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Sorry! You missed San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker at War Memorial Opera House

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301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102

San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker

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Closed December 29, 2019

The opulent new version of the seasonal classic, launched spectacularly by the San Francisco Ballet, is every parent's dream of a holiday treat.

San Francisco Chronicle, 2014

Why See San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker?

BalletDance & BalletFamily ShowsHoliday & Christmas ShowsThe Nutcracker

The SF holiday tradition!

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 sixth 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.


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.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 11 December 2019


Suitable for ages 5+ (Parents with toddlers and babies are kindly requested not to bring them to the performances)

Run time

Approx two hours with one intermission

Cast and Creative


Composer: Peter Ulyich Tchaikovsky

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

What you thought

4 reviews, average rating: (1.3 Stars)

1.5 star rating

John Ungar: “Have a spare holiday”

SF Ballet has managed to take much of the charm out of their Nutcracker.... more

Nancy Lynn: “Nutcracker 2017 ”

I went to the Dec 13 2017 show of the San Francisco Nutcracker with my... more

Read all reviews Write a review


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Please note: The term War Memorial Opera House and/or San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker as well as all associated graphics, logos, and/or other trademarks, tradenames or copyrights are the property of the War Memorial Opera House and/or San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker and are used herein for factual descriptive purposes only. We are in no way associated with or authorized by the War Memorial Opera House and/or San Francisco Ballet - The Nutcracker and neither that entity nor any of its affiliates have licensed or endorsed us to sell tickets, goods and or services in conjunction with their events.