The Brown-Foreman Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy Party Review
I had the pleasure of attending both the Louisville Ballet’s production of the Brown-Foreman Nutcracker this past weekend, as well as the Sugar Plum Fairy Party they held beforehand! There were three generations present, my 6 year old, my mom and myself; and all of us loved the experience equally.
Our afternoon began at 11:30 in the East Room of the Kentucky Center where they had transformed the space into a delight for all in attendance. There was a huge spread of food, bot appealing to adult and little kids. Ham and Turkey sandwiches, as well as PB&J! Chips, cookies of every shape, size and flavor! Candies, juices, and even hot chocolate! We were allowed to help ourselves and as we ate, the children cast members of the Nutcracker came in costume to visit our tables. My son was thrilled to meet the little boys and girls dressed as party kids, toy soldiers, angels and rats. The Louisville Ballet really knew how to peak a child’s interest beforehand to get them excited about the show! We then proceeded to go from table to table doing various arts and crafts that they had set up for the kids. After awhile, a pianist came in and everyone sang Christmas Carols together. The icing on the cake though was when the Sugar Plum Fairy herself came into the room, in full costume, tutu, crown and all! She sat on a fabulously decorated bench and took photos with each child. My son thought she was truly magical. AS we left the party to head for our seats, every child received a goody bag to take home! At $20 per person, this event is well worth the price for everything that is included! There is one more Sugar Plum Party this weekend on Sunday, Sept. 16th at 11:30.
Once we were in our seats for the show itself, Jackson was excited. I will admit I was a little nervous about how he would do, since it is all dancing. But, he followed the storyline very well and stayed attentive because of all of the great costumes, scenery and special effects. From the first scene in Herr Drosselmeier’s Workshop where the toys secretly come to life to the festive party scene where children of every age are dancing about, you are pulled into wanting to see where the dance will take you next. As bedtime approaches Marie (better known as Clara to those who have seen the traditional version) falls asleep and we are whisked away with her in her dreams to a magical and breathtakingly beautiful place. First the Nutcracker himself battles the Rat King and then he takes Marie on a journey through the Land of Snow. This is a sight to behold, not only does the scenery make it look like it is snowing onstage, but it actually snows out in the audience. My mom says the snow fairies were always my favorite part when I was a little girl and I can certainly understand why!
After a short intermission, which was just enough time for Jackson to recharge and be ok with sitting still for another half, the second act began. In this part of the show, you journey to the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy and get to encounter all different sorts of dancers representing a number of different countries! Jackson loved the Arabian dancers, who somehow magically float in mid air. I loved the French Pastilles who are in sync in their green tutus and their ballet moves! My mom got a kick out of Madame Derby with her eight tiny jockeys hiding under her massive skirt. That was a nice touch to tie the show into Louisville. This act ended with the most wonderful dance of all, performed by the Sugar Plum Fairy that we had met earlier and her gallant Cavalier. Choreographed by Val Caniparoli, the show runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Dec. 23rd. Now is the perfect time to introduce your child to this wonderful holiday tradition, or reconnect with the child in you as I did seeing it with my mom again. Tickets can be purchased for both events at the Louisville Ballet Box Office (583-2623) or The Kentucky Center Box Office (584-7777)!