As we made our way to the War Memorial in San Francisco, sentimental memories of my grandfather came to mind who each year during Christmas gave each family an ornamented nutcracker. Over the years, we have collected an array of decorative nutcrackers that festively brought a particular eloquence to our Bay Area home.
In 1944, San Francisco opened the American premiere of Nutcracker on Christmas Eve! It was considered an instant sensation and became a ballet national holiday tradition.
This timeless show opens in the toy maker’s shop. Drosselmeyer is putting the finishing touches to a beautiful nutcracker toy before heading out to the Christmas Party at the Stahbaum’s home. The young Clara and Fritz are taking part in the tree decorating ceremony for the very first time! Drosselmeyer brings wooden dolls to live and gives the nutcracker doll to Clara. Fritz breaks the Nutcracker by accident. Drosselmeyer fixes the joy of the Nutcracker for Clara.
At the end of the party, Clara is tired and falls asleep with her nutcracker beside her. Awakening suddenly, she notices the room around her has changed dramatically. She enters into the fantasy world of the Nutcracker, toy soldiers, and rascally rodents. Clara helps by throwing her shoe, and the toy soldiers prevail.
A journey on a beautiful sled to a forest with dancing snowflakes, the Crystal Palace to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and her candy courtiers. It was a spectacular show that brought fond memories of my childhood and especially my grandfather who each year bestowed on us the gift of beautiful memories.