One chilly winter evening, Herr Stahlbaum and his wife are hosting a Christmas Party. Their children, Clara and Fritz, welcome the guests. With great anticipation, the children receive presents when suddenly, the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer arrives. He entertains the children with his magical tricks and wind-up dolls. Dr. Drosselmeyer reveals a special gift for Clara – a wooden Nutcracker that becomes the hit of the party. In a jealous fit, Fritz breaks it. Clara is heartbroken, looking on as Dr. Drosselmeyer quickly repairs it. As the evening grows late and the guests leave, the Stahlbaums retire for the night. Clara, worried about her beloved Nutcracker, sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms. The clock strikes midnight and suddenly the room fills with giant mice who attack Clara. Life-size toy soldiers, led by her valiant Nutcracker, come to her rescue. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one on one. Clara makes a final daring charge, throwing her slipper at the Mouse King, hitting him square in the head. The Nutcracker gallantly waves his sword and conquers the Mouse King. At this very moment, the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince. The Nutcracker Prince takes Clara on a journey into the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest wonderland. They are welcomed by the Snow Queen and the Snow King and the dancing Snowflakes. The Nutcracker Prince then escorts Clara to the Kingdom of Sweets in a glistening sleigh.
Clara and her Nutcracker Prince continue their journey across the Lemonade Sea. When they finally arrive in the Kingdom of Sweets, there are delectable treats waiting for them. They are then greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and in Clara’s honor, the inhabitants of her kingdom entertain them during a feast: chocolate, a Spanish Dance; coffee, an Arabian Dance; tea, a Chinese Dance; and the dance of the Marzipan. Clara is also entertained by the peppermints, a Russian Dance; a dance with Mere Gigogne and her Bonbons; as well as the “Valse Des Fleures”, a splendid waltz of the flowers. Then, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier Prince dance a grand pas de deux. Soon after, Clara says goodbye to the Kingdom of Sweets when awakened by her mother. To her surprise, she is back in her house. Has this wonderful journey been but a dream?
Among talented ballet kids and the world’s most well behaved mice, I had the honor of playing Sugarplum Fairy in Goh Ballet’s production of Nutcracker. Santa couldn’t have given me a better Christmas present that year.