Milwaukee Ballet Brings Magic to the Holidays with Michael Pink’s The Nutcracker, December 12-28

Audiences of all ages will enjoy Milwaukee's favorite holiday tradition

MILWAUKEE - December 1, 2008 - With the holidays just around the corner, families are making plans to experience Milwaukee's most magical holiday tradition: Milwaukee Ballet's The Nutcracker. Artistic Director Michael Pink brings toys to life onstage with incredible sets, lavish costumes and Tchaikovsky's rich score December 12-28 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

This adventure story of three siblings: the young-adult Marie; the spunky, preteen Clara; and their brat of a brother Fritz will transform the Marcus Center stage into an extraordinary and fun-filled holiday extravaganza perfect for audiences of all ages.

From the moment audiences hear the first melodies of Tchaikovsky's enchanting score, performed live by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, they are taken to the Drosselmeyer family holiday celebration - a place where delicious food, festive dancing and gift-giving commemorate the special occasion. When one young girl falls asleep holding the nutcracker doll she received as a gift, her dreams take her into a land of make-believe where twirling snowflakes, flying angels and magical, fantasy characters tickle her imagination.

As snowflakes dance upon the stage at the end of Act 1, the Milwaukee Children's Choir's beautiful voices will be heard. 2008 marks the fourth consecutive year for the collaboration.

More than 130 local children from the recently accredited Milwaukee Ballet School will perform in the production. Children aged six to 18 will take on the roles of mice, party children, geese and other famous roles from the classic tale.

Milwaukee Ballet has performed a full-length version of The Nutcracker since 1977. In 1998, the Joan, Jack and Victor Stein Foundation provided Milwaukee Ballet with a $1 million gift to create an all-new version of The Nutcracker. Milwaukee Ballet continues to build on this gift and the support of sponsors to create an unforgettable theatre experience.

The Nutcracker runs December 12-28, 2008 at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street, Milwaukee. Tickets to the performance range from $16-66. To order or for additional information, call (414) 902-2103 or visit www.milwaukeeballet.org. The Nutcracker is generously sponsored by the Joan, Jack and Victor Stein Foundation, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and MillerCoors. Stein Gardens and Gifts and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are promotional partners.

Family Package Subscriptions
Grow your passion for dance and become a subscriber to Milwaukee Ballet. This year, Milwaukee Ballet is offering a new, flexible Family subscription package that includes tickets to The Nutcracker and your choice of two additional shows for your family to enjoy: Fancy Free, Genesis, or Live and Kicking.

Nutcracker Showtimes
Friday, December 12, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 13, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 13, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 14, 12 p.m.
Sunday, December 14, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 18, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 19, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 20, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 20, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 21, 12 p.m.
Sunday, December 21, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 23, 12 p.m.
Tuesday, December 23, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24, 11 a.m.
Friday, December 26, 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 27, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 27, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 28, 12 p.m.
Sunday, December 28, 4:30 p.m.

Milwaukee Ballet
Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet strives to inspire its audiences to think within and beyond traditional ballet through the presentation of quality performances and the implementation of educational opportunities. Milwaukee Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet School are recognized among the top companies in the nation. Milwaukee Ballet School is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. With an annual operating budget of more than $5 million, Milwaukee Ballet presents more than 40 performances to more than 50,000 people each year. Its resident company includes 25 professional dancers along with 18 trainees in its Nancy Einhorn Milwaukee Ballet II program and is one of the few dance companies in the country to maintain its own symphony orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School, the official school of the Ballet, has an enrollment of nearly 900 students at three locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

###

Note to Editors: Interviews with Milwaukee Ballet's Artistic Director Michael Pink and dancers, as well as high-resolution images are available upon request.