‘The Nutcracker’ heads lineup of Las Vegas holiday attractions

Snow flurries and familiar tunes will fill the air this Christmas as snowflakes pirouette in time.

Nevada Ballet Theatre continues its annual tradition of performing “The Nutcracker” at The Smith Center. For 12 nights beginning Dec. 8, sugarplum fairies and dancing dolls will bring the Land of Sweets to the Reynolds Hall stage.

James Canfield’s choreography recounts the classic tale of Clara and her nutcracker. When godfather Drosselmeyer’s enchanted doll comes to life, Clara is whisked away into a mystical world of toy soldiers, beautiful fairies and dastardly rodents.

It is NBT’s biggest production of the year. And that grandeur extends to the cast size, set pieces and music.

Company artist Betsy Lucas reprises the lead role of Clara for a sixth year. “It’s such a fun role,” Lucas says. “I get to tell the story, from beginning to end, of how a young girl grows up through the ballet.”

In the first act’s pivotal party scene, Clara and the other children move excitedly across the stage, eagerly opening each of Drosselmeyer’s gifts. For the 30 children from the Academy of Nevada Ballet School, “Nutcracker” marks a unique opportunity to perform alongside the pros. “It’s a pretty big deal for students and for company members,” Lucas says. “We get to really feel the weight of being a role model.”

Steven Goforth portrays the mysterious and avuncular Drosselmeyer. With a flourish, he presents Clara with the titular doll.

Soon, she drifts off to sleep and awakens to find her living room overrun with rivalrous rats. Equipped with weighty tails and matted ears, the rats saunter out onstage, chasing and twirling the frightened Clara.

“The Nutcracker” production comprises a cast and crew of more than 100, with much of that manpower going toward set design. From her bedroom, Lucas’ Clara descends three flights of stairs in a 34-foot-tall Victorian dollhouse to reach the stage. As the nutcracker springs to life as a handsome prince, the Christmas tree grows to a dizzying 30 feet tall. Two 15-foot-tall grandfather clocks dwarf the dancers onstage.

Dazzling costumes further delineate between reality and fantasy. Snowflakes twirl in structured skirts that flare out in convincing fractals. Dresses made of pastel petals ruffle and ripple during “Waltz of the Flowers.” The stage even wears a light dusting of snow.

For four nights (Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16), a full orchestra will accompany the show. “Tchaikovsky’s score is timeless,” Lucas says. “Even if you think you haven’t heard it, you’ll recognize a lot of it.”

In its seventh year, Canfield’s production retains much of its original choreography. However, experiences have been added to transform a night at the theater into a winter wonderland escape.

A number of choral groups will host preshow musical performances in The Smith Center lobby.

Starting 60 minutes prior to curtain, Troesh Studio Theater will transform into “The Nutcracker Wonderland,” replete with music, photo settings and a storybook reading of “The Nutcracker.”

Matinee performances will be followed by Sugar Plum parties, where guests can enjoy hot chocolate and treats and meet-and-greets with characters from the show including Clara, the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Smith Center isn’t the only spot in the valley undergoing a seasonal transformation. Here’s a sampling of other events, activities and parties that will make the holidays come alive.

Cactus Garden

Ethel M Chocolate’s Holiday Cactus Garden is a long-standing favorite for Southern Nevada families. The Henderson cactus garden is transformed with brightly colored lights, glowing icicles and illuminated desertscapes. The free attraction is open to self-guided tours starting at dusk every night through Jan. 6. Santa will be available for photos 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays to Sundays through Dec. 15 and every evening Dec. 16 to 23.

Cosmopolitan Ice Rink

For many, ice skating evokes images of serene, snowy pastures and frozen lakes. In Las Vegas, though, ice skating is a rooftop affair. High above the Strip, Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas transforms into a wonderland with snow showers, fire pits and an ice-skating rink. The rink is open 3 p.m. to midnight most days through Jan. 6 with extended hours on weekends and Christmas week. All-day skate is $20. Nevada residents can skate for $10 Mondays through Thursdays.

