Dec 172014
Spread the love

**Disclosure: I received a pair of tickets to see The Nutcracker at no charge in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

When I was in the 4th grade, my class took a field trip into Boston to see a matinee performance of Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker.  Being nine years old at the time, I basically had no appreciation for what I was watching.  Fast forward to the present when I had a chance to go see this years production of The Nutcracker at The Boston Opera House and got a second chance to take in the show – as a “grown up” with a whole different outlook on the show.  My husband, Chris, had never even seen The Nutcracker before, so I knew he was going to be in for a real treat.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker

“Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”  

The show itself was absolutely breath taking.  All of the dancers were so graceful and they all did such a great job of telling the story through dance.  Chris and I sat there in awe throughout the entire show.

More than 300 dancers will perform in the new production and each performance has approximately 150 dancers involved. There are 250 children in the performance, making up three or four casts (classical ballet students from the Boston, Newton and North Shore studios).

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker stage

As I sat and watched the show, one of the things that really stood out to me were the costumes and the set.  Both were absolutely stunning and here are a few interesting tidbits about the set and costumes.

Nutcracker set and Costumes fun facts:

  • All of the sets and costumes are new, by award winning designer Robert Perdziola
  • Perdziola has created sets and costumes for a variety of opera and ballet companies, including the Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre.
  • The inspiration for the costumes in the production references the early 19th century Regency style also identified with the “Jane Austen period”.
  • Perdziola drew 40 sketches for the costumes with countless smaller sketches in pencil
  • 182 costumes appear on stage in a single performance but approximately 350 were made for multiple casts
  • Over 2,000 yards of net and tulle were used for the costumes
  • Over 200,000 jewels were used in the costumes, from 3 mm diameter to 18 mm long
  • Sugar Plums and Dew Drops have over 3,600 jewels on their tutus and bodices
  • Approximately 1/3 of the jewels are hand sewn
  • The Christmas tree is 42 feet 6 inches tall and there are 766 fiber optic points embedded in the big Christmas tree and there are 600 ornaments.
  • The small tree in the living room is 16 feet and 11 inches tall.
  • The sets feature ornate details, hand painted frescoes, and lavish finishes.
  • Additional wings create a rich optical illusion and a more spacious stage effect.
  • The set changes include a series of reveals where scenes appear to iris out of one another.
  • To make three pieces of scenery move at once, the ballet’s technical staff built rigging and tracking systems on monstrous steel cages (in the show these systems are manipulated by one stagehand pulling a rope).
  • All of the sets were painted by hand and domestically made.
  • Most scenery was built at Mystic Scenic Studio in Norwood.
  • Most props were built in Boston Ballet’s 40,000-square-foot building in Newburyport.
  • Additional props were made in NYC, Stratford, Ontario, and Kansas

The Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker runs November 28 –December 31, 2014 at The Boston Opera House (539 Washington St).  Show times are Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 5:30 pm, and all matinees are at 1:00 pm, This year, there are a total of 44 performances and tickets start at just $29!  Tickets can be purchased online at or over the phone at 617.695.6955.

You can read more about Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker here:

If you get a chance to see the show before this years final performance, please do it.  There is something special about going into the city to see The Nutcracker at Christmas time and trust me, it’s something everyone should experience at least once in their lives.

Spread the love

  126 Responses to “Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker 2014 #BBNutcracker14”

  1. So glad you got to do this for the holiday season and like you the last time I saw this show was for a class trip in NYC as a kid. So would love to get an opportunity like this, too.

  2. I haven’t been to see the Nutcracker in many years, but you’ve inspired me to get tickets to go back and see it. I’m going to look and see if there are any performances available when I’m free over the vacation week. I can’t wait to see it again.

  3. I am probably the only other one besides your hubby who have never seen the “Nutcracker” even though I have always wanted to! I bet it was amazing now that you are old enough to appreciate it more. I remember going to the Cincinnati orchestra on a field trip and slept the whole way through my mom was so mad at me!

  4. I’ve never seen The Nutcracker on stage but I love the film and the story to it. The music to it is just perfect.

  5. The Nutcracker is one of my favorite ballets! I have actually seen it a couple of times if not more. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

  6. It has been a long time since I saw a performance of this. It’s completely magical though. I want to see it again!

  7. We got to see a preview of the nutcracker at a holiday party this, LOVED IT! Even my boys, who i didnt think would like something like that sat and watched it & loved it!

