American Ballet Theatre’s ‘Nutcracker’: A Story That Enchants by Keeping Some Things Real

2013-12-16-nutsnowflakes1gsShortly after Thanksgiving, I came across a package of cocktail napkins printed with a funny quote: “Christmas is weird. What other time of year do you sit around a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?”

This got me thinking about how bizarre many hallowed Christmas traditions are, perhaps none more so than The Nutcracker.

For many, myself included, Christmas would be incomplete without a live performance, favorite video or at least Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. But behind all the spectacle and sentimentality is a very strange story: a creepy uncle gives a girl a nutcracker, which magically comes to life and fends off an army of rodents before whisking the girl off to Candy Land — only to leave her back at home, wondering just what those sugarplums were laced with.

To read the full review on The Huffington Post, click here.

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The 13 Weirdest Things in the SkyMall Catalogue

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Whenever I’m at the airport, I get this weird urge to improve myself.

Fresh from my full-body TSA massage, I snub the smutty gossip rags at Hudson News in favor of The Economist and The New Yorker; then board my flight feeling oh-so-very-pleased with myself.

But shortly after takeoff, something else happens just as surely. I’m riveted by “Talk of the Town” — really, I am — but can’t help eyeballing the SkyMall catalogue in front of me. I then dog-ear my New Yorker, open the catalogue with a sigh of defeat and cave to the sick pleasure of wondering who really buys all that sh*t.

To read the full article on The Huffington Post, click here.

REVIEW: Royal New Zealand Ballet at The Joyce

From Here to There. RNZB BANDERILLERO;

Wednesday’s opening of Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) at The Joyce marked the final stop on a U.S. tour that has covered a lot of ground ā€” both literally and figuratively.

Making its first appearance on U.S. soil in more than two decades, the 61 year-old company made its way from Wellington, NZ to New York by way of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Minneapolis.

But that’s not the only type of ground the company is covering. The triple bill included works by three international choreographers that showed the troupe to be uncommonly versatile ā€” and also in good hands with artistic director Ethan Stiefel.

To read the full review on The Huffington Post, click here.