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BalletMet Columbus’ ‘The Nutcracker’ to bring Christmas spirit to the stage

Courtesy of Catherine Proctor

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Visions of tutus and a Sugar Plum Fairy will inspire holiday memories for some as they barrage a Columbus stage this weekend.

“The Nutcracker,” presented in its 35th year by BalletMet Columbus, is scheduled to be performed Friday at 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 23 at Ohio Theatre.   

Cheri Mitchell, executive director of BalletMet Columbus, said “The Nutcracker” is an important Christmas tradition for many people in Columbus.

“Sometimes people are coming for the first time, but some people come every year. It becomes their tradition among family or friends,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell also said the show’s simple plot makes it enjoyable and easy to follow.  

“Anyone who has never gone to ‘The Nutcracker’ might think they may not understand it because it’s dance (and) there is no conversation,” she said. “However, our ‘Nutcracker’ is very clear on the story.”

She added that Roger Moore, who played James Bond in the James Bond movies from 1973 to 1985, recorded the narration for the performance, and that narration makes the story clearer.

The combination of young and adult dancers in the show, Mitchell said, also makes the show attractive to watch.

“On the stage, we have young children around 8 and 9. Those younger ones play in the few key areas like party scenes or the Sugar Plum scenes,” Mitchell said. “And then we have teenagers and our professional dancers, who are anywhere from 21 to 39 years old.”

Mitchell said without the help of Columbus locals, it probably would have been impossible to stage “The Nutcracker.”

“Several local choirs and vocal ensembles will perform in the second act, in the snow scene,” Mitchell said. “Also, local choirs will do fun things. They will sing before the show in the lobby.”

These ensembles include a capella group the Hilliard Davidson Madrigals and the Bexley High School Vocal Ensemble.

Mitchell said a local “funny man” pulls their show to the next level.

“The choreographer worked with a local man, Robert Post, who is a performance artist. He is very much of a magician,” Mitchell said.

Jenna Lautenschlager, a third-year in hospitality management, said she is interested in seeing “The Nutcracker.”

“It would be cool,” Lautenschlager said. “I think ballet is interesting and if the ticket isn’t expensive, I want to go see it.”

Halle Rice, a second-year in exploration, said she is also enthusiastic about BalletMet’s production.

“I think everybody should experience it, because it is kind of tradition,” Rice said. “Also, the narration definitely helps people understand the plot. I think it is a good thing that they would do that.”

Mitchell said there’s a reason why a show like “The Nutcracker” has been performed for more than 30 years.

“I didn’t even see ‘The Nutcracker’ until I was in my 30s and now I know why it is so special,” Mitchell said. “I think this is something everyone should go to at least once.”

Tickets for the show are priced from $20 to $78 and are available through Ticketmaster as well as the CAPA and BalletMet box offices.

Ohio Theatre is located at 39 E. State St.

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