Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

Milwaukee Ballet celebrates 50 years of magic with The Nutcracker

Company gives back to community with new, free performance for children

By - Nov 25th, 2019 04:21 pm
The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

MILWAUKEE – Nov 25, 2019 – Milwaukee Ballet continues its 50th anniversary celebration with the world’s most famous ballet, The Nutcracker. Widely anticipated year-after-year as the premiere, family-friendly production in Milwaukee, the festive classic will ring in the holiday season Dec. 7-26 at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

“It’s an honor to share this holiday tradition with thousands of families each year. It means even more as we celebrate our 50th anniversary with them,” said Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink. “I invite everyone to let go of the stress of their everyday lives and escape into this heartfelt story that honors everything we love about this time of year: family, friends, good cheer and a little holiday magic.”

New this year, Milwaukee Ballet will offer a free matinee for children in the community. This performance, named the Angel Gift Matinee, is for schools that have never been able to participate in the student matinee series with a 75% or higher economically disadvantaged student population. This initiative is rooted in the organization’s commitment to deepen its impact in the community as a part of its 50th Anniversary Season.

“Our organization has enjoyed the support of the city for the last five decades and values the opportunity to give back to Milwaukee. I have long believed that every child deserves the magic of The Nutcracker, and I look forward to personally welcoming these excited, new students to the theater this year, and in many more years to come,” said Pink.

Nearly 2000 students will attend the Angel Gift Matinee, including those served by the organization’s current Community Engagement Programs, Relevé and ResiDANCE.

Additionally, Milwaukee Ballet will once again offer a sensory friendly performance for those with autism or sensory processing disorders, as well as three student matinees, where schools receive discounted tickets.

The Nutcracker is the city’s largest annual spectacle, featuring exquisite set pieces, period costumes, special effects and a cast of nearly 200 dancers from around the world, including students from Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy.

Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, joined by Milwaukee Children’s Choir, will perform Tchaikovsky’s signature score under the baton of Milwaukee Ballet Associate Conductor Pasquale Laurino.

Pink’s interpretation is highly regarded for its lavish production design and intricate storytelling, which includes plenty of action to keep the audience enchanted whether they are seeing it for the first or fiftieth time.

The Nutcracker has four separate casts that alternate by performance, ensuring the experience feels new every time the audience comes to the theater.

Select performances include free, family-friendly activities ranging from art projects to holiday carols.

Ticket Information

Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker runs Dec. 7-26, 2019 at the Marcus Performing Arts Center, 929 N Water Street in Milwaukee, Wis. Tickets from $40-$115 and are available online at milwaukeeballet.org or through Milwaukee Ballet’s box office at 414-902-2103.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 – 2:00pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 – 7:00pm
  • Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 – 12:00pm
  • Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 – 6:00pm – Sensory friendly performance
  • Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 – 2:00pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 – 7:00pm
  • Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 – 12:00pm
  • Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 – 5:00pm
  • Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 – 7:00pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 – 2:00pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 – 7:00pm
  • Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 – 12:00pm
  • Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 – 5:00pm
  • Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 – 12:00pm
  • Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 – 6:00pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 – 12:00pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 – 6:00pm

Family-Friendly Pre-Show Activities

Milwaukee Ballet is happy to host activities for families to enjoy before select performances. Complimentary with ticket purchase.

  • Saturday, Dec. 7 – 1:00pm (2:00pm Performance)
    Create your own nutcracker mask.
    Bring your creative energy for the hands-on art project. 
  • Sunday, Dec. 8 – 11:00am (12:00pm Performance)
    Mini-Ballet Class with Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy
    Children 4 & up learn ballet basic and choreography from the show.
  • Sunday, Dec. 15 – 11:00am (12:00pm Performance)
    Kohl’s Color Wheels Art Project
    Milwaukee Art Museum’s traveling art studio makes a stop at our performance! Create a holiday-themed piece of art with their team of experts.
  • Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 – 5:00pm (6:00pm Performance)
    Milwaukee Children’s Choir
    Enjoy holiday carols from the angelic voices of these young artists.
  • Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 – 1:00pm (2:00pm Performance)
    Mini-Ballet Class with Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy
    Children 4 & up learn ballet basic and choreography from the show.
  • Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 – 6:00pm (7:00pm Performance)
    Mini-Ballet Makeover
    Children 4 & up are invited to enjoy the ballerina treatment topped off with the perfect bun.
  • Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 – 11:00am (12:00pm Performance)
    Behind the Music
    Music historian Meaghan Heinrich offers unique insight to Tchaikovsky’s signature score in an upbeat presentation.
  • Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 – 5:00pm (6:00pm Performance)
    ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
    Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink reads the classic holiday poem aloud, complete with British accent.
  • Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019 – 11:00am (12:00pm Performance)
    Face Painting
    Children 4 & up can show their holiday spirit with signs of the season painted on their cheeks.

Principal Cast
Cast varies by performance.

Clara                Alana Griffith                      Elizabeth Harrison            Annia Hidalgo
(California)                          (China)                                 (Cuba)

Marie                   Marize Fumero                  Annia Hidalgo                     Lahna Vanderbush           Alana Griffith
(Sugar Plum Fairy)      (Cuba)                                  (Cuba)                                  (Japan)                                 (California)

Karl                       Davit Hovhannisyan        Randy Crespo                     Parker Brasser-Vos
(The Nutcracker)       (Armenia)                            (Cuba)                                  (New York)

Fritz                      Barry Molina                      Garrett Glassman             Parker Brasser-Vos          Randy Crespo     Marko Micov
(Minnesota)                       (Illinois)                (New York)                          (Cuba)                  (Macedonia)

Drosselmeyer                                                    Patrick Howell                    Timothy O’Donnell           Davit Hovhannisyan
(Louisiana)                          (Australia)                           (Armenia)

Sensory Friendly Performance

Milwaukee Ballet will perform its fourth annual sensory friendly presentation of The Nutcracker for the those with autism or sensory processing disorders, in partnership with Autism Speaks and with support from Marcus Performing Arts Center, will be presented on Friday, Dec. 13 at 6pm.

Tickets are available through the Marcus Center at 414-273-7121 ext. 213. Tickets can also be purchased online at marcuscenter.org/mcaccess using the group code AUTISMSPEAKS.

Patrons with questions about the sensory friendly elements of the production can call Milwaukee Ballet’s Community Engagement Department at 414-902-2120.

50th Anniversary Season

Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019-20, which continues with Ballet Russe Reimagined, PUSH. and Michael Pink’s Peter Pan.

Tickets on sale to all performances. Subscriptions still available.

The 2019-20 season is sponsored by Donna and Donald Baumgartner, We Energies Foundation and BMO Harris Bank.

About Milwaukee Ballet

Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 50th Anniversary this season. Led by Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet transforms lives and connects communities through inspiring performance, community engagement, education and training. Milwaukee Ballet hosts an international company of dancers and is one of the few companies in the nation to maintain its own orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is one of 15 professional ballet schools in the country to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), and is the only one in the Midwest. Milwaukee Ballet’s award-winning Community Engagement department serves 30,000 people in Southeastern Wisconsin each year through original, interactive programs.

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