  8. I really didn’t get the chance to watch the Nutcracker. I love to watch it though. I know it is super magical and amazing.

  9. I have wanted to see The Nutcracker for the last ten years and I never, never make it. We missed it again this year. I think it would be wonderful to see it.

  10. The love watching the nutcracker. I haven’t seen it live in since I was younger. This show sounds amazing.

  11. So jealous! 🙂 I love Boston! 🙂 This looks so amazing!

  12. I have never seen this before. I would love to though.

    My daughter is actually doing this for their recital this year – so I will see a version of it – lol

  13. Oh how fun! We missed the opportunity to take my kids to our local production of The Nutcracker. Maybe next year we’ll get to do it!

  14. How awesome!! My mother and I ALWAYS went to the Nutcracker every year when I was young…such a special memory!

  15. I can imagine what a great show it is! Always love the ballet and the last one I saw was Sleeping Beauty…

  16. I haven’t gone since I was little, I so want to go! We’re going to the singing Christmas Tree on Sunday 🙂

  17. Wow! I love all those facts! We used to go to the Nutcracker every year when I was little!

  18. Aaw yay, so fun! I haven’t seen the Nutcracker since I was a little girl and definitely want to go back again some day maybe when my daughter is a little older. So glad you had a great time 🙂

  19. I love the Nutcracker! I saw it in Philly when I was little, but I haven’t been back since. What a beautiful show!

  20. You know I have never gone to see The Nutcracker. I would love to go and take both my daughters!

  21. It’s crazy to think how much goes into the production of the Nutcracker!!! I love this show!

  22. Emma is in ballet class now so I’d love to take her to see the Nutcracker!

  23. What an amazing experience! I love all of the costume and fun facts, as I used to be in theater!

  24. Wow, that looks like a lot of fun! We haven’t seen that in person yet!

  25. Looks like you had a wonderful time. I’m no where near Boston but I always enjoyed going to the Nutcracker when I was little.

  26. I would love to take my family to this show. We recently saw the Rockettes and our boys loved the show.

  27. I could have sworn I left a comment here before, and that’s been happening all night. As old as I am I have never seen the nutcracker can you believe that? Sheesh! I have cerrtainly got to get it together.

  28. The Nutcracker is my favorite ballet! I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself. When I had my dance studio in NYC, we put this on one year and it was wonderful!

  29. I love the Nutcracker!!! Our local ballet studio does a production every year and we always try to make a show!!!

  30. That’s a lot of tulle! I would absolutely love to see the show some day!

  31. Amazing! Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – the best! love that song – it’s on my Christmas playlist. I haven’t seen a performance of The Nutcracker in years. In fact, my most recent viewing was most likely the Barbie version – my daughters love it. Would love for them to see it live!
    Stratford, Ontario!! one of the best places in the world to see a live performance, especially Shakespeare of course.

  32. I definitely hope I get to see the Nutcracker this season. It looks fabulous and full of talented people.

  33. It looks like the nutcracker is well planned down to the costumes. I’m sure it’s gonna be a nice show and people would enjoy it.

  34. So pretty! I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to go to this with me! 🙂

  35. It sounds like it was an amazing show indeed. I love the list of fun facts about the costumes and set. Thanks for sharing

  36. Never heard of the nutcracker or even attended ballet before in my life but 2015 is a year of possibilities, thanks for sharing

  37. I went to our Nutcracker presentation last year with the Colorado Ballet company and it was awesome. I’m sure this one was too. Might be good to go to a few of them.

  38. I bet this was a wonderful show. I have always wanted to see the Nutcracker, I bet my family would enjoy this!

  39. So glad you got to enjoy it as a adult with your hubby. The Nutcracker is a play my grandparents took me to when I lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I love going to plays my husband enjoys it too. I love the photos and to get Tickets to review that’s even better and twice the fun.

  40. It happens here in Toronto every year (it’s on right now) but I’ve never been. There is always a bit part for a local celebrity and our new mayor was in it this week.

  41. I’ve always wanted to go see a Nutcracker Ballet. No one in my family likes that stuff but I LOVE ballets and broadway shows.

