Another year has come and gone, with it another run of Nutcracker. It is a long and draining experience, but I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if I hadn’t been doing Nutcracker these last nine years. Now that this run of shows is over, it feels so bittersweet. I’m grateful to get some rest, but I wasn’t ready for it to be over.
We got right back into the swing of things last Thursday with a sensory friendly matinee. It was a pretty regular show until sadly our Dew Drop got injured and caused a slight panic. The understudy was already injured too, so before the evening show there was a bit of a casting shuffle. Everyone managed to work through it though and it became a small hiccup that was quickly overcome. The evening show entailed a new quick change for me due to the change up of spots. I was now doing Chinese and flowers for B cast shows. It was a new challenge I was happy to take on.
Friday brought another two shows, nothing too strange happened. All I can say is that I was impressed with the resilience of the female dancers taking on extra roles and working their butts off. I started to feel comfortable in flowers and my stamina was much better. Everyone was happy to get another double show day out of the way.
Saturday, the final double show day. I was back to doing Chinese and flowers, filled with excitement and exhaustion. Between shows senior company had their annual Secret Santa reveal. I was very happy to receive some face masks, a calendar, a coloring book, and pens for my final gift from Emily. From the thrill of giving and receiving gifts everybody was slightly energized for the second show. During the first act plenty of people watched backstage very nervously. Somehow (it was never made explicitly clear how), the stage had become as slick as ice. Dancers were slipping and sliding all over. Luckily for the second act there is another set of marley to use, but that was definitely the most intense run of snow I had watched. All in all it was a successful double show day.
Then it was Sunday, the last day. I was doing flowers for all of my family and for the first time since opening night was feeling a little nervous. Warm up class was done on the very slick marley and you can bet that your girl wiped out during grand allegro. Hey better to fall warming up then onstage. They ended up not even using the first act marley due to it being one giant danger zone. The show began at 2:30 and the whole experience was over by 5:00. It went just as well as I could have hoped and to top it all off when the curtain came down the cast was “snowed” on one last time.
I know I already said it, but it all was very bittersweet. I can honestly say this was probably the best year of Nutcracker yet and saying good bye to it was hard. I almost always struggle with saying good bye to a show because even though you feel beaten down and stripped of all energy, it was worth it. You are surrounded by applause, love, and support then in a blink of an eye it is gone. Sadly all good things come to an end, so until next year Nutcracker.