The Nutcracker by Devon Carney


Choreography: Devon Carney
Music: Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Scenery & Properties Design: Alain Vaës
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: Trad A Burns

Dr. Drosselmeier, a mysterious magician and creator of mechanical toys and clocks, puts the finishing touches on some magical dolls and a very special Nutcracker in his workshop on Christmas Eve. He has made them as gifts to entertain his relatives and friends at the Silberhaus home later that night.

In the parlor, the Silberhaus family, with their children Clara and Fritz, and their staff are anxiously finishing preparations for their annual Christmas Eve party. Friends and relatives arrive from near and far. The tree is trimmed, the children receive special gifts from the Silberhaus’ and there is much celebratory dancing. Suddenly, almost from nowhere, Dr. Drosselmeier makes his appearance with his arm full of gift boxes. He is full of surprises to entertain everyone, like his presentation of a miniature toy theatre. He presents Clara with the special Nutcracker he has made just for her, and she immediately becomes enchanted. Then he brings out his mechanical dolls who, to the amazement of all, come to life at his command and dance. Dinner is served and all depart except Clara, who dances a special dance with her Nutcracker imagining someday he could be her Prince. She is rudely interrupted by her brother Fritz who, in a jealous fit, steals her Nutcracker and breaks him. The commotion draws the guests back to the parlor to see Dr. Drosselmeier repairing Clara’s Nutcracker. The girls join together to sooth the Nutcracker by dancing a lullaby with their dolls, but they are suddenly interrupted by the mischievous Fritz and the boys who create a cacophony with their noise makers. Then Clara’s Grandfather invites all the parents to one last dance led by him and her Grandmother before it gets late and the party guests depart. Clara and Fritz are sent to bed to dream of all their presents under the tree.

As the lights dim, Clara returns to search for her Nutcracker until she becomes tired and falls asleep on the couch. Dr. Drosselmeier appears in the parlor to cast his magical spell. Then maniacal mice of various sizes begin to appear as midnight falls. Clara is awakened. She is terrified but then sees her Nutcracker has been transformed to human size by Dr. Drosselemeier. The mice scatter and Dr. Drosselmeier alters the room, making everything larger than life. A battle ensues between the mice led by the Mouse King and the Nutcracker with his regiments of tiny soldiers culminating in a sword fight between the two leaders. Just when hope seems lost Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King distracting him long enough for the Nutcracker to vanquish him. Clara receives a crown for her efforts and the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince. The two are magically transported to the Kingdom of the Snow where the Snow King and Queen greet them and send them on a beautiful sleigh ride. A whirlwind of snowflakes dance at their command. At the culmination of this dreamlike scene Clara and her Nutcracker Prince board a magical vessel to journey to the Land of the Sweets guided by Dr. Drosselmeier.

As the scene opens we find ourselves in the clouds with dancing angels who watch over the Land of the Sweets. Clara and her Nutcracker Prince arrive in the enchanted Candy Palace. They are welcomed by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier who are preparing a spectacular confection-filled festival in their honor. Those who have gathered begin to dance representing various lands and treats including chocolate, a Spanish Dance; coffee, an Arabian Dance; and tea, a Chinese Dance. A French Shepherdess and her flock, a band of Russian dancers, and the always gregarious, larger-then-life Mother Ginger also have a few surprises for Clara. Following that, Clara enjoys a lush Waltz of the Flowers led by the most beautiful Rose in the entire Land of the Sweets. Then, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier dance a grand pas de deux in honor of their guests. A magnificent grand finale brings the festival to its thrilling conclusion as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince begin their journey home. Was it all a dream or … did it really happen?

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