California Ballet presented its annual The Nutcracker last December at the San Diego Civic Theatre. Children and adults turned out in droves to celebrate the holidays with their favorite ballet tradition. This year CBC was fortunate to welcome to the Civic Stage Guest Artist Sascha Radetsky. Many will recognize Sascha from his appearance in the mainstream ballet film Center Stage in which he portrayed the character Charlie. His flair and technique as the Cavalier and Snow King were a welcome addition, and his work with CBC Ballerina Chie Kudo was beautifully executed.
Also making their CBC debut in the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier were new Principals Ana da Costa and Trystan Merrick, respectively. Ana’s playfulness and delicate grace were the perfect counterpoint to Trystan’s commanding stage presence.
Director Maxine Mahon once again offered her signature pre-performance lectures. Attendance at the lectures was impressive, and audience member enjoyed learning a little about the history of the ballet. The Board of rustees hosted a pre-performance VIP reception prior to the Friday, December 18th performance. The reception was catered by Urban Kitchen Catering (sister company of Cucina Urbana), offering a sumptuous array of hors d’oeuvres.
The most impressive part of the 2014 run of The Nutcracker was Military Night on Wednesday, December 16th. An astonishing 2,600 tickets were provided to members of the United States Military their families to attend The Nutcracker last December. Audience members were treated to a special presentation prior to the Wednesday performance which included a color guard and the national anthem sung by Madeleine James. California Ballet Board Member and Coleman University representative Bobbie Strohm spoke on behalf of the Military Night Sponsor, welcoming an audience full of soldiers and families.