San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker Reviews
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John Ungar from San Francisco, California
HAVE A SPARE HOLIDAY
SF Ballet has managed to take much of the charm out of their Nutcracker. The awe inspiring huge growing tree of long past performances has been replaced by a not-so-grand one in the background. The fat, funny mouse king has been replaced by an ugly, unfunny snaggletoothed version. The sets, after the house interior party scene, have become so Spartan that is almost comical. Much of the dancing is observed onstage from a single, tiny, lonely sleigh rather than the grand, snow palace of the past productions - it looks lost and silly. The beautiful final scene of the sleigh soaring off the stage has been eliminated. Perhaps the grand sets are just too expensive now, as are some of the dancers. Many of the waltzing flower dancers seem to have been dropped. Fake snow, however, must be inexpensive as it is now used to such excess that the dancers are obscured. The dancers are terrific and orchestra superb, but the sets of the past mattered too. Much of the magic is, sadly gone.
Nancy Lynn from San Francisco, California
I went to the Dec 13 2017 show of the San Francisco Nutcracker with my granddaughter. I go every 8-10 years I also attend the Marin Ballets Nutcracker at about the same frequency. In the past, both productions have proven magical, with the San Francisco production somewhat more grand and a bit more magical than the Marin production.We were truly disappointed with the production.It seemed cheap, lazy & uninspiring w some exceptions.And has lost most of its magic.The nutcracker( the doll & the human )were ugly & reminded me of Bozo the clown.The sets & costumes, with some exceptions were clearly sub par, compared to the past.I was bored through parts which has never happened before.Any Marin Ballet production I have been to would have been better than this.The dancing, with some exceptions was also sub par compared to the past. Maria Kotchetkova truly shined and her dancing, including pas de deux with Joseph Walsh was truly exquisite, inspiring & magical. I may never go again.
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