Brian and I just got back from seeing House Theater's brilliant performance of the Nutcracker. Now this was not a ballet, but a play and I wish I had seen it earlier so I could have recommended it to everyone. This weekend is the end of it's run at the Steppenwolf. I can only hope it will be around for a command performance next year because I would make sure it was a Christmas tradition amongst my friends and relatives. Here is a review of it. http://centerstage.net/theatre/shows/4969.html#review
I completely disagree with their slight poo-pooing of the song and dance. The dance is organic and part of children's play and wholly apropriate for the scene. I enjoyed the songs as well. Ain't no reason not to break out into song if you are a toy, or if you are honoring a memory at Christmas.
Great use of puppets and props. I loves puppets. The costumes were lovely. The acting poignant and fun across the board- Clara, bravo. Drosselmeyer, huzzah!, Monkey, monknificent.
Snow falling in faux, yet real flakes. It worked for me on all levels. ( I got a crazy thing for set design. I looove a fake environment. It's more real to me sometimes than reality. Maybe it's because everything has been placed there for a reason.)
Anyway, I could easily turn this into a 100 page graphic novel/big ol' comic. Or paint a storybook of it. Someone call me.
This version should be made into an animated feature or something. Live action.
I find it to be a spectacular modernization of the Nutcracker, but yet something that could be dressed in any period clothing. Timeless and Timely all at the same time. I know I am an easy mark about things like this, but, yes- I had my heart strings tugged several times...I welled up with tears on a few occasions. And I laughed at all the laughy parts. Here's the House Theater's website. If you're lucky, perhaps they will post extended dates and times.
I wish I had a dvd of it so I could watch it again, right now.
Hmm. Did I say I loved it?