  42. WOW 600 ornaments on the tree, that is a LOT!!! These are pretty neat facts!!! Sounds like a lot of thought and attention goes into the decorations and setting up!!!

  43. I went to see this with my parents when I was about 9, like you. What I remember most is my mom commenting on how surprisingly muscular the male dancers were. Dad didn’t let that go for a while, lol. I’d like to take my girls to see a ballet at least once while they are little. I feel it’s important to share as many different type of art with them as possible. Kind of like food – just because it’s not my cup of tea doesn’t mean they won’t love it.

  44. Well this is such a Christmas treat and tradition!! It’s a perfect time of year and I love the ballet. I will not have time to do this this year unfortunately. But I must make time to take my girls next year to see this ballet.

  45. I love the Nutcracker! We took our nieces a couple years ago for their Christmas gift. It’s so beautiful!

  46. How cool you were able to go see it again. I remember going to go see it as a kid in school.

  47. When I was younger, my mom and I would see the Cleveland Nutcracker each year. I miss those times.

  48. I have never been to a ballet but I would really love to see the Nutcracker performed at the holidays. It sounds like it is amazing.

  49. I have three daughters and I know all of us would love to see The Nutcracker ballet! What an absolutely gorgeous looking set!

  50. We went to see Cirque Holidaze last night. It was fun! You theater looks a lot like ours theater in Detroit.

  51. It has been yearsssss since I’ve seen The Nutcracker. I can’t wait to take my daughter when she gets older!

  52. How fun! It’s been years since I’ve seen this. The tickets are not cheap. I want to go.

  53. Looks like so much fun. Haven;t yet taken to my daughter to see this. Next year will be the time to do so. Can;t wait!

  54. Oh I would LOVE to see the Nutcracker. I have wanted to ever since I was a little girl. I haven’t ever gone to the theatre. Now living in Toronto I hope I can at some point. This looks so wonderful!

  55. My first ballet ever was the Nut Cracker also. I love all the facts about the costumes and tulle and gems. I feel all girly just thinking about them all.

  56. I would have loved to have been there! I grew up seeing the Nutcracker on stage!

  57. You are a lucky lady! I have never seen it!

  58. I haven’t been to Boston in AGES! I would love to visit again soon, if I get up there I would love to catch this show!

  59. I bet the Boston Ballet is amazing. I have a colleague whose daughter performs in the Nutcracker each year. I’ve been wanting to go see the performance, but it hasn’t worked for our schedules yet.

  60. I’ve always wanted to see the Nutcracker in ballet. I bet it’s AWESOME in Boston!

  61. It looks and sounds amazing. I always love when there are “facts” like that – I like that someone had to come up with them and they’re so interesting!

  62. Nutcracker when I was a kid my Grandmother took me to the Nutcracker. I remember wondering why I had to get all dressed up for it until we got there. WOW! What a spectacular site to see! The entrance alone was worth my best dress.

  63. I have never seen the Nutcracker but I want to. It sounds so lovely.

  64. I bet that was amazing. I’ve always wanted to take my daughters to see The Nutcracker.

  65. I bet that was an amazing show. I really enjoy the Nutcracker.

  66. The Nutcracker is a ballet that I have always wanted to see live. To see it in Boston would be amazing. Looks like an experience of a lifetime!

  67. I’d love to see a live performance of the nutcracker. It’s my favorite ballet.

  68. That blows my mind that so many of the beads are hand sewn! My hand just hurts thinking about it!

  69. I used to love watching the Nut Cracker as a child, oh I want to watch it again now. x

  70. Wow, I had no idea! I’ll definitely see it differently next time i see it. Impressive!

  71. The nutcracker is such a great performance to enjoy for the holiday. Those are some very cool facts about the show and costumes.

  72. I’ve never been to a live production of the nutcracker. I’ve always wanted to though. Looks great!

  73. I would love to go see this! I am glad you enjoyed it

  74. Sounds like a wonderful show and a great way to get you into the holiday spirit!

  75. I think it would be so fun to see The Nutcracker. I think ballet is so beautiful.

  76. This would be the perfect holiday tradition! Wow!

  77. This would be spectacular. I would love to see it.

  78. I would love to see that and would love to see that in Boston. Maybe some year.

  79. I’m so jealous, I would love to see The Nutcracker! It sounds wonderful 🙂

  80. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to see a professional ballet. I bet it was so beautiful!

