New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Big News! Emily Mann to retire as McCarter Theatre's Artistic Director following 2019-2020 season
Click here for the story!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

By Spotlight Central

originally published: 01/07/2019

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

There’s holiday excitement in the air inside the auditorium of Lakewood, NJ’s historic Strand Theater this Saturday, December 22, 2018 as an audience of all ages readies itself for a live performance of The Nutcracker by The Atlantic City Ballet and the Garden State Philharmonic orchestra!

Before the performance begins, we take a moment to chat with the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of the Atlantic City Ballet, Phyllis Papa.

“The first time The Nutcracker was performed in Russia,” reveals Papa, “it was a flop! People hated it. It was just way ahead of it’s time. It wasn’t until George Balanchine brought it to New York in the ’50s that it became really popular in the United Sates. Now, it’s a holiday tradition for many families.”

“The Atlantic City Ballet has been performing The Nutcracker for 36 years, starting in 1982 in Atlantic City,” explains Papa. “The Claridge Hotel and Casino made a $5000 donation which enabled us to to finance the costumes and props we’d need for the production. Unfortunately, the Baltimore Ballet had a fire that year, but their misfortune enabled us to acquire some of their costumes and props, some of which we still use today — in fact, the cannon we’ll use today is from the Baltimore Ballet!”

Continuing, “We’ve performed with the Garden State Philharmonic for six or seven years now. It’s wonderful to perform with a live orchestra! I think all performances should be with a live orchestra, but the challenge of working with live musicians is the tempo of the music. We only get one rehearsal with all of our dancers — professionals and students alike — so that’s why, as a choreographer, it’s extremely important to be able to communicate with the Garden State Philharmonic’s conductor, Diane Wittry, who does an amazing job of keeping everyone on track!”



The article continues after this ad

 


Inside the beautiful Strand Theater auditorium, the lights dim as the orchestra tunes. The packed audience applauds when conductor Diane Wittry takes her place at the podium and the musicians begin to play the overture from The Nutcracker.

The curtain rises to reveal the parlor of the Stahlbaum household where the family is celebrating their annual Christmas Eve tree lighting party.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Relatives and friends dance together on this happy occasion!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The mysterious Herr Drosselmayer arrives with wonderful mechanical dolls.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

He also presents a gift of a Nutcracker to young Clara.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Clara dances with joy with her Nutcracker!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

When the party ends, the family goes to bed. During her sleep, Clara begins to dream.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

In her dream, she gleefully dances with her Nutcracker despite the movement of little mice in the parlor.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

She sees the family Christmas tree grow ever larger as toy soldiers come to life.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The Nutcracker also comes to life and battles the Rat King before vanquishing him forever!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The Nutcracker is transformed into a young prince and the parlor into a Land of Snow. The Snow Queen appears and welcomes Clara to this wonderous land.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Among the snowflakes, The Snow King and his Princes take flight!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The dancing is beautiful — each pose creating a picture.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Leaping and prancing fills the stage as Clara dances with the Snow King and Queen and the audience applauds for the conclusion of Act I.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Act II begins with Angels in white, complete with translucent wings.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The Angels glide across the stage to the heavenly sound of a harp.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier welcome Clara to the Land of Sweets.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Here, the Sugar Plum Fairy presents dances from different lands for Clara to enjoy, beginning with “Chocolate” from Spain.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

“Coffee” from Arabia features acrobatic spins and lifts.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

On “Waltz of the Flowers,” The Dew Drop Fairy dances as the Flowers move to the harp’s welcoming call.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The dancing is flowing, fluid, and beautiful.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The Dew Drop Fairy returns for a final grand pas de deux dance.

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

Elegant and lovely, she leaps with grace!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The artistry of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier elicit applause from the enthusiastic crowd!

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

The performance ends with a standing ovation and a curtain call which includes enthusiastic cheers and applause for Phyllis Papa and Diane Wittry.

As audience members make their way out of the theater, we take a moment to chat with Garden State Philharmonic conductor, Diane Wittry.

Comments Wittry, “Phyllis Papa is an amazing artistic director and choreographer! She and the Atlantic City Ballet do this program in a variety of different venues — each with a single run-through — and everything goes so smoothly! From the professional dancers to the youngest children playing the mice, she always makes things come together so well.”

Continuing, “It’s the energy of the music — the give and take and the back and forth — that makes a performance like this so special. When the orchestra performs by itself in a concert, we can speed things up or slow things down if we want. When working with the ballet, however, I’m always watching the feet! I have to dance along with them, so to speak, in that once the orchestra locks into a tempo, we have to keep it going.”

Concludes Wittry, “I love the challenge of playing for the ballet — it’s always a wonderful experience!”

We also get a chance to chat with several audience members who share their opinions about tonight’s performance of The Nutcracker.

First, we talk to Alina and Sonya, two young sisters from Toms River, who both used to take ballet but now study ballroom dancing.

