The Nutcracker


Lauren Bruce, Editor

On November 30 and December 1 and 2, the Cartersville City Ballet put on The Nutcracker at The Grand Theatre, a community favorite and a ballet classic. Featuring Graci Thornton or Caroline Morrison as Clara, Julia Collins or CHS’s own Anna Matherne as the Mouse Queen, Paul Rackley or Bryson Porter as the Nutcracker Prince, and Anna Matherne or Hattie Thompson with Jonathan Fee as the Sugar Plum Fairy with the Cavalier, the last Tchaikovsky ballet, first performed December 1892, is a lighter adaptation from the E.T.A Hoffman fantasy story it’s based on.  

The curtain opens on a family’s Christmas party, during which Clara, the main character, is presented with a toy nutcracker by her godfather. The story follows Clara as the nutcracker is brought to life and transformed into a handsome prince, his duty to fight the feared Mouse King (Queen, in this case) alongside his army of toy soldiers. Featuring flossing (a fad dance) toy soldiers in the Cartersville Ballet’s production, the scene quickly turns fierce as the battle ensues. The final blow is dealt to the Mouse Queen by Clara with her shoe after it appears that the Nutcracker Prince has been lost.  

Clara and the prince are then invited to the Land of Sweets, the Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Drosselmeyer, her godfather. A banquet celebrating the defeat of the Mouse Queen is held, during which Clara and the prince are presented with a series of dances, including the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. (I went on Sunday when Anna was performing, and it was stunning. You have my applause, Anna.) 

Next, the entire cast of the ballet came out for their bows, set by set from the smallest sheep and mice to the eldest girls. Finally, the screen fell, and Clara returned with her prince for them to take their bows. The scene ended as Clara woke up on the floor next to her Nutcracker, now only a toy once more. She takes it and her candle to bed, wondering if it was all a dream, and the curtain closed to thunderous applause.  

The historic Grand Theatre hosts The Nutcracker as a holiday tradition annually, so watch for it next year,  and be sure to secure tickets! You’ll want a good seat for this heartwarming ballet.