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PNB Nutcracker- In Person: Nov 25-Dec 27, 2022; Streaming: Dec 19-27, 2022

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From the press release:




November 25 – December 27, 2022

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


Streaming Digitally December 19 – 27

SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet’s sparkling production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® returns to the stage for live performances this holiday season. Featuring Tchaikovsky’s timeless score performed by the world famous PNB Orchestra, PNB Company dancers in show-stopping roles, bright young stars from the PNB School, unique-to-Seattle sets and costumes by Ian Falconer (creator of Olivia the Pig), and McCaw Hall’s lobbies decked out with the season’s best photo ops, PNB’s production is a holiday treasure for audiences young and old.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® runs for 35 performances, November 25 through December 27, 2022 at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall. Tickets start at just $27. (See “2022 Performance Schedule” below, for showtime details.) The Nutcracker will also stream digitally from December 19 through 27, for families and friends to watch from the comfort of home. Tickets for the digital access are $49. For tickets and additional information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at PNB.org, or in person at 301 Mercer St. (Be mindful of unauthorized online resellers: When purchasing tickets for PNB’s production of The Nutcracker, order directly through PNB for peace of mind.)

PNB is happy to offer a sensory-friendly matinee of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® on Tuesday, December 20, designed to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for people with sensory-processing challenges to enjoy the performance with family and friends. Modified lighting and sound levels, allowance of devices and fidgets, entry/exit privileges, trained staff, and designated quiet and activity areas will be offered at the performance.



Tickets to PNB’s live and/or digital performances may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:

·       Phone - 206.441.2424

·       In Person - 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

·       Online (24/7) - PNB.org

(Advance tickets through the PNB Box Office are strongly suggested for lowest prices and greatest availability. Tickets may also be purchased – subject to availability – 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall.)

Tickets for the live performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® are $27 - $202 (discounts for children 14 and under. All ages require a ticket for admission, including babes-in-arms. For helpful hints and frequently asked questions about attending the ballet with children, visit PNB.org/Community/PNB-Kids.) Some prices are subject to change.

Tickets for PNB’s digital presentation of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® are $49, and viewing access for the program is December 19 – 27.

Don’t get fleeced for the holidays! Be mindful of unauthorized third-party online resellers when buying tickets for PNB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (or any other “big ticket” item.) Order directly through PNB.org or 206.441.2424 for peace of mind.

Health & Safety: PNB will continue to follow the advice of our local health authorities in partnership with our labor groups to create our masking and vaccine policies. At this time, masks are strongly encouraged but not required as part of the PNB audience experience. For details and current information regarding PNB’s current health and safety policies, visit PNB.org/Health.

Groups of ten or more may enjoy discounts up to 20% off regular prices: Contact Group Sales Manager Julie Jamieson at 206.441.2416 or JulieJ@PNB.org for ticketing assistance. (Discounts are not valid on lowest-priced tickets and may not be combined with other offers.)

Nutcracker Suites at McCaw

Skip the lines and bustle of the lobby at half-time! Treat you and yours to an enchanted intermission experience in the Nutcracker Suite, and take some of the stress out of intermission. The Nutcracker Suite adds ease to a memorable trip to the ballet, with a Nutcracker-inspired array of snacks, confections, and beverages. Nutcracker Suites are $40 per person (includes applicable tax and service charge); performance tickets sold separately. Subject to availability: Most Nutcracker Suites sell out in advance.

The show must go on: Pacific Northwest Ballet is committed to honoring its performance calendar. Performances will not be cancelled for sleet, snow, or Seattle traffic. In the unlikely event that the status of a performance does change, an announcement will be posted on PNB.org.


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George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®

A Ballet in Two Acts, Four Scenes, and Prologue

Based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816)

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, Op. 71, 1891-1892, with an excerpt from The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66, 1889)

Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Staging: Judith Fugate with Peter Boal and Garielle Whittle

Scenic and Costume Design: Ian Falconer

Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls

Original Production Premiere: December 6, 1892; Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg, choreography by Lev Ivanov

Balanchine Production Premiere: February 2, 1954; New York City Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: November 27, 2015

Running Time: Two hours and ten minutes, including one intermission


The Imperial Ballet’s first performances of The Nutcracker in 1892 at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg received mixed reviews. Critics complained the music was “too symphonic” and the Sugar Plum Fairy wasn’t given enough to do. Yet, the ballet endured and the suite of musical numbers subsequently drawn from Tchaikovsky’s complete score for performance in the concert hall was immediately popular. The composer was particularly delighted by his use of the celesta, the “heavenly” keyboard instrument newly invented in Paris, for the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

When George Balanchine staged The Nutcracker for New York City Ballet in 1954, it was the six-year-old company’s most ambitious project to date. Although NYCB’s Nutcracker established the ballet as a perennial holiday favorite and became the model for many subsequent productions, the ballet had been danced in the United States since 1940, when Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo performed Alexandra Fedorova’s staging of a one-act Nutcracker in New York City. The production subsequently toured the country throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s, giving many Americans their first experience of The Nutcracker. The first full-length Nutcracker in the U.S. was choreographed for San Francisco Ballet by Willam Christensen in 1944, replaced in 1954 with a production by Willam’s brother, Lew Christensen.

