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Nut to be missed

Published on December 11, 2017 5:13PM

Sugar plum fairies, menacing mice and dazzling dance numbers will bring the magic of Christmas to life on Monday, Dec. 18, when The Eugene Ballet performs “The Nutcracker” in Tillamook.

The performance of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece will take place at Tillamook High School, hosted by the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook.

“For so many of us, it’s not quite Christmas until you’ve at least listened to the musical score of The Nutcracker,” said Adam Schwend, the club’s director of cultural events. “It’s a tradition, beloved by many of all ages.”

“We don’t always do a Christmas show,” Schwend added. “However, a lot of folks are particularly interested in music and the arts around Christmas time, so this was a good opportunity to take one of the most adored Christmas shows in history and bring it professionally to Tillamook.”

The performance will also feature aspiring dancers from both Tillamook School of Dance and Oregon Coast Dance Center.

“I don’t know that it would be Christmas without doing ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Lisa Greiner of the Oregon Coast Dance Center. “For our studio, it really gets everybody in the Christmas spirit and for so many it has become a tradition to watch it performed every year.”

After auditioning with the Eugene Ballet, 30 dancers aged five to 15 were selected based on their age, skill and choreography. These students have been working with Griener since the beginning of November to master the choreography and staging.

“We have several students who danced with The Eugene Ballet a few years ago when they performed ‘Cinderella,’” Greiner said. “And then we have a lot of the younger kids, particularly the five and six year olds, who are very excited to dance on stage with professional ballerinas.”

Her students will perform a variety of roles with the Eugene Ballet, such as party kids during the opening scene, baby mice, angels who dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy and Bon Bons inside the Kingdom of Sweets.

“Many of them have roles that are very involved, and will be on stage for as much as half an hour,” Greiner said.

“Part of our mission as Monday Musical Club is to encourage educational components in each performance that we bring to Tillamook,” Schwend said. “This gives our local dance talent the opportunity to work with and learn from professional dancers.”

Greiner and her students have been performing “The Nutcracker” every year for the past 11 years, and will have their own performance on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, the weekend prior to The Eugene Ballet performance.

The Eugene Ballet performance of “The Nutcracker” begins at 7 pm on Monday, Dec. 18, at Tillamook High School. Advance tickets, $25 apiece, are available at www.mondaymusicalclub.com as well as TLC Federal Credit Union and the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are also available at the door for $30. Students aged 18 and under get in free.

A case of the Mondays

• Also on the roster this year for the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook performances are The Queen’s Cartoonists, a jazz band that specializes in cartoon music, performing on Jan. 21; and Six Guitars, a one-man show featuring six different guitar-playing characters, on April 30. Season tickets are available.

For more information on the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook, contact Adam Schwend at 503-457-8865 or email apschwend@gmail.com.

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