American Repertory Ballet to Bring THE NUTCRACKER to McCarter Theatre, 11/27-30
American Repertory Ballet will be celebrating its 50th Annual Nutcracker Season throughout downtown Princeton. American Repertory Ballet's 50th Annual Nutcracker Season will come to McCarter Theatre Thanksgiving weekend: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 7:00pm; Friday, November 29 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm; and Saturday, November 30 at 1:00pm and 4:30pm. Directly following the 4:30pm performance on November 30, at 6:30pm, American Repertory Ballet will hold a celebratory reception at The Nassau Club in Princeton.
Company Founder and then Director Audrée Estey staged the premiere of her Nutcracker production at McCarter Theatre as a 1956 spring production for Princeton Ballet School students. The professional company, formerly known as Princeton Ballet Company, began performing its Nutcracker there annually in 1964, at the urging of Bill Lockwood, who still serves as McCarter's Special Programming Director.
"I was on the board of the Princeton Ballet Society, when Audrée Estey asked me about producing a Nutcracker," Lockwood explains. "What did I think? I said, 'Let's do it together.' The joint production between McCarter and the Ballet Society was born, and we co-presented it until the time came that it made more sense for them to produce it on their own."
American Repertory Ballet's current version of Nutcracker, choreographed by Artistic Director Douglas Martin, with additional choreography by Resident Choreographer Mary Barton, features the Act I Party and Battle scenes from Estey's original production. This year, there will be a brand new growing Christmas tree, designed by Carl Sprague.
Many downtown Princeton businesses are partnering with ARB in support of their 50th Nutcracker. Costumed characters from the ballet will be at One Palmer - the Palmer Square courtyard on Nassau Street - from 11:00am until 2:00pm on Sunday, November 3 to talk to the community about ARB's 50th Nutcracker Season and to provide photo opportunities. As they have in the past, the Terra Momo Restaurant Group will offer ARB's Nutcracker ticket holders 20% off a meal at any of their three restaurants: Eno Terra in Kingston, Mediterra in Princeton, or Teresa Caffe in Princeton. Nutcracker costumed characters will spend an afternoon at Mediterra on Saturday, November 23 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to greet diners.
The Bent Spoon, Princeton's beloved purveyor of handmade artisan ice creams, sorbets, baked goods, specialty drinks, will be releasing a special Nutcracker-themed ice cream flavor in November, and donating a portion of proceeds from sales of this flavor to ARB's "Keep the Magic Alive" Nutcracker fund. Princeton Soup and Sandwich Company is offering a Nutcracker lunch special. Jazams will be donating proceeds from all Nutcracker-themed toys and books sold to ARB's "Keep the Magic Alive" fund. Among other local business partners of ARB's 50th Annual Nutcracker is McCaffrey's Supermarket.