Mice make mischief at McCaw Hall
A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Nutcracker," which opened for a monthlong run at Seattle's McCaw Hall on Friday, Nov. 26.
Seattle Times A&E editor
'Nutcracker'Through Dec. 27, McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $26-$123 (206-441-2424 or www.pnb.org).
Dance Review |
Did you know that a group of mice is called a "mischief" of mice?
The word is a perfect fit when talking about Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Nutcracker," which opened for a monthlong run Friday at McCaw Hall. Pesky mice cause no end of trouble in this fanciful holiday tale, and they're so charming that you almost end up rooting for them in their perennial battle against a phalanx of toy soldiers.
The mice, you remember, skitter through the dream world of Clara, a young German girl who receives a bright red nutcracker from her eccentric godfather at a grand Christmas Eve party. After Clara goes to bed, she embarks on a nocturnal journey to strange and wonderful places, filled with dancing toys and characters.
PNB's "Nutcracker," designed by children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak and choreographed by Kent Stowell, debuted in 1983. One of the joys in revisiting it year after year is seeing favorite dancers rotate through different roles.
Standouts on opening night included James Moore as the Sword-Dancer Doll, who brings a dash of danger to the genteel party scene; Olivier Wevers as both the peculiar godfather Herr Drosselmeier and a forbidding Pasha who oversees Act 2's exotic kingdom; and Ariana Lallone, who struts and preens as the Pasha's glamorous pet peacock.
Particularly lovely are Carla Körbes and Batkhurel Bold as Clara's vision of her grown-up self and her handsome prince consort. On their first entrance toward the end of the first act, as snow magically begins to fall and Randall G. Chiarelli's lights shimmer, they stretch their limbs and look about with a true sense of wonder — a dream come to life.
In the end, of course, Clara and the prince dance a triumphant pas de deux just before their fantasy world dissolves into the light of day. The mysteries of the night are vanquished once again.
And alas, the mischief of mice meets the same fate.
But who knows? There's always next year.
Lynn Jacobson: email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.