Nashville’s favorite holiday tradition ‘Nutcracker’ is back at TPAC


O&AN and Nashville Ballet want to wish you a Happy Holiday, and to show it we want to send you and a guest to see the Nutcracker at TPAC for FREE!

Shoot us an email ([email protected]) with “Nutcracker” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include a daytime phone number so we can let you know you’ve won. Only one entry per person please.  

Nashville Ballet presents Nashville’s own exciting Nutcracker — accompanied by The Nashville Symphony and featuring Darrell Waltrip, Hal Ketchum, Tennessee Titan Ben Troupe, WSMV Channel 4 News Sports Director Rudy Kalis and LuLu & Trish from Venus FM — December 15-17 and 22-23 in Jackson Hall at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Nashville Ballet’s Nutcracker will offer AmSouth Bank, Presenting Sponsor; Publix Super Markets Charities, Performance Sponsor and Caremark, Holiday Magic Sponsor. 

“This is truly Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Paul Vasterling, artistic director of Nashville Ballet. “The Nashville Symphony will perform Tchaikovsky’s classic score live at each show, and our dancers will be accompanied by the 150 members of the youth cast, who are all from Middle Tennessee. Plus, we are featuring local celebrities in the role of Mother Ginger, which adds even more of a Nashville flavor to the performance.”

Mother Ginger’s colorful, elaborate costume requires two people to maneuver it, and audiences are always delighted when the eight “Polichinelles,” (brightly costumed youth cast members) come out from behind Mother Ginger’s skirt. In addition to the colorful costumes, portions of the second act of Nutcracker are going to be moved into a new order for greater energy and excitement.

Vasterling points out that, although there will be a Nashville accent to the performance, the dancing will be world class. “Because of Nashville Ballet’s outstanding reputation, dancers have come from around the country and the world to join our company.”

Nutcracker is the whimsical tale of Clara and her magical Nutcracker doll. Larger-than-life Nutcracker dolls, huge sets, bright lights and a bold dragon operated by nine dancers will take the audience on a magical adventure. They will journey through the Land of Sweets and the Snow Kingdom, with plenty of suspenseful battle scenes and engaging dancing along the way.

Performance Dates, Times and Ticket Information:

At TPAC’s Jackson Hall

Friday, December 15, 7:00 pm 

Saturday, December 16, 2:00 & 7:00 pm

Sunday, December 17, 2:00 pm

Friday, December 22, 2:00 & 7:00 pm

Saturday, December 23, 2:00 & 7:00 pm

How to Get Tickets:

Call Ticketmaster at (615) 255-ARTS (2787), visit, stop by any Ticketmaster outlet, or visit either the TPAC Box Office downtown or at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in the newly renovated Mall at Green Hills. To save on per-ticket fees, purchase in person at TPAC’s downtown box office. For groups of ten or more, call 615.782.4004 to save 20 percent.

Nashville Ballet is funded in part from grants made available through the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Charitable Fund.

Founded in 1981 as a civic dance company, Nashville Ballet became Middle Tennessee’s only professional ballet company in 1986. The 2005-2006 season marks Nashville Ballet’s 20th Anniversary as a professional company. Nashville Ballet presents a varied repertoire of classical pieces and contemporary works by noted choreographers, as well as original works by Artistic Director Paul Vasterling, which are performed worldwide. In October 2005, Nashville Ballet took its varied repertoire to South America for a six-city, six-performance tour. Through performances and education/outreach programs, Nashville Ballet reaches more than 40,000 adults and children annually.

Nashville Ballet’s 22 company dancers and apprentices will perform four series during this Season. Still remaining are: Nutcracker, Dec. 9 – 11 and Dec. 16 – 18, 2005; Sensual. Seductive. Stravinsky. (The Rite of Spring and Firebird) Feb. 17 – 19, 2006; and Celebrations of Spring (The Veleteen Rabbit and Messiah), April 7 – 9, 2006.