Theater and Concert Reviews.
by ROBERT MASSIMI 6 months ago in DANCEMPAC.Robert Massimi.
In 1892 The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet came into being. The libretto is adapted from E.T>A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". The score is by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The origin of the Nutcracker, a classic Christmas story, is a fairy tale ballet centered on a family's Christmas Celebration. It was commissioned by the Director of Moscow's Imperial Theaters in 1891 a week before Christmas 1892. According to German folklore, nutcrackers bring good luck to you and your family as well as protect your house.
Performed by the New Jersey Ballet at the beautiful Mayo Performing Arts in Morristown, New Jersey, this "Nutcracker" was astounding. From its sets to the lighting, the two hour production was first rate. Throughout time, "Nutcracker" with its brilliant music by Tchaikovsky, the dancing and the story itself, makes for a wonderful evening. Whether it is with the children or not, "Nutcracker" promises a wonderful time.
The curtain opens at the home of the Mayor, his wife and their children, Clara and Fritz. When Herr Drosselmeyer arrives with his nephew, the children are first afraid of Drosselmeyer until they discover that he has brought many gifts for the children. Clara receives a Nutcracker, when Fritz grabs for it, it breaks. Drosselmeyer's nephew helps her repair and tuck in the doll in the dolls bed. the guests leave and the family retires for the night.
As the empty living room grows dark, Clara returns for one last look at the Nutcracker. She falls asleep on the sofa and a magic spell creeps over the room. Giant mice appear from behind the fireplace. Child-size toy soldiers pursue the mice. The Christmas tree grows very tall. The room changes and everything disappears except the now giant-Nutcracker who leads the toy soldiers against the mice. Clara wakes up and helps the Nutcracker defeat the Mouse King. The Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince, and he and Clara glide away. As they pass through the forest, the King and Queen of snowflakes and their swirling subjects dance a splendid waltz (to this scene had of the most spectacular lighting and scenic design).
Clara and her Prince journey to the Kingdom of Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy and her court await. The Sugar Plum shows the young couple to a pair of thrones and the whole kingdom comes to entertain them. The entire court joins the waltz, and the curtain falls as Clara climbs into the swan boat and sails home once more.
MPAC has put on a traditional ballet unlike any other. The Christmas Season in upon us and there is no better production than this "Nutcracker". This production was both warm and creative. Fun for everyone, it had something for everyone. From the exquisite ballerinas to the magnificent acting and staging, this "Nutcracker" kept the audience's attention throughout the evening.
Paul Miller's lighting was such a joy to watch. Hitting on all keys, he kept the backbeat to what was an upbeat evening from opening curtain to its closing curtain. Miller has done numerous lighting designs on Broadway; "Legally Blond";" Laughing Room Only"; "Macbeth"; "Sweeney Todd", just to name a few.
Gary S. Fagin (Musical Conductor) was right on the mark as he led his Orchestra victoriously to songs like :"Nutcracker Suite PO.71a" and "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and into "Waltz of Flowers". Playing Tchaikovsky is never an easy task but these musicians were perfection.
Playing for the next few weeks, this production of "Nutcracker" should not be missed. Every bite as good as Lincoln Center, it is a shorter trip than going into the City. MPAC with it's years long concerts, Children Shows and touring Broadway shows is at the forefront of the Arts, all different kind of performing Arts. Crafted in a spectacular Theater, MPAC is an amazing place to visit no matter what a persons tastes are, MPAC has something for everyone. Tchaikovsky, MPAC, MPAC tickets, Metropolitan Ballet, Lincoln Center, Ballet.