Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker — December 6-29, 2013
Choreographed by John McFall
Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Live with Atlanta Ballet Orchestra led by principal guest conductor Gary Sheldon
The tradition continues with the magical return of Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. This family favorite will bring the holiday season to life for your family with exquisite dancing, fanciful characters, and a thrilling trip into the Sugar Candy Kingdom. Perfect for all ages, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker will delight and spark the imagination of the child within us all!
Enjoy an extra touch of magic when Drew Thomas, professional illusionist and finalist on America’s Got Talent, takes on the role of the mysterious Drosselmeyer the first two weeks, December 6-15. Thrilling surprises await you, so get your tickets now!
Master Illusionist Drew Thomas
Singing in Act I's "Snow Scene" by
Run time is approximately 2 hours, including a 25-minute intermission.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre
The “Fabulous Fox” is Atlanta’s most opulent historic landmark and a nationally acclaimed theatre.
Location and Parking
The Fox Theatre is located at 660 Peachtree Street at the intersection of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Peachtree Street. Parking for the theatre is available in a variety of lots within a four-block radius. Parking prices range from $4 - $15. Preferred parking for Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker is located at the Bank of America Plaza Parking Garage at 600 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30308. The parking garage is situated one block south of the Fox Theatre. The garage provides safe and secured covered parking for all patrons going to Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker and other area events. To reserve your parking space for the day of the event please click here. The pre-paid parking charge is $11.50, which includes all taxes and fees. The Fox Theatre is also easily accessible via the North Avenue MARTA rail station.
Emergency Phone Number
(404) 881-2100 is the emergency number for the Fox Theatre. Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that an usher may reach you in case of an emergency.
Phonic Ear Easy Listening System headsets are available in the Fox Theatre lobby. Headsets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Assistance is also available for patrons who need help upon arrival at the Fox Theatre. For more information, please call (404) 881-2100.
Community and Corporate Group Tickets
It only takes 10 people to benefit from Atlanta Ballet's Group Sales program. With our fast, friendly and convenient service, you can secure the best seats in the house in no time at all. For more information or to reserve your group's seats today, contact Myredith Gonzales, Group Sales Manager, by one of the easy methods below.
||404.873.5811 ext 207
||404.874.4873, Attention: Group Sales
1695 Marietta Boulevard NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Group Benefits include:
- Priority seating at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
- Discounts of up to 30% for select performances and special access to tickets not available to the general public.
- One-time $10 service fee, no matter how large your order.
- Flexible payment options.
- VIP opportunities such as backstage tours and dancer meet-and-greets (nominal fees apply).
- Personal VIP service from our outstanding staff, including presentation and marketing materials on the program of your choice. Assistance with restaurant and hotel reservations, transportation options, pre/post-show receptions and tours of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre/The Fabulous Fox Theatre are also available at your request.
Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education's Kids In Step for School Groups
The Centre for Dance Education's Kids In Step program is designed to bring dance to the school-age child. For more information on weekday performances for accredited school groups and registered home schools, please visit our Kids In Step page.
For the entire company, praise is undoubtedly deserved. Atlanta Ballet is knee deep in exceptional talent. And judging by the technical prowess of even the youngest cast member, the Centre for Dance Education is clearly doing its job.
Overall, the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is quintessentially seasonal, wonderfully produced and is the perfect holiday outing for your family.
Whether you are 10, 30, or 60, the whimsy and fantasy of the Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker appeals to the child in all of us. If you haven’t already, grab a friend or your family and go see this show before it leaves the Fox Theater on December 29.
I must tell you I was quite transported: I had a fifth row center seat (heaven); the proximity to all that magic, fantasy, music, and superb dancing becomes hypnotic, almost an out-of-body experience. You want to get in touch with your inner child? This is the place. It matters not if you’ve seen it once, 50 times, or never. You think you’re not a dance fan? Go and surprise yourself. This may sound corny, but I’m very grateful to live in a city that offers such glorious entertainment.
No small feat, but with “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker,” Atlanta Ballet, in its 53rd annual staging of the Tchaikovsky classic, has found its greatness. The performance is not without flaw, but missteps are diluted by the general merriment, and at times they feel almost endearing. Like a house full of relatives visiting for Christmas, the piece is wonderfully exuberant, if occasionally overwhelming. With a host of characters — some cute, some intriguing, some just strange — the whole thing is so much fun that you quickly forgive the frenzy and join in the festivities.
McFall has entirely reimagined Act I but is hesitant to give away too much — he wants the new dances and the illusions to be a surprise. He alludes to flying handkerchiefs, dolls that magically appear from thin air, and a dramatic transformation of the boy Nutcracker into the grown Nutcracker. Integrating the illusions into the storyline was of paramount importance to both Thomas and McFall.
