The Nutcracker is much like It’s a Wonderful Life. You watch it every year, and every year it’s the same, but just a bit different. In the nearly 30 years the Nevada Ballet Theatre has been staging Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic about a Sugar Plum Fairy, a Mouse King and a Nutcracker Prince, it has sought to remain faithful to the spirit of the piece, all while adding in the small bits that help to “individualize” the experience year after year.
This year’s performance will be different depending on what day you attend. Certain shows will feature a different celebrity getting a sleigh ride onstage in the production’s first act. NBT has gathered together entertainers Clint Holmes, Rita Rudner, Mary Wilson and Trent Carlini, as well as journalists Kim and Dana Wagner, Norm Clarke and Robin Leach.
In a bit of a break from tradition, this year’s production will feature children from across the Valley. Ballet Mistress Clarice Geissel-Rathers says that usually all children—this year’s production features 80—are from the NBT Academy, but that this year nine were selected in community-wide auditions. “We have a lot of talent in this city, and it’s great that we can bring them in and get them involved, especially for a family-oriented tradition.”