Not only is it a holiday tradition, but it’s the only Savannah-themed production of “The Nutcracker.”
This well-known Tchaikovsky score will get you in the holiday spirit as you see Savannah’s top dancers take center stage beginning with Clara as she goes from a fabulous holiday party set in 1940s Savannah to a dream filled with sugar plum fairies, soldiers, glistening snow and more.
This year’s Savannah Ballet Theatre performance of “The Nutcracker” takes place at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Lucas Theatre.
And, even though Hurricane Matthew forced them to lose two weeks of important rehearsal time for the annual performance, Abby McCuen, managing director for the Savannah Ballet Theatre, says, “We’ll be just fine … The show must go on.”
McCuen says this performance is important to her because she was one of the original dancers in the first “Nutcracker” production in 1998.
“During that time, there was only one ballet company in town, and when we did ‘The Nutcracker,’ everyone came out and auditioned for it, and it is such a community event. We still try to keep with that spirit and hold open auditions. We have some kids that drive from all over to be a part of this holiday tradition.
“… And I love seeing people I danced with as a child who still come out and want to be involved. It really is a huge part of our community.”
She adds that not only is the performance tradition, it’s unique in several ways.
“Every performance we do … we base on the original story … and we try to stick to the book version. You may see some characters you have not seen before …
“The choreography we are doing this year is Russian-based … very soft movements and it’s just lovely … And I love the snow scene. I love the group numbers. I don’t think people understand how difficult it is to have 20 dancers dance in unison. They just work so hard.
“… Our snow is really unique, too … We make our snow scene a little more dramatic … because our tutus are black, so the snow is a little more dramatic.
“And we are a Savannah-based company … our ‘Nutcracker’ takes place in Savannah, so from the moment the curtain opens, you’ll see a home from 1945 in Savannah.”
McCuen says the performance lasts about two hours with an intermission, and you’ll want to get your tickets early since both performances sold out last year.
“It really is the coolest,” she says. “I love sitting out in the lobby and people watching during the show. Some people go out and buy dresses just to come to the show; it’s a fabulous tradition.”
IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker”
When: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.
Info: savannahballettheatre.org, 912-525-5050