ABT's THE NUTCRACKER at Segerstrom Review

Disclosure: We attended as media.

Watching a live performance of THE NUTCRACKER has been on my bucket list and now I can cross it off. I took my niece to her first ballet performance this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and we both loved it! The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) puts a modern twist to a beloved classic. The story is about a little girl and her cherished nutcracker around Christmas time. The villains are mice who causes havoc to the toys and the children are afraid of them. In ballet there are no voices nor talking. To understand the story and to understand what is happening in the scene is you have to watch their body language and listen to the tone of the music. The props play an important part too like for example, the children were throwing tantrums to open presents at the party. The Drosselmeyer appears, and then he brought the toys to life. You can tell that they are toys because they are dancing in front of the giant present boxes.

THE NUTCRACKER is a beautiful showcase of dancing toys, snowflakes, fairies, flowers, bees and international cultures. I loved the whole performance and the holiday scores were wonderful. You will recognize them all! My favorite scenes are when they are synchronize-dancing because it looks really hard to do but they do it flawlessly with skill and elegance. I also love the performances between adult Clara, The Princess, and the adult Nutcracker, The Prince. The children are always adorable to watch.

Music is by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, features choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, scenery and costumes by award-winning designer Richard Hudson and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The Pacific Symphony performs the beloved holiday score. Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo will lead the opening night cast of The Nutcracker dancing the roles of Clara, the Princess and Nutcracker, the Prince, respectively. Subsequent casts include Hee Seo and Cory Stearns, Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside, Isabella Boylston and Jeffrey Cirio, Stella Abrera and Alexandre Hammoudi, and Sarah Lane and Joseph Gorak in the leading roles.

I really enjoyed watching THE NUTCRACKER with my sister and my niece, and it's perfect for the season. I think that my boys would have enjoyed it as well. It is absolutely a family show! You'll want to arrive at least an hour early to find parking, enjoy the snow fall, Carolers, and take pictures at on the sled. They also have a champagne and holiday candy bar. At the end of show, we stopped by the gift shop to pick out memorabilias but they were available throughout the show. They are performing at Segerstrom Center until December 18, 2016. For more information, please visit their website. ~Mary

Segerstrom Center for the Arts 

Segerstrom Hall 

600 Town Center Drive

Costa Mesa, CA

(714) 556-2787



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