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Queens Chronicle

A ‘Nutcracker’ performance for the kids

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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:30 am

As a child I remember loving the “The Nutcracker.” I would dress up with my family, settle into the red velvet seats of the theater, the lights would dim and the groups of little boys and girls would take the stage at the beginning of the party scene.

And then I would nod off.

I would bounce awake for maybe the fight scenes where the rat army battled the Nutcracker. Let me reiterate that I loved “The Nutcracker” — especially the taped 1993 version wherein Macaulay Culkin played the title role. But the long show and the late night performance were often too much for me.

To help children make it through the ballet, Saturday’s two shows at Flushing Town Hall will be short and sweet, according to Ballet for Young Audiences Artistic Director Edwin Kinter, which means one-hour long.

“We do a lot of school-time performances and usually the children have to get back to the schools. So that’s why we do an hour version,” Kinter said.

“The community certainly loves it,” Flushing Town Hall Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek said. “It’s a sweet version and a nice first introduction.”

The shows will additionally be during daylight hours — even one day after the shortest day of the year — at 1 and 3 p.m.

To keep the show short BFYA sticks to the main plot line, leaving out many of the large group numbers such as the flowers and snowflakes that the much, much longer versions of the show include.

Also to cater to the younger set, per the company’s mission as its name may suggest, the show will be narrated.

Even with the changes, audiences can still expect many traditional touches. The partygoers will don big hoop skirts and the men will be in their penguin-tail jackets. There will also be the dances from around the world which include Spanish dancers with colorful skirts and marzipan outfits.

The Dec. 22 stop at Flushing Town Hall, which BFYA has been visiting for about 10 years, will be the group’s last venue before they retire the holiday favorite for the season.

In addition to “The Nutcracker,” which was BFYA’s first- ever show, the ballet company performs other shows such as “Cinderella,” making several stops in our borough — Queens Theatre in the Park, LaGuardia Community College, Queens College and, of course, FTH.

‘The Nutcracker’

When: Saturday, Dec. 22 at 1 and 3 p.m.

Where: Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Blvd.

Tickets: $16, $12 children; $12 members, $10 member children, flushingtownhall.org

(718) 463-7700

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