November 24, 2018 – December 28, 2018
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Holiday Magic

DC’s perennial favorite, Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker, celebrates 15 years in 2018 with 40 performances! This celebrated production is set in historic 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III, and other historical figures. Join us again with family and friends or start a new holiday tradition with your loved ones.

The Nutcracker running time is approximately two hours including one intermission.

The Nutcracker Holiday Party Packages are now available!
It’s never too early to plan your holiday party at the Warner Theatre with tickets to The Nutcracker along with a cocktail reception, dinner, dessert buffet or more!

Super Value Pricing: No ticket price higher than $54 (plus applicable service fees)

A great opportunity to enjoy The Nutcracker during the weekday – join us before heading home from work or play. Super Value tickets cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts; based on availability.

Super Value Performances:
Tuesday, December 11; Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 13

The Nutcracker Story

It’s Christmas Eve in 1882 in a Georgetown mansion. Clara and her family prepare for a holiday celebration. As the guests arrive, Clara’s mysterious godfather, Mr. Drosselmeyer, enters with his handsome young nephew, who greets Clara with a kiss on her hand. Drosselmeyer entertains the guests with a puppet show and dancing dolls and presents Clara with a special gift—a nutcracker.

Jealous of his sister’s present, Fritz seizes the nutcracker and breaks it. As the party ends, Clara sadly places the nutcracker under the Christmas tree. Later that night, after everyone has gone to bed, Clara tiptoes downstairs to retrieve her nutcracker. Suddenly, the room fills with scurrying mice. Eventually, Clara falls asleep and begins to dream. When the clock strikes midnight, Drosselmeyer’s magic begins. The Christmas tree grows and a battle ensues between a brigade of toy soldiers led by a life-sized nutcracker against the Rat King and his menacing rats. As the Rat King nears victory, Clara distracts him, enabling the nutcracker to kill him. Suddenly, the nutcracker is turned into a handsome prince. He leads Clara through the enchanted winter to a glorious springtime.

Clara and her Nutcracker Prince travel to Springtime, where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. They are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, her Cavalier and her attendants: butterflies, mushrooms and other woodland creatures. When the Prince tells them how Clara saved his life, the Sugar Plum Fairy summons her subjects to entertain them with wonderful dances—Spanish and Chinese dances, a duet for an Anacostian brave and maiden. Brilliant red cardinals frolic with a Tom Cat; an American frontiersman dances with frontier girls; Mother Barnum dances with her circus clowns; and the waltz of the Cherry Blossoms is led by the Dew Drop Fairy. The celebration comes to a spectacular climax when the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a grand pas de deux. Just before the curtain falls, we see Clara asleep with her nutcracker, marking an end to her magical journey.

History of TWB's The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker was originally based on the story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse, written by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann. Years later, Alexander Dumas rewrote the story, making it happier and more fun for kids to read. In 1891 Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write the music for a new ballet based on the stories by the St. Petersburg Opera, but he was initially unhappy with the setting of a children’s Christmas party.

The legendary choreographer Marius Petipa presented Tchaikovsky with an exact scenario, including rhythm, tempo and number of measures for each dance. Petipa later became ill and the choreography was completed by his assistant, Lev Ivanov.

The Nutcracker debuted on December 17, 1892 in the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia, which is still the home of the Kirov Ballet today. The original cast included ballet students, just as The Washington Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet does today. The Nutcracker was not performed outside of Russia until 1934, when Nicholas Sergeyev staged it at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in England.

The Nutcracker was first mounted by The Washington Ballet in 1961. The production by TWSB and TWB founder Mary Day was performed in Constitution Hall and, beginning in 1992, at The Warner Theatre.  In 2004, the Company premiered a new all-American version of The Nutcracker by Artistic Director Septime Webre, designed just for Washington, DC.

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