In the midst of the holiday rush, it's comforting to step into the Fox Theatre for Atlanta Ballet's "Nutcracker" and to see the snow-laden evergreens and rounded minarets of the Petrov family's 19th-century Russian home. It's enchanting to peer through a lattice of winter branches into its picture window. There's a feeling of nostalgia, a moment to slow down, take a deep breath and prepare to be transported to the age of old-world classical story ballets - a time when people traveled by horse and carriage or sleigh, pocket watches ticked and ballets lasted four to five hours.
Illusionist Drew Thomas was so pumped about beginning rehearsals for “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” that he wore a Victorian magician’s costume all the way from Jamaica, where he had been staging his long-running show on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, to Atlanta earlier this month.
It's considered a staple of the holidays. The Atlanta Ballet is currently presenting its 52nd annual "Nutcracker Ballet" on stage at the Fox Theatre. FOX 5's Deidre Dukes received a behind the scenes look on Thursday!
19 years of Nutcracker
My daughter and I have enjoyed the Nutcracker every year together for 19 years. Its our Christmas tradition. We have seen performances from all over the world from Alaska to Germany.Every performance is different. Atlanta ballet gave a wonderful show! We enjoyed this Russian version very much. The costumes were beautiful. We loved "Mother" and the Chinese dragons were outstanding.
We attended the Friday matinee. We did have to ask to move and were graciously allowed to do so. Our original seats did not allow us to see past the side stage scenery. It did not rise as we thought it would and we could not see the full stage. We missed the tree rising! The small choir then stood up in front of everyone's view on that side and we could not see those dances.
My daugher and I have seen the Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker many times over the past 15 years. This was a real disappointment. The revised storyline is incomprehensible, and the second half of the show which is completely without context. The idea that the Nutcracker is a toy which comes to life is integral to the story. Yet it was completely omitted. I was glad I did not have to (try) to explain it to a young child. In addition to the changes in the story, the performance we saw was sparkless and tired. The choreography was lackluster, the dancers nearly all seemed to be going through the motions. I know that the umpteenth performance of the Nutcracker is probably not the highlight of the company's calendar, but at $90 a ticket, there is no excuse for such a production. Of course, the fact that the performance started with a video advertisement blast from sponser Belk should have been a warning that things are not as they once were. Really tacky, folks.
Christmas Eve Seconds
We have been making the Christmas Eve matinee a family tradition for 3 years, however it seems that we get second rate performances at this show. For 2013, Drosselmeyer was lackluster and couldn't manage the scarf nor cape. Clara was less than graceful and came off more like a tomboy. Her hair ribbons were very much in the way. In the first half, the essence of the story was cropped, so what was presented made no sense, and the dances had no lead-in flow of movement. Right after the curtain rose for the 'party', we heard a crash backstage. Throughout the show, it looked like half the cast was missing, and the curtain call reflected this, too. We kept seeing a flashlight throughout the show on stage right (two years ago we saw it stage left,as well as the person with a clipboard, and then that person kept getting in the way of the door at the clocktower.)We love the FOX and the various venues, but we may change our attendance for The Nutcracker.
Beautiful Performance of Muddled Storyline
Our family has been attending Nutcracker performances for years, and this one was beautiful as always. The dancing, costumes, and set are lovely, and having live orchestra music is always the best. However, the storyline has become completely muddled. Even though my children have seen it many times they were confused by what was happening, and I had a hard time explaining it myself. Much of the humor is gone from the battle with the rats and Rat King, and the transition to the second action is completely unclear.
One other big minus: why are the ushers at the Fox not addressing the problem of people videoing the performance on their phones?!!! A woman a few rows in front of us repeatedly raised her phone to video scenes, and the light was hugely annoying and distracting. I saw this happen several times in other parts of the theater, and couldn't believe no one stopped this extremely tacky practice.
Storyline lost in this interpretation
Visually this production was dazzling. The addition of the choir and the very young dancers was enchanting. The costumes and snow falling into the audience was stunning. The story however was hard to follow. This was the first time my daughter has seen the Nutcracker live. She really didn't understand what was going on. She got the party part, the "troublemaker" boy part. But from there, she didn't quite understand what was happening. Suddenly there were mice, rats and fighting with the Nutcracker. The dancers were good, but there wasn't much "dancing" just a lot of posing on stage. The few pas de deux in the second half of the production were very good. But once again, it was a convoluted story line for those who have never seen the Nutcracker.
