Groupon: The Nutcracker dazzles children’s eyes, but it also confirms their deep suspicion that toys come to life, even when no one is looking or poking them repeatedly with cattle prods. Feel the season’s electricity with this GrouponLive deal.
One ticket to see Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet’s The Nutcracker
When: Friday, December 20, at 7 p.m. or Saturday, December 21, at 7 p.m.
Where: Desert Vista Fine Arts Theater
Door time: 30 minutes before showtime
Ticket values include all fees
$12 for the side orchestra (up to $20 value)
$15 for the orchestra (up to $25 value)
Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure around one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King's head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate. Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky's dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. The "Waltz of the Snowflakes" floats weightlessly above the angelic voices of a youth choir, whereas the "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" tiptoes to the haunting, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances—including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak—add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.
Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet
A local tradition since 2000, the Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet presents its yearly holiday performance with a cast of 125 local dancers, their ages ranging from 3 to 21. The production employs more than 400 costumes and headpieces, each personally designed for the show. Equal in elaborateness to the dancing is the staging, which includes a Christmas tree that rises through the theater’s roof and falling snow.