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THE
NUTCRACKER

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December 16-26, 2021 | Springer Auditorium | Music Hall

The nutcracker


Cincinnati’s favorite holiday tradition

Join us for the magic of The Nutcracker, with sparkling choreography, awe-inspiring sets and costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. When Clara receives a nutcracker on Christmas Eve, her dreams take her on a grand adventure. Follow Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to the wondrous Land of Sweets, where a fantastic cast of characters awaits. Meet the Snow Queen and King, Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, mischievous mice, brave toy soldiers, chicks and even Clara’s friend Minnie the Poodle. Dozens of local young performers join Cincinnati Ballet onstage for these holiday performances. It’s a spectacular holiday treat for the entire family!

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Victoria’s world of whimsy


We’re celebrating Artistic Director Victoria Morgan’s 25th Anniversary and final Season with in-depth interviews all season long! To hear more about Victoria’s favorite Nutcracker moments watch the video below!

Crowd gasps as man attempts to balance tall cake platter

Credits


ChoreographyVICTORIA MORGAN
MusicPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky performed with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
SCENIC DESIGNJOHN EZELL
COSTUME DESIGNCARRIE ROBBINS
LIGHTING DESINGTRAD A. BURNS
MICE HIP-HOP CHOREOGRAPHYDERREK BURBRIDGE
ASSOCIATE SCENIC DESIGNGENE EMERSON FRIEDMAN
WIGS AND MAKEUPJAMES GEIER OF J. GEIER DESIGNS LTD
MAGIC CONSULTATIONSEAN OWENS WITH WOOD HERRON & EVANS LLP

Explore the Entire 2021-2022 Season

Man and woman dancing during Nutcracker performance

The Nutcracker

SYNOPsis


SCENE I – BLANCHE’S KITCHEN

Our story begins on Christmas Eve. There is a flurry of activity as the maids, butlers, and chef prepare fo a party where friends and family of the Stahlbaums will gather to open presents and celebrate the holiday. The Stahlbaums’ son, Fritz, and their daughter, Clara, try their best to be helpful, but that is not without its complications.

SCENE II – THE PARTY

The Stahlbaum living room is bright and festive with the most beautiful Christmas tree imaginable. All the guests and children are having a marvelous time dancing, laughing, and opening gifts when suddenly, Herr Drosselmeyer bursts into the room. He is a mysterious doll maker who surprises everyone with his acts of magic. With the swipe of his cloak, dresses change color and dancing dolls appear. One doll is so beautiful Clara bravely asks if she can have it for Christmas, but Mother Stahlbaum says no. Clara is sad until Drosselmeyer places the most colorful Nutcracker in her hands. She joyfully dances around the room showing off her splendid gift. Fritz wishes that Drosselmeyer had given him the Nutcracker and in his frustration, grabs it fron Clara and breaks it. Immediately, the precocious Fritz is scolded by his father and sent off to bed. Herr Drosselmeyer comes to the rescue and mends the Nutcracker. The festivities continue into the night, highlighted with a stately dance initiated by Clara’s grandparents. As the evening comes to an end, Drosselmeyer is the last to bid the family farewell. Just before heading up to bed, Herr Stahlbaum brings out one last gift. He fastens an elegant necklace atounf his wife’s neck and there is one last embrace befor the parlor grows quiet.

SCENE III – THE BATTLE

Clara, candle in hand, sneaks downstairs to check on her beloved Nutcracker. She finds herself in the drawing room and is startled by the sound of scampering feet and flickering eyes. Clara hears the chimes of the big grandfather clock striking midnight as a band of mischievous mice tries to steal away her precious Nutcracker. Drosselmeyer appears out of the darkness and, with a wave of his arms, the tree, parlor furniture, and toys begin to grow. A terrible battle ensues between the mice and the toy soldiers. The Nutcracker, having escaped the clutches of the mice, has grown to life-size and challenges the Mouse King to duel. It is a fierce fight but the Mouse King is distracted by Clara’s imaginary friend, Minnie the Poodle, allowing the brave Nutcracker to would his foe. As the mice scamper away and parlor grows quiet, Clara watches as her Nutcracker magically transforms into a handsome prince. He takes her hand and they soon find themselves in a magical snow forest. There, they meet the noble Snow Queen and King, who dance with a storm of Snowflakes. As the storm subsides, a beautiful flying balloon descends to take Clara and her Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Sweets.

THE LAND OF SWEETS

As the curtain opens on Act II, we see a delightful assortment of filigree frosted cakes. It is the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Kingdom , a place so sweet it attracts characters from all over the world. All of the characters from the Land of Sweets are frolicking and playing together when suddenly the illustrious Queen, The Sugar Plum Fairy, arrives. All bow to honor her and her Cupcake and Gingerbread Attendants. The Sugar Plum Fairy graces the with a special dance when unexpectedly an enormous flying balloon appears carrying Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. The Sugar Plum Fairy welcomes them and they are treated to the kingdom’s most s sumptuous delights. Clara is reunited with Minnie, her poodle, and together they recount the fierce battle between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The entire kingdom cheers as the Nutcracker reenacts his victory. Each character honors them with a special dance. As the celebration continues, the Land of Sweets transforms into a beautiful garden full of flowers with flowering petals and one brilliant pink rose. Finally, The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cotton Candy Cavalier do a grand dance as a special treat for Clara. All the characters join together for a rousing finale.
 
As the dancing concludes, the flying balloon descends to take Clara and her Prince high over the mountains, further and further away from the Land of Sweets. When Clara opens her eyes, she finds herself at home in the parlor room with her imaginary friend Minnie by her side and her beloved Nutcracker watching over her, always.

Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker Drosselmeyer With Cape

The New Nutcracker

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Sheakley Show Curtain

FRISCH’S RESTAURANTS BLANCHE’S KITCHEN
Chef: Jean-Robert de Cavel

SUE AND BILL FRIEDLANDER PARTY SCENE
Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank Trustee Growing Tree

Clara: Mr. and Mrs. Larry McGruder
Magical Drosselmeyer: The Klosterman Family
Host & Hostess: Thomas and Mary Ellen Cody
Grandmother: Dr. and Mrs. Henry J. Heimlich*
Auntie Annie: Ronna and Dr. James Willis
Party Scene Children: Margaret and Michael Valentine
Dancing Doll: Carol and Robert Olson
Dancing Teddy Bear: Theodore L. Schwartz* and Minnette Hoffheimer
 
THE LOUISE TAFT SEMPLE FOUNDATION BATTLE SCENE
Mouse King: Bruce Halpryn and Chas W. Riebe
 
GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE SNOW SCENE
Doris M. & Charles Levinson Fund Flying Balloon

*Our hearts go out to the family of Dr. Henry J. Heimlich & Theodore L. Schwartz, their memory will live on at Cincinnati Ballet.

PNC BANK LAND OF SWEETS
The Kroger Co. Foundation Center Cake

Sugar Plum Fairy: TenderLand Foundation
Cupcakes: The Brown Family
Spanish Dancers: Gary and Linda Greenberg
Mirlipoos: Moe and Jack Rouse
Mother Hen & Chicks: Rosemary and Mark Schlachter
 
JAMES J. AND JOAN A. GARDNER FAMILY FOUNDATION WALTZ OF THE FLOWERS SCENE
Bumblebees: Northlich
 
Media Sponsor: Gannett Foundation
Prop Construction: The Thomas J. Emery Memorial
Lighting: Procter & Gamble
Maestro: Corbett Foundation
 
Additional Sponsorship Partners
The Sutphin Family Foundation
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Frost Brown Todd LLC
Jack J. Smith, Jr. Charitable Trust, PNC Bank N.A. and James S. Wachs, Co-Trustees
Christopher & Karen Bowman
Nigel Vinecombe
 
*Our hearts go out to the family of Dr. Henry J. Heimlich & Theodore L. Schwartz, their memory will live on at Cincinnati Ballet.

The Nutcracker
Performers all lift hands to balancing tower of cake
Moody green and purple lighting on female dancer
Mother Ginger surrounded by her children
Ballerinas jumping in snow scene