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Morning Sun
  • Midwest Regional Ballet presents ‘Nutcracker’

  • It wasn’t a hit at its 1892 debut, but “The Nutcracker” has become one of the most beloved holiday ballets.



    Midwest Regional Ballet, Joplin, will present Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.

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  • It wasn’t a hit at its 1892 debut, but “The Nutcracker” has become one of the most beloved holiday ballets.
    Midwest Regional Ballet, Joplin, will present Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.
    “We do ‘The Nutcracker’ every other year,” said Kaye Lewis, MRB artistic director.
    It’s a real audience pleaser, but also requires a lot of work and a lot of dancers.
    “There’s a lot of show there,” Lewis said.
    She choreographed the show, and, as usual sewed all the costumes.
    “We have some new costumes this year and we have a new cannon, which really shoots,” she said.
    Her cast ranges in age from 5 to adults, including Pittsburg attorney John Mazurek, who plays the father of Clara, the little girl who receives a nutcracker made in the form of a soldier for a Christmas present.
    “There have been some cast changes,” Lewis said. “Jenna Garretson graduated from the role of Clara to the Sugar Plum Fairy. Alison Black did the role of the Arabian girl, but Charlotte Stout has taken it over. It’s fun to see the dancers go from one role to another, like moving through the ranks of a military corps.”
    Other performers include Brock Goben as the Nutcracker, Xavier Huffman as Clara’s mischievous little brother Fritz and Austin Curtright as Drosselmeyer, the man who gives Clara the Nutcracker.
    Josh Velazquez dances the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s cavalier and is also the Arabian girl’s partner.
    Clara falls asleep under the Christmas tree with her nutcracker and dreams that it comes to life in the form of a handsome prince. The Rat King leads an attack against Clara and the nutcracker. After the evil rat is vanquished, Clara and her prince journey through a snowy forest where the snowflakes turn into beautiful dancers.
    The magical trip continues through the Land of Sweets to a Candy Castle before Clara wakes up under the Christmas tree with her nutcracker in her arms.
    Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and children under 13. Balcony seats are $8. They may be purchased by calling 231-7827, online at www.MemorialAuditorium.org or at the door.
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