When NYCB moved to the newly built New York State Theater in 1964, the Nutcracker scenery was completely redesigned to take advantage of the larger space. That same year, a young Judith Fugate, newly enrolled in the School of American Ballet, danced the role of Clara for the first time. She would continue in the role for four seasons before moving on to other parts, eventually joining New York City Ballet and adding the leading roles of Dewdrop and the Sugar Plum Fairy to her repertory. In 2015, Fugate took on the role of repetiteur, joining PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal and Garielle Whittle to stage Balanchine’s Nutcracker for Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Pacific Northwest Ballet has its own Nutcracker history: In 1975, Pacific Northwest Dance, as the company was then called, acquired Lew Christensen’s Nutcracker, performing the work for eight seasons. In 1983, under artistic directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, the Company presented a new production with choreography by Stowell and scenic and costume designs by famed children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. The Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker contributed significantly to the Company’s identity, holding the stage for 32 seasons. In 2015, PNB acquired Balanchine’s iconic production. New designs by another renowned children’s author and illustrator, Ian Falconer, carry the Balanchine staging forward into the 21st century, while the staging by Fugate, Boal, and Whittle ensures the heritage of a tradition reaching back to 1892. [Excerpted from program notes by Doug Fullington. For complete notes and more, visit PNB.org/Nutcracker.]



  • 99.98% of PNB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® was built entirely by artisans, craftspeople, carpenters, painters, and animators in Seattle, WA.
  • Over 50 drapers, stitchers, first hands, milliners, dyers and painters built the Nutcracker costumes. PNB’s shop was not large enough to accommodate the number of costumers required, so some were constructed at the Seattle Children’s Theater and Seattle Repertory Theatre costume shops. There are 154 costumes in the show, not counting duplicates (i.e., multiple versions of the same costume, for different-sized dancers playing the same role – Sugar Plum Fairy, Cavalier, Dewdrop, etc.)
  • Clara’s party dress and Drosselmeier’s coat lining required 10 light coats of red paint for each stripe.
  • Each Snow skirt has nine layers of various fabrics. There are 56 points on each skirt.
  • There are 174 velvet diamonds and 322 jewels on the Harlequin costume. The Harlequin’s partner, Columbine, has 160 velvet diamonds and 272 jewels.
  • 640:  Black pompoms on the eight Polichinelle costumes. 
  • 760:  Petals on the Waltz of the Flowers costumes. (19 costumes, including extras.) 
  • 10 feet and 60 pounds:  The width and weight of Mother Ginger’s skirt.
  • 175:  Number of snaps on the Mother Ginger costume.
  • 4,000:  Holes cut by hand to create the lace “doily” tutus and headpieces for the Marzipan costumes.
  • 300:  Jewels hand-sewn on the two Arabian (peacock) headpieces.
  • 500:  Yards of tubular horsehair used for the Party Mothers’ hairpieces.
  • 1,428:  Cabochons sewn onto the Spanish women’s costumes. 
  • 2,568:  Appliques machine-sewn on the seven Spanish dresses.
  • Sewing the Nutcracker doll required a 16” long needle.

Seventeen mice (eight adult mice, eight young mice, and the seven-headed Mouse King) were built by Erik Andor and a team of fabricators in his Pioneer Square studio.

  • 98 yards of “fur” were used to create the mice. They have a total of 230 whiskers. Each adult tail consists of 25 segments. Each ear is made up of six pieces. Laid end-to-end, the mice’s upper lips total 782 inches.
  • Eagle-eyed audience members may spy one gold tooth on the Mouse King.

35 men and women in the PNB Scene shop built and painted the sets and props.

  • There are 22 painted drops. 
  • 3,000 square yards of fabric were used in the creation of the scenery.
  • 343 gallons of paint were used in the painting of the scenery.
  • The corridor scrim during the Prologue depicts Nutcracker historical figures Alexander Dumas, E.T.A. Hoffman, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, George Balanchine, and Lincoln Kirstein.
  • It took 400 hours to build the Christmas tree. At its full height it stands 40 feet. There are 450 lights on it.
  • 30 cubic feet of “snow” are deployed during the Act I Snow scene, per performance.

One of the delightful highlights of PNB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® is the animated video that accompanies the overture. (For an excerpt, click here.) Created by Straightface Studios located in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle, the three-and-a-half minute video takes audiences on a flight through the woods and a New England town, up to the front steps of the Stahlbaum home. The town was inspired by antique mid-19th Century maps and satellite images of New England. The terrain covers 372 sq. miles and there are over 1.5 million trees, 8,540 bushes, 287 buildings, and seven mice. In 2016, Straightface created a second video to play during the first act violin solo following the Party scene. This video integrates live-action ballet dancers into a computer-generated world.

