The Nutcracker Story

Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Ballet” is based on the original story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1814.

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Act One
parentsdancing.jpgIt is Christmas Even in the household of Mr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum, as they prepare for a large Christmas party. As the husband and wife busily decorate the large Christmas tree, with the help of their children Clara and Fritz, the guests begin to arrive for the party.
There is much play and merriment, as all the guests delight in dancing together, and the grown-ups hand out presents for the children.

Suddenly, the doors open, and a mysterious old man, dressed all in black and wearing an eye patch, enters the party. He is Herr Drosselmeir, a famous toy maker and Clara’s godfather, who has come to entertain the guests. After a few magic tricks, he brings out 3 life sized dolls who dance for the party as the guests watch.

dolldancing.jpg harlequindancers.jpg drosselmeyergivesgifts.jpg

After the dolls have finished dancing, Drosselmeier then gives the children with some gifts. And finally, for Clara, the finest present of all: a Nutcracker doll, dressed up in a soldier’s costume. All the children are delighted with this present. All but one of them: As Drosselmeier is showing Marie how to crack nuts in the Nutcracker’s jaw, her brother Fritz, filled with jealousy, grabs the doll and smashes it to the ground!

claraandnutcracker.jpgDrosselmeier comforts Clara and wraps his handkerchief around the doll’s jaw, promising her that he will fix it later. The party continues on as they all dance and dance, until finally the party ends. The guests go home and all the household retires to their beds.
Clara, still excited about her new Nutcracker doll, wakes up in the middle of the night slips downstairs to the living room. There she finds her Nutcracker doll and curls up on a couch with it and falls asleep.

Later that night, as Clara sleeps, Drosselmeier returns and repairs the Nutcracker’s jaw. Then, at midnight all the magic begins. Little mice start to scurry around the living room, confusing poor Clara. Next the Christmas tree begins to grow and grow until it touches the high ceiling. Suddenly a troop of Fritz’s toy soldiers -now grown large – appear and begin to do battle with the mice. miceandsoldiers.jpgBut they cannot defeat the mice and their enormous Mouse King. Now the Nutcracker doll has grown to life size and joins the soldiers to fight the mice and soldiersMouse King. Then, just as the Nutcracker is about to fall victim to the Mouse King, Clara hurls her slipper at the huge rodent, distracting him just long enough for the Nutcracker to raise himself up, grab his sword and kill the Mouse King.

snowflakes.jpgThe Nutcracker’s defeat of the Mouse King has broken the spell put upon him years ago and he is now magically transformed into his former appearance as a handsome young prince. A great forest appears, as the young prince crowns Clara as his princess, and leads her away into the forest, surrounded by swirling, dancing snowflakes.

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Act Two
sleighandfaries.jpgMagical faeries dance around and welcome Clara and the young prince to the Land of the Sweets. They introduce the young couple to the Sugarplum Faerie, the Queen of the Kingdom. The Sugarplum Faerie rewards their heroism with a festival in the magic castle. A variety of dances from around the world are presented to Clara and the Prince including: Arabian (dark coffee), Flutes, Mother Ginger and her candy Bon Bons, Spanish (hot Chocolate), The Waltz of the Flowers, Russian (peppermint), and the Chinese (bubbling tea.. The Sugarplum Faerie and her Cavalier performs an elegant and graceful duet, followed by the Sugarplum Faerie’s grand finale, and a waltz with everyone at the end.

chinese.jpg arabian.jpg flutes.jpg sugarpluminair.jpg flowers.jpg bonbonsalone.jpg motherginger.jpg faries.jpg russian.jpg

Thank you for joining us in this very special community production of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic.

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