I love our Nutcracker ballet because of its wonderful scenario. It has such a strong second act. In most traditional versions of this story, Maria (or Clara as she is often called) spends all of Act II sitting on a pile of pillows and watching the dances from the Land of the Sweets.
Not so in Dennis Nahat’s version of The Nutcracker. Once Maria has rescued the enchanted Nutcracker Prince from the evil Mouse King, she climbs upon a giant white Snowbird and flies off with Prince Alexis on a world tour. They visit Spain, and Arabia and China…and at each stop they sample the food and drink of the country and learn the local dances. The are not “watchers”…they are “doers”! Once they reach the Prince’s home in Muscovy, Maria meets his parents, the Tsar and Tsarina, and she attends a marvelous Grand Ball held in her honor.
By this time, the character of Maria is completely transformed. At each stop, Maria’s experiences have changed her. She starts the ballet as a little girl playing with dolls, but by the end of her journey, she is a young woman. She will never be the same.
It really is a show to see. Dennis Nahat is a great storyteller!