Monday, December 10, 2007

The Colonial Nutcracker

The Dance Theatre in Westchester does an impressive job of presenting its “The Colonial Nutcracker” given the strain it’s under, traveling from place to place for a performance here, a performance there. I caught yesterday’s one-appearance only at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts and enjoyed its interpretation of Tchaikovsky's ballet, even though, with its recorded narrator relating the tale in a storybook-telling voice, it’s much more suited to children and families than an adult dance-lover.

All of the performers were good; Tomiko Magario as the Snow Queen and Amanda Theunissen as the Sugar Plum Fairy were standouts. The company makes good use of painted backdrops and a few props. The music, of course, was canned, but that’s all right. The hall was PACKED with children who remained quiet and, for the most part, still throughout the nearly 90-minute performance. Tickets were only $12, about the cost of a movie, so parents were able to introduce their children to the performing arts at an early age, which is certainly a good thing. The afternoon was underwritten by Target, which is opening up nearby in March. (Yea! I love that store and wish we had one here in Manhattan.) Carolers sang in the theatre’s lobby beforehand, which was a lovely touch.

For information about upcoming performances, including ballet, visit or call (718) 951-4500.

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