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George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ Returns to the Stage at the Academy of Music


The NutcrackerIn the traditional sense of the word, nothing is more holiday than seeing the Nutcracker Ballet at the Academy of Music. It has been a family tradition since I was a kid, and every year the story still holds the same delight for me. 

The Nutcracker Ballet, the story of young Marie, who receives a wonderful nutcracker doll and dreams of a far off land with magical character and an evil Mouse king, the Land of Sweets and brave new friends with her Prince. Dozens of spectacular local and visiting dancers move gracefully to Tchaikovsky‘s score, while the Philadelphia Boys Choir complement the amazing Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra. 

Pennsylvania Ballet and PNC Arts Alive present George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ for its 42nd year December 4 through 31, 2010, and still is magical as ever! This year, they even have a few surprises in store, so attend a performance and see if you can see what’s new! 

Tickets to all 24 performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ are on sale now, with prices ranging from $30 to $139. Tickets are available online at paballet.org, by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office. 

In addition to seeing the ballet, patrons can make it a family day by attending a special Tea and brunch with the Sugarplum Fairy at the Doubletree Hotel and then over to the Academy of Music to see the Nutcracker Ballet. Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy is available Sunday December 5 at 2pm (choose the noon or 4pm performance), December 11 at 1pm (choose the 11am or the 3pm performance) and on December 18th at 1pm (choose the 11am or the 3pm performance). Prices start at $90 and include a performance ticket and a delicious buffet. To order, contact Group Sales Manager Arajua Backman at 215.587.6921 or abackman@paballet.org, or visit paballet.org. 

Another great event in addition to the ballet is “Nutcracker Magic” Children’s Party, Saturday, December 4 at noon at the Hyatt at the Bellevue and Academy of Music. A wonderful family tradition for over 23 years, food, games, entertainers and crafts, as well as meeting customers characters make for a great day, and then families can head over to the Academy to see a private performance before the nutcracker is open to the public. This is also a wonderful charity event, so Nutcracker Magic guests are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys to donate to Cradles to Crayons, and all children will be invited to make a holiday card for a patient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Tickets to Nutcracker Magic are $150 or $250, and sponsorship opportunities are available from $500 to $5,000. This annual party is co-chaired this year by Ali Bruder of Malvern, Ellen Caplan of Villanova, and Margaret Anne Nolen of Newtown Square, and is a great event. 

Performance dates and times:

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ performances at the Academy of Music:

  • Saturday, December 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 5 at noon and 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 11 at 11 a.m.*, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 12 at noon and 4 p.m.
  • Friday, December 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 18 at 11 a.m.*, 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 19 at noon* and 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 23 at 2 p.m.*
  • Friday, December 24 at noon
  • Sunday, December 26 at noon and 4 p.m.
  • Monday, December 27 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 28 at 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 29 at 2 p.m.*
  • Thursday, December 30 at 2 p.m.*
  • Friday, December 31 at noon 

*Nutcracker VIP Package available at these performances (see below)

Make your memories extra special with the Nutcracker VIP Package! This package includes preferred box seating for select performances (call to check dates/times), a Nutcracker souvenir book, a keepsake photo with the Sugarplum Fairy or Mouse King, and 10% off purchases at the lobby gift shop. To order the Nutcracker VIP Package ($160), contact Group Sales Manager Arajua Backman at 215.587.6921 or abackman@paballet.org. 

Tea with the Sugarplum Fairy

  • Sunday, December 5 at 2 p.m. (choose the noon or 4 p.m. performance)
  • Saturday, December 11 at 1 p.m. (choose the 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. performance)
  • Saturday, December 18 at 1 p.m. (choose the 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. performance)

At the Doubletree Hotel.

To order, contact Group Sales Manager Arajua Backman at 215.587.6921 or abackman@paballet.org, or visit paballet.org.

Photo Courtesy of Marissa Montenegro, Public Relations Manager


Christine Tarlecki can be reached at engchik@comcast.net and on FaceBook; and Twitter under engchik, as well as http://engchik.blogspot.com