Would you like a break from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season? Come to the Vanity Theater and allow 41 talented children to mesmerize you through the magic and fantasy of the holiday classic Nutcracker.

“The sets are beautiful and the costumes are festive, colorful and lovely. It’s guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit,” said Lisa Cosby, musical and artistic director. “You will not want to miss this show because the whole production is a feast for the eyes. The children are delightful and you are certainly going to have an entertaining evening.”

Unlike the original ballet, this unique version of the Nutcracker simplifies Tchaikovsky’s famous score and adds marvelous lyrics. Music and dancing still charm the audience, but soldiers, toys and mice also tell the story.

It starts as the mysterious Godfather Drosselmeier (Davis Thompson) arrives on Christmas Eve and presents Clara (Christa Fortney) with an unusual Nutcracker. That night she is awakened by a band of renegade mice, led by the evil Mouse King (Brady Meyers). The Nutcracker (Edrey Vigil) gathers his helpers to try and defeat the menacing mice and travel to the Land of Toys to rescue Princess Pirlipat (Halee Woodkey) from the wicked Mouse Queen (Betsy Rodenbeck). The audience will be enchanted as good wins over evil and Marie and her toys return home to celebrate Christmas.

Helping Cosby direct this delightful presentation is David Samuelsen, assistant director; Nancy Rodenbeck, producer; and Alex Livengood, who is operating the sound and lights. As usual, the cast and crew have been working for about six weeks to bring this to life onstage.

“We have lots of new children who have worked very hard and I am so proud of them and the entire cast,” Cosby said.

One actress new to the Vanity stage is Jessica Bradley, who plays a mouse soldier. “Jessica has had so much fun,” said Pam Bradley, her mother. “It’s really neat to see how the older kids have reached out to her and taken her under their wings. It has been a great experience.”

Also in the cast and crew are Taylor Abston (Bitty Ballerina), Tori Abston (Kristina Ballerina), Alyx Bannon (Katrina Ballerina), Kyle Barton (Crew), Micaiah Bowman (Rudi the Mouse), Lindsey Bridgewater (Mouse Soldier), Hannah Budd (Nanny), Marissa Budd (Soldier Captain), Haley Burke (Lilly Lion), Annee Clark (Guard Two), Ethan Conkright (Fritz), Hollea Crosby (Fritz’s Soldier), Emma Curran (Guard One), Eric Demoret (Fritz’s Soldier), Josh Demoret (Fritz’s Soldier), Hannah Demoret (Mouse Soldier), Ava Dossett (Fritz Soldiers), Tully Fenters (Teri Tiger), Julianne Fortney (Mother), Harmon Hann (Fritz’s Soldier), Lilly Klingbeil (Raggedy Ann), Aidan Mason (Sweet Tooth), Campbell Mason (Fritz’s Soldier), Cami McGrady (Mouse Soldier), Cathleen McGrady (Fritz’s Soldier), Brooklyn Mills (Mouse Soldier), Mahlon Nevitt (Father), Carrie Pool (Polly Puppy), Michaela Semak (Madam Marie), Avery Smith (Cousin Victoria), Halle Smith (Fritz’s Soldier), Britney Snyder (Snowflake), Jordan Southwood (Crew), Victoria Talley (Teddy), Jordan Taylor (Mouse Soldier), Kristen Thompson (China Doll).

Because the adaptation of this show is shorter than the ballet, more local talent will be featured at each performance in a pre-show of masterful Christmas melodies. On stage Friday for the pre-Show will be the Northridge Middle School choir. Performances on Dec. 8, 9, and 15 feature a mixture of students from around the county. The pre-show on Dec. 14 will be the Tuttle Middle School Choir. The Crawfordsville High School Choir will take the stage and captivate the audience on Dec. 16.

Show sponsors are ServiceMASTER and Sally Chamness, Cali Bridges, Jeane Dickerson, Jane Murray and Donna Strand of Carpenter Realtors.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 14, and 15; and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 16.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Vanity at 362-7077. The box office, 122 S. Washington St., Crawfordsville, is also open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performances.

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