ASHTABULA — Enduring for more than a century, “The Nutcracker” is a Christmas fairy tale that will bring back feelings of holidays past and the promise of holidays to come.
The annual full-scale production of this classic tale will open on the Ashtabula Arts Center stage Friday and will continue Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Saturday and Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Santa will be available to visit with children prior to the 2 p.m. performance Saturday. There will be no 7:30 performance Saturday.
Loosely based on the tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by E.T.A. Hoffmann, this time-honored classic tells a story of an enchanted nutcracker doll that magically comes to life to battle an evil mouse king and his band of ferocious mice.
General admission adult tickets are $13, seniors/students are $12, children12 and under are $11. Save $2 per ticket when you purchase in advance! Advance tickets must be purchased prior to 4 p.m. on the day of the show or on Saturday for Sunday performances.
In addition to performances, several “Nutcracker” events are also being offered.
On Dec. 8, families can meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and other “Nutcracker” characters at the annual Sugar Plum Luncheon. Doors open at noon. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children age 12 and under. Those attending the luncheon will receive $1 off the price of their “Nutcracker” ticket to the 2 p.m. performance.
Following the 2 p.m. performances on Dec. 9 and Dec. 15, Clara’s Punch and Sweet Treats will be held in the gallery. Bring a camera for taking photos with “Nutcracker” characters while enjoying refreshments from the “enchanted land of the sweets!” Adult tickets are $7 and Children age 12 and under are $5. Deadline for pre-registration and pre-payment is Monday for the Dec. 9 event and Dec. 10 for the Dec. 15 event.
For each non-perishable food you bring to the arts center for donation to the Faith Food Pantry, you can purchase a ticket to the Dec. 13 performance for half off the regular ticket price while seats last. Donations must be brought to the arts center before half price tickets can be purchased. Donations will be accepted whether or not tickets are purchased. Items that are especially needed include tuna, peanut butter, canned meats and canned goods. No expired items.
For tickets to any performance or extra events, call 964-3396.