More than 130 cast members pirouette across a wintry stage to recreate the classic, fantastical childrens ballet tale that has drawn sold-out crowds for the last 12 years to the Coral Springs Arts Center.
Coral Springs Center for the Arts Presents The Nutcracker
In this popular holiday spectacle, audiences follow Clara, a young girl who receives a prince-shaped nutcracker for Christmas. At night when everyone else is sleeping, she creeps through the house to visit her gift, only to discover that he and the other toys have come alive and are battling an army of mice.
The enchanting score by Tchaikovsky whisks ears through flakes that flutter and a journey that takes Clara and the Nutcracker Prince across the Land of Snow. Eyes chase the elaborate choreography as dancers leap over the stage during famed scenes such as the battle between the toy soldiers and evil Mouse King. When the Sugar Plum Fairy escorts Clara and her prince through her own kingdom in the second act, hearts will swoon and tongues will mimic doormats before the pixie monarchs sugar-encrusted slippers. Brought to life by gorgeous costumes and breathtaking choreography, this fanciful ballet will enchant viewers of all ages.
Show dates are: Saturday, December 15 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday December 16 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets available here. If you are interested in tickets for Friday, December 14, contact Mary at 954-224-0024.
Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization is marking the 13th year of its “Green Bay Nutcracker Ballet.”
Drawn by a dressed-up aura – and tradition infused in the music and story – throngs are seeing performances to Sunday, Nov. 25, in the Meyer Theatre.
Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization’s production features a massive custom-made show curtain and vividly colored drops for street, interior mansion, snowscape and fantasyland views. The look was designed by Jeffrey Paul Entwistle, a busy theater professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The visual elements have become the identity of the “Green Bay Nutcracker Ballet.” People who see this design once remember it.
That look and the flowing, exciting and sweeping music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky remain the same year to year.
From year to year, it is possible to see how artistic director and choreographer Timothy Josephs uses his imagination to fit dancers to roles and sequences. He’s like a painter who is painting the same picture over and over within the same framework, each time with slightly different paint colors, to arrive at a similar result in different ways.
This production’s dancing has a nice flow. The featured professionals emphasize pretty, notably homegrown talent Randi Osetek as the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The costuming is gorgeous. Details and eye-pleasing colors abound. The material speaks quality. Especially fascinating are the calf-length boots worn in “Trepak” (the Russian dance) that look like supple leather – danceable and not stiff.
Timothy Josephs creates two interesting transitions for Young Clara (Fiona Josephs, who glides in the role). One. Lighting features Young Clara in the foreground. The light dims as lighting behind her rises on Elder Clara (the lithe Janel Meindersee, one of the pros). And then action opens on the snow scene with 22 dancers and quite a lot of snow. Two. At the very end, lighting again focuses on Young Clara as a sequence with a wooden nutcracker is timed to fit Tchaikovsky’s dramatic closing oomph.
The story: After a lavish and festive family-and-friends Christmas party with moments of magic, Clara falls asleep and dreams of adventures with a gift nutcracker in the form of a dashing soldier. Dreams being dreams, Clara envisions a wonderland of places and people – and a swell time with a prince (the limber Erik Johnson, another of the pros).
The production taps into the lure of “The Nutcracker” – a blend of fantasy and Christmas and music and disciplined dance and wonder.
