The childhood classic comes to campus…

Picture snow, sugar plum fairies, a Christmas tree that grows and, of course, the nutcracker prince himself. Think back to childhood when many of these things filled our thoughts and dreams close to Christmas time. For the inner sugar plum fairy or prince in us, this is a chance to rekindle our childhood and enjoy this timeless tale in the comfort of our own town.

Sam Houston State University’s dance program is performing the popular production of “The Nutcracker” November 29 through December 3. It features approximately 40 university dancers and community children. The production has been in preparation since August, when tryouts were held.

The lead roles are the sugar plum fairy, played by Alicia Carlin, and her prince, played by Larry Locier. The community children, who auditioned during the summer, play the mice that fight the soldiers who come to life.

“This is our fourth time doing “The Nutcracker.” It’s been very popular,” Dance Program Coordinator Jennifer Pontius said. “It’s choreographed by Dana Nicolay.”

Everyone will go all out to make this as close to the Houston Ballet’s version as possible.

“It’s similar because it’s traditional and classical. It’s a full-length ballet, which is something we don’t usually do,” Pontius said.

In the classic story, a young German girl dreams of a nutcracker prince (based on her Christmas present broken by her jealous brother) and a fierce battle against a mouse king with seven heads. If the ending is hard to recall, see for yourself. There’s plenty that should attract people of all ages.

“We have new sets and costumes. It’s very fanciful and colorful,” Pontius said.

There are approximately 30 – 40 people in the backstage crew who work on areas including lights, scenery, props and the box office. “The Nutcracker” features music from Tchaikovsky.

Tickets are on sale now and are $12 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and children. Tickets can be purchased by calling (936) 294-1339 or (936) 294-3988. The shows will be in the University Theatre Center at 7:30 p.m. nightly with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“We usually sell out for all performances. People can be on the wait list at 7 p.m.,” Pontius said.

The dance students have met for rehearsals every day and practice time has increased as it’s closer to performance days.

“We’re very proud of the high quality of performance that our students have. We want everyone to come and see because we’re proud of our students,” Pontius said.

The performances after “The Nutcracker” will be senior productions on December 12 and 13.

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