David Wilcox does not do things by halves.
Wilcox, the longtime artistic director of the Long Beach Ballet, was unable to put on his “Nutcracker” last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the 39th edition of the holiday favorite is back – and Wilcox has promised it will be the most impressive production yet.
Which means something.
In 2018 and 2019, Goldstar audiences voted Long Beach Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” the nation’s “most beloved” production.
More than 200 dancers, from the youngest beginners to international stars, will cross the stage of the Terrace Theater before the end of the ballet. A full symphony orchestra, including two harps, will perform Tchaikovsky’s score. The ballet will take the stage next month.
Add the wow factor of a flying sleigh, a live horse on stage and indoor fireworks, and you’ll see why Wilcox’s production has drawn more than 400,000 people to the patio over the years, according to a communicated.
“I enjoy using the beauty of the classic art form of ballet, which has taken 500 years to develop to the level it is today, to form an engaging and exciting production,” Wilcox said in the statement. . “He has pyrotechnics, he has magic; it has everything i can think of to make it exciting. This production is not just for people who love ballet. You can hate ballet and you will always love this production.
Wilcox brought in experts to design the production: former Disney designers Elliot Hessayon and Scott Schaffer created the sets, Australian artist Adrian Clark designed the costumes and magician Franz Harary set up the effects specials. The featured dancers have yet to be announced.
Opening night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 17. There will be a matinee at 2 p.m. and a performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 18, and shows at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 19.
Ticket prices range from $34 to $78, depending on performances and seating. There’s also a VIP package for $115 that includes orchestra seats, a full-color program, and a backstage pass, including meeting and greeting dancers.
Tickets are available at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center main box office and online at the Long Beach Ballet website. LongBeachNutcracker.com. Information: 562-426-4112.