It was a shock. A total shock to the senses. The complete lack of civility between the rats and the soldiers was not something that any of us expected to witness in this 21st Century. The unrestrained contempt and the baiting with cheese bombs – yes, cheese bombs – by the soldiers was inexcusable. The harassment of little Marie by bullying mice took the Christmas Eve to a new low, and the negative tone of the discourse was something that –– honestly, honestly, we don’t understand why the media kept broadcasting and publishing every stinking rat dropping that they stepped in. Couldn’t they wipe their feet and move on?
The blustering, loud-mouthed Mouse King waddled into the battle and began browbeating and provoking everyone in sight. He then threw the Nutcracker boy to the floor. As he was preparing to finish him off, the Mouse King looked upstage toward the doghouse where The Bunny stood guard and bellowed “And you, Bunny, you’re a disaster.” Suddenly The Bunny’s ears pinned straight back behind his head. After a couple of spits of chew to either side, The Bunny tore straight toward the Mouse King, grabbed his tail and yanked it with all his might. The Mouse King reeled around in anger and trumpeted “You’re getting me from behind, are you?! That’s not fair. You’re a disaster. This whole ballet thing is rigged.” Those were his last words, well almost his last words. The Nutcracker boy pierced the Mouse King in the heart with his sword, pulled it out, and hacked off the rodent’s crown. As the mice lifted their king high and carried him off, the crownless king weak-squeaked, “Joke’s on you; I don’t even have a heart – or is it a brain?”
"Oh my goodness. When will it all stop?” the audience worried aloud. Thankfully, it began to snow. As the big, beautiful snowflakes swirled in visual harmony, a sense of calm was restored to the landscape. Sara Adams, Ashley Hod, Emily Kikta, Isabella LaFreniere, Miriam Miller and Unity Phelan were among the stellar dendrites who glistened gracefully.
Everyone in the audience was ready for the high caloric Land of the Sweets that awaited. We imagine that the outstanding Little Prince and Little Princess, Ian Zelbo and Emerson Tate Alexander, were also ready to sit back and enjoy the festivities. Our Sugarplum Fairy, Sterling Hyltin, was so refined that watching her caused our glucose to spike. Pretty in pink, prettier in lime, with a nod and a wink, she balanced on a dime. Her Cavalier, Andrew Veyette, impressively stayed true center on his turns a la seconde. Dewdrop Ashley Bouder made us think that we must have been very, very good all year long to deserve her spectacular gifts. Daniel Ulbricht’s dazzling Candy Cane brought squeals of delight from kids and admiring oohs from adults. Erica Pereira’s Marzipan was pristine and delicate. Megan LeCrone’s Coffee was enriched with hot buttered rum.
What pleased us most in this performance, however, were the two Lead Flowers, Emilie Gerrity and Megan Johnson. They were as beautiful as long stemmed roses with an intoxicating sweet fragrance, and waltzed with elegance and poised grace. No one has to tell Haglund that he loves The Nutcracker way too much; he knows it. But performances like these two talented corps members are totally responsible for the addiction. The H.H. Pump Bump Award, a lavender rose stiletto from Casadei, is bestowed upon Emilie and Megan for their lovely Waltz of the Flowers.