  81. I have never seen a ballet in person. I would love to see the Nutcracker though!

  82. I haven’t seen The Nutcracker in forever. It’s always such fun to see it at the local ballet.

  83. I haven’t watched the Nutcracker in years as the boys think it is for ‘girls’. However, I have broken out my easy to play music for the piano to enjoy.

  84. Going to see The Nutcracker is such a fun family tradition. It is an unbelievable production to see.

  85. I love the nutcracker! I used to go every year to the walnut street in philly, but never been in Boston! I will have to bring the girls next year!

  86. My daughters danced for years so this is close to my heart! So glad you got to experience it

  87. I wish I was going to the Nutcracker this year! Maybe next year. Such a great holiday traidition!

  88. My nieces are in their ballet company’s Ballet of the Nutcracker every year. It’s such a fun Ballet to watch!

  89. Wow this looks life an amazing show. I also went when I was little and I don’t remember much.

  90. Sounds like a great show, I have not had the pleasure of visiting or attending any ballet concerts before.

  91. I have never watched a ballet live before. I think I’d love to see the Nutcracker live 🙂

  92. I have always wanted to go see the Nutcracker but never got the chance, maybe next December!

  93. this looks amazing. i am not a fan of the ballet but definitely love the Nutcracker.

  94. how fun! I’ve never seen the nutcracker show before.

  95. Oh, I love, love, love the ballet, especially the Nutcracker. We try to make at least one play or show every year during the holidays, but this year it just didn’t happen that way.

  96. I have always wanted to see the Nutcracker. Ever since I read the story as a kid it was so appealing to me.

  97. I love this classic! I’m sure my kids would love getting to go too! 😀

  98. I wish I could have seen it too – I bet it was super entertaining and fun too!

  99. I have always wanted to go to this. Happy holidays and enjoy the new year!

  100. $29 a ticket is not bad at all! This would be a great holiday activity for the whole family. I would love to go myself!!!

  101. I love the Nutcracker. I did not realize the tree was that big. I’m going to see it next week in Philly.

  102. Lucky! I have always wanted to see The Nutcracker live. It’s such a beautiful ballet presentation.

  103. You would love it in London, so many theatres and so many shows!

  104. I love the Nutcracker! I haven’t seen it in years- I need to go soon.

  105. I saw the Orlando Ballet perform this a few weeks ago. It’s such a treat to see it live!

  106. This is the second year I did NOT take my kids to see the Nutcracker. What is wrong with me? Until I read your post I completely forgot about it. This was one of my fave things to do growing up, every year. I really have to get it together! We will go see the Nativity Scene tonight and Winter Wonderland next week. Sigh.

  107. I haven’t been to the Nutcracker in a long time and can’t wait to take my kids. I’ve seen it live twice and it beautiful!

  108. I teach ballet, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to see a live performance of the Nutcracker! The best one I’ve seen was probably in Ireland, performed by the Russian Ballet. It was mind blowing 🙂

  109. Nutcracker is my Christmas staple! Although I have to do with a CD since there is no ballet here close by.

  110. Wow, how fun! I would love to see something like this, someday. That’s awesome that you got to go!

  111. My sister has loved the Nutcracker for as long as I can remember, I’ve never been to a live show but I think I would like to.

  112. I haven’t been in a few years and this is seriously making me regret not getting tickets this year!

  113. Going to the ballet is something I’ve had at the top of my “life list” for a long time now. Seems like a great way to spend an evening out.

  114. My friends went to Boston and said it was AWESOME! We saw the one in Providence which was pretty good too. I think the Boston one is even better though.

  115. I ould love to go see this, I love this classic Christmas story!

  116. My little one saw the Nutcracker in her class during movie time and has been asking me to take her to see. While we won’t be able to do it this year, I am thinking of going next year.

  117. We haven’t gone to the Nutcracker – but we do usually go to A Christmas Carol production in KC. It’s pretty amazig!

  118. I would definitely love to see a live performance of the Nutcracker! It seems like a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

  119. Near us there is a live performance of The Nutcracker. I have never gotten to go, but hopefully next year!

  120. What a nice experience! The last time I’ve been on a play was way back in 2005… 🙁