Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 22, 2012

Phillips Academy to present classic ballet

The Andover Townsman

---- — The Phillips Academy Department of Theatre and Dance will present its version of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker next weekend, Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.

Andover residents involved in the production are Adam Brody, Rebecca Cheng, Sarah Cronin, Emily Field, Claire Glover, Katherine Graber, Catherine Haut, Sophia Landay, Olivia Legaspi and Erica Nork.

Directed and choreographed by Judith Wombwell, the ballet was last performed by Phillips Academy in 2008.

“Wombwell has re-imagined the setting to represent colonial Andover with mice and soldiers becoming revolutionary war figures, and party guests celebrating in the Abbot barn, designed and constructed by faculty member Bruce Bacon. Clara’s journey through the Christmas tree into the Land of Sweets remains true to the original ballet in its timeless story of a child’s fantasy,” according to a Phillips release.

This year’s production of The Nutcracker includes several guest artists. The Nutcracker’s key role of Clara is shared by seniors Madeline Silva, captain of the Andover Dance Group, and Rochelle Wilbun. The Snow King and Queen are danced by Graham Johns and Marion Kudla, respectively.

The Grand Pas de Deux will be performed by guest artists and Boston Ballet soloists Dalay Parrondo and Brad Schlagheck in the featured roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Prior to joining the Boston Ballet in 2004, Parrondo was a soloist in the National Ballet of Cuba where she was featured in Swan Lake and Giselle. Schlagheck has been with the Boston Ballet since 2006 first as a member of the Corps de Ballet and now as a soloist.

Dancers also include Haverhill resident Michaela Barczak, North Andover resident Elizabeth McGonagle, North Reading resident Abriana Mayer and Reading residents Emily Ewing and Ada Li.

New costuming is being introduced this year in the form of a fanciful Mother Ginger, modeled after Marie Antoinette, and designed and constructed by faculty member Billy Murray. With grandeur and absurdity the character of Mother Ginger, played by faculty member Kevin Graber, makes a larger-than-life appearance accompanied by six tiny bonbon children. The design and construction of the Mother Ginger costume was made possible by a grant from the Abbot Academy Association.

The Nutcracker will be performed in Tang Theatre on the Phillips Academy campus, Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

Admission is $20 for general public and $10 for Phillips Academy community. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Phillips Academy box office at 978-749-4433.

Samuel’s restaurant at the Andover Inn will be offering a specially created, holiday prix fixe menu for theater patrons that will be available both before and after The Nutcracker performances for $35 per person.