by Cathy P. Ross
Nov 27, 2012
03:44 PM
Culture Cat

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Ms. Julia Frederick danced in Joseph Albano's "The Nutcracker" at The Bushnell 50 years ago.


        The Sugar Plum Fairy dances around state in the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker. Kids of all ages look forward to attending a performance of the dance each year. Plan ahead to get the best seats.

        Here’s a short list of some productions that are perennial favorites:

     • The Mystic Ballet presents Connecticut Mystical Nutcracker at the Mashantucket Pequot Auditorium on Dec. 1, 8 & 15. Tchaikovsky’s holiday masterpiece provides the backdrop for Mystic Ballet’s classical and contemporary choreography in a unique version of the story, which follows Clara’s adventures with a time-travel twist. The production features special effects and an interactive set that dancers dive into, roll out of, dance on and disappear under (860/536-3671,

     • New Haven Ballet performs the dance at The Shubert Dec. 7-9 (800/228-6622,

     • The Albano Ballet celebrates the 50th anniversary of Joseph Albano’s Nutcracker. Albano, founder of the Hartford Ballet, presented the first production of The Nutcracker ever performed in Connecticut. He was also one of the first commissioners to preside over the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and established ballet arts education in the state as well. Albano’s Nutcracker graced the stage at The Bushnell numerous times, playing to a live orchestra directed by New York City Ballet conductor Hugo Fiorato. The current dance troupe, starring Eric Carnes as The Prince, performs the ballet at Welte Theater at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Dec. 8 & 9 and at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville on Dec. 15-16. A Sugar Plum Party follows each performance, and attendees receive a small Nutcracker as a keepsake (860/232-8898 or

     • Woodbury Ballet performs The Nutcracker choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s classic score by artistic director Randyl Errica in a fully staged production at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on Dec. 15 (203/346-2000,

      • Connecticut Ballet presents The Nutcracker with guest stars from the American Ballet Theatre at The Stamford Center for the Arts Dec. 15-23 (203/325-4466,

      • Students of The Hartt School Community Division also dance to Tchaikovsky’s classic music in a full-length production led by artistic director Samantha Dunster at the University of Hartford’s Millard Auditorium Dec. 14-16. A cast of more than 100 dancers from 5 to 18 join accomplished dancer and choreographer Stephen Pier (now director of the Hartt School dance division), who plays Uncle Drosselmeyer; local celebrities make cameo appearances (860/768-4228,                              

The Nutcracker

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Curious about Connecticut? So is associate editor Cathy Ross, who enjoys everything our state has to offer, from art galleries and museum exhibitions to fine restaurants and great shops. Explore it all right here with her!

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