The prominent Christmas star that appears in the Snow scene at the end of Act I is presented by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Winter Star, from Chihuly’s popular Chandelier series, debuted as part of the artist’s iconic Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000 exhibition, and has also been exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (near London) and New York Botanical Garden.

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Casting is up for opening weekend, with two performances/day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (scroll to bottom):


Dylan Wald is performing Herr Drosselmeier at the 12:30pm matinee on Sunday, November 27!

When I first opened the PNB site, there was a pop-up window for their Black Friday sale for Nutcracker tickets.  (Sale is valid through Monday, November 28 11:59pm Pacific Time.)

Here is a link to the downloadable Excel sheet:

Nutcracker 2022_11_22.xlsx

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I saw Wald's Drosselmeier, and thought he did an excellent job.  He had very clear motivations throughout, and wonderful timing.  One thing that really stood out for me was his musicality when he worked with the stick horse -- too often it just lurches back and forth, but his phrasing for that sequence was just right.

Many of the performances looked very freshly coached, which often happens opening weekend.

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I have a question about how the digital streaming works, which isn't clear to me on the PNB website: if I purchase the stream, are we limited to viewing it once in one sitting, or can we watch it multiple times (or watch sections multiple times) during the screening period? Can we skip around, or take breaks, etc? I am considering purchasing it as a gift for a very young relative, and I think he will get more out of it if that is permitted. And, thank you for sharing about the stream! We are not local to Seattle so as an added treat, it would be fun to get to see this production. 

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27 minutes ago, uptowner said:

, or can we watch it multiple times (or watch sections multiple times) during the screening period? Can we skip around, or take breaks, etc?

Yes:  all of the streams can be viewed as many times as you want during the viewing period, and you can pause and slide along the timeline to go back and forth..   I think I watched The Seasons Canon about 73747485948056 times, and the Nutcracker stream is available for nine days if you buy it by December 19th, longer than the five-day regular rep viewing period.

Yesterday I received an email with details and a "test your device" option, and I'm guessing people who subscribe between now to the launch will get it as well. .  The company sends a separate email with the link and password once viewing is enabled.  Each time you click the link to open a new browser, you'll need to re-enter the password, so save that email.

This will be such a treat!

And a shameless plug:  all of the regular rep programs are available to stream, almost always from the Thursday after the program closes to the following Monday, and the February 2023 program is the Giselle that Doug Fullington and Marian Smith worked with Pacific Northwest Ballet to stage using various newly found (at the time) source materials and the original score.

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Thank you for explaining! I am very pleased, my young relative is very interested in the Nutcracker and I think this will be an excellent gift which he can enjoy (and, I can enjoy with him), and I will contribute no clutter to his apartment either 😉 

I expect we will end up purchasing other streams, what a great idea. I saw PNB when they were on tour in June and they were just phenomenal. 

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Argh, it took seeing 2000 Nutcracker posts on social media before I realized that I haven't kept up with casting, argh!

Here's the link to the PNB website (scroll for casting):


Here's a link to a downloadable Excel sheet for this week's casting:

Nutcracker 2022_12_22.xlsx

Here are the posts that finally wok me up:



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Today's -- Friday, December 23's -- matinee performance at 2pm has been cancelled.  We are having Weather here in Seattle, and driving isn't safe right now, due to icy roads.  PNB is sending email notifications to every ticket buyer they have in their system.


The post says to check the website for updates for the other performances -- here is one scheduled for tonight and two tomorrow, until next week.  


When I opened up the site, there was a pop-up announcing the cancelation, and there is also a persistent banner at the top of the website:

Screenshot 2022-12-23 at 10.50.17 AM.png


The weather channels are looking at freezing temperaturs until sometime this afternoon, then above freezing, rising into the 40's and even 50's and rainy next week, but I guess they'll see whether the ice melts in time for this evening's performance.

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There are a couple of more days of performances and the rest of today through Tuesday for streaming The Nutcracker.

This is the cast for the stream:

Opening Night= streaming cast

Sugar Plum Fairy
Angelica Generosa

Lucien Postlewaite 

Ryan Cardea (so sweet with Clara, but I wouldn't want him to be my dentist)

Juliet Prine

Malena Ani

Soldier Doll
Ezra Thomson

Mouse King
Luther DeMyer

Hot Chocolate
Leah Terada
Dammiel Cruz-Garrido

Cecilia Iliesiu

Green Tea Cricket
Noah Martzall

Candy Cane
Kuu Sakuragi

Madison Rayn Abeo Clara Ruf Maldonado (it's incorrect on the website, but correct in the credits.  Apologies for my cut-and-paste.)

Mother Ginger
Miles Pertl


Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan

More from the credits:

Clara: Mathilda Suttles

Fritz: Maxwell X Adams

Newphew/Nutcracker/Prince: Zeheng Huang

Frau Stahlbaum: Leah Terada

Herr Stahlbaum: Christopher D'Ariano

Grandmother: Abby Jane D'Angelo (nice to see her back!)

Grandfather: Christian Poppe

Lead Flowers: Juliet Prine and Yuki Takahashi

There were a couple of very hammy adult mice.



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