Ballet Theatre of Ohio returns 'Nutty Nutcracker' to Akron Civic for an encore

by April Helms | special products editor Published:

To get into the hol-

iday spirit, you may chose to go see that classic ballet featuring highlights such as the Sugar Plump Fairy and the Waltz of the Weeds...

Wait, that doesn't sound like "The Nutcracker" you know?

That's because these and other comic highlights make up "The Nutty Nutcracker," which will be performed by Ballet Theatre of Ohio Dec. 6 at the Akron Civic Theatre for its second year.

Fans of the traditional holiday favorite needn't fear: Ballet Theatre of Ohio also will stage "The Nutcracker" Nov. 30 through Dec. 8 at the Akron Civic. However, fans of the traditional ballet -- and even those who may not like ballet -- will enjoy the spoof, said Christine Meneer, artistic director of BTO.

"'The Nutty Nutcracker' has the same music, the same set, but with a twist," Meneer said. "For example, in the traditional ballet, Drosselmeyer is invisible to all but Clara. In 'The Nutty Nutcracker,' he makes an entrance."

Meneer said the main focal characters are played by Kim Sulek, and brothers Joshua and Jeremiah Isley, who currently live in Akron but grew up in Ravenna. All three also perform in the traditional Nutcracker. Sulek plays Mother Ginger. Joshua plays Drosselmeyer and Jeremiah plays The Mouse King, roles they have done since "The Nutcracker" was first staged by BTO 21 years ago.

"They are very funny people," Meneer said. "They play off each other, and the stage hands get involved. I never know what they will come up with."

"The Nutty Nutcracker" starts at 7 p.m.

'Nutcracker' information

Performances are Nov. 30 (2 p.m. & 7 p.m.); Dec. 1 (2 p.m.); Dec. 7 (2 p.m. & 7 p.m.); and Dec. 8 (2 p.m.). Ticket prices for both the traditional "Nutcracker" and "The Nutty Nutcracker" are $46, $34, and $22. Mention the code NUT13 to receive a 25 percent discount off all tickets

Before the show, guests will be greeted by the Nutcracker and his soldiers as they pass out candy canes. At the top of the grand staircase, families can be seen lining up in front of the Nutcracker Tree for a photo op. BTO also will have a boutique featuring more than 100 different nutcrackers. Santa also will make an appearance. 

Tickets are available at the Akron Civic Theatre box office at 330-253-2488. Ballet Theatre of Ohio's season sponsor is The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. Funding is also received from the Akron Community Foundation, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, Target and the Sisler McFawn Foundation.

Nutcracker Sweets

New this year, Meneer said, is a collaboration with area bakers who will sponsor the Nutcracker Sweets Both. Sponsors include West Point Market (Akron), Dipped and Dazzled (Stow), The Bake Shop in Ghent (Bath), Vincent's Bakery (Cuyahoga Falls), Cupcake Binge (Munroe Falls), Custom Cake Creations (Stow), and Main Street Cupcakes (Hudson). A different bakery will be featured at every performance.

Visit these participating bakeries to purchase their designated "Nutcracker Sweet" goodie and receive a discount coupon to any BTO Nutcracker performance.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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