Ballet Western Reserve will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a production of the holiday classic "The Nutcracker."
For the anniversary, the production has been dubbed "The Golden Nutcracker," and this year's performances will feature sets and backdrops first used for the company's 1970 performances of the ballet set to the music of Peter Tchaikovsky. Those original sets have been restored for this year's shows.
Virginia Hartman, who was named artistic director of BWR in 2011, first staged "The Nutcracker" last season and once again will incorporate other area arts groups in the production.
Todd Hancock, co-founder of Easy Street Productions, will serve as narrator, and professional dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio will be incorporated into the party scene. Veteran local actor James McClellan returns as Herr Drosselmeyer, the godfather of Clara, the young girl whose Christmas Eve dreams propel the story.
Joining nearly 80 Ballet Western Reserve students ranging from age 7 to 17 will be guest artist and Mahoning Valley native John Scaccetti, now of New York City. BWR alumnus and current instructor Courteny Cochran will dance the role of the Golden Snow Princess and her partner is the Snow Pas De Deux, who will be guest artist Jens Lee.
Performances are scheduled at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Powers Auditorium, 260 W. Federal St. A raffle will be held at each performance for the golden Nutcracker used on stage, autographed by "Clara."
Tickets range from $15 to $27 and are available at the DeYor Performing Arts Center box office and by calling 330-744-0264.