Something New For “Nutcracker”

There are many ways to mark the start of the holiday season. “The Nutcracker” is as good as any.

For 4 decades, the Westport Academy of Dance’s ballet has been staged here. The venues have changed — Staples and Weston High Schools, Long Lots and Saugatuck Elementary — but the performances never did. They were always outstanding.

Westport Academy of Dance’s “Nutcracker.”

For the first time this year, the local “Nutrcracker” will have a professional setting worthy of its almost-professional dancers. The 40th annual production is set for Bridgeport’s Klein Memorial Auditorium. Shows are tomorrow (Saturday, November 27, 3 p.m.) and Sunday (November 28 2 p.m.).

“The Nutcracker” is such a tradition that current Westport Academy of Dance owner Nancy Zindell also performed in it — multiple times. So have current Academy teachers Tollie Barrato, Abby Evans and Grace Bergonzi. They were inspired as young dancers; now they’re doing the same for a new generation.

Parents are an integral part of every aspect of the Academy of Dance — including “The Nutcracker.”

*Abby Evans as Sugar Plum, with her dad Bill Evans. He played Drosselmeyer for years.

They, their kids and their kids’ instructors are excited to return to a full, live performance after last year’s’ COVID interruption. For those unable to be at the Klein though, both shows will be livestreamed.

After 40 years — or 129, since Tchaikovsky wrote it in 1892 — there’s still new news about “The Nutcracker.”

(Click here for ticket information. Click here to learn more about the Westport Academy of Dance.)


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