The Nutcracker was really good!” says Alina. “I loved the costumes — especially Clara’s,” before noting, “And the mice were really cute.”

Alina’s sister, Sonya, concurs commenting, “It was really nice — all of the scenes with The Nutcracker were my favorites.”

Next, we chat with Chloe from Atlantic City, age 10, who made her ballet debut in Act I as a battle soldier.

Reveals Chloe, “I’ve been dancing for five years and I’ve been in recitals before, but this was my first show,” before exclaiming, “I really enjoyed the entire experience.”

Lastly, we chat with Luca, 8, from Ridgewood NY, who concludes by declaring, “I didn’t want it to be over!”

The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater

To learn more about the Atlantic City Ballet — including information on upcoming productions including Romeo and Juliet in March, Sleeping Beauty in April, and a brand new production of Cinderella in May — please go to acballet.org. For info on upcoming shows at The Strand Theater — including Stars of the Sixties with Jay and the Americans, The Buckinghams’ Dennis Tufano, The Original Vandellas, and the Motortown All-Stars on February 8 — please go to strand.org.

Photos by Love Imagery

Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews

Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power





For more by this author, click here



World Premiere of Jungle Book Ballet to Feature Musical Direction by Jason Tramm and Neel Murgai
(OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- The world premiere of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater’s production of “The Jungle Book” features an exotic musical backdrop that features a classical string quartet as well as Indian folk and classical compositions. Performances take place on February 2 and 9 at 8:00pm, February 3 at 3:00pm, and February 10 at 1:00pm and 5:00pm.
Ananya Dance Theatre to perform, offer public workshops In New Brunswick
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT), a contemporary Indian company of women of color committed to the interchange between art and social justice, is set to perform and offer multiple free public workshops here on campus, January 29 through February 2, 2019.  
State Theatre New Jersey presents Savion Glover's All FuNKD' Up
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Savion Glover’s All FuNKD’ Up on Thursday, February 7 at 8:00pm. Savion Glover’s All FuNKD’ Up will highlight Glover’s mesmerizing interplay of percussive genius. Glover will be appearing along with his six-piece band and company of dancers. Together they will illuminate his original grooves and compositions. Glover will also be doing a lecture/demonstration for select community groups earlier in the day on February 7. Tickets range from $25-$55.
NAI-NI Chen Dance Company Announce Guest Artist Line-Up for the Year of the Pig Celebration at NJPAC
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will present a colorful and vibrant special Chinese New Year Celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3 at 2:00pm.  This year, Nai-Ni Chen bring a new Bamboo themed production aimed to take audiences beyond cultural boundaries. Nai-Ni Chen chose bamboo as a theme to celebrate the Year of the Pig.
Peak Performances Presents "When Angels Fall"
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Peak Performances Presents Raphaëlle Boitel: When Angels Fall from February 9-17 in the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. The season of genre-and-convention-defying performances catapults into 2019 with multidisciplinary visionary Raphaël Boitel’s return to the Alexander Kasser Theater, following her luminous directorial debut The Forgotten. Admission is $30; FREE for Montclair State undergraduates with ID.


The Nutcracker LIVE! at The Strand Theater
There’s holiday excitement in the air inside the auditorium of Lakewood, NJ’s historic Strand Theater this Saturday, December 22, 2018 as an audience of all ages readies itself for a live performance of The Nutcracker by The Atlantic City Ballet and the Garden State Philharmonic orchestra!
American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker at Two River Theater
Although it’s raining cats and dogs outside, the feeling is more about mice, fairies, princes, and toy soldiers inside Red Bank, NJ’s Two River Theater this Sunday, December 16, 2018 as a sold-out audience of all ages readies itself for a holiday performance of American Repertory Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker!
NJPAC's "The Hip Hop Nutcracker"
Celebrate the season with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center‘s holiday smash, “The Hip Hop Nutcracker.” Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet gets an urban makeover in this fresh retelling of the timeless tale. With contemporary dance moves and a New York City backdrop, this festive tradition feels new once again. Join Jesse and Dave as they talk to the creators of this bold show, which explodes onto the stage in Newark on Friday, December 14.
It's a Shore Holiday: The Atlantic City Ballet LIVE! at Caesars
On Saturday, November 24, 2018, The Atlantic City Ballet celebrated Christmas early with a production of It’s a Shore Holiday at the Circus Maximus Theatre located inside Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
Dracula: The Atlantic City Ballet LIVE! at Lakewood’s Strand Theater
On Saturday, Oct 21, 2018, The Atlantic City Ballet celebrated Halloween early with their production of Dracula at The Strand Theatre in Lakewood, NJ.










Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 24, 2019


THEATRE
"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm

American Theater Group: Tell Them I’m Still Young @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 7:30pm


Some Girl(s) @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm


MISC

Josh Gates Live! @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:30pm

View all events










 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.