Tickets to the show were donated generously by the Grand Rapids Ballet. Featured artwork is by Chris Van Allsburg. All opinions are my own.

GRBallet Nutcracker

[pullquote_left]by April Hunt[/pullquote_left]
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GR Ballet’s Nutcracker may be Your Only Chance at Snow This Christmas

I’ve become a bit of a Nutcracker fanatic.

I don’t know if it’s because it’s that good (the music is amazing) or if it’s just because our Grand Rapids talent is so capable of carrying this timeless story, coupled with author Chris Van Allsburg’s incredible set, into new dimensions.

Whatever it is about GR Ballet’s rendition of the Nutcracker, I think that you will regret not seeing this show at least once. … A year? At least once a year? Probably.

It’s just a very entertaining show that encapsulates the beauty of ballet and music and has a curious yet lovable story.

This year’s bonus was snow. Both my friend Katherine and I remarked on the snow falling from the sky during the Snow Scene. These 50 degree days have made us that deprived of snow that seeing fake snow on a stage was that exciting. ha!

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School Age is Probably the Best Age to Start Coming

My girls, ages 4 and 7, loved the show, though my four year old was antsy by the end. She was experiencing the typical ailments that come with being four: she was dying of thirst and her boot was falling off and her leg hurt. It was also 9:30 by the time the show ended, two hours past bedtime. She fell asleep five minutes into the drive home. However, she still had a great time, and I saw other girls there her age who didn’t seem nearly as on the verge as she was; it all depends on the kid.

Izzy Nutcracker

A reader pointed out last year that the loud pyrotechnics (two cannon shots) during The Battle frightened her three year old considerably and may do so to other kids. I brought my three year old last year and decided that buying a ticket for a three year old may not be worth the investment.

This year I appreciated how much my first grader Olivia caught onto things. She laughed at funny parts and could anticipate the storyline. It meant way more to her than it would to a three year old.

 

3 Things Kids Will Love About the Nutcracker by GR Ballet

It’s of course a smash for adults, but our ballet, with this set and costume designer, is a delight for kids, too.

THE SETS. The sets are beautiful and whimsical. They really invite you into the Nutcracker’s world and of course, look like they came straight out of the pages of a children’s picture book.

Original Artwork by Chris VanAllsburg

THE RECOGNIZABLE SONGS. Even if they’re not familiar with the story line, kids will recognize such classics as Overture, March, Russian Dance and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. When Waltz of the Snowflakes was playing, my seven year old leaned over and whispered, “Just like in Fantasia!” These songs are all over pop culture.

THE LARGE CAST OF DYNAMIC CHARACTERS. If a particular character isn’t holding their attention, there are three more right behind them that will. The constant change of characters, songs, and bright, (mostly) sparkly costumes will help keep your child’s attention right till the end.

Hurry! The Nutcracker is Only Running Through Dec 20

If you haven’t already purchased tickets, here’s the lowdown on how to make this great holiday memory with your family:

  • What: The Nutcracker Ballet, by the Grand Rapids Ballet and Grand Rapids Symphony.
  • When: December 12-13 & 18-20, 2015
  • Where: DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids
  • Who: I’d recommend ages 6 and up.
  • How Much: Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.

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