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Nutcracker 2021


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I am going to be out of town for the entire run. Didn't think I would really miss it, since I have seen this Nutcracker many, many times, and especially given my doubt about all the children being 12 or over. But now I find I have Waltz of the Flowers going through my head endlessly, and wishing I could see it. The selection of lead Flowers for the first week looks entirely lovely - with Ashley Laracey, Mira Nadon, Emilie Gerrity, Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara, Miriam MIller, and Laine Habony. No one is asking me, but if I had to choose one cast from this first week, it would be Mearns-Janzen-Phelan, with the bonus of Emily Kikta as Coffee. She is one of the few who really brings it to life. I look forward to reports on this run. Also, they have typically cast more junior dancers in the lead roles as the season wears on. I look forward to seeing who that will be! Has LaFreniere done Sugarplum? She would be great.  

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Hi tutu, I saw Phelan Dewdrop a few years ago. Tried to do a search for my previous comments but the search function eludes me so not sure how long ago. As I recall she looked quite effortful. This was not the best role for her. If you want to see a great Dewdrop go for Peck or Woodward, many others. If you want to see Phelan go for it, she was beautiful anyway. 

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This is what I wrote about Phelans Dewdrop on bachtrack:

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The only disappointment was Unity Phelan as Dewdrop. Phelan is a beautiful dancer with charisma to burn. However, she struggled with the allegro footwork of the Waltz of the Flowers. Her jumps had a floppy quality and did not get very far off the ground. Her turns were effortful and her posture slumped.

 

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I attended last night’s evening performance, bringing a companion who’s never seen a production of the Nutcracker.  It was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season.

The missing little ones are most noticeable in war, candy canes, and angels, as they’ve kept the littlest and youngest as polichinelles and, to a degree, in party scene.  I missed them most in war, surprisingly — the size difference between the soldiers and the mice is not as noticeable or absent, and it somewhat changes the dynamic — and in party scene, where there’s just a bit less wildness with more mature kids.  Still, I think it was the right choice about where to use height under the circumstances.  Marie and Nut did quite well!

Another Covid-era adjustment:  no live singers for snow as far as I could tell; sounded like piped-in singing over the orchestra.  Snow corps was clean and the storm, as always, was to great effect (and it’s early enough in the run that the paper flakes aren’t grey yet, ha!)

The second act was a treat.  Peck/Gordon replaced Mearns/Janzen as Sugarplum, and Peck essayed the part, with Gordon serving as a gallant cavalier.  Phelan was a good Dewdrop.  With the advice of this board in mind, I didn’t go in expecting Peck or Woodward’s crystalline thrills, but Phelan was clean and her jumps weren’t labored, and her épaulement is just glorious.  (She was my companion’s favorite performance of the night.)  Kikta was an ideal Coffee, my favorite I’ve seen in the last few years, sultrily deploying those long limbs.

Saw a couple kids in the audience (maybe because of the vaccine’s new availability to under-12s?) dancing at intermission, but fewer than usual, and missed the whispered “wows” and “Mom, how does she do that?” you usually overhear mid-performance.  Hope they can be back next year.  

Still, this performance brings out the inner child in adults, too.  I highly recommend bringing a Nutcracker newcomer, as witnessing someone seeing the surprises for the first time (the bed moving, the curtain going up on the land of sweets, the angels gliding, the SPF traveling arabesque) is a complete delight.  In the words of my companion:  “That was awesome.”

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4 hours ago, tutu said:

Another Covid-era adjustment:  no live singers for snow as far as I could tell; sounded like piped-in singing over the orchestra.

Does NYCB put the musical credits in the program?  It might be where -- at the end? -- where they put all of the union acknowledgements. 

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5 hours ago, tutu said:

Another Covid-era adjustment:  no live singers for snow as far as I could tell; sounded like piped-in singing over the orchestra.

I was told on a tour that the vocals for Snow are created with a Moog synthesizer. I’ve never seen singers in the pit for Nutcracker.

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