Sugar Plum Fairies and Mouse Kings, Cavaliers and Snow Queens, and, of course, enchanted Nutcrackers form the fabric of the Christmas arts scene in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Dance troupes across the region have spent the autumn rehearsing for their big annual productions of the classic Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker,” featuring a memorable score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, which they hope will enchant audiences over the coming weeks.
There will be several “Nutcracker” options the weekend of Friday, Dec. 13, through Sunday, Dec. 15.
Scranton Civic Ballet Company kicks off its run of performances under the artistic direction of Helen Gaus and assistant director Julio Alegria on Friday, Dec. 13, with a special performance for students at 10 a.m. at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave. The annual “Eye on Dance” educational performance is free and lasts about an hour and a half, giving students a glimpse at the inner workings of the production.
The troupe’s public performances follow that night at 7:30 p.m. and also Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m., both at the cultural center. Tickets cost $18.50, plus fees, and are available at the box office and scrantonculturalcenter.org and by calling 570-344-1111. For more information, call Scranton Civic Ballet at 570-346-7369.
Civic’s show features a cast of 80 students and adults who range in age from 8 to 75, including Ava Stout at Clara, Ginger Cruz as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Robert Zaloga as Cavalier/Nutcracker Prince.
Also that weekend, Degnan Ballet Center at the Conservatory of Wilkes University will offer its “Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. on the main stage of Wilkes’ Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, South and River streets, Wilkes-Barre. Tickets cost $15 for children, students and seniors and $22 for adults. Call 570-408-4426 or visit wilkes.edu for details.
Degnan’s production features Aoife Burke as Klara, Natalie Bobeck as Fritz, Christopher Papciak as the Nutcracker Prince and Sarah Hoffman as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Guest artists T.J. Firneno and Ruben Suarez will play Drosselmeier and the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier, respectively.
Linn McDonald School of Dance then presents its rendering of the ballet Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. at Scranton High School, 63 Mike Munchak Way. The show stars Adriyanna Kushner as Clara, Brennan Connor as the Nutcracker Prince and Cole Lapinski as the Mouse King.
Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For tickets or more information, call 570-346-7106 or email email@example.com.
At F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, the Moscow Ballet once again will present the “Great Russian Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7. The production, part of the Dove of Peace Tour visiting more than 100 cities across North America, includes hand-painted sets and such characters as Russian Snow Maidens and Nesting Dolls. Tickets cost $29, $39, $49, $69 and $79, plus fees, and are available at the box office, kirbycenter.org and 570-826-1100. For more information, visit nutcracker.com.
Marking its 44th year of performing “The Nutrcracker” as a free gift to the community, Ballet Theatre of Scranton along with Goodwill Industries of NEPA will present the show Thursday, Dec. 26; Friday, Dec. 27; and Saturday, Dec. 28, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at the Theater at North, 1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton, moving away from the show’s longtime home at Marywood University.
Joanne Arduino is artistic director for the show, which stars Celia Eagen at Clara.
Guests can pick up tickets for a specific Ballet Theatre show starting two hours before curtain at the box office.
Those who want to support Ballet Theatre financially and have a bit of fun in the process can attend the organization’s Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. at Glenmaura National Golf Club, 100 Glenmaura National Blvd., Moosic. Admission costs $25 for adults and $15 for children. Checks should be made payable to BTOS.
For details about the show or tickets for the breakfast, call 570-347-2867 or visit balletscranton.org.
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest