IVCBT to deliver ‘Nutcracker’ to Temecula this weekend

Clara will be performed by Francesca Lu and the Nutcracker Prince by David Waisman in Inland Valley Classical Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker Ballet’ at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater Nov. 23-24. Shawna Sarnowski Photography photo

Inland Valley Classical Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Svetlana Waisman has produced “The Nutcracker Ballet” at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater for the past 18 years.

But, she said, there’s something different this time around.

“I want to say ‘Nutcracker’ season is always very exciting for all participants,” Waisman said. “But there is something special going on this year, as this year’s cast of ‘The Nutcracker’ is on fire, full of talent and drive.”

Performances at Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main Street, will take place at 2 and at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

Francesca Lu, center, will perform the role of Clara in Inland Valley Classical Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker Ballet’ at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater. Shawna Sarnowski Photography photo

Waisman said she loves the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and called it her inspiration.

“I simply love ‘Nutcracker,’” she said. “This ballet started with a thought many years ago when Tchaikovsky first conceived it and it turned into a timeless score that inspires many to this day. What I love about it, is that there is no limit to this process of creation. Every year staging ‘Nutcracker’ brings more and more ingenuity, and I absolutely love this progression of discovery in creating and adding something new each time.

“Always, every year I add something new,” she said. “I love choreography to evolve and change. We do have some beautiful surprises this year as well.”

The story of “The Nutcracker Ballet” varies from production to production, and Waisman provided the synopsis for hers.

“One snowy evening, everyone was going to the Stahlbaum house to celebrate Christmas. When Herr Drosselmeyer arrives, the children are alarmed, yet curious. Drosselmeyer is a magic clockmaker and is said to build magnificent mechanical dolls. He presents his goddaughter, Masha, with a nutcracker that comes to life when midnight strikes.

The Nutcracker, released from the Rat Queen’s spell, becomes a real prince and invites Masha on a magical journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.

“There they are welcomed to the palace by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her court. Masha, crowned as the Princess of the Land of Sweets, is thanked for saving the Prince’s life with gifts of Spanish Chocolate, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, Russian Trepak, Tatar Chak-Chak, the Dance of the Mirlitons and Mother Ginger and her Bonbons. Masha and the Nutcracker Prince dance, and the entire court join in a tribute to Masha.

“When morning comes, Masha awakens; was it all a dream?” according to the synopsis.

Clara will be performed by Francesca Lu, Nutcracker Prince by David Waisman, Drosselmeyer by Samuel Waisman and the Nutcracker Doll will be Julian Mini.

“I enjoy playing it, dancing it, hearing it and watching it,” Samuel Waisman, who performs the role of Drosselmeyer, said. “Honestly speaking, it means tradition. It’s a way of life. Drosselmeyer ushers me into Christmas. I’m fulfilling a role that I really enjoy. Bringing the sense of wonder into the eyes of the audience. The music is my childhood, it’s my life, I grew up with it since I was 5, as early I can remember.”

The artistic director said there are always challenges with the production, but somehow, they always come through.

“Whether it is building new sets or costumes, or just simply people get sick,” she said. “But all of it is part of one big creative process and it takes many people to be one big resourceful family. I am so grateful for many volunteers, mostly inspired parents.”

Waisman hopes people will leave each of the three performances with joy in their hearts.

“Joy and beautiful memories,” she said. “I want the audience to leave counting down the days until the next holiday season so they could watch ‘Nutcracker’ again.”

Inland Valley Classical Ballet Theatre will produce another production of the “The Nutcracker Ballet” at Pechanga Resort Casino in December with a different cast.

Tickets are $20-$25 with discounts available for seniors ages 65 and older, military and children ages 10 and younger and can be purchased online at http://tickets.temeculatheater.org, by calling the theater box office at (866) 653-8696 or visiting the box office during business hours.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.