If you’re going to be in New York City this holiday season (shockingly, many tourists do this very thing each year!) this native New Yawker has an awesome tip for you. At least if you’d like to squeeze a performance of The Nutcracker into your festivities, without having to hock your plane tickets and hitchhike home.
Now I’m a huge, longtime fan of Balanchine’s NYC Ballet production
at Lincoln Center–there’s nothing quite like it–but if you’ve got
young kids, it’s pretty hard to justify the $110-150 for orchestra
seats. If you can even find them now.
As an alternative, allow
me to put in a plug for the amazing Nutcracker
at BAM, at the wonderful Brooklyn Academy of Music. Alexi Ratmansky’s
adaptation performed by the American Ballet Theater is so charming,
engaging and even, yes, humorous, I didn’t notice a single child
sleeping through the dance of the snowflakes.
Which happens to be fairly dramatic, by the way. Who knew beautiful
snowflakes could be so cold? (Pun intended.)
This version opens
in the kitchen of the house before the party, from the point of view of
the cooks and staff, and with some mischievous house mice taking on a
larger role before we even discover them as fighting brigade. The young
dancers playing Clara and her Nutcracker Prince are just wonderful to
watch, and in fact, there are some future stars among the young
party guests as well, who’ve got darn good comic timing.
By the time the snowflakes
fail at keeping Clara and the Prince apart, intermission hits, and the
audience is ready for more.
Nutcracker at BAM’s Howard
Gilman Opera House which runs through 12/31/11. It’s recommended for
children 4+ but a well-behaved three year-old could make it through.
Hurry, there are 15 performances left this year!