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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy The Fort Wayne Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” begins tonight. The performance features more than 200 local performers.

Thursday, December 01, 2016 10:02 pm

The Nutcracker

As Fort Wayne Ballet celebrates its 60th anniversary, audiences can see a new tree rise onstage during this year’s production of "The Nutcracker."

The tree, which was paid for in part by grants and money raised during the spring Amplify Art crowdfunding campaign, grows to about 22 feet tall onstage during Act I of the ballet. Ornaments on the tree include the names of Amplify donors on the back.

There are also new costumes on some of the more than 200 local performers seen in the show and some updated choreography.

Director Karen Gibbons Brown never gets tired of working on "Nutcracker," and she’s glad audiences keep wanting to see it.

"I’m grateful because so many people don’t get to see our dancers and the hard work they put into things except through ‘Nutcracker,’ " she says.

Sugar Plum Parties follow the four afternoon performances. Attendees can enjoy sweets while meeting Clara and her friends and get autographs and pictures with members of the cast.

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Children’s Choir perform with the show today and Saturday.

Through the MuttCracker collaboration with Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, adoption-eligible dogs are included in Act I of the performance, and families interested in adopting the pets can meet the dogs and begin the process during intermission.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette