First Nutcracker Since Childhood :)

NYCB Nutcracker Was feeling a bit stressed yesterday — so so SO many work deadlines (why does Christmas have to be at the end of the year!), writing deadlines, and just the stress of cocktail parties (of which I had my first Saturday night, hosted by a friend from college, who’s a corporate lawyer and hence knows A LOT of corporate lawyers — at one point, we went around the circle and by way of introduction announced what we ‘covered’ — which, in in-house corporate lawyerese, I soon realized meant hedgefunds, foreign investments, mergers, etc. etc. When we got to me, I shrugged and said in a low voice, “Uh, I cover poor people.” Everyone laughed, but I did get several looks of pity. And one woman, in-house counsel for Donna Karan, began a discussion about her awesome finds at the latest Jimmy Choo sale, then suddenly stopped herself, glanced at me, and asked if anyone had read any good books recently… Which I thought kinda funny… just because I’m a public defender doesn’t mean I don’t have any interest in fashion (!), although I have to say, I do prefer book discussions :)).

Anyway, after beginning three projects at once yesterday and realizing none was going to get finished as I was going to have a nervous breakdown, I decided to take a walk. My walk ended up at Lincoln Center, where I decided to buy my Fourth Ring Society membership for the upcoming NYCBallet season, and figured while I was at it, I’d buy a ticket to the evening’s Nutcracker performance as well. I’m so glad I took the evening off. It was so much fun. As much of a ballet fan as I am, I actually haven’t seen the Nutcracker since I was a child. I remember my mom used to take me and my childhood friends, Debbie and Tammy (I have no siblings), to Phoenix Symphony Hall at least once every holiday season to see the ballet. I always loved the “It’s a Small World After All” aspect of it, with the Spanish and Arabian and Russian dancers, and of course, like all little kids, I loved the “fat lady” who harbored all the children within her skirt. And afterward we would always go for dessert at either The Sugar Bowl or Farrell’s. I remember I was always so conflicted over which one I preferred, as The Sugar Bowl was more off the beaten path, quieter, and had very cute tables and chairs in amusing heart and other such shapes, and smaller, but more spirited-looking dishes. Farrell’s was far more crowded and noisy, but they had absolutely ginormous sundaes. My friends always wanted Farrell’s, but I always wanted to at least take a peek in S.B. I guess even at 10, I was inclined to be the weird one!

Anyway, Megan Fairchild and Joaquin DeLuz were my sugarplum fairy and her cavalier yesterday. They were adorable together. Megan has such a sweet face, and, since seeing Joaquin in Jorma Elo’s ‘Slice to Sharp’ last season, he is now one of my favorite men in NYCB. Sterling Hyltin was a gorgeous Dewdrop. From the back of the Fourth Ring, she reminded me of ABT’s Michele Wiles, but if I was closer I might not have thought so. Perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Here’s a pic of the lovely ‘performing arts’ Christmas tree (notice the violin and pointe shoes ornaments) at the Lincoln Center Plaza:
Christmas tree at Lincoln Center
While on the Nutcracker theme, here is a very charming couple of blog entries by Ariel, a David Hallberg and Winger fan, upon meeting him backstage when he guest-performed this past weekend with her sister’s company, the Mobile Ballet.


  1. Hey Tonya,

    It seems everyone was seeing a ‘Nutcracker’ this weekend. How cool! The last one I had seen was in 1999, and all I really remember was how cute the Prince was and his fabulous turns in the air. Funny, I didn’t remember any other characters or know the plot. The Joffrey’s ‘Nk’ was the 1st live performance where I tried to take in every detail and understand who was who. It was another fabulous performance by the Joffrey, and I plan to go 1-2 more times. Hey, I got student rush tickets for $20 and took the subway for $4 RT!

    I can totally relate to the quasi-embarassment about one’s job. When I used to live in San Jose/Silicon Valley, CA everyone worked in high-paying, high-tech computer jobs, and I felt like a lowly RN. Oddly, people thought I was interesting b/c I wasn’t in their field and would ask about my work. Anyway, have fun at the NYCB and continue to tell us about your experiences. I don’t think I will be living the Chicago area until Mar or Apr 2007 after my exams.

  2. I have such fond memories of NYCB’s “Nutcracker” from my childhood (hey, and adulthood, too). My mom and her friends used to take all us girls into the city in full Christmas gear – velvet coats, patent leather Mary Janes, etc. to see the show. It seemed like such a big trip from NJ back then! I still feel the need to really dress up for “The Nutcracker” somehow. When Pablo agreed to go with me a few years back (and he loved it – I knew I’d be right, he does like story ballets) I broke out the velvet pencil skirt, silk shirt and silk heels. Sure I was more dressed up than the rest of the people around me, but it felt like those old special trips into the city at Christmastime. My sister and I are doing it up for the “Nutcracker” the week after Christmas – high tea at the Waldorf then seeing the show. Can’t wait!

  3. I’ll be seeing the Nutcracker on Thursday…how are the seats in the top of the 4th Ring? Taking two “ballet virgins” with me, I love introducing my friends to the ballet. Just wish we had slightly better seats 😉 Ah, one of the disadvantages of being a student…

    My favorite Nutcracker still is SF Ballet’s….I highly recommend it if you ever get a chance to watch their version, SF Ballet was the first American ballet company to perform the Nutcracker.

  4. Hey Tonya, thanks for mentioning my blog! I love your pictures of Lincoln Center. I wish I lived in NYC–I would definitely be a member of the Fourth Ring Society.

  5. I didn’t know that about SF Ballet, Jen! That’s very interesting.

    I like the Fourth Ring Society because it allows me to see many ballets since the prices are so cheap, but I always sit on one of the sides, up front, so I’m directly on top of the dancers, basically. Sometimes it obscures my view of the stage corner if I’m too close up front, but usually it’s fine, and I feel like I can see the dancers pretty well.

    I sat in the very back of the Fourth Ring though for the first time on Sunday. If you want to see the dancers well, you definitely need to bring opera glasses! You can still see the overall action on the stage, but you can’t see the individual dancers well at all — that’s why I kept imagining Michele’s face on Sterling! And, I was told that Kristin was in the party scene — I looked and looked but there was no way I could see anyone’s face back there! But, if your friends are ballet virgins, they probably don’t have a favorite particular dancer they want to see up close, and just want to see the ballet, so it should still be a good time!

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