Homer's "Nutcracker" Dances Into 24th Year


     Homer’s production of the Nutcracker Ballet has going strong for 24 years, although last year saw some significant changes to the show. Audiences can expect to see some new twists in the production this year.

     One of the most famous ballets of all time, performances of the Nutcracker have been an annual Holiday tradition ever since its surge in popularity in the 1960s. For the past 24 years, Homer has staged its own production of the ballet, but last year with the directorial reigns for the show being passed on things changed quite dramatically.

     According to co-director Jennifer Norton, the show was altered to add different elements to the set and setting, as well as the story being changed to be more in line with the novella it was originally based on along with the addition of modern music.

     "We decided that ... we didn't want to pursue the same path," said Norton. "Last year, we introduced kind of a 'steampunk' element and tried to add a few modern ... styles of music."

     While last year saw a more significant change to the look and feel of the production, the play has always altered slightly year after year to keep things fresh and original and this year is no exception, according to co-director Breezy Berryman, the daughter of former Nutcracker director Jill Berryman.

     Although the Nutcracker has changed direction and is pursuing a new style, Norton stated that the response from last year was very positive and that they had a very strong showing for the auditions this season.

     In addition to having strong community support, the Nutcracker also has a very dedicated group of dancers and actors who sign up each year to be a part of the production as well as plenty of newcomers who show up to take part also, and all of them with plenty of enthusiasm for the show they put on.

     While there may only a couple more days to put any finishing touches on the show, Berryman said that everyone involved was highly optimistic about what they already had to show the Homer community.

     The Nutcracker will debut at the Homer High School’s Mariner Theater on December 1st at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m. and will also be performed on the 2nd at 3:00 p.m., the 7th at 7:30 p.m. and the 8th at 3 p.m. All tickets are $10 and are available at the Homer Bookstore, River City Books or at the box office.