There are hummers and sing-along-ers and tap-their-feet-ers aplenty when it comes to holiday music, but a very special category of carol fans is tied to the magical realm of Christmas classical.
There's no seeking out of "Jingle Bells" or "Deck the Halls" for these folks; they'll impressivly hum the entirety of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" upon hearing the first two or three notes.
The ability to hum whole pieces is a testament to the emotional resonance of "The Nutcracker," a yuletide bon bon of a ballet. But let not the "bon bon" designation make it seem too light or airy; the famous work is such a huge part of our Christmastime cultural fare that its music and characters are woven into our earliest memories, whether we first saw it on TV or the stage.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Is it time for stage revisit, or to introduce a tot to Clara and the fairies for the first time? Southern California is positively asparkle with various productions. Take a look...
The Los Angeles Ballet will take its "Nutcracker" on the road once again, with five stops in all. Opening night is Dec. 5 at The Alex in Glendale, closing night is at Redondo Beach PAC on Sunday, Dec. 27, and Valley PAC, Dolby Theatre, Palm Desert's McCallum Theatre, and Royce Hall are all on the merry map. As for the setting of the story? Think Los Angeles circa 1913.
The Inland Pacific Ballet calls upon several regional venues beginning on Saturday, Nov. 28. The Arcadia Performing Arts Center, Bridges Auditorium at Pomona College, the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga's Lewis Family Playhouse will be visited by the cast of 80 dancers. Look for "a completely re-choreographed Snow Scene" and "an antique original Albany Flyer One Horse Open Sleigh."
And the Great Moscow Ballet shall leap into a number of Golden State cities through December, with its own elegant rendition of the timeless ballet. Hoping to catch this classic troupe in the lower part of the state? Bakersfield, San Diego, and some close-to-Christmas dates at The Wiltern in Los Angeles are all ahead.