The Nutracker: Boston’s Best Holiday Tradition

Mel Pratt ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

The Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker has been a New England holiday staple for years, previously in the Wang Theater. Five years ago, the show moved to The Boston Opera House, and the production truly made it their home.

The Opera House is completely decked out for the holiday show, with decorations all over the lobby and carolers in the middle of it all. Children dressed in tutus ran around while other kids played with their ballerina dolls. 

The Nutcracker has a classic score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. One that many may remember from their band days in high school. Yet the orchestra and the dancers work together to create such a fantastic production, that you will completely forget about that scratchy saxophone solo in “March” during the middle school concert.

The ballet follows Clara (Delia Wada-Gill) from a Christmas Eve party where her uncle Drosselmeier (Paul Craig) presents her with a nutcracker as a gift. At night, Clara sneaks to the living room as she is too excited from the party. After being threatened by dancing mice (who also stick their butts out and strike poses in their big entrance) Drosselmeier saves Clara by causing everything to grow and bringing her nutcracker to life!

The ballet enchants the audience along with the nutcracker, and the Opera House is transformed into a fantasy winter wonderland, thanks to the wonderful set and costume designer, Robert Perdziola. The best dance of the show closed Act One in the Snow Scene with dancers Rie Ichikawa and John Lam as the Snow Queen and King. Snowflakes fell onto the stage, while the Snow Queen and King danced in seamless beauty, surrounded by Snowflake dancers.

The Second Act began, with performances from various groups. An audience favorite was the Pastorale Scene, with Little Bo Peep and their sheeps in the background. Audience members laughed and “aww”-ed when a black sheep ran on late, joining the others. That little black sheep proceeded to do the opposite movement of the other sheep.

The Russian Dance, featuring Isaac Akiba, Mamuka Kikalishvili, and Alexander Maryianowski garnered cheers from the crowd multiple times during the dance. The Waltz of the Flowers, featuring Misa Kuranaga as Dew Drop, surrounded by dancing flowers, also received generous applause from the audience throughout the scene.

The astounding choreography is courtesy of Mikko Nissinen, who worked with the dancers to provide a seamless performance. Everything from the set, costumes, music, and dancing flowed together to create a truly magical holiday treat.

The show is currently running throughout the rest of December, ending on New Year’s Eve. Tickets are still available and certainly are worth your money.


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