BWW Reviews: Not One But Two NUTCRACKERS the Same Weekend

The dancing was quite good, but with limited performance opportunities for Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the show lacked some of the real ballet experience of the Moscow version.  The Joffrey segment where the dolls from around the world come to life was well danced and intriguing, with the children well integrated into the scenes.  

The use of the children in the Joffrey version, and the quality of their performances, was far superior to the Moscow group.  Bravo to Willy Shrive, the Children's Ballet Master, for his work with the youngsters.

While viewing these productions, older locals were probably drawn back to the glory days of Dennis Nahat's Cleveland Ballet superb version, with the then wunderkindt's Raymond Rodriquez and Karon Gabay in the starring roles.  

Capsule judgement: It's too bad that Cleveland doesn't have a professional ballet company but has to invite groups from other places to provide the yearly THE NUTCRACKER holiday fix.  That negative was balanced by an opportunity for local dance aficionados to have the chance to view two entirely different versions of the Tchaikovsky composition.

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Roy Berko Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.

He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.

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