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Friday, November 16, 2007

Let’s get this season started

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(photo courtesy Ballethnic)

Where will you be this weekend? It’s a valid question. It’s fall, the weather’s crisp, and there’s like a ton of stuff to do. Me? I’m tired of the same old Nutcracker, so (at the goading, er, urging of my wife), I figured it’s time to check out Ballethnic’s Urban Nutcracker, which by all accounts is one of the signature events of the holiday season (which is very much upon us).

This is Ballethnic’s 18th season performing the “Nutcracker with soul,” adapted from Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet by Ballethnic co-founder/co-artistic director Waverly Lucas. The production promises a heady mix of classic ballet, jazz and ethnic dance. According to a press release, this year the show will feature students from the Ballethnic Youth Ensemble along with seniors from the H.J.C. Bowden Senior Center in East Point. The setting for the production moves to 1940s-era Sweet Auburn Avenue.

Here’s the weekend schedule: Friday, Nov. 16 (tonight, opening night), 8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 17 (public performance), 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 18 (matinee performance), 2 p.m. Be wary of the traffic around the Ferst Center due to the Georgia Tech game that same Saturday afternoon.

Tickets are $39 general admission, $29 for senior citizens, students, children and groups of 10 or more. Call the Ferst Center Box Office at 404-894-9600 or visit www.ferstcenter.org.

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But I'm sincerely curious: Has anyone ever seen this show? I checked our archives and didn't see anything about it since Tray Butler's little feature back in 2001. (However, I was interested to read old friend Tom Bell's piece on last year's production of Epiphany in which he chided Ballethnic for leaning a bit heavily on Urban Nutcracker for its box office.

Would love some thoughts on it beforehand.

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