To me, a trip to the Joffrey's "The Nutcracker" really puts me in the holiday spirit. It's a real treat from beginning to end, and the Joffrey dancers are in fine shape here. Many dismiss "The Nutcracker" as mere fluff, but I disagree; I think it works wonderfully on its own terms as a full-length ballet. As always, I find the first act a real stunner; the sense of mystery and wonder of the narrative really holds the audience. However, while the second act remains utterly enjoyable, it is basically a series of dance turns with really no sense of forward movement. This is a heartwarming holiday tradition for me and will continue to be so. Happy holidays everyone!
Rating: ***1/2 (out of *****)