So how is this year's production of "The Nutcracker" by Ballet West, now playing at the Capitol Theatre? The Tribune's dance writer, Kathy Adams, gives her appraisal:
Changes in Ballet West's 2011 "Nutcracker" all serve to pick up the pace and sharpen the edges of this year's seasonal performance. Fine-tuning the comedic timing through more specific choreography in the party scene, several new costumes, and the quicker musical tempo made the performance tight and crisp.
For the Dec. 14 cast, a Drosselmeyer with an attitude and the marvelous Tilton brothers (Rex and Ronald) as the disembodied head and feet of Mother Buffon contributed to the liveliness of the entire evening. Act I is the set up for Act II, so it's always surprising that the first act is more engaging than what follows although it's pretty hard to compete with adorable children and jesting giant mice.