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Stage & Theater
'Nutcracker' performances a holiday tradition around Pinellas
Article published on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006
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Photo by STEVEN CARAS
Snowflake ballerinas whirling gracefully through a snowstorm during George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Dec. 8-10.
PINELLAS COUNTY - The publicist with Ruth Eckerd Hall got it right with the words "no holiday season is complete without the magic of 'The Nutcracker'."

The Florida Orchestra and Miami City Ballet present George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker," Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-10, at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Performance times are 8 p.m. on Friday; 1 p.m. on Saturday; and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

There are many Nutcrackers, but only one Balanchine version, and the nationally recognized Miami City Ballet is one of only a few dance companies authorized to perform it. The production features live music from the Florida Orchestra and participation of local dance students. Create cherished memories of snowflake ballerinas whirling gracefully through a snowstorm and a Christmas tree that grows before the audiences' very eyes. Delight in colorful dancing sugarplums, marzipan, peppermint and hot chocolate.

Tickets range in price from $29.50 to $45.50 and are available by calling 727-791-7400 or visiting www.rutheckerdhall.com. Ruth Eckerd Hall is at 1111 North McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.

Holiday favorite returns to Largo Cultural Center

LARGO - American Dance Academy will perform the perennial holiday favorite, "The Nutcracker," at the Largo Cultural Center on Dec. 9 and 10, with performances at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The ballet of Clara and her trip to the Land of the Sweets was first performed in Russa in 1890. It was brought to the United Staes in 1954 by George Balanchine and has been delighting audiences ever since. This presentation of the beloved story joins members of the American Dance Academy with dancers from Harmony Studios and guest artists from New York.

The familiar ballet will be presented in its tradition, but with an added sense of spectacle, courtesy of new props, scenery, and costumes, making the event a delight for all ages.

Tickets are $16 reserved, $14 groups and $12 students (19 and under). For tickets, call the Largo Cultural Center box office at 727-587-6793 or visit www.largoarts.com. The Largo Cultural Center is located at 105 Central Park Drive.

Guilfoil Ballet presents 'The Nutcracker' at the Palladium

The Guilfoil Ballet Theater will present its fourth annual performance of "The Nutcracker" on Friday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Palladium Theater. This year's production includes more than 100 dancers from throughout Pinellas County as well as Orlando and Kissimmee. Special guests in the performance will be Italian Ballerina Patricia Storelli and GBT's artistic director Andrew Guilfoil as the Sugar Plum and Cavalier.

Tickets are $16 adults and are available by calling 442-9394. Reduced ticket fees for schools and private groups. The Palladium is at 253 Fifth Ave., St. Petersburg. Visit www.mypalladium.org or www.guilfoilballettheater.com.

'Chocolate Nutcracker' at the Mahaffey Theater

LaVerne Reed Productions will present "Chocolate Nutcracker" on Friday, Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Dec. 23, 1 and 7:30 p.m., at the Mahaffey Theater. An annual holiday treat celebrating cultures across the globe and encouraging acceptance of diversity, "Chocolate" is a multicultural interpretation of the traditional ballet version told through the eyes of a little girl of color. More than 250 young, local, aspiring dancers ranging from the ages of 4 to 21 are part of the cast that will bring this adaptation of "The Nutcracker" to life. Scenes are performed in a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, African and Brazilian.

Like the ballet version, "Chocolate Nutcracker" is performed in cities around the country during the holiday season. Now in its ninth season in the bay area, this will mark the first performance in the newly renovated Mahaffey Theater. Tickets are $52, $42 and $32. There is a $5 discount on all children, senior citizens, students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available by calling Ticketmaster at 898-2100. For group sales, call 441-6460. Mahaffey Theater is at 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg.

Orlando Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' at TBPAC

Orlando Ballet's "The Nutcracker" will be presented Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 21-23 in Carol Morsani Hall at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Show times are Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.

Orlando Ballet returns with the traditional holiday delight, "The Nutcracker." In the story, darling Clara receives a nutcracker on Christmas, then falls asleep and dreams that her nutcracker-prince whisks her away to the Land of the Sweets. With an instantly recognizable score by Tchaikovsky and danced by Orlando Ballet, The Nutcracker makes the season truly magical.

Tickets are $18.50, $29.50, $39.50 and $54.50 and available at the center ticket office, open Monday through Saturday noon to 8 p.m.; Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; and 90 minutes prior to most performances. For tickets and information, call 813-229-7827 or visit TBPAC.ORG. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is at 1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa.
Article published on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006
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