Really didn't appreciate the commercial we the audience were forced to watch right before the performance, it lacked decorum. Sponsors should stay off the stage and in the program. Next year are we to expect the prima with a logo affix to her bum? We paid over $100.00 a ticket and had to endure a commercial? As to the venue, the Fox Theater; What an extraordinary theater, absolutely spectacular, a place where food and beverages shouldn't be brought into the theater during a performance like this. I am sure it would be fine during a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, but the sound of crunching popcorn and the rolling of empty beverage bottles was distracting to me and I thought rather disrespectful to the performers. While I was magically being transported into the performance by the sugar plum fairy and the music I was rudely assaulted by a bevarage bottle rolling into my foot. Certainly people can go 2 hours without eating, there was so much trash left on the floor of the theater it looked like a football stadium rather than a theater.
One of my favorite parts to this performance was the orchestra and the organ player ascending and descending from the orchestra pit was brilliant. He and the orchestra were wonderful and welcome additions to the whole experience.
Show All 34 Reviews
Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker 2013 Commercial
Atlanta Ballet & Drew Thomas: Storm the Stage
Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker 2013
Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker featuring Christian Clark as the Cavalier
Choreographer and Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director
John McFall studied dance with Ms. Tatiana Dokoudovska, who not only taught him the art of dance, but also inspired him to pursue an adventurous life in theater. At sixteen, he was contracted to dance at Starlight Theater, one of the showcase summer stock venues in the country. Following this, he performed with San Francisco Ballet for two decades, working with distinguished choreographers and touring the world. John became recognized as a choreographer himself and was commissioned to create premieres for a variety of companies, including San Francisco Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and National Ballet of Canada. Mikhail Baryshnikov invited John to create two works for American Ballet Theater in which Mikhail also performed. In 1986, John received an invitation from Robert Barnett, artistic director of Atlanta Ballet, to premiere a work titled Watchers. Eight years later, John would become artistic director. John has continued to contribute to the Atlanta Ballet repertoire with family classics such as Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Firebird, and Don Quixote. Notably, he has expanded the range of the repertoire with invitations to many of the world’s most provocative and imaginative choreographers. These individuals include Wayne McGregor, Jorma Elo, Ohad Naharin, David Bintley, Christopher Wheeldon, James Kudelka, and Twyla Tharp. John is committed to continue leading Atlanta Ballet into the future with innovative and extraordinary works. By commissioning brilliant choreographers and nurturing the development of new talent, he will ensure that for generations to come Atlanta Ballet will present evenings of dance that touch the soul and engage the imagination. Simply put, to INSPIRE.
Principal Guest Conductor
Gary Sheldon was recently appointed principal guest conductor for Atlanta Ballet. In this, his fourth season with the Company, he returns to conduct Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. His distinguished career has included positions with San Francisco Ballet, Ballet Met, and Miami City Ballet, where he currently serves as principal conductor. He has guest conducted for Alberta Ballet, Delta Festival Ballet, Hartford Ballet, New Orleans Ballet, and the Norwegian Ballet in Oslo. Maestro Sheldon recently won the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting for recordings with Lancaster Festival Orchestra at the Lancaster Festival in Ohio, where he is artistic director. He is also principal conductor at the Festival at Sandpoint in Idaho. He has held conducting positions with the New Orleans Symphony, Spoleto Festival, Syracuse Opera Theatre, and Marin Symphony in California, where he served as music director and, in 1996, won the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Marin Cultural Center and Museum. He is a native of Bay Shore, N.Y., and a graduate of the Juilliard School.
Master Illusionist and Herr Drosselmeyer (December 6-15)
Master illusionist and "America's Got Talent" finalist Drew Thomas infused last year's production of Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker with an extra dose of magic. He's back again this season, upping the ante with new illusions and taking on the role of the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer himself the first two weeks of performances (December 6-15, 2013). Thomas storms the stage with wonder and illusions like no other - making previously assumed magic a reality! Pay close attention in Act I so that you do not miss a moment of Thomas’ unrestrained magical experience on stage in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. Thomas first met McFall when the later was the artistic director at BalletMet in Ohio. Mr. McFall invited him to play the role of Drosselmeyer in the Company’s production of Nutcracker for five seasons.
Check out the exclusive Atlanta Ballet interview with Drew below and click here to visit his website, which features videos of Drew's illusions and other fun content!
Click here to get tickets to one of our Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker performances on December 6 through December 15 when Drew will be joining us on the Fox Theatre stage!
About Drew Thomas
A captivating and magnetic entertainer, illusionist Drew Thomas has been seen by over 100 million people worldwide and his appearances as a finalist on “America's Got Talent,” television’s #1 rated summer show, have exposed audiences all over the world to his engaging and approachable new brand of magic. Fusing contemporary grand illusions with exhilarating live music, movement, suspense and a touch of humor, Drew Thomas isn’t your classical magician; relying on his arsenal of spray paint, metal, gears, wood, power tools, and the occasional motorcycle, he uses ordinary objects everyone can relate to, providing a fresh and electrifying entertainment experience like no other. With his exuberant personality and intricate illusions that will leave you guessing, Drew Thomas always mesmerizes…delivering the impossible and making believers out of skeptics!
