Kick off the Holiday Season with Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Disclaimer: I was provided with complimentary tickets to The Nutcracker. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

One of my favorite ways to kick off the holiday season is by attending a performance of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. My friend (and hairstylist) Amy and I made an evening out of it by grabbing dinner and drinks before the show, and it was the perfect way to start getting into the Christmas season without all the stress of cooking and shopping.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker

The company’s current production was re-imagined in 2012 by Mikko Nissinen and it has been wowing audiences ever since. Based on a libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is an adaptation of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, this ballet is the quintessential holiday experience offering something for everyone.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker
Boston Ballet School Students in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy Boston Ballet.

Though The Nutcracker is performed all over the world, a number of details make Boston Ballet’s production so memorable. The costumes are so meticulously designed and perfected in a way that really shows as they move across the stage. The most intricate of the costumes used may be found on the Sugar Plum and Dew Drop dancers, whose bodices and tutus are embellished with over 3,600 individual jewels.

Additionally costume designer Robert Perdziola creates the shimmer effect on the Sugar Plum and Snow Queen tutus by hand-dipping them into metallic paints. Even with about 350 of the production’s costumes being made for multiple casts, Perdziola also meticulously hand-inks some of the patterns to line up perfectly with each dancer’s proportions.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker
Patrick Yocum and Delia Wada-Gill in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy Boston Ballet.

This performance also features expertly designed sets including the opening scene’s growing Christmas tree sequence. The iconic tree begins as a 16 ft. 11 in. tall decoration in the living room, which grows to be 42 ft. 6 in. tall complete with 766 fiber optic points and 600 ornaments.

The cast of The Nutcracker includes Boston Ballet’s full company of 56 dancers, 10 Boston Ballet II dancers, and 250 Boston Ballet School Students. The Boston Ballet orchestra accompanies the ballet with Tchaikovsky’s original score led by Principal Guest Conductor Beatrice Jona Affron and guest conductors Kenneth Hsieh and Genevieve Leclair.

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker
Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy Boston Ballet.

Whether you’ve grown up seeing The Nutcracker or you’re looking to add a new holiday tradition to your repertoire, I encourage you to take in a performance with Boston Ballet. Tickets start at just $35 and performances run through December 31. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Boston Ballet The Nutcracker
Lia Cirio and Lasha Khozashvili in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker; photo by Liza Voll, courtesy Boston Ballet.

Boston’s Theater District is full of chic dining locations to pair with any performances you may be planning on seeing. For this year’s trip to The Nutcracker, we stopped at Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen to share some small plates and enjoy a glass of wine.

Sip Wine Bar Kitchen

Sip offers wine by the bottle, large pour (10 oz), traditional pour (6 oz), and sip (2 oz), allowing you to stick to your trusted favorites or try something new. During this visit Amy and I both ordered traditional pours of the Covey Run Riesling to accompany our meal of mushroom flatbread, pan-roasted shrimp, and truffle arancini (and dessert– smores and raspberry bread pudding!)

They also have a nice sushi menu and a brunch menu along with specialty cocktails aside from wine, that we cannot wait to go back and try. We made reservations for 5:00 pm, which worked out to be perfect timing to make the 7:30 pm ballet without having to rush.

Sip Wine Bar Kitchen

Are you planning on attending Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker? Or dining out in the Theater District? Let me know what holiday traditions you have for this time of year by using #castlepartylife!

P.S. Learn more about the 2018 performance of The Nutcracker, and be the first to know when tickets go on sale by following Boston Ballet here.

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