City Ballet’s “Nutcracker Swings”: Duke Ellington Does Tchaikovsky

We’ve got tickets! Read on to see how to win.

This time of year sees lots of “Nutcracker” productions, but City Ballet’s Nutcracker Swings is possibly the most unique. Transporting the original ballet by Tchaikovsky to 1940s LA, Swings tells the story of Maria, an orphan taken in by the Shook family of Hancock Park. She works as their maid, but is secretly in love with the eldest son, Jim, who’s about to return home from WWII for Christmas.

Cue the sugarplum visions, dancing dolls, a battle between the Nazi-esque Rat King and the prodigal war hero Jim, add a bunch of authentic folk-dance companies as Maria’s dreams take her & her beau through exotic lands around the globe, and then end it all with Duke Ellington’s swingin’ Nutcracker Score for a seriously fun time. I’ve seen a lot of Nutcrackers, but this one is so sparklingly original it demands a visit.

There are only two performances: Dec. 19th, at 2pm and 8pm. They’ll be downtown at the appropriately-festive Orpheum. And we have a family 4-pack of tix (to the 2pm matinee) for a lucky family who wants to get in a groovy holiday spirit.  To win, leave a comment telling me your favorite holiday memory. (It doesn’t have to be Christmas. It can be any holiday at all.) We’ll pick one winner to get the 4-pack. You should also check out City Ballet–they do a lot of urban outreach and touring to expose those to ballet those whom may not otherwise have the opportunity, offer scholarships & more. Nice.

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8 Replies to “City Ballet’s “Nutcracker Swings”: Duke Ellington Does Tchaikovsky”

  1. One of my favorite memories is of spending Christmas with my family in 1988 (I think 1988.) We hung out at the beach, all of us together, surfing, bbq-ing. The weather was sunny and warm. Waves were flat and conditions poor, but it was the perfect way to spend Christmas.

  2. New Years Eve 1992 at Disneyland, or rather just outside of Disneyland. The park was packed, and it was mighty cold out that night. At the insistence of my mother, we made our way out of the park in search of hot soup and wound up stuck outside the park at midnight exchanging New Years hugs at the corner of Katella and West.

  3. 2005 – Waking up on Boxing Day (day after Christmas) with nothing in particular to do and hopping into the car with my husband to drive to the Grand Canyon. That is one amazing place.

  4. This is probably not my most favorite holiday memory, but it was definitely an important one. I was, unfortunately, in an abusive relationship for a couple of years. Holidays, in particular, were incredibly difficult times as I was often forced to deal with stress and drama. At that time, I couldn’t even imagine being out of that situation, because the idea of being “alone again” seemed absolutely terrifying.

    Thankfully, the dude (who was a musician) was performing out of the country New Year’s Eve 2006/2007. It was my first NYE alone (with just my brother) and I felt so at ease and so wonderfully at peace that on January 1, I packed up my ex’s things. Within 30 minutes of coming home, I sent him packing-jet lag and all!

    Good times. (I would also like to add that I ADORE Tchaikovsky!)

  5. I would have to say that my favorite holiday memory is this past thanksgiving. I had to thanksgivings, one normal low key one like I always have with my family and one with my girlfriend’s family. My family is pretty small so I’ve never had a large extended family thing but her’s is not. I’d only been to one before this but every few months they do a big family get together where they celebrate birthdays and whatever holiday happens to be near.

    So this time it was thanksgiving and it was just a very fun and different experience from what I’m used to. I bonded with her grandfather over camera and he brought out a bunch of old camera stuff to show me. Apparently this is very usual, he even learned my name. Usually he doesn’t really talk at these get togethers and grandchild’s’ boyfriends/girlfriends never get called by their fist names. Normally it’s more like “hey where’s that guy.” So yeah all and all a pretty good holiday.

    I even walked away with a cool vintage tripod.

  6. Getting a dollhouse and a chemistry set for Christmas in the 5th grade. My dad and I dissected the frog and constructed the house together.

  7. My favorite holiday memory was going to the Nutcracker with my mom when I was 9 or 10. I loved dancing and had been dancing since I was 4. I had never seen the nutcracker live before. My mom had bought fabric and made us matching dresses and headbands. They were red with green and gold plaid squares. My favorite part of the night was just getting to spend mother/daughter time alone together, without the boys in the family. My mother always supported my dancing and loved to see the twinkle in my eyes when I got to see professionals doing what they love the most. Thinking of this memory brings tears to my eyes, a few years later she passed away from cancer. She and I were best friends, and unfortunately I quit dancing after that. Now I just enjoy the beauty of dance by watching others, like I did that night at the nutcracker. Thanks for giving me the opportunity of thinking about that memory again, it warmed my heart on a rainy day!

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