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Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker soars at the Fox in Atlanta

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With Christmas fast approaching and family in town, how should you entertain your family and any guests while they are here in town?

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There are many things that Atlanta does well during the holiday season and one of the best options for family entertainment is Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker performed by the Atlanta Ballet.

This incredible annual tradition has been more than 50 years in the making and the current version of this Christmas classic had its red carpet opening on Friday night at the Fox Theatre.

This year’s version continues the fresh perspective started last year by bringing back magician Drew Thomas as the enigmatic toymaker Drosselmeyer. Thomas was a finalist on America’s Got Talent and brings the additional flair to the role that only a professionally trained magician can.

While Thomas plays Drosselmeyer with the right amount of show, flamboyance and mysteriousness the essence of the Nutcracker, and why this is top-drawer entertainment for the holiday season, is the dancing, the costumes, the set design and the theatre itself.

While the entire performance is excellent there are several facets of the experience worthy of special mention.

Atlanta Ballet has cast the leading roles perfectly. Alessa Rogers plays Marya with the perfect amount of youthful and wide-eyed enthusiasm and exuberance as she opens presents in front of the Petrov Christmas tree and then on her magical journey through the Land of the Sweets.

Alexandre Barros who plays the Nutcracker in the First Act and then the Flamenco / Spanish dancer in the Second Act combines pure athleticism and a consummate artistry while the Snow Queen and Snow King are incredibly elegant and wonderfully interpreted by Claire Stallman and Jonah Hooper.

As already mentioned, Drew Thomas’s Drosselmeyer weaves a magical spell throughout the performance and ties it all together.

Other elements also contribute to the wonderful evening. The beauty of the dancing and backdrop in the Snow Forest is enhanced by the vocal performance of the Georgia Youth Chorus who stood up in the front of the house and accompanied the dancing while snowflakes fell over the audience.

With the expansive stage provided by the Fox, the set design and costumes of provide an interpretation of the essence of a sumptuous Christmas in pre-revolutionary Russia.

The set design for Act II is understandably less extravagant but that Spartan feel allows greater attention to be placed upon some of the extravagant costumes, particularly those during the Chinese and Russian scenes.

The wonder of the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is only enhanced by its playing at the Fox Theatre which provides a perfect setting for such a wonderful Christmas or holiday experience.

Overall, the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is quintessentially seasonal, wonderfully produced and is the perfect holiday outing for your family.

The run continues through December 29 and tickets for the performance start can be purchased for as little as $20. For more information please go to http://www.atlantaballet.com/tickets-performances/nutcracker.

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