Niagara County's favorite family production is back, as the Greater Niagara Ballet Co. presents "The Nutcracker." The 38th annual holiday presentation is on stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Niagara Falls High School Performing Arts Center, 4455 Porter Road.
"The Nutcracker" story begins inside the Silberhaus living room, where family and friends have gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve. Clara, captivated by the merriment, awaits the arrival of mysterious Uncle Drosselmier. Upon his entrance, he brings magical presents for the partygoers. In particular, Drosselmier gives his niece a special gift: a colorful nutcracker doll.
Later that night, Clara, finding it hard to sleep, tiptoes into the living room to sneak a peek at her new doll. As the clock strikes midnight, she awakens to see the Christmas tree magically growing - and her nutcracker springing to life to battle the evil Mouse King.
Soon after, the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince who travels with Clara through the "Land of Snow" to the "Kingdom of Sweets." Once there, they meet dreamlike characters from around the world.
The GNBC's "Nutcracker" showcases both local and Canadian dancers and guest artists in a ballet set to the direction of artistic director Beverley Feder.
Tickets to "The Nutcracker" are $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens. A family pack (two adults, two students) costs $55. Pre-sale tickets are available on the GNBC website, www.greaterniagaraballetcompany.org. Pending availability, tickets will be sold at the door.
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads
The Greater Niagara Ballet Company hosted its annual "Breakfast with the Sugarplum Fairy" Sunday at Antonio's Banquet and Conference Center in Niagara Falls. Families heard stories of "The Nutcracker" while children worked on drawings, danced and took pictures with costumed characters.
The event is a fundraiser for the GNBC's holiday presentation of "The Nutcracker," which takes place Nov. 20-21 at Niagara Falls High School.
Pictured, from left: Sugarplum Fairy Mary Pappagallo, 19, of Amherst, poses with Candy Cane Lily Traver, 14, of Youngstown.
"Nutcracker" Claras Julie Vieira, left, and Grace Wythe, both 11, display a breakfast platter inside Antonio's.
Gingerbreads Natalie Dunlap, 9, and Madison Sabourin, 10, both of Niagara Falls, flank dancer Isabella Guerrucci, 12, of Lewiston.