The Long Beach Ballet continues its annual holiday tradition, for the 36th year this December, of presenting The Nutcracker at the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center for seven performances from December 15 to 23. As always, the beloved production bursts with special guest performances and additional surprise treats the entire family will love.
“Crammed with special effects, the familiar Long Beach Ballet version of “The Nutcracker” has nearly everything money can buy. For an opulent, family-oriented, entertainment..seek no further,” says the LA Times of the Long Beach Ballet’s production. Artistic Director David Wilcox has pulled out all the stops for this 36th production of the classical tale, which boasts a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a real live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics, and a cast of over 200. Former Disney designers Elliot Hessayon and Scott Schaffer created the enchanting scenery, Australian artist Adrian Clark designed the detailed costumes, and renowned magician Franz Harary created the special effects, including a magical costume switch, involving Clara instantly changing from her nightgown into a gleaming ball gown.
This holiday season also marks the Long Beach Ballet’s third annual Nutcracker VIP Land of Dreams Luncheon on Sunday, December 16th, 2018. This elegant, elaborate, family-oriented pre-performance lunch banquet will be hosted below the Terrace Theatre in the Seaside Ballroom. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Long Beach Ballet Artistic Director David Wilcox, and take pictures with Orion, the Nutcracker Prince’s real white stallion!
The luncheon also includes wine, children’s menu and exclusive VIP seating. The Nutcracker Luncheon is planned and executed by Susan Malecki, former Guild Chair of the San Francisco Ballet. This year the luncheon can be purchased in conjunction with tickets for any of the seven Nutcracker performances, but can only be reserved by calling the Long Beach Ballet at (562) 426-4622. Tickets go on sale to the general public October 8th. Previous VIP members can order beginning October 6th. For complete information, visit www.LongBeachNutcracker.com.
The Long Beach Ballet is the only ballet company in Southern California which performs The Nutcracker with a full symphony orchestra and is one of only two ballet companies in the country that use two harps for their production to ensure the performance sounds exactly as Tchaikovsky intended it to sound.
Wilcox is excited to present a special rendition of the beloved Holiday tale. A former ballet virtuoso himself, he now brings his power, strength, grace and artistry to the production, which features both new surprises and classic entertainment. “I like using the beauty of the classical art form of ballet, which has taken 500 years to develop to the level that it is today, to form a production that’s enticing and exciting. It has pyrotechnics, it has magic; it’s got everything I can think of to make it thrilling. This production is not just for people who like ballet. You can hate ballet and you’ll still like this production,” he adds.
The Long Beach Ballet’s Nutcracker has been seen by millions of people worldwide, including live audiences totaling more than 400,000 in Long Beach, 70,000 in Pasadena, hundreds of thousands throughout Asia (as performed by the Chinese Guangzhou Ballet), and millions more on television.
Show times are Friday, December 21st at 7:30 pm; Saturdays, December 15th and 22rd at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, Sundays, December 16th and 23rd at 2:00 pm at the Terrace Theater, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, located at 300 E Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802.
Tickets can be purchased through the Long Beach Ballet “Hotline” at (877) 852-3177, and the Long Beach Performing Arts Center Main Box Office, and online through the Long Beach Ballet website, www.LongBeachNutcracker.com. Family-friendly ticket prices start at $34.00 – $78.00 with a special VIP Package also available. Discounts are available for children, seniors, and groups of 15 or more.
ABOUT THE LONG BEACH BALLET
Long Beach Ballet is one of Southern California’s leading classical ballet institutions. The academy’s reputation is based on excellence, dedication and passion for the art. Students from this academy have gone on to join companies like San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and the Dresden Ballet. For more information visit: http://www.longbeachballet.com/
DAVID WILCOX, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE LONG BEACH BALLET
Los Angeles native David Wilcox began studying the dance at the age of eleven. He continued his studies in London and at the age of nineteen began his professional career in Germany where he danced with the Berlin Ballet, the Nuremberg Ballet and the Heidelberg Ballet. In 1981, he co-founded Long Beach Ballet which became Southern California’s most successful ballet company for 15 years. Many of Wilcox’s students have gone on to join companies like San Francisco Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Milwaukee Ballet and New York Ballet Theater. He has produced and directed nine ballet tours to Asia and has staged three full-length ballets for the Classical Ballet of Guangzhou, China: The Nutcracker, La Bayadere and Cinderella. He lives with his wife and daughters in Long Beach.