Children live in rich inner worlds where the everyday mixes with the fantastical and imaginary. A closet industry has sprung up to help adults recapture the earnest playfulness of their youths.
For some, those worlds are laid bare. Among them was E.T.A. Hoffmann, whose short story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, became the ballet, The Nutcracker, by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, with its famous score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The ballet touches on the delight and heartbreak of our waking lives and the sweeping adventure and romance of our desires.
Ballet Idaho is putting on a production of The Nutcracker Friday-Sunday, Dec. 21-23 at the Morrison Center. The event promises adults a sure-fire way to recapture some of the vitality of childhood and a pinch of the Christmas spirit while dazzling their children with the performance onstage.
If you have somehow managed not to be repeatedly exposed to the story of The Nutcracker, here's the rundown: The Nutcracker recounts the Christmas Eve adventures of Clara, who is crestfallen when a toy nutcracker built by her godfather--a local councilman, toymaker, magician and all-around person of interest--is broken by her brother.
Falling asleep by the Christmas tree, she is awakened by a battle between gingerbread men and an army of mice, led by the evil Mouse King.
The Nutcracker gives ample voice and movement to the secret world of children and will cure holiday burnout. You'll know it worked if you walk out of the theater with a renewed sense of holiday cheer--or out of RiteAid with a 20-pack of mousetraps.