Born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Columbus, Drew first became serious about magic in 11th grade after breaking his leg while learning to skateboard. With lots of free time on his hands, he pulled out some magic books and practiced intensely. After performing for the annual Senior Spring Fling, he instantly became popular as magic man throughout school, then developed a birthday magic show business... and the rest is history! With his mother and stepfather behind him 100%, his first summer out of high school Drew hit the ground running, creating shows for both Sea World and Premiere Parks, and to this day he still uses some of the original illusions his stepfather helped him build.
Today, in addition to performing his own shows across the country, Drew puts his one-of-a-kind approach to magic and illusion to good use with several other organizations; he also designs magic shows for the Orlando Magic basketball team (for two seasons now), Six Flags, Sea World, Universal Studios (he created the hugely popular “Carnival of Carnage” for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (each week Drew fly’s to/from the Caribbean to perform in the longest running and most successful magic show in cruise history, ‘Now You See It’).
Drew’s latest live production, MATERIALIZE, is a thrilling, high-octane show that will awe and amaze audiences of all ages. Showcasing his charisma, humor and unique approach to magic, MATERIALIZE is fully staged and set within the interior of Drew’s warehouse where every incredible illusion evolves from the everyday objects seen on stage. Teleporting…magic snow…making the impossible appear and disappear…Drew’s illusions are sure to stun as he gets inside the audiences heads and demonstrates magic so real you'll swear it was trick photography. With a cast of 8 including three gorgeous “Angel” assistants who add to the alluring spectacle, MATERIALIZE also features entertaining audience participation and is backed by a heart-pounding soundtrack mixed live by DJ Hollywood, making for an unforgettable live experience.
Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive
All performances of Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker
Every year the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program brings smiles to hundreds of less fortunate children in our local community. Join Atlanta Ballet as it does its part to collect toys now through December 21, and help us reach our goal of collecting 500 toys.
It’s easy, bring a new, unwrapped toy with you to your performance of Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker and drop it in the box right inside the theatre doors. We look forward to collecting more than we have in any year before, so do your part to bring joy to the heart of a local child in your community this holiday season!
Friday, December 20, 2013 starting at 6:30 pm (curtain time is 7:30 pm)
Come early to this evening performance of Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker and meet your favorite local sports teams, including the Falcons, Hawks, Gwinnett Braves, and Atlanta Dream, before the show! Support your hometown team by wearing your team jersey too. Click here to get tickets to Sports Night!
Red Cross Day
December 27, 2013 starting at 1 pm (curtain time is 2 pm)
Give a high-five to the American Red Cross mascot, Buddy the Blood Drop, pre-show and learn about how you can support the Red Cross efforts around the world! Click here for tickets to the Red Cross Day performance!
Avoid Lines at the Boutique!
Pre-order your Nutcracker merchandise through our new web app
Why fight the crowds at our boutique in the Fox Theatre lobby when you can purchase select items from the comfort of your home before the show or even your seat in the theatre? Atlanta Ballet has partnered with "Finer Things" by Experience to make your shopping experience hassle-free and mobile-friendly with a new web app. Just visit atlballet.expapp.com and register today. You can make your purchase starting the Wednesday before your performance through the first 30 minutes of curtain time from your smart phone. Then your items will be ready for you to pick up from the Atlanta Ballet marketing table in the lobby at intermission or up to 15 minutes after the show.
Please be respectful of your fellow patrons and refrain from using your smart phone during the performance. Please also make sure that your phone is on silent, so it will not send an audible alert when your order is confirmed.
Atlanta Marriott Midtown Offers You Holiday Suite Deals!
Stay in the heart of Midtown, while enjoying suite accomodations.
Advance* purchase rates start at just $99 per night.
Click here for details and to book your magical in-town getaway!
*Book at least 7 days in advance.
Add a Fox Theatre Holiday Tour to your Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker Experience
Make your Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker experience extra special by adding a pre-show Fox Theatre Holiday Tours that include a meet and greet with the mysterious Drosselmeyer, star of The Nutcracker; milk and cookies, and complimentary family photos! The actual tour will last 30 minutes and features the famous Mighty Mo theatre organ, the starry-skied auditorium, and the many holiday decorations throughout the Fox Theatre. Following the tours, guests will receive decadent chocolate wafers provided by The Melting Pot in Midtown. Click here to add this tour for just $40 per adult or $30 per child 10 and under.
Fox Theatre Holiday Tours will take place during the month of December, two hours prior to every performance of Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. Tickets are open to the general public and do not require the purchase of a ticket to Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. Your purchase of a Holiday Tour is for this event only and does not include a ticket to Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. Those tickets should be purchased separately. Everyone must have a ticket to attend the tour.