There’s magic onstage and off in this production of The Nutcracker.
Unfortunately, there’s little call for applause. Georgie, a blonde white girl, wins the coveted role of Clara, the girl who helps defeat the Mouse King and travels to the Kingdom of Sweets with the Nutcracker prince. The magic begins when Georgie holds the antique Nutcracker doll used as a prop in her hands. He has been under a spell for 200 years, and this is the final time he can call for help before he is imprisoned forever. Georgie is determined to do what she can. As she says: “I believe in magic.” Rehearsals follow with visits to the Nutcracker’s mysterious otherworld, easily entered and easily left. A new friend, Noah, who’s black and who is not in the ballet, helps her and is able to travel in and out of the magic as readily. Georgie juggles concern for her sick grandfather, a busy rehearsal schedule, and a messy friendship with a former BFF who has not been cast. She also uncovers a connection between the E.T.A. Hoffmann classic tale, her teacher, and the Nutcracker doll. It’s a holiday package all conveniently tied together, with too little delving into its elements to satisfy.
Fans of ballet will be disappointed by the lack of detail, and fans of magic will be as disappointed by the smoothness of the spells. (Magical realism. 10-12)