Preview: The Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker

November 26, 2012 6:00 AM

The Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker
McCaw Hall
321 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 733-9725

Date: Dec. 7 to Dec. 29
Click here for a performance schedule.
Click here for prices and seating information.

This year’s run of “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” will be choreographed by Kent Stowell, with scene and costume design by Maurice Sendak. The PNB Orchestra will perform Peter Tchaikovsky’s original score to accompany the ballet. All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend the ballet. “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” is exceptional for audiences from school-aged children to adults.

Conveniently located across from McCaw Hall is a parking garage (the Mercer Garage), which provides parking for PNB productions. Price for parking ranges from $5 to $15 (depending on the capacity and time spent in the garage). Also, various shuttles are available from the Metro Transit to the Seattle Center and back. Click here for more information on bus routes and scheduling. Season Subscribers of the PNB are encouraged to take use of the pre-paid reserve parking available to all Season Subscribers. Call (206) 441-2424 for more information on pre-paid reserve parking.

Related: Best Children’s Theaters in Puget Sound

What to Know
“The Nutcracker” (based off of E.T.A Hoffmann’s famous tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”) is a traditional holiday ballet that originally premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892. Early showings of “The Nutcracker” were terribly unsuccessful, and it was not until the ballet was shortened to a scant 20 minutes that it started to rise in popularity. By the 1960s, theaters and ballet companies all over the globe regularly performed “The Nutcracker.”

The Pacific Northwest Ballet will tackle this holiday classic in its world-renowned 29th showing. Adapted in 1983, Artistic Director and Choreographer Kent Stowell and children’s author Maurice Sendak aimed to take Hoffman’s original work and add nuances and increased depth to “The Nutcracker.” As an immediate hit, Stowell and Sendak’s rendition went on to create an updated novel with illustrations by Maurice Sendak, an eponymous film released in 1986, and a nearly 30-year ballet run.

Expect a top-notch performance with a cast of the country’s best dancers all coming together to bring perfection to this classic tale. From across the nation, the Pacific Northwest Ballet collected dancers who have not only mastered dance, but who train for performances exactly like this. The principals from this school boast even more clout, hailing from countries around the world and training with the best in Russia, New York and San Francisco.

Over the years certain adjustments and modernizations have been made to the original, but the core plot as remained relatively the same. It is common for the characters names to be changed on a year-to-year basis, but the central themes always remain in tact generation-to-generation. Act I is generally used to set the tone and is fairly realistic in nature, while Act II takes a much different approach and conveys the more magical side to the holiday season.

Related: Best Theatre for Kids in Puget Sound

Anthony Schultz resides within the historic Brownes Addition of Spokane, WA. In his off time, Anthony enjoys copious amounts of reading, pages upon pages of scribbles, which he dubs his writings, and absorbing as much pop culture as humanly possible. His best days end with discussion with his longtime girlfriend, a book in hand, and an obese black and tan Dachshund (by the name of Norman) at his feet. His work can be found at