Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Nutcracker Ballet, Magic Inside the Theatre and Out!

The lights, the scenery, the costumes, the Christmas fantasy!  What a tradition here in Pittsburgh, the Nutcracker Ballet.  A friend told me that she had been going to see the Nutcracker for forty years.  My question is how did Tchaikovsky know  that his music would fascinate both children and adults during the Christmas season for over one hundred years?    The original ballet in Russia was not a success but the music was and later the costume and fantasy of E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" became a holiday tradition. 

The Magic and the Fun! Picture by Rich Sofranko
Some will remember the debut of the Nutcracker here in Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and then later the Syria Mosque in Oakland, now gone.  But wherever and however many times you have enjoyed the Nutcracker Ballet, you must know that in the words of a child, it gets, “gooder and gooder” year after year.  I have no idea how the Pittsburgh Ballet will top this year as from start to finish, it was magical.

It did not matter to my three year old granddaughter Anaiyah that the scenery was set in turn of the Century Pittsburgh.  All she saw was the scenery and the costumes and the ethereal excitement of this Christmas fanasy ballet.  That has got to be the trick—to entertain a three year old whose comments were, “This is really good dancing.” And “what a beautiful princess.”

Almost like Chinese New Year, picture by Rich Sofranko
But her escorts, two “over sixties” were just as enthralled as she.  There was artistry and humor and real magic and ethnic dancers.  Of course the most popular with the adults were the harem dancer and her partner, in lavender no less.

And yes, there is romance at the Nutcracker Ballet also.  And it was not lost on my three year old granddaughter as she told me, “Grandma, I want to see better,” and crawled onto my date’s lap.  Nothing like a little girl getting a “career grandfather” to fall in love with her. "Oh, they just put a crown on her, now she's a princess." 

Every little girl wants to be a fairy princess.  Picture
by Rich Sofranko
Of course a grandfather is a grandfather and after the ballet in the parking lot he magically produced a beautifully sequined Nutcracker.  Now that too must have been magic because neither grandmother or granddaughter   noticed him purchasing it.

There are two days left of the Nutcracker in Pittsburgh, so dress your grand daughters like princesses (we did) and take them out to see the Fairy Princess and the Mouse King and the very handsome and talented Nutcracker.
Joanne Quinn-Smith, host of
 PostivelyPittsburghLive, Publisher

Joanne Quinn-Smith, Good News Reporter
Editor and Publisher of Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network, at:

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