Source/creative: Version presented Dec. 17, 1892, Maryinski Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia, with music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; producer – Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization; artistic director and choreographer – Timothy Josephs; ballet mistresses – Diane Danhieux, Barb Gallagher, Kristen Throne; costume coordinator – Emily Paulsen; costume designers – Emily Paulsen, Lori Maher, Linda Feldmann; scenic and lighting designer – Jeffrey Paul Entwistle; stage manager – Wendy Huber; prop designers – Timothy Josephs, Jeffrey Paul Entwistle; wig design – Stacey Kolze
Participation/support: Andria’s Dancing on the Door, Celebration Dance, Green Bay School of Dance, Julie’s Touch of Silver, NEW Fusion Dance and Performing Arts, Skorzewski School of Ballet, Unity Dance Academy of Appleton, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Vibe Dance Center, YMCA
Party Girls: Ashley Burgess, Dianna Getschow, Emma Huntley, Adriannah Popkey, Aida Schweisow, Claudia Schweisow, Claire Silta, Elaina Welsing
Night Scene Little Dolls: Zoe Eckberg, Abigail Goodacre, Adorlee Gustafson, Sadie Spindler, Annalyse Throne, Eden Wojtyla
Soldiers: Ashley Burgess, Anna Charnetski, Aniyah Donald, Dianna Getschow, Hayden Josephs, Lilly Meyer, Gretchen Paulsen, Lily Polzin, Isadora Popkey, Joshua Rider
Mice: Sofia Czarnecki, Olivia Davis, Maggie Hendrick, Emerson Hicks, Abigail Krueger, Amara Lautenschlager, Katie Meyer, Madysen Poppe, Jocelyn Silta
Dancing Snow Flakes: Aniyah Donald, Helen Flanagan, Kendall Lawonn, Linnea McClintock, Lilly Meyer, Ella Mingori, Makena Murre, Gretchen Paulsen, Adriannah Popkey, Claire Silta, Elaina Welsing
Little Dancing Snow Flakes: Zoe Eckberg, Abigail Goodacre, Adorlee Gustafson, Katie Rider, Sadie Spindler, Annalyse Throne, Eden Wojtyla
Angels: Ashley Burgess, Scarlett Bell, Samantha Cappock, Aniyah Donald, Abigail Goodacre, Adorlee Gustafson, Hayley Hendricks, Maggie Hendrick, Emerson Hicks, Fiona Josephs, Juliet Kyles, Zoey Marcelle, Niamh Pashek, Genevieve Popkey, Isadora Popkey, Abigail Krueger, Sadie Spindler
Trepak: Ashley Burgess, Aniyah Donald, Dianna Getschow, Fiona Josephs, Zola Kambandu, Schilz, Lilly Meyer, Aida Schwiesow, Elaina Welsing
Girls: Maggie Hendrick, Katie Rider, Amara Lautenschlager, Lily Polzin, Megan Szkodzinski, Eden Woytyla
Waltz of the Flowers: Helen Flanagan, Amelia Gordon, Emma Huntley, Adison Karbon, Kendall Lawonn, Linnea McClintock, Ella Mingori, Makena Murre, Gretchen Paulsen, Kiaa Rodeheaver, Claudia Schwiesow, Claire Silta
THE VENUE: Stop and look around the place. Meyer Theatre’s auditorium is an eye full. The Meyer one of the state’s colorful historic theaters. In its current form, the Robert T. Meyer Theatre opened Feb. 27, 2002. It seats approximately 1,000. The building dates back much farther. It opened Feb. 14, 1930, as one of the palatial Fox movie houses. The place is picturesque. The theater’s interior aura was its saving grace toward the end of the 20th century, when the building was faced an uncertain fate. The architectural/decorative style is defined as Spanish Atmospheric. The auditorium is designed in the manner of a Moorish courtyard of old. The eclectic mix of architectural styles and colors carries throughout the lobbies.
THE PEOPLE: Robert Meyer was president and chief executive officer of Tape Inc. of Green Bay. The theater took his name at the behest of his wife, Betty (Janet Elizabeth) Rose Meyer, whose financial contribution at a crucial time helped revitalize the building. The Rose family has a history of deep commitment to and involvement in the well-being of Green Bay. Robert Meyer died in 1984, Betty Rose Meyer in 2008.
Contact me at [email protected] Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays. My latest book, “I Fell Out of a Tree in Fresno (and other writing adventures),” is available in Green Bay at Neville Public Museum and Bosse’s.