One of my longstanding Christmas traditions is appearing in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker performance in the role of “Grandmother.” This year’s participation is especially poignant because it is the last year that the Maurice Sendak / Kent Stowell production will be presented. I’ve been a part of this holiday tradition for more than 20 years and have many special memories of the cast and audience.
This unique interpretation of Nutcracker debuted on December 13, 1983, and soon became a classic Seattle tradition. The vibrant stage sets, designed by Sendak, also required the engineering brilliance of Boeing. The Christmas tree, which doubles in size during a dream sequence, was re-designed by a Boeing jet interior designer so that it no longer required nine stage hands and operated more smoothly. (You can see this tree in the photo collage below.)
Attending a performance of the Nutcracker ballet is one of the most popular holiday traditions here and around the world. Most large cities offer some version of the production. What is your favorite scene from the Nutcracker?