Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews & Mitchell Marner Debut in THE NUTCRACKER as Cannon Dolls

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews & Mitchell Marner Debut in THE NUTCRACKER as Cannon Dolls

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada today announced the lineup of Cannon Dolls for The Nutcracker. This year's list of headliners include Toronto Maple Leafs players, members of ARKELLS and author Emma Donoghue. The holiday favourite has a long-standing tradition of inviting Canadian luminaries and personalities to appear onstage in the guest roles with nearly 1,100 notable personalities making cameo appearances onstage to date.

Joining the National Ballet onstage as Cannon Dolls this season are Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner, members of JUNO award-winning rock band ARKELLS Max Kerman and Anthony Carone, three-time Olympic medalist pairs figure skater Eric Radford and Olympic medalist figure skater Dylan Moscovitch, Canadian author of the international best seller Room Emma Donoghue, co-writers of the Broadway musical Come From Away Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Hon. Michael Tibollo, interior designers and television hosts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan and pastry chef and television host Anna Olson.

Celebrity walk-on roles are a long-held tradition with Nutcrackers all over the world. In the National Ballet's production, the Cannon Dolls are the guest roles which are colourfully costumed Russian Petrouchka dolls who shoot a cannon into the audience to begin the battle scene in Act I. Past Cannon Dolls have included Chris Hadfield, Tessa Virtue, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Andrea Horwath, Barbara Hall, Brendan Canning, Larry Gowan, Sarah Gadon, Rick Mercer and Mayor John Tory.

Since 1986, thanks to the generosity of donors, nearly 95,000 children and family members in at risk communities have attended a Share the Magic performance for free. On December 7, 2018, the National Ballet invites 1,600 children and family members through various hospitals, social service agencies and schools in high-needs neighbourhoods to a special presentation of The Nutcracker.

Photo: Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jillian Vanstone in The Nutcracker. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

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