If you're more prone to appreciating charming scenes of glowing Christmas trees ascending to great heights or small children humming along with the symphony than the friend who told me, "I don't need ballet tickets to crack nuts," check out San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. (He would've been charmed too, he was just jealous he was missing out on the prancing sparkle ponies.) (Note: Clara's sleigh is towed by prancing sparkle ponies.)
If the standard Nutcracker spectacle strikes you as insipid or expensive or just too darn reminiscent of enforced family outings, try Dance Brigade’s Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie. Krissy Keefer’s refreshing version of the nut-cracking holiday confection turns Clara into an undocumented worker for a wealthy family and Drosselmeyer into the pink Mohawked gay son, who presents Clara with a freedom-fighting South African nutcracker.
The San Francisco Ballet announced the winners of their first-ever Nutcracker video contest yesterday. And they are hilarious. A well-deserved first place goes to the video "The Year of The Rat," in which the Rat King talks some smack against the Nutcracker Prince. "Newsflash, Clara, Kings are better than Princes." Check out the video below as well as the 2nd and 3rd place entries here. And then go see the SF Nutcracker. It's the nation's oldest production and really cute kids go.
Hundreds of little girls donning party dresses, tutus and patent leather shoes descended upon the War Memorial Opera House Thursday night to see young Clara make her way through a magical world of mice and soliders, Arabians and Russians, Spaniards and Chinese, in the San Francisco Ballet's opening night of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.
Even five years after Artistc Director Helgi Tomasson's makeover of the production, the set and costume design are still breakthaking. The Chronicle's Rachel Howard proclaimed the production "one of the best "Nutcrackers" in the country and, by my estimation, the most visually elegant."