One hundred dancers, a growing Christmas tree, dancing snowflakes, and lavish costumes will delight families as Queen City Ballet Company presents its 18th annual production of the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker. The perennial favorite returns to the Helena Civic Center stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.
Written by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, The Nutcracker tells the story of young Clara Stahlbaum’s favorite toy, the Nutcracker Prince, who comes to life and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom of dolls.
The famous ballet, which debuted in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia, features the popular music of Tchaikovsky, and has been a holiday staple for many years.
Starring in this year’s production are C.R. Anderson 7th grader Elsie Ambrose as Clara, Helena High School sophomore Josh Fisk as the Nutcracker Prince, Capital High School sophomore Aleksandra “Sasha” Shkurigin as the Sugarplum Fairy, and Helena High School freshman Sam Stutz as Fritz.
Queen City Ballet Company’s Artistic Director Campbell Midgley believes that one of the reasons The Nutcracker has proven so enduring has to do with how exciting and engaging it is for children.
“For so many children, The Nutcracker is their first exposure to ballet and to classical music,” Midgley said. “The production is the ideal stimulating choice that combines the beloved story about a child’s holiday fantasy with the famous and recognizable music of Tchaikovsky. It is one of the only ballets whose cast is made up of children, from the party scene, to tiny mice, and the sheep hidden under Mother Ginger’s skirt.”
Treat your family to the splendid wonders of Queen City Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker to kick off the holiday season. Tickets start at $15 and are available online at helenaciviccenter.com or by calling the box office at 406-447-8481.