Everything to know about this year’s performance of The Nutcracker at The Pennsylvania Ballet

Pennsylvania Ballet, local gifts in Philly
‘The Nutcracker’ will be playing at the Academy of Music from Dec. 9th-28th.
Alexander Iziliaev

When the holidays begin to approach there are a few shows that genuinely get everyone in the festive spirit. The Nutcracker is a classic and has that nostalgic holiday feel that audiences crave, and this year the Pennsylvania Ballet promises not to disappoint.

Everything to know about this year’s performance of The Nutcracker at The Pennsylvania Ballet

This year is extra special being the 50th anniversary of the beloved show, the first show dated back to 1968. Pennsylvania Ballet’s founder, Barbara Weisberger, felt it was time to establish the Pennsylvania Ballet as an essential part of Philadelphia’s cultural scene. She wanted an opportunity for all dancers, performers and students to showcase their talents annually, and The Nutcracker was the perfect solution. 

Over a million people have seen the holiday staple over the past 50 years in the City of Brotherly Love. The performance of The Nutcracker soon became a tradition for many Philadelphians; they would come with their families and friends every year to celebrate the holidays and enjoy the show. 

“We love capturing the holiday spirit of Philadelphia each year with The Nutcracker,” Artistic Director Angel Corella said in a release. “Whether it’s your first year or 50th, join us for festive holiday magic while making lifelong memories. Some of our dancers actually got their start as children in The Nutcracker. For many at the Ballet, as well as our audience, this magical story is how they fell in love with the art form.” 

Pennsylvania Ballet

The tale of The Nutcracker follows Marie and the Prince; together the duo battle a Mouse King, dance in a glistening snowfall and celebrate in the land of sweets to create a magical journey that looks just as beautiful as it sounds. Every detail is exquisite from the costumes to the sets; audiences feel as though they are completely transported to another land, and the iconic Tchaikovsky score is performed live by the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra with accompaniment by the Philadelphia Boys Choir. 

The Pennsylvania Ballet in partnership with Art Reach is proud to offer a sensory-friendly performance as well on the main stage of the Academy of Music. The Pennsylvania Ballet wants to include everyone in enjoying the magical production of The Nutcracker; they are dedicated to creating a specific theater experience focused on providing a relaxed atmosphere that is welcoming and inclusive of children and families with a wide range of sensory, learning, and communication differences including autism spectrum. 

During the specific program, families will have space to move around, and permission to speak during the performance. There will also be areas to decompress with assistance from trained staff.  Families will be provided Program and Facility Guide Books prior to the performance; the guidebook shows the story of The Nutcracker with visual images and the layout of the Academy of Music. 

The show isn’t the only special part about The Nutcracker experience. There is also an opportunity to have tea with the Sugarplum Fairy at the Academy of Music Ballroom on two Saturdays in December. Families are invited to join the star of Philadelphia’s most anticipated holiday tradition for a magical afternoon of tea and tutus along with a delicious buffet and plenty of photo opportunities. 

Pennsylvania Ballet

The Nutcracker starts on Dec. 7 and runs through Dec. 31. The sensory-friendly performance will be held on Dec. 27, at 12 p.m. at The Academy of Music. Groups of ten or more get discounted seats; you can purchase tickets through the Manager of Sales and Audience Development, Arajua Backman at 215.587.6921 or [email protected]