Greater Pasadena News


Pasadena Dance Theatre prepares for annual Nutcracker performances

12 Dec 2013 6:40 PM
Pasadena Dance Theatre prepares for annual Nutcracker performances

As the holiday season gets underway, individuals across the country are likely looking forward to spending time with friends and family members, and participating in a number of festive traditions. And, while most parts of California don't typically see snowfall each year, there are a number of annual occasions that define the season and help everyone to share in enjoying the holiday spirit.

One such event is the Pasadena Dance Theatre's yearly performances of the timeless Tchaikovsky classic, "The Nutcracker," from within the historic San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, Sunday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 22 - as well as at both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21 - more than 80 dancers will bring to life the entertaining tale of a Christmas Eve dream full of playful characters and ethereal apparitions. 

To prepare for the five performances, the company will present the play to school children during the three afternoons leading up to Saturday's showing. 

For yet another year, Pasadena Dance Theater's artistic director Cynthia Young has prepared the cast to follow mesmerizing choreography set to the dazzling musical score, which promises to delight audience members of all ages. Young, who received her formal training from the San Francisco Ballet School and the University of Utah, has been affiliated with the company since 1981. Upon being appointed as artistic director in 1996, she began making effective changes that both improved the organization financially and culturally, having taught many master classes and produced numerous full-length ballets.

Range of tickets available to each performance
Tickets to each of the five performances are available to the public. Depending on where individuals wish to sit during the play, the price of a single admission ranges from $20 to $58. To purchase tickets for this year's upcoming shows, those interested are encouraged to call the box office at 626-683-3459 or visit

Tickets vary in price due to the different show times and seating options available at the legendary venue. Steeped in rich history, the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse is an upscale theater offering attendees the chance to view classic works of performance art while surrounded by opulent accents. Tapestries presented by the King of Spain adorn the walls, while unique chandeliers and a fully operational Wurlitzer Theatre Organ adds to the cozy ambiance.

Special performances to include exclusive offerings
Those who reserve tickets to the Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 showings can choose to capitalize on the opportunity to meet the play's heroine, Clara, at an exclusive Nutcracker Party, that will be held prior to the performance. With a valid ticket, and an additional $20, attendees can enjoy a variety of refreshments and visit with the celebrated character. 

From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at each occasion, Clara will set a table with countless culinary creations and festive beverages as the story of "The Nutcracker" is told. Additional performers, outfitted in their unique costumes, will then hand out a variety of party favors to the young audience members in attendance. Space is limited to 100 guests for each session, so those interested in participating may want to confirm their admission by visiting the Pasadena Dance Theatre's official website. 

While there are a multitude of performances of "The Nutcracker" being held by theater companies across the Golden State this holiday season, the Pasadena Dance Theatre's high-end rendition promises to be one of the most special. As in past years, families from all over the region are expected to flock to the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse and enjoy this time-honored tradition together.