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‘Nutcracker For Kids’ and a Full-Length ‘Nutcracker’ Hearken The Holiday Season

Photos by Skye Schmidt.

November 15, 2023                                 

By Lydia E. Ringwald

Festival Ballet presents a child friendly version of the classic ‘Nutcracker’ ballet at Segerstrom Concert Hall with two morning performances at 10 am and 11:30 am on Saturday, December 2.

Live on the stage and magnified on the theater screen, children, parents and friends can enjoy Festival Ballet dancers in exquisite costumes twirling and spinning to classic Tchaikovsky masterpiece performed by Pacific Symphony.

Those who attend the show can also enjoy pre or post performance fun in the lobby that includes a coloring and craft station and photo backdrop from 9 am until noon. The annual favorite Nutcracker event also includes a visit from Santa and holiday sing-along.

‘Nutcracker for Kids’ offers a great learning opportunity that families and friends can experience together; a chance to see how Tchaikovsky’s famous composition based on the original E.T. A Hoffman story from 1816 is transformed into a ballet.

The December 2 ‘Nutcracker for Kids’ is part of Pacific Symphony’s Family Musical Morning concert series that introduces children to opera and concert classics and offers an important learning experience.

Visit PacificSymphony.org for tickets and more information and to view a schedule of Family Musical Morning performances throughout the year.

Photos by Skye Schmidt.


For those who would enjoy an expanded ‘Nutcracker’ experience, Festival Ballet also offers a splendid full length ‘Nutcracker’ at Irvine Barclay Theater December 9 – December 21.

Beautifully designed costumes and extravagant sets enhance the stunning dance performances by Festival Ballet artists and ballet stars from world renown ballet companies. 

This year exquisite Sasha De Sola and Wei Wang from the San Francisco Ballet perform Saturday December 9 for the 1 pm matinee and 6 pm evening show and again on Sunday December 10 for the 1 pm matinee.

Elegant and enchanting Jeraldine Mendez and Dylan Gutierrez from the Joffrey Ballet perform for shows on December 16 and 17.

World famous ballet stars Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia from the New York City Ballet perform Thursday December 21 and for two shows on Friday, December 22.

Surprise guest stars will appear for the final performances on Saturday December 23 and Sunday December 24.

The Festival Ballet production, directed by Salwa Rizkalla brings this enchanting story book classic to life on stage for holiday performances that offer inspiration not only to those who experience ballet for the first time but also for seasoned ballet connoisseurs.

Viewing the dancing stars on the stage also invites viewers into a moment contemplation to find an uplifting spiritual message in art that may guide us out of the turmoil of the world into harmony, understanding and mutual prosperity.

To enhance the ‘Nutcracker’ experience, the lobby of the Irvine Barclay Theater is decorated with a gloriously decorated Tree and delightful Holiday Fair offering charming ornaments, miniature ‘Nutcracker’ figurines, jewelry and ballet accessories.

Nutcracker attendees may also attend a pre-show ‘Tea Party’ in the Jade Room before performances and enjoy finger sandwiches, sweet treats, tea and lemonade, or enjoy a champagne toast in the lobby during intermission to celebrate the Season.

Please visit thebarclay.org for tickets and information.