Domsky Glass Studio

This year, breathe life into an old tradition and create a Christmas ornament. Domsky Glass Studio will host a Holiday Art Party where guests can create their own holiday crafts, including painted canvases, fused-glass tiles and blown-glass ornaments. The event is open to all ages from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1, and activities are $30 each.

Downtown Summerlin parade

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Downtown Summerlin makes it snow every Friday and Saturday during its holiday parade. New this year, the free family-friendly parade features favorite holiday figures parading down Park Centre Drive. The parade runs at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 to Dec. 22.

Menorah lighting

Hanukkah kicks off eight days of music, doughnuts and candlelight at sundown Dec. 3. Celebrate night two of the Festival of Lights with a grand menorah lighting at The District at Green Valley Ranch Resort. The candle lighting will be one of 15,000 public menorahs in more than 100 countries. The free lighting and Hanukkah party starts at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4.

Santa in the Shipwreck

Santa doesn’t always travel in a one-horse open sleigh. Sometimes he dons chain mail and goes for a swim in shark-infested waters. Before he takes the plunge at Shark Reef Aquarium, Santa will be available for meet-and-greets and photos with families. Santa in the Shipwreck is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22-24 for $25 for adults, $19 for children. Santa will dive from 4 to 4:15 p.m.

Contact Janna Karel at jkarel@reviewjournal.com. Follow @janainprogress on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
Month-by-month entertainment coming in 2019
“True Detective” Season 3, HBO (Jan. 13) Travis Scott, T-Mobile Arena (Feb. 6) Robbie Williams, Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas (March 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16) “Game of Thrones” Season 8, HBO (April) Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (May 17-19) “Fiddler on the Roof,” The Smith Center (June 4-9) “The Lion King” (July 19) Psycho Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay (Aug. 16-18) Life is Beautiful, downtown Las Vegas (Sept. 20-22) “Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum” (Oct. 15) “Frozen 2” (Nov. 22) “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20)
Lacey Huszcza invites you to find something to love at the Las Vegas Philharmonic
Lacey Huszcza, executive director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic talks about the orchestra's wealth of programming. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gina Marinelli offers La Strega preview
Gina Marinelli used a pop-up New Year’s Eve dinner at Starboard Tack to preview items she’ll feature at her new Summerlin restaurant, La Strega. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Year’s Eve at Sparrow + Wolf
Sparrow + Wolf’s New Year’s Eve party was a sort of official unveiling of its newly renovated space. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Debra Kelleher Of The Stirling Club
Debra Kelleher, DK Hospitality President talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the Stirling Club.
Richard Ditton Of The Stirling Club
Richard Ditton, an investment partner of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
NYE at the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes reports from the reopening of the Stirling Club on New Year's Eve 2018.
Michael Stapleton of the Stirling Club
Michael Stapleton, COO of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
Recap the Countdown on Fremont Street — VIDEO
Nearly 40,000 people packed Fremont Street to enjoy America's Party Downtown. As the tradition stands, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman counted down the clock on the 3rd Street Stage, alongside her husband and former mayor, Oscar Goodman.
New Year's Eve live from the Las Vegas Strip Bellagio Fountains - Video
Reporter Aaron Drawhorn near the Bellagio Fountains as hundreds of thousands gather to celebrate New Year's Eve in Las Vegas
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' five biggest NYE concerts
Imagine Dragons at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lady Gaga at The Park Theater at Park MGM, Maroon 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Bruno Mars at T-Mobile Arena, and Tenacious D at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye @bizutesfaye
New American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
Bellagio Conservatory display is Majestic Holiday Magic
Majestic Holiday Magic at the Bellagio Conservatory
Las Vegas Ready for 2019 NYE Fireworks Show
The city of Las Vegas is ready to celebrate "America's Party" with a new and improved fireworks show that will pay tribute to the Golden Knights.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like