I have to agree with her choices. The opening night casting was inspired. Heath Gill’s Lamplighter was masterfully performed. His interpretation of this acting role gets better every time, and sets the tone for the ballet. Jackie Nash brought a special enthusiasm to the role of Marya, making us believe she is really a teen girl with one foot in adulthood, falling in love for the first time, and the other foot in the magical world of childhood.
Watching the children in the audience, it was clear that they loved seeing people close to their own ages on the stage and singing from the boxes. One of the special opportunities of “The Nutcracker” is being able to watch dancers and students at all levels of experience. Atlanta Ballet does this part very well. The dancers are beautifully rehearsed, confident, and technically proficient relative to their training.