My best friend and I used to go see The Nutcracker every year with our moms. We started out small—with the St. Paul's School's show in nearby Concord, NH. Despite the less-than-glamorous setting, we were enthralled by the sparkly costumes and perfect pirouettes. We eventually worked our way up the local ladder and went saw the Boston Ballet's take on the classic Christmas tale. No matter where you see The Nutcracker, the music will have you smiling and the dancing will bring you to your feet.
But if you're going to go Nutcracker, go to New York City Ballet. It is literally perfect.
One of the reasons I was so excited to go to NYCB's performance was because, since our photo shoot over a year ago, I hadn't seen Kathryn Morgan in action. Remember her from our January 2008 cover? In addition to playing the role of the grandmother in the opening party scene, Kathryn was also one of the snowflakes in Act I and a flower in Act 2. The snowflake scene—complete with 50 pounds of paper confetti creating a mock-snowfall onstage—was truly magical. If you're not in the holiday spirit yet, this performance will get you there!
Maria Kowroski starred as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Although her first entrance didn't wow me, she totally won me over in the final pas de deux number. Her feet are flawless and her extension is to die for. As it's typically the male's job in a pas de deux to make his partner look good, I think it's safe to say that Charles Askegard (as Sugar Plum's Cavalier) didn't have to do much to make this happen!
Daniel Ulbricht, as the lead Candy Cane, stole the show for me—which I expected. His charisma and personality shine through no matter how he's cast. When he did his double jumps through the hula hoop the crowd went wild (and so did I!). Sterling Hytlin was last night's Dewdrop and she was stunning. She has that ballerina look about her, where it's hard to imagine her being anything but a ballet dancer.
Long story short (sort of): Go see NYCB's Nutcracker. You will love it. I promise.