike Watson

The Nutcracker
Nov. 30-Dec. 28, 2013
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Purchase tickets at ColoradoBallet.org
or by calling 303.837.8888 ext. 2


Last weekend, my almost-8-year-old, his friend, his friend’s mom and I went to see the Colorado Ballet’s 53rd annual production of The Nutcracker. What a treat! I had not seen The Nutcracker since I was a little girl, when my mom took me a couple times to local productions. I don’t remember a lot about those shows, except that I loved the story.


In a nutshell (pun intended), The Nutcracker tells the story of a girl who gets a wooden nutcracker as a Christmas gift. That night, she dreams - or is it real? - that the nutcracker comes to life, turns into a handsome prince, and takes her on a magical adventure.


The Colorado Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker was everything you would expect from a professional ballet troupe. The set is intricate and beautiful. The snow scene is breathtaking. The costumes, from the party guests to the flowers and sugar plum fairies, were gorgeous, and I was in love with Clara’s flowy white dress that moved with her so gracefully as she danced across the stage.


So, it was a top-notch production with amazing choreography and dancing. The orchestra played beautifully. It was the first performance of this year’s run, and I did not see or hear one single mistake. But what about bringing your kids??


Colorado Ballet recommends the show for ages 5 and up, and even provides a limited number of booster seats. The total run time, including a 20-minute intermission, is 1 hour 50 minutes. There is no dialogue, but there are little screens at every seat in Ellie Caulkins Opera House that narrate the story as it’s unfolding. In my opinion, this greatly helped engage the younger set. Instead of just watching the dancing and trying to figure out what is happening, audience members can read story snippets on their personal screens. I did not find this to be distracting; usually there was just a sentence or two at a time, and it was not constant. The only time my son and his friend got a little antsy was during the sugar plum fairy section. But my kiddo said overall he liked it and he would go again. I was glad, however, that I didn’t bring my 5-year-old son, as I’m pretty sure the dancing and costumes would not have been enough to hold his attention. There is a little bit of comedy thrown in there for the audience, so use your judgement about whether you should bring your littles. It’s very possible that yours are mellower than mine is. :)

I was provided tickets to The Nutcracker for the purposes of writing this review.

Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov - photo by Mike Watson