The Nutcracker Tickets

The Nutcracker is a fairy tale-ballet in two acts, three tableaux by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composed in 1891?92, and based on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The story was written by E. T. A. Hoffmann. In Western countries, this ballet has become among the most popular ballets performed, primarily around Christmas time.

A selection of eight of the more popular numbers from the ballet was made by the composer before the ballet's premiere, forming The Nutcracker Suite, intended for concert performance. The suite became instantly popular; the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity until around the mid 1960s. Some indication of how much the Nutcracker Suite once eclipsed the fame of the ballet may be found in Deems Taylor's commentary in the road show version of Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia, which features the suite as one of the animated segments. Among other things, the score of Nutcracker is noted for its use of the celesta, an instrument that the composer had already employed in his much lesser known symphonic poem The Voyevoda. Although well-known in Nutcracker as the featured solo instrument in the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", it is employed elsewhere in the same act.

In 1961, ABC presented a musical special on television entitled The Enchanted Nutcracker. It starred Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence, with child actress Linda Canby as Clara, and featured a script by Samuel and Bella Spewack, who had written the libretto for Kiss Me, Kate. The show was choreographed by Carol Haney. Information on this program is currently scant, so it is not clear how much of Tchaikovsky's music was used, but the story was still about a nutcracker who comes to life and takes a little girl to the Kingdom of Sweets. The Nutcracker was portrayed, not by a dancer, but by French actor Pierre Olaf, who also played a new character named Dr. Gombault. Patrick Adiarte, who had played Prince Chulalongkorn in the 1956 film The King and I, also played a Prince in The Enchanted Nutcracker, though clearly, the Nutcracker and the Prince were two entirely different characters in this version. The roles that Goulet and Lawrence played were also created especially for this adaptation. This television production was shown once and then fell into complete obscurity, never even being rerun on ABC-TV.

There have been several animated versions of the original story, but none can really be actually considered an animated version of the ballet itself. All of these invent characters that do not appear either in the original E.T.A. Hoffmann story or the ballet In 1960, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn arranged their own adaptation of the Nutcracker Suite for the Duke Ellington Orchestra featuring the Overture,

. Toot Tootsie Toot,

. Peanut Brittle Brigade

. Sugar Rum Cherry

. the Entr'acte

. The Volga Vouty

. Chinoiserie

. Dance of the Floreadores

. Arabesque Cookie

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