When the first "doll" hops onto pointe my niece said "wo, how did that happen?" and I said "magic". My mother offered "practice" but I insisted. No. It's magic.
I remember watching this version of the Nutcracker on TV with my mother and being kind of confused because the story is so different from the usual Nutcrackers. Clara morphs in to a grown-up and then lots of weird things happen with Drosslemeyer wearing a series of great big hats. But, you miss out on the best stuff, like the candy canes, Mother Ginger, and the Arabian dance. And, in my opinion, the Sugarplum Fairy is not a suggestion, it's a requirement.
Clara's tutu seems so strange to me. Unreal. It looks like it's injection molded. Totally unmoving. I am sure it's just a condition of the plate/overskirt being so wavy (like a cartoon tutu) and the whole thing being tacked very firmly together. But still, weird.
Also, I'd forgotten that the mouse king in this one has a varying quantity of heads, a nod to the original. I am pretty sure that this company is still doing a variation of this production.
Next year we're hoping to get all the girls in the family together for a trip to San Francisco's production. They aren't shy about declaring themselves the best in the country, and you have to admit: it is certainly shiny!