What a magical evening with Texas Ballet Theater! My family went to see The Nutcracker most years of my childhood so I was delighted to continue the tradition with my niece, brother, and sister-in-law. We decided to make an evening of it, since Bass Performance Hall is in one of the cutest areas in all of Dallas-Fort Worth: Sundance Square. Texas Ballet Theater also performs in Dallas, which of course is closer to where I live, but downtown Fort Worth is just so cute at Christmas time. It’s worth the drive! Just look at the horse-drawn carriage in front of Bass Hall.
Sundance Square has free parking all over in the evenings and on weekends. We parked at the 4th and Calhoun garage caddy corner to Bass Hall then walked to dinner at Bird Cafe. This is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in the area. We had a fabulous table out on the patio (it was chilly but we perfectly comfortable under the heaters) so we had a view of the giant Fort Worth Christmas tree. We were able to enjoy cocktails, the Hungry Farmer meat and cheese board, entrees (my cobb salad was divine), and a chocolate cake all in one hour with plenty of time to spare to not feel rushed before the show.
We picked up our tickets at Will Call and looked at all of the ornaments and Christmas decorations for sale in the lobby. I have many Bass Hall ornaments hanging on my tree. Eric and Heather got a Clara ornament to commemorate the evening and I got a sparkly nutcracker.
We grabbed a booster seat for my niece downstairs and I got a Sugar Plum Fairy cocktail in a sippy cup to savor during the show.
We had fabulous seats – PARR X 1-4 if anyone is curious. We were in the raised section behind the orchestra. I’ve been to Bass Hall many times before but had never sat in that section. I loved it because you’re quite a bit higher than the orchestra while still sitting orchestra level so you really have an unobstructed view.
A classical ballet performed in two acts with a brief intermission, The Nutcracker is based on the 1816 tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It’s some of Tchaikovsky’s finest work and no matter how many times I see it, the music never gets old. I’ve seen Texas Ballet Theater’s production of The Nutcracker before but it had been a while and this production blew me away! This year’s production was brought to life by Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., artistic Director for TBT.
The sets were so dreamy but my favorite was the winter forest set immediately following the big mouse battle at the end of act one. The snow on stage put me right in the Christmas spirit, especially when my niece leaned over and whispered, “Look, Aunt Kate! It’s snowing!”
You can always tell how good a performance is by how good the ensemble is. It’s not hard to find great leads but it impresses me the most when every member of the ensemble feels every scene. Students from the Texas Ballet Theater School audition and play the children roles and they could not have been cuter or more committed to their parts. The Christmas Day opening was one of my favorite parts of the show because the children were so endearing to watch.
Speaking of endearing, we have to talk about Clara. Her dancing was so elegantly precise and pointed that I found it hard to take my eyes off of her when she was dancing. She is one of the best Claras I’ve ever seen.
There are 200 costumes in this year’s production. Ten miles of thread were used to create them! The Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy tutus were each hand-sewn and took 200-300 hours each to make. I particularly enjoyed the Christmas party guest dresses in the opening of act one.
You have until December 29th to see the Texas Ballet Theater production of The Nutcracker at Bass Hall. Go see it this week and extend the Christmas season! Tickets range from $25-$125. Tickets are available at www.texasballettheater.org or 877-828-9200. Use the code ROSETABLE for 10% off Nutcracker tickets. Can’t make The Nutcracker this year? Texas Ballet Theater has a great 2020 season, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sleeping Beauty. Merry Christmas from my family to yours!