Dec 1, 2017
Reviewed by Malena Eljumaily
The Holiday Season is upon us. That means not only shopping, decorations and more shopping, but also a slew of Christmas movie reruns and live shows. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center's contribution to the latter category is Nutcracker . . . The Musical, a whimsical retelling of the classic ballet that's bound to entertain every member of your extended family.
The story will be familiar to anyone who has seen the ballet. It's Christmas Eve and a party at the Silberhaus home is just about to get underway. Friends and family arrive with gifts, then all attention turns to the mysterious Godfather Drosselmier (Yave Guzman, who also directs) in his flamboyant mauve cape. He, too, bears gifts, including a special one for his goddaughter, Marie, a wooden nutcracker that looks like a prince.
Mikayla Crosby, with her beautiful smile and voice, is delightful as Marie. Despite taunts from her siblings, Fritz (Brennon Smith)and Clara(Elizabeth Seamans,) Marie loves her nutcracker and sneaks downstairs after bedtime to be with him.
She wakes to find herself in an enchanted land, where the nutcracker prince is now a real man, Harrison Nixon, but still under the spell of the Mouse King(Darien Reed.)The Sugar Plum Faerie, played by Sarah Rose Lindell, hopes that Marie will be the one to break the spell and release the land from the evil mice.
There is lots of singing and dancing along the way. Many of the songs are sung to the well-known tunes from the ballet, including the March of the Toy Soldiers, Waltz of the Flowers, and of course, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Faerie. The story should be easy for younger ones to follow; the program suggests five and older. And since it's not just ballerinas tutu-ing around, boys should have as good a time with this production as girls.
The sets are fairly simple, but perfectly suited to the story. The costumes, by Katie Kitchel, are colorful and charming. I loved the candy cane swords and the Sugar Plum Faerie's lacy, candy-embellished dress. Cleverly, the Sergeant At Arms (Benjamin Preskitt)wears a bright red, Mounty jacket and can still transform easily into other characters with just an added accessory.
It's always a lot of fun for the audience when the people up on the stage seem to be having a good time themselves. That's definitely the case with this show. Even if you've seen the Nutcracker ballet a dozen times and think it's a tired old holiday tradition, I'd encourage you to give Nutcracker . . . The Musical a chance.
As with other CPAC family shows, you can have your picture taken with your favorite character after the final bows. Nutcracker . . . The Musical, with book and lyrics by Debbie Meyer from E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, is generously sponsored by Reuser Industrial Park.
This is the final show in Cloverdale Performing Arts Center's 10th Anniversary season and one you won't want to miss.
Running December 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 pm, December 3 and 10 at 2 pm.
Suggested Audience: 5yrs & older
Book and lyrics by Debbie Meyer.
From E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Produced by Cloverdale Performing Arts Center
Directed by Yave Guzman
Photos by John Gobeille
NUTCRACKER...THE MUSICAL is Produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois.
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