A magic handkerchief, dancing life-sized dolls, a hand-carved gift that comes to life, and an enchanted trip through the snow to the Land of the Sweets…what more could a young girl want on Christmas Eve? And what more could Atlanta ask for? Maybe a theatre that evokes an evening in Morocco, with a star-studded sky and clouds borne by invisible winds? A snow storm inside the theatre? An orchestra made up of some of the region’s best musicians? Christmas melodies played on an enormous pipe organ? Good acting and even better dancing? The Atlanta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” offered these and more on opening night at the Fabulous Fox.
I was privileged to experience the ballet with a four-year-old girl attending “The Nutcracker” for the first time. Four-year-olds don’t feel obligated to be polite about the ballet. All dressed up, she was entranced by the Fabulous Fox Theatre, the red carpet, the dancers, the souvenir kiosks, the music, and the dance. She was also discriminating. When asked what she liked about the experience, she was specific: Drosselmeyer’s magic handkerchief, Marya’s pink dress, the snow, the men with the blue beards (Trepak), the Prince and Princess (Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier), and the Chinese Dragon—but she told me the Dragon was actually a costume, not a real dragon!