A TRULY FESTIVE "FRISCO" BALLET
On Christmas Eve, 1944, the audience at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House watched the American premiere of Nutcracker. An instant sensation, the ballet launched a national holiday tradition. SF Ballet's sparkling production of Nutcracker, set here by the Bay has introduced audiences of all ages to the magnificent world of ballet, and this will be the fifth annual production since its new revamp in 2014.
It is a candied Christmas consumption of a ballet, with enough drama, love and festive spirit to keep the whole family entertained for the duration. With a recent revamp of the setting and costuming, this beloved ballet continues to remain fresh and one of the most celebrated Nutcracker productions in the country.
WHAT IS THE NUTCRACKER ABOUT?
The scene opens in a quaint toy maker's shop; Drosselmeyer is putting the finishing touches to a beautiful nutcracker toy before heading out to the Stahbaum's party, laden with his gifts. At the party, young Clara and Fritz are taking part in the tree-trimming ceremony for the very first time; they are surrounded by friends and family celebrating the festive season; when Drosselmeyer arrives, he produces fabulous wooden dolls that spring to life, and gives the nutcracker doll to Clara; alas, Fritz grabs hold of it first and breaks it by accident. Drosselmeyer comforts the distraught girl and fixes the toy's jaw with his hankie.
After the party, Clara is tired, and falls into a deep sleep, her nutcracker beside her. Awakening suddenly, she notices the room around her has changed dramatically. The Christmas tree towers over her, as does the furniture, and she is ambushed by life-sized mice brandishing swords! But a whistle by a familiar looking character summons a host of toy soldiers, and leads the charge against the rascally rodents. Clara helps by throwing her shoe, and the toy soldiers prevail. The handsome stranger turns to Clara; it is her beloved Nutcracker, come to life!
The two journey on a beautiful sled to a forest with dancing snowflakes, who point them to the enchanted Crystal Palace, where the Sugar Plum Fairy reigns benevolently over her candy courtiers. As a reward for their efforts against the mouse army, she decrees that a special dance be put on for her special guests that include vignettes by whirling Chinese tea, French mirlitons, Russian vodka, Arabic coffee and Spanish hot chocolate and of course, the famous pas-de-deux by the Fairy and her Chevalier.