Review: BalletMet's The Nutcracker

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

After a few dozen "Nutcrackers," it's hard not to get jaded. But as soon as Tchaikovsky's melodies chime in, cynicism melts away.

For the 2010 edition, BalletMet Artistic Director Gerard Charles and his co-creator, Robert Post, have tweaked a bit here and there. Some dancers, including the Snowflakes, have new costumes. And the Act One scenery is mostly new - notably the grandfather clock in the form of an owl.

Sadly, BalletMet has not yet managed to lose the intrusive and unnecessary narration, elegantly enunciated by Roger Moore. Yes, that Roger Moore. On the other hand, after an absence of too many seasons, the Columbus Symphony returns to the orchestra pit in excellent form.

Act One entertains the kids with Post's trademark physical humor. The stage is awash in comedy, from Herr Drosselmeyer's magic tricks to the maids flapping their aprons in unison to clear away the smoke of a roasting rat.

Act Two has plenty for the balletomane to appreciate, thanks to the talents of choreographer Charles, the rotating casts of the BalletMet ensemble and the students of the BalletMet Dance Academy. But even in this dreamland, the spectacle of the Chinese dragon and the comedy of Mother Ginger and her children should keep the kids alert.

Yeah, BalletMet's "Nutcracker" is pretty much all it's cracked up to be.

The Nutcracker

Through Dec. 26

Ohio Theatre

39 E. State St., Downtown