A lot of people wonder why Odette and Odile never appear on the stage at the same time if they are truly different characters. Of late, there has been a Russian propaganda effort to spread Fake News to the effect that they might be one and the same. (Egad, those Russians.) Well, here is some foolproof proof that Odette and Odile are certainly not the same person – or the same whatever.
We're very excited to start this Nutcracker Season tonight at NYCB. Let's hope things go more smoothly than at the dress rehearsal on Wednesday – which we will not go into other than to say oy.
The third week of casting includes an enticing match up of Rebecca Krohn and Russell Janzen along with Lauren King as the Dewdrop Fairy on Sunday, December 11 at 5pm. We hope to make it back in time from our whirlwind jetting to Chicago on Saturday for the Chicago premiere of the Joffrey Ballet's new Nutcracker by Christopher Wheeldon. Actually, our first hope is that we get into O'Hare on time on Saturday.
The Wheeldon/Joffrey production has its "first" premiere on December 1st at the new Hancher Auditorium on the campus of the University of Iowa where the Joffrey has a long, loving relationship with the Hawkeye Community. They premiered their previous Nutcracker choreographed by Robert Joffrey at the old Hancher Auditorium in 1987, the year prior to Robert Joffrey's death. The company seems to be calling these Hancher performances technically previews; so, maybe the Chicago opening will be designated as the world premiere. It doesn't matter.
Wheeldon has set this new Nutcracker during the time of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair that celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World. The Chicago Columbian Exposition, as it was called, was designed by several of the many famous architects who were at the forefront of the Chicago Style of architecture: Daniel Burnham, Charles Wellborn Root, Frederick Law Olmstead, and Charles Atwood. It was the first World's Fair that included a section for amusement rides; and that, ladies and gentlemen, marked the first appearance of the Ferris Wheel. What, oh, what will Basil Twist make of the Ferris Wheel?! We can't wait to see. Besides Twist, the creative team includes folks from Wheeldon's An American in Paris.
The traditional libretto has been tweaked a bit. Marie is not one of the rich kids; she's poor. And there are a ton of individual characters which you can observe from the opening night casting in Iowa City:
Given the crankiness of the O'Hare airport workers these days, we probably should have booked an earlier flight on December 10th so as to avoid delays caused by their antics. Our fingers are crossed for a smooth trip into the Windy City and back out again without being blown off course.