Sat., Dec. 5 at 7:30pm & Sun., Dec. 6 at 2pm at the Castle Theater, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului
242-SHOW or www.mauiarts.org
The big puffy hat. The tights. The dancing mice. The uplifting music. The man-sized anthropomorphic kitchen implement. It can all mean only one thing (unless you’re throwing a really weird party we don’t know about): The Nutcracker is back on Maui.
Ballet Hawaii’s production of the holiday mainstay—which runs for two days only at the MACC this weekend—features both nationally acclaimed guest dancers and local performers, making for a pleasing meld of community theater and polished professionalism.
The story, for those unfamiliar, follows a young girl named Clara, whose flamboyant godfather, Drosselmeyer, gives her a nutcracker for Christmas (which, judging by her unbridled excitement, was the Nintendo Wii of 19th century Germany). The nutcracker then promptly comes to life, and leads Clara on a fantastic journey through an enchanted land where everyone’s sole purpose seems to be to stage elaborate impromptu dance routines (except the mice, which have more nefarious intentions).
Among the guest performers are Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette, both principle dancers in the prestigious New York City Ballet. Meanwhile, Maui’s own Abrianna “Stormy” Markham, an 11-year-old student at Haleakala Waldorf, will make her fourth Nutcracker appearance, this time in the coveted role of Clara. (Markham’s younger sister, Ella, is also in the cast.)
The sets and costumes should be topnotch, with an emphasis on bright, flashy colors that’ll help keep the wee ones from squirming. The choreography promises to honor the show’s enduring tradition while adding flourishes to keep it fresh.
Then, of course, there’s Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, which you’ll be humming along with (bum, bum, bum…bum, bum, bum…bum, bum, bum, bum, bum…bada, dada, bum!) even if you don’t know a pointe shoe from a demi-plié.
In all, this is one of those Yuletide traditions—like eggnog, mistletoe and returning unwanted gifts on December 26—that’s almost mandatory.
Fortunately, it also promises to be a rousing good time.