When I became a mom to girls after spending years as a boy mom I had grand visions of the spectacular things we would do.I had (okay have) a list in my head of all the wonderful girly things we would do together from holiday teas, to mani/pedis and shows! We were going to go to shows every season because I would finally have someone to go with me.
One of those shows on my list has been to make a yearly tradition of seeing a Nutcracker Ballet. I saw one as a child in a grand old art deco theater and that image of a spectacular Christmas ballet has been stuck in my head since. I have been (im)patiently waiting for my girls to grow up enough to handle a performance. My 3 year old has started taking ballet classes and is obsessed with ballerinas. I thought this would be the perfect year to take her to a show.
I have heard over the years rave reviews of Dancenter North’s Magic of the Nutcracker. I mean it’s advertised as “the longest and most lavish Nutcracker in Lake County” and they have been performing it for 26 years. Dancenter North does put on a special preschool performance, Clara’s Dream, that is a shortened performance for younger children. We have never been able to make that because my older kids’ school Christmas show always has a special rehearsal that weekend.
Today we went to the school performance of The Magic of the Nutcracker and it was everything I dreamed of.
Once the lights went out she just stared in awe as the ballerinas came out one by one. I absolutely love watching my kids’ faces when they get to see something they love in their mind for the first time in real life.
Dancenter North did not disappoint either. The put on a spectacular show with excellent dancing, magnificent costumes and moments of fun and WOW to keep children entertained. I was glad we were at a school show however because my daughter is only three and the show ran for almost 2 hours, she runs out of steam at about an hour.
Since it was a school show instead of an intermission the director of the show comes on stage and introduces some of the dancers and they talked about how they got into dance and into the show. While many of the dancers are local students, Clara is played by a 15-year-old sophomore from Mundelein High School, many guests come in just for this show. We learned that The Rat King, now a professional dancer in New York City, used to play baseball until a friend dared him to try a dance class – he ended up loving it! What a great lesson for the school kids in attendance. The other benefit of going to a school show is that your 3 year old is not the only child in the audience fidgeting, whispering and moving around through the whole show.
The second act is filled with all the familiar songs and the “real” ballerinas as my three-year-old said (because they had tutus on). If you have young ones this will keep them entertained and able to make it through the second 40 minutes. The Sugarplum Fairy wows them and the Russian and Arabian dances will keep even reluctant boys entertained as they flip all over the stage.
The show really is a treasure and will definitely become a yearly tradition for me and my girls. The added bonus is that the Genesee Theatre is absolutely stunning on the inside and reminds me so much of the theater I myself saw the show in as a girl.
There are two more chances for you to see the show this year:
Dancenter North’s Magic of the Nutcracker
Saturday December 13 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Genesee Theatre, 203 N Genesee St., Waukegan
Tickets are available online or at the box office 847-406-33156
Prices are $15, $23, $28, and $36
This is certainly a show you are going to want to experience.