Debbie Hall
The Nutcracker presented by the Nevada Ballet Theater


It is that time of year and one of the most cherished traditions is The Nutcracker!  The most famous cast of holiday characters, including Clara, Fritz, the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy, reunite for Las Vegas’ most cherished and beloved annual event presented by the Nevada Ballet Theater.  Staged by Ballet Mistress Clarice Geissel-Rathers, with original choreography by Bruce Steivel, this annual tradition will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 17 through Sunday, Dec. 28, at UNLV’s Judy Bayley Theatre, 4505 Maryland Parkway, south of Flamingo Road.  

Perhaps the most famous fairytale ballet of all time, The Nutcracker premiered over 100 years ago in St. Petersburg, Russia. Based on the famous novel by E.T.A. Hoffmann, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” it was turned into a classical ballet by choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with an amazing score by Peter I. Tchaikovsky. This production not only became the most distinguished ballet in the world, but grew to become Tchaikovsky’s most celebrated composition.

“The Nutcracker is a city’s classical mainstay – and Nevada Ballet Theatre is proud to offer that to Las Vegas,” Interim Artistic Director James Canfield said. 

Nevada Ballet Theatre’s version of this heart-warming holiday tale has been enchanting local families for over 25 years and each time, the company has welcomed over 90 students into its yearly production. This season, to add to the excitement, the company held open auditions for this festive classic on Saturday, September 6. Along with the students from the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre, boys ages 7 and up and girls ages 11 an up from the community or who attend area dance schools were also invited to audition for the city’s premiere holiday event. Students were cast in the roles of Clara, Fritz, soldiers, mice and party scene children. 

First performed in America by the San Francisco Ballet, the New York City Ballet made The Nutcracker even more popular when it premiered George Balanchine’s version in 1954.  This family-friendly classic was catapulted into a true American pastime with hundreds of professional ballet companies and dance academies performing it all over the country. It is known as the most beloved ballet as it reveals the mysteries and enchantments of the holiday season as seen through the eyes of innocent children.

This year, Nevada Ballet Theatre will offer special holiday photos with the beautiful “snowflakes” from its most popular and beloved ballet, The Nutcracker. Photo opportunities will be offered during intermission at all 15 performances of this holiday masterpiece. For only $10, patrons can pose with these beautiful ballerinas for a treasured keepsake memento! In addition, Nevada Ballet Theatre’s boutique will have Nutcrackers, special Nutcracker books and CDs available for purchase. 

Ticket prices range from $85 to $45 with premium and non-premium dates available and can be ordered by calling 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting

Groups of 15 or more will enjoy fantastic savings and personal service. To book a group, contact Marketing Manager Julie Wright at (702) 243-2623 ext. 234 or email [email protected]. Discounts are only available on non-premium dates. 

Single Tickets for the remainder of Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 2008-2009 Season are on sale and can ordered online at or by calling the UNLV Performing Arts Center box office at (702) 895-ARTS (2787).  

For more information on Nevada Ballet Theatre, its programs, or for 2008-2009 production-specific information, call Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Marketing department at (702) 243-2623 or email [email protected]


Celebrity Chef Connection posts a new broadcast every Wednesday by 5 p.m. at On the home page, click on the link [view current show] on the right-hand side and that will take you to the Current Show page where you can select how you want to view the show. The program is also archived. If you have any questions or comments contact Debbie Hall at [email protected] or 702-279-8116.

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